Tai chi is a mind-body practice that originated in ancient China. Practiced widely in China for thousands of years, tai chi have become popular in the West. This might be because people of almost any age or condition can learn them.
Many who practice tai chi and qigong report heightened feelings of well-being along with a variety of other health benefits. A few studies are beginning to support some of these claims.
What Is Tai Chi?
Tai chi is a type of low-impact, weight-bearing, and aerobic -- yet relaxing -- exercise. It began as a martial art. As it developed, it took on the purpose of enhancing physical and mental health. Practiced in a variety of styles, tai chi involves slow, gentle movements, deep breathing, and meditation. The meditation is sometimes called "moving meditation."
Some people believe that tai chi improves the flow of energy through the body, leading to better wellness and a wide range of potential benefits. Those benefits include:
Improved strength, conditioning, coordination, and flexibility
Reduced pain and stiffness
Better balance and lower risk of falls
Greater awareness, calmness, and overall sense of well being