xiéqì (邪氣)

is generally translated as “perverse qì.” Xié (邪) is any influence that disrupts the free flow of qì (氣). Sometimes, in Nèijīng (內經) this is referred to as xiéfēng (風) — perverse wind, or even just fēng (風). While in some respects this idea is the precursor of the more modern idea of ‘external pathogenic factors’ (wind, heat, cold, dampness, dryness, summer heat), which have been differentiated more finely over the centuries, xiéqì () can also be created internally. Of course, we see this also in modern CM, which discusses dampness due to spleen deficiency and ‘liver wind’ (sometimes related to either ‘excess’ fire or blood ‘deficiency’). While these concepts share names with external pathogenic factors, they are presumably understood to be generated through distortions of the individual’s qì (氣) generation and management functions.

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