Tai Chi as Complementary and Alternative Medicine
- Key Points About Tai Chi as CAM
- A Description of Tai Chi
- Other Key Beliefs of Tai Chi
- Specific Health Purposes and Tai Chi
- Side Effects and Risks of Tai Chi
- Licensing, Training, and Credentialing of Tai Chi Teachers
- Tai Chi as a Part of CAM
- Some Points of Controversy About Tai Chi
- US Government Funded Research on Tai Chi
- Tai Chi Health Research References
Tai chi (pronounced “tie chee” and also known by some other names and spellings*) is a mind-body practice that originated in China as a martial art. A person doing tai chi moves his body slowly and gently, while breathing deeply and meditating (tai chi is sometimes called “moving meditation”). Many practitioners believe that tai chi helps the flow throughout the body of a proposed vital energy called qi (pronounced “chee,” it means “air” or “power”). In the United States, tai chi for health purposes is part of complementary and alternative medicine (tai chi as CAM), or CAM. This tai chi as complementary and alternative medicine mini-site provides a general overview of tai chi and suggests some resources you can use to find more information.
*Among the different names and spellings of tai chi are taiji and t’ai chi. Many consider the term “tai chi” to be a shortened form of “tai chi chuan” (two other spellings are t’ai chi ch’uan and taijiquan).