From the Mayo Clinic

April 5, 2010

Tai Chi: Discover the many possible health benefits

By Mayo Clinic staff

The ancient art of tai chi uses gentle flowing movements to reduce the stress of today's busy lifestyles and improve health.

Why give tai chi a try

Like other complementary and alternative practices that bring mind and body together, tai chi can help reduce stress. During tai chi, you focus on movement and breathing. This combination creates a state of relaxation and calm. Stress, anxiety and tension should melt away as you focus on the present, and the effects may last well after you stop your tai chi session. Tai chi also might help your overall health, although it's not a substitute for traditional medical care.

Despite its long history, tai chi has been studied scientifically only in recent years. And although more research is needed, preliminary evidence suggests that tai chi may offer numerous benefits beyond stress reduction, including:

  1. Reducing anxiety and depression

  2. Improving balance, flexibility and muscle strength

  3. Reducing falls in older adults

  4. Improving sleep quality

  5. Lowering blood pressure

  6. Improving cardiovascular fitness in older adult

  7. Relieving chronic pain

  8. Increasing energy, endurance and agility

  9. Improving overall feelings of well-being

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