Tai chi, also called tai chi chuan, combines deep breathing and relaxation with slow and gentle movements. Originally developed as a martial art in 13th-century China, tai chi is today practised around the world as a health-promoting exercise.
While there's scope for more rigorous research on tai chi's health benefits, studies have shown that tai chi can help people aged 65 and over to reduce stress, improve balance and general mobility, and increase muscle strength in the legs.
Some research suggests that tai chi can reduce the risk of falls among older adults who are at increased risk. However, more research is needed.
There is some evidence that tai chi can improve mobility in the ankle, hip and knee in people with rheumatoid arthritis (RH). However, it is still not known if tai chi can reduce pain in people with RH or improve their quality of life.
Tai chi is essentially a gentle activity that is unlikely to cause injury if done correctly. The exercises involve lots of flowing, easy movements that don’t stress the joints or muscles.
If you would like more information about Tai Chi, then please visit the NHS guide to Tai Chi.
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