The Health Benefits
OF Tai Chi
Independent studies continue to confirm that Tai Chi can dramatically improve health.
From preventing falls to rheumatoid arthritis to improved sleep, the evidence of the art’s effectiveness continues to grow.
Here is a digest of some of the current research:
National Library of Medicine (US)
“This study has found that tai chi chuan is is more effective than fitness walking in improving global cognition for older adults with type 2 diabetes and mild cognitive impairment, which we think is important for the public to learn and has clinical reference significance for the health care staff.”
BBC Radio 4
Just One Thing - with Michael Mosley
“One of the big benefits to Tai Chi is that it can significantly enhance the activity of our immune system… Michael Mosley speaks to Dr. Parco Siu from the University of Hong Kong, who has been studying the health benefits of Tai Chi for over a decade. His research has revealed that Tai Chi can lead to faster brain benefits than other exercises. He also found that Tai Chi was as effective as conventional exercise like moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or muscle strengthening activities for reducing body weight and visceral fat!”
Harvard Medical School
“A growing body of carefully conducted research is building a compelling case for tai chi as an adjunct to standard medical treatment for the prevention and rehabilitation of many conditions commonly associated with age.”
“…research has suggested that tai chi can help reduce stress levels, improve balance, increase muscle strength in your legs, and improve general mobility and flexibility.”
“The Tai Chi network is designed to share knowledge for patient rehab in the NHS, hey and even staff can benefit! the news page is regularly updated and the links page even has video clips”
The Guardian 2/11/2022
Why balance could be a matter of life and death – and how to improve yours.
"Tai chi, practised by an estimated 50 million people in China and more than three times that worldwide, is one option. As an aerobic workout, it’s not particularly taxing, but studies have shown that as little as eight weeks of practice can improve older adults’ scores on the Tinetti test – a commonly used measure of competence in basic tasks such as rising from a chair and walking – as well as reducing fear of falling.”
“…it has been suggested that tai chi can improve mental health by reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety and enhancing general stress management. Research has also suggested it could help to improve how well you feel physically and mentally.”
Harvard Health Publications
“Conventional medical science on the Chinese art of Tai Chi now shows what Tai Chi masters have known for centuries: regular practice leads to more vigor and flexibility, better balance and mobility, and a sense of well-being. Cutting-edge research from Harvard Medical School also supports the long-standing claims that Tai Chi also has a beneficial impact on the health of the heart, bones, nerves and muscles, immune system, and the mind.”
“Tai chi is… clinically proven to be effective as rehabilitation for people with cardiopulmonary conditions and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It can significantly reduce chronic pain for conditions like fibromyalgia and can improve neurological function for people with Parkinson’s disease. It’s also beneficial as physical therapy and pain management for osteoarthritis, encouraging joints to become more flexible and useful as they may have been at a younger age.”
"A literature review was conducted on the benefits of tai chi for 25 specific conditions, as well as for general health and fitness, to update a 2014 review of systematic reviews."
College of Family Physicians of Canada
“During the past 45 years more than 500 trials and 120 systematic reviews have been published on the health benefits of tai chi. Systematic reviews of tai chi for specific conditions indicate excellent evidence of benefit for preventing falls, osteoarthritis, Parkinson disease, rehabilitation for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and improving cognitive capacity in older adults.”
We reviewed the benefits of Tai Chi in 9263 tertiary students from 76 studies.
Tai Chi is likely to yield psychological and physical benefits for tertiary students.
Physical benefits include improved flexibility, lung capacity and balance.
Psychological benefits include reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Education institutions should consider such benefits for the well-being of students.
“The data confirm that Tai Chi exercise can be a good choice of exercise for middle-aged adults, with potential benefits for ageing as well as the aged.”