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Mind-body connection in Tai-chi

The ancient art of tai chi

Tai chi and qi gong are centuries-old, related mind and body practices. Tai chi involve certain postures and gentle movements with mental focus, breathing, and relaxation. In contrast to qi gong, tai chi movements, if practiced quickly, can be a form of combat or self-defense. They work through mechanisms of action like improved posture control, movement control, and the ability to walk, in part due to the gradual weight shift and ankle sway that moves one’s center of gravity.

How much do we know about tai chi and qi gong?

Several clinical trials have evaluated the effects of tai chi and qi gong in people with various health conditions.

What do we know about the effectiveness of tai chi and qi gong?

Practicing tai chi may help to improve balance and stability in older people and in those with Parkinson’s disease, reduce back pain and pain from knee osteoarthritis, and improve quality of life in people with heart disease, cancer, and other chronic illnesses. Tai chi and qi gong may ease fibromyalgia pain and promote general quality of life. Qi gong may reduce chronic neck pain, but study results are mixed. Tai chi also may improve reasoning ability in older people.

What do we know about the safety of tai chi and qi gong?

Tai chi and qi gong appear to be safe practices, but it’s a good idea to talk with your health care providers before beginning any exercise program.

Source :


  • Klein, P.J., & Adams, W.D. (2004) Comprehensive theapeutic benefits of Taiji: a critical review. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 83(9): 735-745