Qi (pronounced chē) can be interpreted many different ways depending on the context in which it is being used. It is incorporated in many aspects of Chinese Culture. For example, Qi as it is referred to in Chinese calligraphy, could be said to refer to the calligrapher’s intention, feelings, or insight at that moment which “the Qi” flowed from the artist into the characters to make them become “living”. This transfer of Qi then gives the characters themselves the ability to express emotion and touch the people who look at them at a different time or space.
In Feng Shui, Qi could mean the “atmosphere” created by the surrounding environment. This often includes the walls, the building, natural settings like rivers or mountains, roads, certain directions etc. For example, some rooms or natural settings (a lake for example) can make people feel peaceful once you walk into or near them.
In interpersonal relations, “QI” could mean the “feeling” created between or among people. In other words, it is how a person comes across, or presents themselves to others. For example, sometimes it is easy to feel the characteristics of the people around you. Are they coming across as healthy or diseased, honest or dishonest, humble or proud, and so on? “People” in this example can be replaced with other objects as well. A thousand year old tree, for instance, can bring about a sense of calm to people due to its age, or “experience”.
In traditional Chinese medicine, “Qi” refers to a “vital material” which has a deep influence on an individual’s energy, will, immune system, and mind and body health. For example, you are more susceptible to disease when you are exhausted, and when you are exhausted your “Qi” is weaker than usual. You might also become anxious easier when you under stress; this is due to the fact that stress causes instability in “Qi”.