In Traditional Chinese Medicine, we often hear ‘qi’ being used to describe or explain a large variety of concepts, feelings, & functions. One phrase in particular where we see it referenced is in the discussion of the immune system- we frequently will see it being used to describe our outer layer, or in other words, our Wei Qi. The Wei Qi can be described as our shield, which separates us from the outside world.  Some sources even use the phrase “electro magnetic field” to describe our outer circulating qi. It is a critical part of our health as it circulates on our outer most layer, keeping at bay the constant bombardment of germs, winds or other climatic factors, external pathogens, emotions from others, & even microwaves from wifi & bluetooth devices! The integrity of our Wei directly affects our immune health & ability to fight off illness, as well as maintain wellness. 

The Wei Qi is controlled by the Lungs- the Lungs in Chinese Medicine are the master of Qi.  The Lungs govern our breathing in & out of the air so vital to our survival, as well as descends & diffuses the qi it receives from both the outer world as well as the clear qi from the other organs. This all contributes to the Lung’s ability to control & regulate the qi that circulates on our skin.  This includes regulating our pores & perspiration, our skin health which acts as our outer boundary, & maintaining our body temperature. All of this plays into our Wei health and therefore our overall health!

Some major ways that our Wei Qi gets depleted, making us more susceptible to illness are poor diets, emotional stressors, not properly guarding ourselves against our climates, lack of fresh air, lack of sleep, and use of substances like drugs & alcohol.  But fear not, we can improve our Wei Qi with healthy diets & lifestyle, herbs, acupuncture, & qi cultivation exercises like Qi Gong or Tai Chi!

By Lily Orlet