What is Qi?
kwai chee low • Bro Tony, perhaps each practitioner approaches Martial Arts or Qigong practice in his/her own way and this is dependant on the master/teacher chosen. From my own experience, one of the milestones attained is where the practitioner can send his energy to any part of his body, for example, you can use your mind-intent to send qi to each of your fingers; and you should feel warmth, tingling or a swelling feeling at that finger. Then. repeat with the toes; these are chosen because they are the extremities and are more difficult for the qi to reach. If successful, it would also mean that all of your 12 primary meridians are clear and your store of internal energy is strong.
When this milestone is reached, you will find getting the qi to circulate in the micro orbit or the grand orbit will be a cinch, and there will not be any feeling of a blockage. At this stage, you can also work on the centre channel (Chong Mai) and it would be easy then to open the Baihui and the HuiYin, points which must be opened in order to connect with the universal qi and the earth energy.
Traditionally, practising Zhan Zhuang postures not only help to open up the meridians but also to generate internal qi; but these can be time consuming and boring. A practical way is to practise Zhan Zhuang for a shorter period, say 10-15mins, and then continue with another qigong form that is less strenuous, but enjoyable and where the qi comes fast.
Your comment about building (generating), storage and maintenance (qigong or Martial Arts practice such as circulating the qi and DaoYin) – these are of course very important, especially when the energy is used for healing. And there are many ways to build, store and maintain.
And Marilyn, I fully agree with you about the religious inferences pertaining to qi; qi is completely scientific. And as you commented, qi is really an integrated mind/body and spirit energy; anyone who has reached this level will have found that practising Martial Arts or qigong to be a fantastically enjoyable, even an “out-of-this-world” experience. Believe me, it is life changing!

(from Qigong Network)