Tai Chi & Qigong

The Health Benefits of Tai Chi & Qi Gong

Tai Chi is an ancient form of Chinese martial art and mind-body exercise widely practised for its health benefits.

The movements of tai chi are characterised by slow, smooth, and continuous body movements along with deep breathing, mental concentration and balance control. It is an integration of both physical exercise and quiet meditation.

Tai chi’s gentle, low impact movements are suitable for people of all ages, yet burn as many calories as sports such as surfing and downhill skiing.

In recent years, many studies have shown the health benefits of tai chi practice to recover from illness and maintain one’s health and longevity.

Traditional Chinese medicine views that for most people, regular, gentle exercise is more valuable than constantly pushing yourself to the limits for a long and healthy life.

What’s the difference between Tai Chi, Qigong and Yoga?

Tai chi is very graceful and fluid in its motions compared to qigong and yoga which requires more stillness and holding of postures. Some yoga poses require more flexibility which may not suit some people with pain or limited mobility. Each of these exercises benefit not only the body but also the mind through breathing and meditation.

In practice, each of these popular exercises can be beneficial for your health. It’s more important to try them and find the one that suits you best. It’s also important to find a class and teaching style that you can continue to enjoy on a regular basis.

Above all, we encourage everyone to incorporate some form of regular physical exercise that suits your lifestyle and personal interests.

To find a tai chi or qigong class suitable for you, browse our directory of Tai Chi Classes in Perth, WA.

What Does The Research Say?

The following insights are obtained from scientific studies, systematic reviews and analysis of clinical trials investigating the efficacy of Tai Chi & Qigong.

Scientific References

Browse our collection of scientific research on Tai Chi & Qigong. It includes recent and reputable papers published by peer-reviewed journals within the last 10 years.

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine

2021, Mar 11

Clinical Evidence of Tai Chi Exercise Prescriptions: A Systematic Review
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine

We recommend the more commonly used Tai Chi exercise prescriptions for different diseases and populations based on clinical evidence of Tai Chi. Further clinical research on Tai Chi should be combined with principles of exercise prescription to conduct large-sample epidemiological studies and long-term prospective follow-up studies to provide more substantive clinical evidence for Tai Chi exercise prescriptions.

Jiafu Huang, Dandan Wang, Jinghao Wang Full Article

Physical Activity and Health

2021, Jan 27

Effects of Tai Chi Chuan on the Physical and Mental Health of the Elderly: A Systematic Review
Physical Activity and Health

Tai Chi chuan has a potential effect on the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of COVID-19. Its potential mechanisms include reducing anxiety, relieving depression and stress, enhancing pulmonary and cardiovascular function, enhancing immunity and improving quality of life.

Xianjian, C., & Datao, X Full Article

Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research

2020, Sep 7

Effectiveness of Tai chi exercise on overall quality of life and its physical and psychological components among older adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research

The results of this study suggest the potential use of Tai chi exercise as an activity for increased quality of life in older adults. Future research may enhance experimental rigor and explore the rationale behind Tai chi exercise.

Wang D, Wang P, Lan K, Zhang Y, Pan Y. Full Article

Clinical Rehabilitation

2020, Sep 21

Tai Chi exercise can ameliorate physical and mental health of patients with knee osteoarthritis: systematic review and meta-analysis
Clinical Rehabilitation

Tai Chi exercise was beneficial for ameliorating physical and mental health of patients with knee osteoarthritis and should be available as an alternative non-pharmacological therapy in rehabilitation programmes.

Hu L, Wang Y, Liu X, Ji X, Ma Y, Man S, Hu Z, Cheng J, Huang F. Full Article

Journal of Aging and Physical Activity

2020, Aug 24

Tai Chi for the Prevention of Falls Among Older Adults: A Critical Analysis of the Evidence
Journal of Aging and Physical Activity

High-quality evidence suggests that Tai Chi is an effective intervention for preventing falls in community settings; however, there is unclear evidence for long-term care facilities and an absence of evidence for hospital settings. When compared directly with other exercise interventions, Tai Chi may offer a superior strategy for reducing falls through its benefits on cognitive functioning. Using data from the current Cochrane review, a new synthesis is presented suggesting that 71–81% of community-dwelling older adults are adherent to class-based Tai Chi interventions. The practical opportunities and challenges for practitioners are discussed.

Samuel R. Nyman Full Article

Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Journal

2017, Sep 15

Effectiveness of Tai Chi for Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain Conditions: Updated Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Journal American Physical Therapy Association

In order for tai chi to be recommended as an effective intervention, more high-quality trials with large sample sizes assessing tai chi versus other evidence-based treatments at short term and at long term are needed.

Amanda Hall, Bethan Copsey, Helen Richmond, Jacqueline Thompson, Manuela Ferreira, Jane Latimer, Chris G. Maher Full Article

PLOS One

2017, Apr 5

Does Tai Chi relieve fatigue? A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials
PLOS One Public Library of Science

The results suggest that Tai Chi could be an effective alternative and /or complementary approach to existing therapies for people with fatigue. However, the quality of the evidence was only moderate and may have the potential for bias. There is still absence of adverse events data to evaluate the safety of Tai Chi. Further multi-center RCTs with large sample sizes and high methodological quality, especially carefully blinded design, should be conducted in future research.

Yu Xiang, Liming Lu, Xiankun Chen, Zehuai Wen Full Article

BMJ Open

2016, Dec 9

Systematic review and meta-analysis: Tai Chi for preventing falls in older adults
BMJ Open

Tai Chi is effective for preventing falls in older adults. The preventive effect is likely to increase with exercise frequency and Yang style Tai Chi seems to be more effective than Sun style Tai Chi.

Huang Z, Feng Y, Li Y, et al Full Article

Scientific Reports

2016, Apr 29

Tai Chi for Chronic Pain Conditions: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials
Scientific Reports

This systematic review demonstrated positive evidence regarding the effects of Tai Chi on chronic OA pain and some beneficial evidences of Tai Chi for LBP and osteoporosis. The minimal valid duration of Tai Chi for chronic OA pain may be 6 weeks and a longer duration of Tai Chi exercise may achieve more gains. However, there was no valid evidence on the follow-up effects of Tai Chi for chronic pain conditions. There was insufficient evidence to support or refute the value of Tai Chi compared with other active therapies for chronic pain conditions. Consequently, future studies should emphasize high-quality RCTs comparing Tai Chi with other active therapies for chronic pain conditions and a long term follow-up should be conducted.

Kong, L., Lauche, R., Klose, P. et al. Full Article

Complementary Therapies in Medicine

2015, Aug

A systematic review and meta-analysis of the effects of Qigong and Tai Chi for depressive symptoms
Complementary Therapies in Medicine

Qigong appears to be beneficial for reducing depressive symptom severity. However, given the low quality of the included studies and the documented evidence of publication bias, these results should be viewed cautiously.

Xin Liu, Justin Clark, Dan Siskind, Gail M. Williams, Gerard Byrne, Jiao L. Yang, Suhail A. Doi Full Article