TCM and Fitness

For SHA Wellness Clinic
Wednesday May 22nd, 2019
Natural therapies

Philippa Harvey - TCM Specialist
Philippa Harvey - TCM Specialist

"The TCM standpoint is that light to moderate exercise strengthens the QI (energy) and builds up the quality of our blood."

It´s exciting to see the runners helping each other to the finishing line. I understand that each person has had a personal battle to get to that finishing line,which reminds me that we all have our own “finish line.

A life race based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) rules and principles are governed by a life of balance. TCM is based, at least in part, on a Daoist belief that we exist in an environment in which everything is interconnected. What happens to one part of the body affects every other part of the body. The mind and body are not viewed separately, nor are we separate from nature, but we are a part of a greater energetic system. The energetic system is in all nature and in the universe. This energetic system is called QI (Chee).

Concerning fitness, the TCM standpoint is that light to moderate exercise strengthens the QI (energy) and builds up the quality of our blood, but it becomes counterintuitive when performed excessively. Too much exercise actually depletes the body of QI and blood.

It is advised that we should not over exercise to the point to where we feel exhausted from our workout. We should feel energised and good after a correct workout routine. I know that we all have different definitions for what is too much and too little exercise, this is where we really need to pay attention to how we feel. And, this is where we come back to that idea of balance. Generally, exercising at least three times a week will help improve QI and promote healthy blood quality nourishing our internal organs, and boosting our musculoskeletal tone.

In TCM there is an integral part of fitness embraced in Qigong (Chi Kung). This is a term used to describe a system of physical and mental training for health. This health care system integrates physical postures, breathing techniques and mindfulness. The definition “Qigong” combines two words QI (energy) and Gong, pronounced gung, which means achievement or perseverance. One of the more important long-term effects is that Qigong is it re-establishes the body/mind/soul connection. This is the most important part of real fitness: balance. It is not just about our musculoskeletal tone.

There are different types of Qigong practices, from gentle TAI CHI considered more an internal workout, to a vigorous external form in KUNG- FU.

Qigong practices can be classed in three types:

  1. Martial
  2. Medical
  3. Or spiritual.


I am happy to have my fitness programme in, swimming, Aikido, and other sports. I will always share in clinic that we have to balance our fitness programmes with the correct diet, mind set, humour and intention. Above all we have to know where our personal “finishing line” is, and arrive at our goal with that amazing feeling that the athlete has of GONG, of achievement.


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