Tai Chi research review

Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2011 Aug;17(3):141-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2010.10.002. Epub 2010 Oct 24.


This review briefly summarizes recent Tai Chi research on physical benefits including balance and muscle strength and psychological benefits including attentiveness, sleep and anxiety. Cardiovascular changes following Tai Chi include decreased heart rate and blood pressure, increased vagal activity and decreased cholesterol. Pain syndromes that have been affected include fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Autoimmune and immune conditions recently researched and reviewed here include osteoporosis, diabetes and HIV. Methodological problems with this research include the variability in forms (series of postures) used across studies as well as the intensity of the Tai Chi schedule. Further, most of the studies are based on within group changes rather than attention control group comparisons. Nonetheless, significant clinical improvements have been noted.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety / therapy
  • Attention
  • Blood Pressure
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Immune System Diseases / therapy
  • Muscle Strength
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Pain / rehabilitation
  • Postural Balance
  • Sleep
  • Tai Ji*
  • Vagus Nerve / physiology


  • Cholesterol