|Humans can't transmit energy like this|
Energy, in scientific parlance, is a specific property of the universe that can never be created or destroyed, only converted from one form to another. This conservation of energy law is fundamental to all science and cannot be credibly disputed. Energy can be stored in many forms, from electricity, to heat, to momentum and so on. For example, electromagnetic energy (sunlight), can be converted to chemical energy by plants, plants can be processed to create oil ("bio-diesel"), which could then be converted by an engine into kinetic energy (motion), and so on and so on - an endless chain of energy conversion. The question is can I change any form of scientific energy into chi, and back again? Can I put chi into an energy chain as I have just done in that example? I believe the answer to this is no, and therefore chi is not energy. Until someone can devise an experiment which proves otherwise, and thousands of people have tried to do so for decades without success, that will remain my position.
However, it's easy to be negative and disagree with something, it is of course more difficult to be constructive, and so here is my explanation for what chi is.
Chi is efficiency.
So to express this in more internal arts like terms, imagine trying to block/deflect a punch. If a Tai Chi Master does this ("who has cultivated a lot of chi"), they will be able to block the punch with minimal effort. They can do it with minimal effort, and hence use only a tiny amount of energy, because the master is extremely efficient at coordinating his body. However, if the novice tries to block the punch, he will find it much more difficult and will use a lot of energy to defend himself. The novice is not very efficient at using his body, or to phrase it another way he lacks chi.
The significance of what I'm saying is that in practical terms nothing changes. In our classes we can still "cultivate chi" (or "enhance efficiency"), and train in the same way we've been doing for centuries. Internally within our own bodies it feels as if we do have more energy (just as our new lightbulb will shine more brightly) and so we get that glow and feeling of health. However by reinterpreting chi as efficiency rather than energy, the concept of chi is no longer at odds with Western science. There is no longer any discrepancy between Western science and Chinese medicine. The major obstacle of scepticism has been removed.
To see this in practise consider that tai chi is about coordinating the body in an efficient manner. The more efficient you are, the more you will be able to perform with your current level of strength. Or alternatively, you will be able to do everything you do now, but without using so much energy. Of course it is not just about muscle strength, but also about the way the internal organs work together and the whole array of complex interactions, all of which can of course be made more efficient. As you train more and more, the tai chi principles will start to become subconscious and will carry through to your daily life. You will feel full of beans, less tired and all those other great things that tai chi brings, not because you have "increased your chi energy", but because you have increased your efficiency and are able to do more with less.
|The bicep and tricep working as a pair|
If however I cannot fully turn off my tricep and it uses 5% of its strength say, in order to be able to bend my elbow I have to overcome the strength and use 6% of my bicep strength. I have wasted a lot of energy to achieve the same effect. The more I am able to relax my body therefore, the more efficiently I can operate and the more I can "feel the chi".
I fully believe that chi is all about the sensations within your own body. It is like the opposite sensation to pain. If I feel pain it means something is going wrong. If I feel chi it means something is going right, it means my body is working at peak efficiency.