Suppose we would no longer use the word Ki, as it can be confusing and leading to complicated discussions - could we replace the word Ki for a word or concept that will explain it to satisfaction for western people? If so, what would be that word; intent, sensing, visualisation, spirit or ...?
Probably been done already. Problem is "satisfying" . Don't the french call it elan vital? Much the same as prana.
Prana is known in yoga as 'vital' energy and there in elan vital with have vital again. So? Vital energy.
All are related to life, life supporting, life giving, etc. So there you are, a pretty straightforward concept.
You will find the same basic concept in the word vitamin. Life supporting minerals.
Emphasis in all? Vital.
Of course you could always leave out that which is vital