What is Qi and why do we need it!

Qi...What fuel to use: Original Qi or Fu Qi?

In TCM, we are taught that we are born with Original Qi. Original Qi might be compared to our original battery which might be our mineral content, or bone quality / structure. Original Qi is acquired from our parents. If parents are healthy and strong, they produce a health, strong baby. They pass on a good battery or bone quality (Original Qi) 

Our goal is to keep all our Original Qi for as long as we are able. Qi gives us energy/fuel to think clearly, for our muscles to contract and relax, support hormones, grow, maintain and restore structures / bones/tendons/ligaments, etc. 

We expend Qi (energy/minerals) whenever we move, think, repair or process but we want to use a different type of Qi for that. TCM calls it “Fu Qi” (food qi / food energy).  We think of Original Qi (original battery) as our life span. Food is like the alternator in a car…restoring the original battery.

FuQi Fuel or Original Battery? What fuel do I use?

We all know by now, that our food supply could be better and that our food choices are not always optimal, so our Fu / Food Qi is probably depleted, which can lead to deficiencies, which lead to dis-ease and possibly blockages.

Minerals are key to strong bones and strong bodies. To preserve our Original Qi (Original Battery) / bone structure, we are born with which gives us strength and stability. We would need to supplement (Fu Qi / Food Energy) with good quality food-sourced bio-available minerals to prevent deficiencies, like immune issues, arthritis, dis-ease, and keep our bodies healthy and strong.

Minerals: Whole Food vs Rocks
Q: What would qualify as a Good Quality food-sourced Bio-available Mineral? 
A: Food not rocks. 

I bring this up because some people believe that spring water / mineral water (I call rock water) is the answer to their mineral deficiencies. Unfortunately, our bodies cannot process rocks. Instead, we need minerals from food to be efficient and help with processing. Bio-available minerals would come from leafy vegetables growing alongside the stream, where the rock water flows. The rock water is converted by the plant into something mineral rich, which we CAN process into fuel!

These days unless you start eating great quality, whole organic mineral and nutrient-rich type food early in life, and stay away from sugar (sugar can interrupt the body’s healing process), you probably fall slightly deficient by the time you reach your 20’s.  Growing pains, are one of the first indications of mineral deficiencies…Then you would need to add whole food supplements to your diet, to get enough in to affect any change. If you stayed on a supplement regimen, you could prevent a plethora of health issues entering into your middle ages and beyond. Old age would not be riddled with pain, dysfunction, doctors visits and prescription drugs.

By age 30/35, depending on how active you were up until that point, you would start to show more signs you are deficient, like peri-menopausal symptoms, sweats, sweaty hands and or feet, hormonal changes, PMS, anxiety, increased stress response, sleep issues, hair thinning or turning white/grey, gaining weight or losing bone mass, depleted deltoid muscle or inability to build muscle easily, unexplained aches and pains, arthritis/osteopenia/osteoporosis, fatigue, etc.. Basically most issues start with a deficiency of minerals, to support the body properly.

Even in your 50’s/60’s if you work with a decent mineral doctor / advisor, you could feasibly stop the progression of most of these health issues, under certain situations, and depending on your compliancy as a patient, may reverse some issues. 

Medications are big interrupters of mineral absorption however, so working together with your medical doctor is highly advised.

Minerals and the Gate Theory: 
Minerals work like an old fashioned key. Each mineral requires a certain level to communicate with the next mineral. So imagine a bar chart with all the minerals lined up and some bars reaching higher and some lower…similar to the key.
If the mineral levels did not line up to the required level, the key would be less likely to open the “gate”.  Patients would experience cramping (attempting to open the gate) or erratic processes like not enough of certain minerals to keep them from sweating profusely under normal circumstances, when other people were not sweating, or to keep hormones balanced, expressing as acne / PMS / Infertility / weight gain.

Muscles use the “gate theory” to contract/engage or relax/disengage. One mineral would be in the muscle and the other in the body fluid/bone etc. In order to switch from relaxing or contracting, the 2 minerals use the “gate theory”. Essentially they open the gate and switch places. 

Mineral and the processing plant
Ok, if you have been following my previous train of thought, you understand the value of minerals, and to look for whole food minerals, whole food mineral supplements, however that is not the only thing that needs to be considered.

Even somewhat healthy people can have issues processing whole food minerals, in the food form we eat them. Minerals seem to need essential fatty acids to convert into usable minerals. Unfortunately, all too many patients seem to not be able to process essential fatty acids in my practice, which led me to wonder WHY?????

The common element between patients brought me to an interesting observation. Patients who had been exposed to antibiotics early on in life, or to strong antibiotics at some point, seemed to lose their ability to digest / breakdown fatty acids. Thus over time, developing a mineral deficiency. So even though there were taking some essential fatty acid like krill / olive / fish oil, the minerals were not helping them, leading me to understand they needed the fatty acid broken down into the next stage, for the mineral to engage (while attempting to fix the broken mechanism). And the results of all the unprocessed fatty acids building up, had developed other issues to boot.

So do I need vitamins or not?
First let me clarify that vitamins and minerals are 2 different things. I like to explain that generally vitamins have letters like Vitamin A, B, C, D, E. 
Minerals are words...I call those the big minerals (we need bigger amounts of these): calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, chloride and sulfur.
Then there are Trace minerals which I call the small minerals (we need micro-amounts of these) Things like iron, cobalt, chromium, copper, iodine, manganese, selenium, zinc, and molybdenum.

Whole Food Supplements vs everything else (Nutraceuticals)
To make it short, we are supposed to eat food. Our bodies are made to process food. We are food processing plants, not chemical processing plants.

That being said, nutrients or supplements made from whole food will have words on the back that you recognize. Nutraceuticals might also have added whole foods that you would recognize, but will have other elements that you would not. 

All Whole Food Supplements / Nutrients are better because food has the other synergistic elements that make everything work together. For example, an orange is not just vitamin c, it also contains other synergistic elements, in perfect balance, which make the whole vitamin c absorb properly. Now you throw in some extra vitamin C ascorbic acid (nutraceutical element), and that throws off the whole balance, and absorption is compromised? Why do that, when your can take only whole food supplements?

Nutraceuticals, are generally formulated in a lab, and contain parts of food or elements believed to make food better. There might have been a misconception that food is not perfect, which led nutraceutical companies to try to improve food, but when it comes right down to it, good old-fashioned high-quality whole food might actually be better, because it is perfectly balanced for our bodies to process / absorb.

Can I take my vitamins and minerals at the same time?

This is kind of a nutraceutical concept but not really efficient use of your money. 
Since Vitamins are processed while you are moving, and Minerals are utilized mostly when you are not moving and your body is in repair mode, it is best to take your Vitamins in the morning, or on waking, and Minerals at night or before bed/resting. Vitamins and Minerals can also kind of cancel each other out when taken together, diminishing the effectiveness of each, and wasting valuable nutrients. It is more cost effective to split them up. So far, I have not discovered that Trace Minerals need to be separated from vitamins. Maybe because they are minuscule, they don’t interrupt? I need more research to determine, however.  

Why do I get cramps at night?
Your body is trying to repair itself, and it needs those minerals it has stored in your bones/body fluid to repair, but your minerals are unbalanced so the “gate” won’t open. It is like one mineral is not answering the door, and the other is stuck banging on the door, saying please switch with me!

Why do my hands and feet sweat, it is so embarrassing!
Minerals support the endocrine/hormonal system, which controls temperature regulation. Mineral deficiency can show up as not being able to hold your sweat in. I consider people that sweat easily to be so deficient in minerals, that their hormones are being affected.

Can I just take Calcium for my bones?
There is not a quick answer, but if I had to choose it would be NO!
Minerals work with each other like a team. If only one team member shows up for work every day and does their job, and no one else does, nothing else gets done. In the end, you have too much calcium, and not enough of anything else, to complete the work.

I like multi-minerals and only Whole Food Supplements. That way, if you have too much calcium built up in your body, and you take a Whole Food Supplement, the calcium you don’t need, will be eliminated from your body, like food. Nutraceuticals, most likely would stay in your body, and keep building up more calcium, continuing the imbalance. BTW, unprocessed calcium is what contributes to white hair...the calcium comes out in the hair since the body does not know what else to do with it.

In Chinese medicine, the hair is an extension of the blood quality. So, if you are losing your hair, that would indicate a mineral deficiency...but you still need to figure out why. Is it lack of enzymes, poor essential fatty acid breakdown, poor quality minerals, or poor mineral communication, etc.

The body is amazingly simple if you know what you are looking at. If you don't, it is really complicated. Seek out an alternative therapist that is versed in whole food nutrition to help you if you have little things showing up. Alternative therapist who work with whole food nutritional supplements are pretty good at preventing things down the road.

Patricia J Ahner, AP, LAc, LMT/NeuroMuscular and Sports Massage, Esthetician, Reiki Master, Medical Intuit, NeuroEmotional, Cranial Release, BioKinetic, Structural Realignment...


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