The life force energy has been known and felt by people of all cultures for thousands of years.
Modern man thinks that only that which can be seen and felt and measured is real. Yet the ancients knew better than that.
The Chinese knew this life force a 'Chi' or 'Qi' hence the name 'Chi Kung' or 'Qi Gong' - the way (Kung) of energy. Chi has been the basis of Taoism, Chinese martial arts and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
The energy that people feel when using Chi-Plates is a form of that same life force energy.
There is a myriad of information on the internet about Chi Kung, some links are given below:
The Healing Tao: http://www.healing-tao.co.uk/
Healing Tao Center: http://www.healingtaocenter.com/
if you find other good links dealing with 'Chi', feel free to send them along.