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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 502131, 17 pages
Review Article

Tai Chi Chuan in Medicine and Health Promotion

1Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, National Taiwan University Hospital, 7 Chung-Shan South Road and National Taiwan University, College of Medicine, Taipei 100, Taiwan
2Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Chang-Gung Memorial Hospital and Department of Physical Therapy, Post-Graduate Institute of Rehabilitation Science, Chang-Gung University, Taoyuan 333, Taiwan

Received 16 April 2013; Accepted 29 June 2013

Academic Editor: William W. N. Tsang

Copyright © 2013 Ching Lan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Tai Chi Chuan (Tai Chi) is a Chinese traditional mind-body exercise and recently, it becomes popular worldwide. During the practice of Tai Chi, deep diaphragmatic breathing is integrated into body motions to achieve a harmonious balance between body and mind and to facilitate the flow of internal energy (Qi). Participants can choose to perform a complete set of Tai Chi or selected movements according to their needs. Previous research substantiates that Tai Chi has significant benefits to health promotion, and regularly practicing Tai Chi improves aerobic capacity, muscular strength, balance, health-related quality of life, and psychological well-being. Recent studies also prove that Tai Chi is safe and effective for patients with neurological diseases (e.g., stroke, Parkinson's disease, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, cognitive dysfunction), rheumatological disease (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and fibromyalgia), orthopedic diseases (e.g., osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, low-back pain, and musculoskeletal disorder), cardiovascular diseases (e.g., acute myocardial infarction, coronary artery bypass grafting surgery, and heart failure), chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, and breast cancers. Tai Chi is an aerobic exercise with mild-to-moderate intensity and is appropriate for implementation in the community. This paper reviews the existing literature on Tai Chi and introduces its health-promotion effect and the potential clinical applications.