Tai Chi (or T’ai Chi Ch’uan) is derived from Chinese martial arts and based on Taoist philosophy, with roots going back close to a millennium. It is a martial art, a form of moving meditation, and an all-in-one form of exercise.
Tai Chi involves smooth flowing activities, in which one goes through a number of forms of movements. Like acupuncture and shiatsu, Tai Chi seeks to foster balance and flow of energy or "chi" through the body.
The Wu style of Tai Chi is one of the more commonly practiced and is the form that is taught at the Center for Integrative Medicine. Wu-style uses more naturally spaced stances while emphasizing weight shifting to make it particularly accessible and beneficial to those of all fitness levels. The 5-posture Essential form was designed to offer the "Essential" postures of Wu Style Tai Chi while not requiring a great deal of space or time to complete.
Extensive research has been conducted around the benefits of Tai Chi, which include: