Exploring the basis for Tai Chi Chuan as a therapeutic exercise approach

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1997 Aug;78(8):886-92. doi: 10.1016/s0003-9993(97)90206-9.


For many centuries Tai Chi has been a martial art form, practiced primarily in Oriental cultures. For the past 300 years this movement approach has been used as an exercise form, practiced by millions of Chinese elderly people. To date, virtually no information exists about the therapeutic elements of this intriguing movement sequence. This article provides a historical review of existing documentation of reputed Tai Chi benefits. The 108 "forms" of Tai Chi Chuan are reduced to 10 composite forms for ease of application of these forms to older individuals within a reasonable time frame. An effort is set forth to identify the potential therapeutic elements within these forms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged*
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Martial Arts / classification
  • Martial Arts / standards*
  • Middle Aged
  • Postural Balance
  • Posture
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Rotation
  • Treatment Outcome