The concept of qì or ch'i (氣/气), the inner energy or "life force" that is said to animate living beings, is encountered in almost all styles of Chinese martial art. Internal styles are reputed to cultivate its use differently than external styles.
One's qi can be improved and strengthened through the regular practice of various physical and mental exercises known as qigong. Though qigong is not a martial art itself, it is often incorporated in Chinese martial arts and, thus, practiced as an integral part to strengthen one's internal abilities.
There are many ideas regarding controlling one's qi energy to such an extent that it can be used for healing oneself or others: the goal of medical qigong. Some styles believe in focusing qi into a single point when attacking and aim at specific areas of the human body. Such techniques are known as Dim Mak and have principles that are similar to acupressure.