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Tai chi

Synonyms/Common Names/Related Substances:

  • Martial arts, meditation, meditation in motion, mind-body technique, qi gong, simplified tai-chi exercise program, STEP, sun-style tai chi, t'ai chi chih, tai chi chih, t'ai chi chuan, tai chi chuan, tai chi quan, taijiquan, tele-exercise program, visual imagery, visualization, yang tai chi.
  • Not included in this review: qi gong, meditation, visual imagery, visualization.

Clinical Bottom Line/Effectiveness

Brief Background:

  • Tai chi is a system of movements and positions believed to have developed in 12th-Century China. Tai chi techniques aim to address the body and mind as an interconnected system and are traditionally believed to have benefits for mental health (reduced stress and anxiety, increased memory and concentration) and physical health (improved posture, balance, flexibility, and strength). Tai chi has been regarded as a martial art but is most often practiced for health and health maintenance benefits.
  • Many styles of tai chi have developed since the original set of 13 postures. The modern practice of tai chi often includes sequences of slow movements coordinated with deep breathing and mental attention.
  • Specific forms or poses may last from 5-30 minutes, although classes may last up to 90 minutes.
  • Tai chi is taught in classes or can be practiced alone. Classes often include fewer than 20 people. Instructors guide pupils through movements, encouraging them to keep their bodies stable and upright while shifting weight. A high level of concentration is usually involved, and sessions are intensely focused and quiet. Exercises can also be practiced alone daily for 15-20 minutes, often in the morning.
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Dosing/Toxicology

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Precautions/Contraindications

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Interactions

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

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Mechanism of Action

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History

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Evidence Table

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Evidence Discussion

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Products Studied

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.