J Korean Acad Nurs.  2008 Jun;38(3):445-453. 10.4040/jkan.2008.38.3.445.

Understanding Qi: Its Development and Clinical Application to Nursing Practices

  • 1College of Nursing, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea. mdja@catholic.ac.kr


PURPOSE: This paper analyzed the historical origins of the Qi concept and assesses its possible contributions to the development of complementary therapy and new nursing practices.
In order to clarify the Qi concept and measure its theoretical/clinical potentials, this study analyzed both historical data and experimental research that adopt and apply the concept. These include modern/contemporary research measuring its effects in promoting mental and physical health. Using the method of cross-cultural comparison, this study analyzed diverse approaches to the Qi concept and sought to find common features among the approaches.
A historical, cross-cultural analysis revealed several fundamental similarities between Qi theories that have developed in the east and the holistic concepts that have evolved in the western traditions. Especially, the analysis of the more recent research on the Qi concept shows ample possibilities of its future contributions to the development of new diagnostic applications and the promotion of overall human health.
The historical study of the Qi concept found some key common factors in the diverse philosophical traditions in the east and the west. Considering the growing popularity of complementary therapy among health professionals and the general public, the Qi concept and its clinical applications are expected to promote human health. In this context, this research contributes to developing new nursing practices based on the concept by clarifying its philosophical origins and theoretical backgrounds.


Qi; Oriental Medicine; Complementary therapies

MeSH Terms

Concept Formation
*Mind-Body Relations (Metaphysics)
Models, Nursing
Nursing Care
Nursing Methodology Research
Program Development


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