Tai Chi Studies

Statistically significant effects have been reported in Medline.

Improved physical and mental health: ‘Better physical and mental health statuses, lower blood pressure, less mood disturbance, more positive mood states than those who did not practice T’ai Chi’ in a study of 80 community-dwelling Taiwanese aged 65-88, 40 of whom practiced T’ai Chi, and 40 of whom did not. – T’ai Chi and well-being of Taiwanese community-dwelling elders: clinical Gerontologist, Vol 24(3-4), 2001, pp 137-156.

Breast Cancer survivors: significant improvements in health-related quality of life and self-esteem compared to psychosocial support group (in ‘T’ai Chi Chuan, health-related quality of life and self-esteem: a randomized trial with breast cancer survivors’, Behavioural Medicine Unit, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Rochester School of Medicine, Rochester, N.Y. Dec 2004)

Older People: statistically significant improvement in self-assessed health of women aged 72 to 96 (in ‘Self-reported benefits of T’ai Chi practice by older women’, Department of Nursing, Armstrong Atlantic State University, Savannah, Georgia, Sept 2001)

A study of 120 people aged 70+ were randomised to T’ai Chi, individualised balance training, and exercise control education groups. Only T’ai Chi subjects reported that their daily activities and their overall life had been affected positively, and many had incorporated T’ai Chi practice into their daily routines 4 months post-intervention. (In ‘Self-report benefits of T’ai Chi practice by older adults’, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, School of Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.)

Multiple Sclerosis sufferers: improvement in vitality, social functioning, mental health, ability to carry out physical and emotional roles. (in ‘Improving quality of life for people with chronic conditions: the example of T’ai Chi and Multiple Sclerosis’, Centre for the Study of Neurodegenerative Disorders, University of California, Santa Barbara 1999).

Young people: significant improvement in general health, vitality, perceptions of mental health (in ‘Effects of T’ai Chi exercise on physical and mental health of college students’ , Department of Physical Therapy, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia, 2004)

Psychosocial status, mood and stress of ethnic minority group: significant improvement in mood state, reduction in perceived stress, self-confidence, and in all measures of psychosocial status (in ‘Change in perceived psychosocial status following a 12-week T’ai Chi exercise programme, Stanford Prevention Research Centre, School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, California, 2006)

Blood pressure and Cardiorespiratory fitness

A study of 34 women aged 33-55, with ½ used as controls. Significant decrease in both means systolic and diastolic blood pressure in T’ai Chi group. (in ‘Health benefits of T’ai Chi exercise: improved balance and blood pressure in middle-aged women’, Department of Psychology, University of Liverpool, March 2004)

Other studies where T’ai Chi has produced significant effects:

  • Bone density in postmenopausal women (132 in randomised controlled trial) – Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology,      Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Functional status and exercise capacity in patients with chronic heart failure (randomised controlled trial of 30 patients) -Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts October 2004
  • Quality of life and physical function in older  people with osteoarthritis
  • (Randomised controlled study of 33  community-dwelling people) – Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston,  Massachusetts Dec 2000
  • (Randomised controlled study of 72 patients with OA) – Department of Nursing, Soonchunhyang University, South Korea, May 2005
  • Physical function among the elderly (reanalysis of randomised controlled trial of 94 participants over 65 years old) – Oregon Research Institute, 1997
  • Fibromyalgia symptoms and health-related quality of life (pilot study of 39 participants with FM) – Armstrong Atlantic State University, 2003
  • Quality of sleep and daytime sleepiness in older adults (a randomised controlled study of 118 people) – Oregon Research Institute, 2004

Blood pressure

  • Lipid profile (a randomised controlled study of 152 people with hypertension) — Taipei Medical University, 2003
  • reduced blood pressure (a randomised controlled trial of 126 heart-attack patients who practiced T’ai Chi, aerobic exercise, or no exercise. The BMJ reported that ‘both forms of exercise reduced blood pressure, but only T’ai Chi showed a significant reduction’. -Sheffield University 1996)
  • Cardiorespiratory fitness (A study of 58 sedentary men of average age 66-67, half of whom practiced T’ai Chi and half of whom served as a control group. T’ai Chi group had significantly  better scores in resting heart rate and three minute step test heart rate.  (In ‘Balance Control, flexibility and cardiorespiratory fitness among older T’ai Chi Practitioners’, Department of Sports Science and Physical      Education, Chinese University of Hong Kong.)
  • Cardiorespiratory function (a literature review of controlled studies) –Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, the Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • The Letchworth Centre for Healthy Living – November 2006