In a comprehensive meta-analysis published in 2010 by Dr. Chenchen Wang of Tufts University School of Medicine, it was concluded that Taijiquan appears to be associated with improvements in stress, anxiety, depression, mood, and increased self-esteem.
Taijiquan is used by athletes of many disciplines for its benefits to physical skills, including more efficient movement, enhanced balance and full body coordination. The NBA’s San Antonio Spurs have trained Taijiquan during their off season, and NFL’s Tim Tebow practiced Taijiquan to improve his throws.
Taijiquan may enhance your emotional resiliency through its emphasis on physically and cognitively ‘letting go’ and paying attention to the present moment, as well as through the development of coping strategies—including, for example, techniques for feeling grounded and centered, meditative breathing, and imagery leading to an enhanced sense of being connected to supportive healing energy from nature.
Letting go and letting things happen naturally underlie any form of creativity. Many of the principles of Taijiquan can enhance your creativity, including development of focus; staying in the moment; concentration of energy; economy of movement; inner stillness; development of a flexible, balanced body; unification of mind and body; and appreciation and development of discipline.
A University of Arizona study found that Taijiquan led to greater improvements in cognitive function, including attention, concentration, and mental tracking, as well as balance, after six months compared to either education or exercise groups.
University of California at Los Angeles researchers found 25 weeks of Taijiquan training helped 112 healthy older adults who had moderate sleep complaints to have better sleep quality as compared to controls enrolled in a health education program.
*Primarily referenced from The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi, by Peter Wayne, PhD and Mark L. Fuerst, © 2013 by Harvard Health Publications. Reprinted by arrangement with Shambhala Publications, Inc. Boston, MA. www.shambhala.com