Research into Tai Chi Benefits

Scientific Evidences

Research into Tai Chi Chuan’s health benefits have begun slowly. Whilst Tai Chi Chuan offers many claims, evidence-based medicine is needed to substantiate them. The West is perhaps realising at last the diverse treatment potential that Tai Chi Chuan and other Chinese medical disciplines have to offer. Despite the lack of substantial evidence-based research, it is clear that Tai Chi Chuan is beneficial to a significant number of practitioners. Closed doors are beginning to be opened. Even in the United Kingdom, parts of the National Health Service have adopted and recommended Tai Chi Chuan as a safe exercise for the elderly to reduce the incidence of falls. More funding and perhaps less scepticism by fellow professionals is needed so that larger and more diverse studies can be performed. The results they potentially bring should give us very interesting outcomes in determining the future role of Tai Chi and Traditional Chinese Medicine. In the meantime here are just a few medical publications that have focussed on the fascinating art of Tai Chi Chuan.

List of some researches
General Health

  • BBC News : " Tai Chi Improves Body and Mind "
  • Li JX, Hong Y, Chan KM : Tai chi: physiological characteristics and beneficial effects on health. Br J Sports Med. 2001 Jun;35(3):148-56. Review.
  • Shapira MY, Chelouche M, Yanai R, Kaner C, Szold A : Tai Chi Chuan practice as a tool for rehabilitation of severe head trauma: case reports.
  • Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2001 Sep;82(9):1283-5 : Why Tai Chi is the perfect exercise.


  • Tai Chi For Women - Bone Loss, Osteoporosis, Depression, Menopause
  • Qin L, Au S, Choy W, Leung P, Neff M, Lee K, Lau M, Woo J, Chan K : Regular Tai Chi Chuan exercise may retard bone loss in postmenopausal women: Acase-control study. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2002 Oct;83(10):1355-9.
  • Tai Chi versus brisk walking in elderly women.

Stress Management

  • Jin P. Efficacy of Tai Chi, brisk walking, meditation, and reading in reducing mental and emotional stress. J Psychosom Res. 1992 May;36(4):361-70.

Increased Bone Density

  • Regular Tai Chi Chuan exercise may retard bone loss in postmenopausal women: A case-control study*1
  • Henderson NK, White CP, Eisman JA - The roles of exercise and fall risk reduction in the prevention of osteoporosis. Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 1998 Jun;27(2):369-87 Review

Heart and Cardiovascular

  • BBC News - Tai Chi can treat Heart failure
  • Tai Chi exercise in patients with chronic heart failure
  • Lan C, Chen SY, Lai JS, Wong MK - The effect of Tai Chi on cardiorespiratory function in patients with coronary artery bypass surgery. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1999 May;31(5):634-8.
  • Hong Y, Li JX, Robinson PD.  Balance control, flexibility, and cardiorespiratory fitness among older Tai Chi practitioners. Br J Sports Med. 2000 Feb;34(1):29-34.
  • Jin P. Changes in heart rate, noradrenaline, cortisol and mood during Tai Chi. J Psychosom Res. 1989;33(2):197-206.
  • Channer KS, Barrow D, Barrow R, Osborne M, Ives G.
  • Changes in haemodynamic parameters following Tai Chi Chuan and aerobic exercise in patients recovering from acute myocardial infarction. Postgrad Med J. 1996 Jun;72(848):349-51.

Older people

  • Tai Chi and older people in the community: a preliminary study.
  • Wang JS, Lan C, Chen SY, Wong MK : Tai Chi Chuan training is associated with enhanced endothelium-dependent dilation in skin vasculature of healthy older men. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2002 Jun;50(6):1024-30.
  • Wu G: Evaluation of the effectiveness of Tai Chi for improving balance and preventing falls in the older population--a review. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2002 Apr;50(4):746-54. Review. Wolf SL, Sattin RW, O'Grady M, Freret N, Ricci L, Greenspan AI, Xu T, Kutner M.

Improved Balance and Fall Prevention

  • The influence of Tai Chi training on the center of pressure trajectory during gait initiation in older adults.
  • Tai Chi and fall reductions in older adults: a randomized controlled trial.
  • Tai Chi: improving functional balance and predicting subsequent falls in older persons.
  • Plantar pressure distribution during Tai Chi exercise.
  • The influence of intense Tai Chi training on physical performance and hemodynamic outcomes in transitionally frail, older adults
  • The effect of Tai Chi Quan and computerized balance training on postural stability in older subjects. Atlanta FICSIT Group. Frailty and Injuries: Cooperative Studies on Intervention Techniques.
  • Intense Tai Chi exercise training and fall occurrences in older, transitionally frail adults: a randomized, controlled trial.
  • A study design to investigate the effect of intense Tai Chi in reducing falls among older adults transitioning to frailty. Control Clin Trials. 2001 Dec;22(6):689-704.


  • Group and home-based Tai Chi in elderly subjects with knee osteoarthritis: a randomized controlled trial.


  • The influence of Tai Chi training on the center of pressure trajectory during gait initiation in older adults.
  • How Tai Chi improves balance: Biomechanics of recovery to a walking slip in impaired seniors.
  • Effect of Tai Chi on gait and obstacle crossing behaviors in middle-aged adults.