Dictionary source: WordNet 2.0
English to English translation of chi
This Chinese character is usually translated into English as meaning energy, vitality, or life force, although its literal meaning is "breath". In Chinese healing, martial, and spiritual arts, the aspect of life known as Chi is central to developing the correct understanding as to where to place the emphasis, and certainly this applies to the study of T'ai Chi. For example, a doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine never treats the physical body as the prime cause, although he may use the symptoms of the body to help diagnose what is wrong. The understanding is that what is wrong is not primarily a bodily ill, but rather what's wrong with the Chi or energy. Using acupuncture, herbs, and therapeutic movement (T'ai Chi and Chi Kung), the physician seeks to alleviate any blockages that may be interfering with the flow of Chi . The idea is that when the Chi is once again balanced and circulating well, then physical symptoms disappear. In T'ai Chi as a healing art, the movements are primarily a joint oriented body study. The Chinese call the joints "gates", and as such they control the amount of Chi that flows through the body. The physical action of T'ai Chi practice is designed to increase the range of movement in the joints and unblock muscular tension, therefore enhancing the circulation of the Chi so that it moves effortlessly throughout the entire body. From the perspective of this study, one's health is primarily determined by the balance, strength, and circulation of one's Chi . Even though this energetic element of our life experience is difficult, maybe impossible, to measure (unlike blood pressure or other purely physical expressions), we all have the undeniable experience of those days when we feel light, positive, and energized, versus those days in which we feel heavy, depressed, and fatigued. This is a direct experience of the quality of our Chi .