The Chinese practice of t'ai chi seems to be receiving increased interest in the West. This article gives a brief overview of t'ai chi, including its origins, development, principles and potential health benefits. The function of the essential elements of t'ai chi, namely the Form and chi kung are described and their potential benefits for patients and nurses are discussed. Exponents of t'ai chi believe that it has health benefits on physical, psychological and spiritual levels, thus promoting a feeling of well-being. In addition, regular practitioners are empowered to be in greater control of themselves, their health, and situations in which they find themselves.