On their website mayoclinic.com, the Mayo Clinic reports these benefits—especially for older adults: 

  • Relieve stress
  • Improve the definition and strength of muscles
  • Increase feelings of well-being
  • Increase energy, stamina and agility
  • Sharpen reflexes
  • Decrease blood pressure
  • Increase flexibility
  • Improve balance and coordination 

Although the practice of tai chi is very old, it hasn't been studied scientifically until recently. Preliminary research shows that practicing tai chi regularly may also:

  • Increase bone mineral density after menopause
  • Improve physical functioning in older adults, from more ease in dressing to increased comfort in climbing stairs
  • Improve blood circulation in the legs
  • Reduce anxiety and depression 

Specifically, the circular movements and deep breathing reduce the pain and stiffness of arthritis and fibromyalgia, and improve poor circulation. Among the many studies and testimonials cited on The Arthritis Foundation’s website (www.arthritis.org) is this one by William L. Haskell, PhD, deputy director of the Stanford [University] Center for Research in Disease Prevention in California: "Given its low impact and evidence that it tends to increase muscle strength and balance and give general pain relief, we think it's a worthwhile option for arthritis patients . . ."