The concept of Qi is a strange one to the Western mind and is usually misinterpreted as a thing when actually it is an idea. Qi should be more properly thought of as the life-supporting properties associated with something. Let me explain. In TCM there are different kinds of Qi, each associated with some function or process in the body. For example, there is Zhong Qi, which is the life giving properties derived from the air we breathe. Then there is Gu Qi, which is the life giving properties derived from the food and drink we consume. There is also Wei Qi which is thought of as defensive energy that protects us from catching a cold or flu (i.e. our immune system). Then there is the Qi in the channels and the Qi in the Organs themselves. Etc., etc.