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igong and Taiji
Oxygen Metabolism

© Roger Jahnke OMD

The practice of Qigong and Yoga increase oxygen availability which potentially:

  1. Supports energy (ATP, AMP, ADP) generation.
  2. Generates water as a by product of energy metabolism which contributes a major portion to the lymph supply.
  3. Enhances immune function.
  4. Supports the body's ability to neutralize free radicals.

1. Energy Generation
It has been well established that the energy necessary for cell work and body heat regulation is supplied through the reaction of oxygen and glucose to form high energy phosphate bonds.(24) There is a direct relationship between oxygen demand, the impulse to breath and the basal metabolic rate (BMR, the rate that the cells in the body consume oxygen and glucose to produce water, carbon dioxide and energy). Hydrolysis of adenosine triposphate (ATP) is accomanied by the release of chemical energy for cellular and muscular activity.

Preliminary research demonstrates that ATP may be an analog to one aspect of what the Chinese call "Qi" and what the Oriental Indians call "Prana", the vital force or life energy. The aspect of the Qi that is the "basic dynamic force of all vital function" is called Zhen Qi (Genuine Energy).(25) A study presented at the 1988 World Conference on the Academic Exchange of Medical Qigong revealed that blood ATP content increased with exercises which cultivate the Qi.(26) When the mysterious practice of Qi emission was performed the subject's ATP was found to have decreased.

The simple methods of Qigong practice, movement, breath practice moderated with concentration, relaxation and intention may bring a primary substrate of Qi or Prana production, namely oxygen, into the body's energy metabolism cycle. This chain of events is called the "cycle of the transformation of energy" by the chinese.(27) It is likely, however, that this is only one of the components of the broad array of possible energetic mechanisms involved in acupuncture, Qi Gong and other oriental health practices.

In the west we generally characterize ancient medicine as unscientific or even primitive. The Chinese "formula" for the transformation of Qi seems overly simplified. Gu Qi (grain qi), the essence or life force of food, mixes with Kong Qi (28) or Qing Qi(25) (natural air qi), the essence or life force of air to form Zhen Qi (true qi) or the life force of the body.(25,28,29)

Gu Qi


Kong (Qing) QI
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About The Author
Roger Jahnke has been in the health field since 1967 beginning with body therapies, herbal medicine, Tai Chi, Yoga and meditation. He turned his attention seriously to Oriental medicine in 1972 with study at the North American College of Acupuncture in Vancouver, B.C., under Dr. Kok Yeung Leung who now has his school in France. In 1975 Roger transferred to the Tai Hsuan School of......more
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