Chinese medicine is ultimately based on the idea of the existence of a kind of universal life force or life energy, Qi (气, pronounced chi). Qi is the driving force through which everything can exist. If one imagines Qi as being energetic vibrations, then there are relations and effects in both the mental as well as the physical. Therefore continuous interactions between humans and their environment are occurring in the form of society and environment.

Qi flows on defined paths – the so-called meridians – through the human body and feeds the functional cycles: the organs.

Associated with the Qi (气) is the flow of the Xue (血), which is referred to as blood or sometimes as juices. According to the teachings of TCM, when both Qi (气) and Xue (血), energy and blood, flow harmoniously, then a person is considered healthy.