Qi is Etheric Subtle Energy?
This is what I think and it can be absorbed by your chakras along with the other frequencies of subtle energy that you need for your other subtle bodies to function. It also sticks to matter, like the air, after being radiated out from the subtle bodies of the earth or sun, so you can breathe it in.
So you have the etheric body as your first subtle body - I think qi exists in every cell of your body, it doesn't just flow through your meridians.
If only qi had more use than letting me have a little more control over body functions such as metabolism then I could be a great and powerful wizard with all the stuff I think I figured out. Alas, qi /= mana and I have as yet been unable to even bypass the static friction of a little piece of tinfoil with it, though others have reported doing such minor feats of telekinesis.
I'm a big believer in the power of reiki and turning your qi into white light energy for beneficial purposes however.
I think the white light will do its best to heal or help if you have faith and the right intentions, but it can only work with as much energy as you supply.