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Tai chi is rooted in multiple Asian traditions, including traditional Chinese philosophy and medicine. Its two central concepts are yin and yang (opposing yet complementary forces) and qi (vital  energy) When your “qi” flows freely, you are balanced and healthy. Tai chi promotes the flow of qi. While it is pronounced the same, qi should not be confused with the “chi” in tai chi. The latter is a superlative, meaning “supreme” or “ultimate.” “An Introduction to Tai Chi” by Harvard Health Publishing suggests there are many scientifically backed benefits of tai chi – both physical and mental.
In an increasing number of studies, tai chi has been found to healal most everything, from lowering blood pressure to managing stress to building strength and balance. For example, in 82% of studies, tai chi greatly improved mood and lowered anxiety. Plus, it was shown to be an effective treatment for depression. Other studies have shown that older adults who do hour-long tai chi sessions one to three times a week are 43% less likely to fall, and they cut their risk of injury in half. A growing number of clinical trials show that tai chi offers significant relief from back, neck, arthritis, and fibromyalgia pain. In a meta-analysis of 20 studies on tai chi and cognition, tai chi appears to improve executive function – the ability to multitask, manage time, and make decisions – in people without any cognitive decline. In those with mild cognitive impairment, tai chi slowed the progression to dementia more than other types of exercise and improved their cognitive function in a comparable fashion to other types of exercise or cognitive training. In one study, researchers had nearly 400 Chinese men and women with some cognitive impairment perform either tai chi or a stretching and toning program three times a week. After a year, the tai chi group showed greater improvements, and only 2% of that group progressed to dementia, while 11% from the traditional exercise group did. Finally, it appears everyone can benefit no matter their age or fitness level. Tai-chi is reportedly becoming the tried-and-true practice of more and more people – from top-tier professional athletes as well as the elderly