The current evidences regarding the effects of Tai Chi on the cardiovascular system, respiratory system, nervous system, musculoskeletal disorders, rheumatism, and cancer were summarized.
Tai Chi integrates deep diaphragmatic breathing with body movements to achieve a harmonious balance between the body and mind.
Tai Chi Quan (Tai Chi), a traditional Chinese martial art, has become increasingly popular in western countries. Tai Chi integrates deep diaphragmatic breathing with body movements to achieve a harmonious balance between the body and mind, which facilitates the flow of internal energy (Qi). An increasing number of studies have reported that Tai Chi significantly benefits aerobic capacity, muscular strength, balance, and psychological well-being. In addition, Tai Chi offers unique advantages for physical fitness and the treatment of chronic diseases. This paper reviews the existing literatures on Tai Chi, introduces its health-promotion effects and the potential clinical applications, and summarizes recent studies that prove Tai Chi is safe and effective for patients with neurological diseases, rheumatological diseases, musculoskeletal diseases, cardiovascular diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, and cancers. After reviewing the literatures in this field, we conclude that the long-term results of practicing Tai Chi may benefit the cardiovascular system, motor system, respiratory system, and nervous system. However, the potential role and mechanism of Tai Chi has not yet been determined. Further studies with long follow-up periods are necessary to meet the standards of clinical applications.
. [J]. Traditional Medicine Research, 2017, 2(3): 118-124.
Hu Yang, Zhang Hao-Ran, Wu Xiong-Zhi. Tai Chi: a new star for the administration of chronic diseases?. Traditional Medicine Research, 2017, 2(3): 118-124.
Tai Chi exercise group (29 patients received a 3-month exercise intervention once per week for 3 months) vs. Control group (27 patients received general information about the benefits of exercise)
Improved endothelial function in the Tai Chi exercise group (initial: 5.85± 2.05; 3 months: 7.75±2.53%) compared with the control group (initial: 6.31±2.12; 3 months: 5.78±2.13%)
Guo et al., 2016 
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Randomized controlled trial
11 patients with COPD (age range, 54-70 years)
Tai Chi group vs. Constant rate tread-mill walking group
The EMGdi and esophageal pressure at the end of the exercise period were similar for both treadmill exercise and Tai Chi (EMGdi: 0.109±0.047 mV vs. 0.118±0.061 mV; esophageal pressure: 22.3±7.1 cmH2O vs. 21.9±8.1 cmH2O)
12-week Tai Chi intervention group vs. Education group
Tai Chi participants reported not only self efficacy and social support, but overall empowerment with additional gains such as internal locus of control, self-awareness, and stress management.
Zhang et al., 2016 
Randomized controlled trial
96 patients (mean age, 62.8 years)
Tai Chi exercise group vs. Low-impact exercise group
At 6 and 12 weeks, the Tai Chi group had a lower MFSI-SF total score than the control group (Tai Chi: 59.5±11.3 vs. 66.8±11.9, P < 0.05; control: 53.3±11.8 vs. 59.3±12.2, P < 0.05)
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