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Qi or, as spelled in Wade-Giles, ch'i (氣 in pinyin: "qi4"), is defined as "life energy" or "spiritual energy" that is part of everything that exists. Also known as Ki (Japanese) or Gi (Korean). References to this sort of "metaphysical" energy are used in certain belief systems, primarily in Asia. The common pronunciation is as in the English "key".

The philosphical origins of qi stem from the earliest times in Chinese thinking. One of the most important figures in Chinese culture is Huang Di[?] or the Yellow Emperor. He collected and formalized what became Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Derived from Traditional Chinese Medicine, these systems assert that the body has natural patterns of this energy associated with it that flows throughout the body in channels called Meridians[?]. Illness is the product of disrupted energy movement. Traditional Chinese Medicine attempts to correct physical maladies by balancing the flow of qi in the body using various techniques. Some of these techniques include herbal medicines, special diets, and acupuncture (which uses tiny metal spines inserted into the skin to reroute qi flow) among others.

Traditional Asian martial arts theories also discuss qi. For instance, Internal Systems attempt to cultivate and direct this energy during combat as well as to ensure proper health. Many other martial arts include some concept of qi in their philosphy.

Modern scientific and medical efforts have not demonstrated the existence of qi. Many modern researchers believe that other mechanisms may explain demonstrated results from acupuncture or other practices.

There is active research comparing Qi to biophotons.

See also: Kundalini, Chakra, Martial arts, Tai Chi Chuan, Taoism, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Wu Xia film, New Age, Aikido, shiatsu

Qi (齊 qi2) is also the name of several states in Chinese history. See Spring and Autumn Period, Period of the Warring States, Northern Dynasties, Southern Dynasties.

Qi (旗 qi2) were Banners, the Manchu organizations.

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