Tai Chi is a series of meditative, continuous movements with a strong emphasis on proper postural alignment. Its origins date back some 500 years ago in China. It began as a form of martial arts in Chenjiagou, Chen Village, Henan Province in China. Over the years, the Chenjiagou martial art form was recast into gentler and more subtle movements to hide the defensive techniques inherent in the routines. Since then, the forms were modulated by different masters who branched off from the Chenjiagou style and diversified into their own schools of boxing. 

Overall, there are 5 major schools of Tai Chi Boxing. They are the Chen Style 陈氏 (founded by 陈王庭, Chen Wan Ting), the Yang Style 杨氏 (founded by 杨露禅, Yang Lu Chan), the Wu Style 武氏 (founded by 武禹襄, Wu Yu Xiang ), another Wu Style 吴氏; the romanized translation is the same since they are homophones but the chinese characters are different (founded by 吴鉴泉, Wu Jian Quan ) and lastly, the Sun style 孙氏 (founded by 孙禄堂, Sun Lu Tang).

These modified forms are now collectively known as Tai Chi.


  • Increases strength and flexibility.
  • Decreases pain in joints
  • Improves fibromyalgia symptoms
  • Reduces risk of falling
  • Increases bone density
  • Decreases stress and reduces high blood pressure
  • Improves sleep quality
  • Helps with symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Improves balance
  • Increases sense of well-being


Tai Chi is generally considered to be a safe exercise. Tai Chi can be modified to suit your goals and personal fitness level.


  1. Fuzhong Li, Ph.D., Peter Harmer, Ph.D., M.P.H., Kathleen Fitzgerald, M.D., Elizabeth Eckstrom, M.D., M.P.H., Ronald Stock, M.D., Johnny Galver, P.T., Gianni Maddalozzo, Ph.D., and Sara S. Batya, M.D. Tai Chi and Postural Stability in Patients with Parkinson’s Disease. N Engl J Med 2012; 366:511-519. 9 February 2012. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1107911
  2. Chenchen Wang, MD, MSc,Christopher H. Schmid, PhD, Patricia L. Hibberd, MD, PhD, Robert Kalish, MD, Ronenn Roubenoff, MD, MHS, Ramel Rones, BS, and Timothy McAlindon, MD, MPH. Tai Chi is Effective in Treating Knee Osteoarthritis: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Arthritis Rheum. 2009 Nov 15; 61(11): 1545–1553. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3023169/
  3. Uhlig T1, Fongen C, Steen E, Christie A, Ødegård S. Exploring Tai Chi in rheumatoid arthritis: a quantitative and qualitative study. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2010 Mar 5;11:43. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20205741
  4. Chenchen Wang, director and professor of medicine, Christopher H Schmid, professor of biostatistics and co-director, Roger A Fielding, director and professor of medicine, William F Harvey, assistant professor of medicine, Kieran F Reid, scientist III, Lori Lyn Price, statistician, Jeffrey B Driban, assistant professor of medicine, Robert Kalish, associate professor of medicine, Ramel Rones, tai chi instructor, and Timothy McAlindon, division chief and professor of medicine. Effect of tai chi versus aerobic exercise for fibromyalgia: comparative effectiveness randomized controlled trial. BMJ. 2018; 360: k851.
  5. Published online 2018 Mar 21. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5861462/
  6. Hamed Mortazavi, Mahbubeh Tabatabaeichehr, Ali Golestani, Mohammad Reza Armat, and Mohammad Reza Yousefi. The Effect of Tai Chi Exercise on the Risk and Fear of Falling in Older Adults: a Randomized Clinical Trial. Mater Sociomed. 2018 Mar; 30(1): 38–42. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5857038/
  7. Karen L Caldwell, Shawn M Bergman, Scott R Collier, N Travis Triplett, Rebecca Quin, John Bergquist, and Carl F Pieper. Effects of tai chi chuan on anxiety and sleep quality in young adults: lessons from a randomized controlled feasibility study. National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine. Published online 14 Nov 2016. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5118018/
  8. Aileen WK Chan, Doris SF Yu, KC Choi, Diana TF Lee, Janet WH Sit, and Helen YL Chan. Tai chi qigong as a means to improve night-time sleep quality among older adults with cognitive impairment: a pilot randomized controlled trial. National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine. Published online 2016 Sep 16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5034925/
  9. Weibing Wu, Xiaodan Liu, Longbing Wang, Zhenwei Wang, Jun Hu, and Juntao Yan. Effects of Tai Chi on exercise capacity and health-related quality of life in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis. 2014; 9: 1253–1263.
  10. Published online 2014 Nov 7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4230171/
  11. Shuai Zheng, Christine Kim, Sara Lal, Peter Meier, David Sibbritt, Chris Zaslawski. The Effects of Twelve Weeks of Tai Chi Practice on Anxiety in Stressed But Healthy People Compared to Exercise and Wait‐List Groups–A Randomized Controlled Trial. Wiley Online Library, First published: 13 June 2017. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1002/jclp.22482
  12. Albert Yeung, M.D., Sc.D., Jessie S. M. Chan, Ph.D, M.P.H., Joey C. Cheung, B.S., Liye Zou, Ph.D. Qigong and Tai-Chi for Mood Regulation. Focus Vol. 16, No. 1, Winter 2018 focus.psychiatryonline.org, 1 January 2017. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/321299648_Qigong_and_Tai-Chi_for_Mood_Regulation
  13. Stanley Sai-Chuen Hui, Yao Jie Xie,1 Jean Woo, and Timothy Chi-Yui Kwok. Effects of Tai Chi and Walking Exercises on Weight Loss, Metabolic Syndrome Parameters, and Bone Mineral Density: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Volume 2015, Article ID 976123, 10 pages. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/976123/
  14. Guo JB, Chen BL, Lu YM, Zhang WY, Zhu ZJ, Yang YJ, Zhu Y. Tai Chi for improving cardiopulmonary function and quality of life in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Clin Rehabil. 2016 Aug;30(8):750-64. Epub 2015 Sep 22. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26396162
  15. Tsai JC1, Wang WH, Chan P, Lin LJ, Wang CH, Tomlinson B, Hsieh MH, Yang HY, Liu JC. The beneficial effects of Tai Chi Chuan on blood pressure and lipid profile and anxiety status in a randomized controlled trial. J Altern Complement Med. 2003 Oct;9(5):747-54. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14629852