Tai chi is a noncompetitive martial art known for its health benefits. It combines gentle physical exercise and stretching with mindfulness.
Research has produced mixed results but appears to show that tai chi can improveTrusted Source balance control, fitness, and flexibility. The activity may also reduce the risk of falls in older people.
People generally regard it as safe for individuals of all ages as it does not put too much stress on the muscles and joints.
This article explores the documented evidence for the benefits of tai chi.
Various research suggests tai chi offers a range of benefits for people with and without chronic conditions. These benefits include:
- improved balance
- pain management
- and brain function
- improved sleepTrusted Source quality
- enhanced immune systemTrusted Source
Tai chi showed some potential benefits for helping prevent trips and falls in older adults across a range of studies.
A 2012 review looked at 159 randomized controlled trials of various types of practices to prevent falls in older adults.
The studies involved more than 79,193 people, with the authors concluding that tai chi could reduce the risk of falling.
A 2015 systematic review Trusted Source of seven trials involving 544 tai chi chuan practitioners concluded it helped improve balance control and flexibility.
Meanwhile, a 2014 review Trusted Source found that exercises, including tai chi, might have reduced the fear of falling among older adults in a retirement community immediately after a workout. However, the review did not reach any conclusions about tai chi reducing the frequency of falls.
Another article notes that the activity is a successful exercise interventionTrusted Source for factors related to falls in older people.
The evidence from these studies suggests that tai chi might help support many aspects of balance and posture.
A 2013 meta-analysisTrusted Source of seven different trials seemed to demonstrate that a 12-week course of tai chi could improve the stiffness and pain symptoms of knee osteoarthritis and improve physical function.
However, the review authors recommended further, larger-scale trials to support their conclusions, as the studies they examined had flaws and potential biases. ……….. Continue Reading……….