History of Tai Chi

The true origins of tai chi remain a mystery, but the concepts are rooted in Chinese history, Taoism, and Confucianism.

The founder of tai chi is believed to be Zhang Sanfeng, a 12th-century Taoist monk. Some stories claim that Zhang Sanfeng left his monastery to become a hermit and that he created a form of fighting based on softness.

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Health

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There are different styles of tai chi, each has a unique set of methods and principles, lineage, and date of origin. Some of these forms of tai chi lean towards health, while others stress competition or self-defense.

  • Chen-style, which started between 1580 and 1660
  • Yang-style, which started between 1799 and 1872
  • Wu- or Wu (Hao)-style, which started between 1812 and 1880
  • Wu-style, which started between 1870 and 1942
  • Sun-style, which started between 1861 and 1932
  • Fall reduction: tai chi helps to prevent trips and falls in the elderly. It also reduced the fear of falling among them and increased balance and posture.
  • Chronic pain: tai chi significantly impacts the chronic pain experienced with specific conditions, such as osteoarthritis of the knee and fibromyalgia. There is also evidence it decreases joint stiffness.
  • Chronic heart failure: tai chi was shown to improve maximum oxygen capacity in people who had heart attacks. And, although the evidence is inconclusive, tai chi seems to benefit areas of cardiovascular health, such as blood pressure and heart rate.
  • Mental health and cognitive function: There is strong evidence showing beneficial effects on cognitive function. And, although scientific evidence is inconclusive, tai chi is associated with mindfulness and psychological well-being.
Tai Chi

Is a martial art safe for most people of all ages, as it does not put much stress on the muscles and joints. It combines gentle physical exercise and stretching with mindfulness.

Research indicates that tai chi may improve balance control, fitness, and flexibility while reducing pain and the symptoms of anxiety and depression in some cases.

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Research Based Claims On The Benefits Of Tai Chi

"excellent evidence" that tai chi appears to helpful for Parkinson's disease, osteoarthritis, preventing falls, improving cognitive function in older adults, and rehabilitation for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Improves cognitive functioning, particularly in older adults.

Prevents falls in older adults and Parkinson’s and stroke sufferers by improving their balance.

Ameliorates back pain and cancer-related fatigue.

Helps to rehabilitate the heart of people with chronic heart failure.

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10 Benefits Of Tai Chi According To Research
  1. Reduces mortality for those who self-reported engaging in the practice 5-6 hours per week.
  2. Improves muscle strength, balance and flexibility. Evidence is inconclusive, but it links regular tai chi practice to physiological and psychosocial benefits.
  3. Boosts cognitive and memory functions in older adults, especially verbal working memory.
  4. Reduces chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) symptoms by boosting endurance and peak exercise capacity.
  5. Betters night-time sleep quality in adults with cognitive impairment. 
  6. Reduces symptoms of fibromyalgia to a similar or greater degree than aerobic exercise. 
  7. Improves respiratory function and heart efficiency.
  8. Reduces risk of falls among older adults.
  9. Reduces prenatal anxiety, depression and sleep disturbance.
  10. Reduces chronic nonspecific neck pain.
Tai Chi

Tai chi is a traditional Chinese form of exercise based in martial arts that involves slow movements and deep breaths. 

Tai chi brings many physical and emotional benefits like decreased anxiety and depression and improvements in cognition and chronic disease management.

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