Written by Helen Cooke and the CAM-Cancer Consortium.
Updated June 16, 2016

Tai Chi

Is it safe?

Adverse events

No adverse events were reported in the studies included in this summary.

Contraindications

As Tai chi is a moderate form of aerobic exercise it may be beneficial for people to check with their health practitioner if they have a known heart condition, severe osteoporosis or musculoskeletal difficulties14.

Interactions

No known interactions.

Warnings

Older people may benefit from a brief health check if they are suffering from any of the conditions mentioned in the contraindication section14.

Citation Helen Cooke, CAM-Cancer Consortium. Tai Chi [online document]. http://ws.cam-cancer.org/The-Summaries/Mind-body-interventions/Tai-Chi. June 16, 2016.

References

 

  1. Mansky P, Sannes T, Wallerstedt D, Ge A, Ryan M, Johnson LL et al.Tai chi chuan: mind-body practice or exercise intervention? Studying the benefit for cancer survivors. Integr Cancer Ther 2006; 5:192-201.
  2. Peters D. The Complete Family Guide to New Medicine. Dorling Kindersley (2005).
  3. Janelsins MC, Davis PG, Wideman L, Katula JA, Sprod LK, Peppone LJ et al.Effects of Tai Chi Chuan on insulin and cytokine levels in a randomized controlled pilot study on breast cancer survivors. Clinical Breast Cancer 2011;11:161-170.
  4. Tai Chi Union for Great Britain website. http://www.taichiunion.com/what.php [Accessed 30/10/15].
  5. Mustian KM, Katula JA, Gill DL, Roscoe JA, Lang D, Murphy K. Tai Chi Chuan, health-related quality of life and self-esteem: a randomized trial with breast cancer survivors. Supportive Care in Cancer 2004;12:871-6.
  6. Fouladbakhsh JM, Stommel M. Gender, symptom experience, and use of complementary and alternative medicine practices among cancer survivors in the U.S. cancer population. Oncology Nursing Forum 2010;37:E7-E15.
  7. Pan Y, Yang K, Shi X, Liang H, Zhang F, Lv Q. Tai chi chuan exercise for patients with breast cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis. eCAM 2015;2015:535237.
  8. Zeng Y, Luo T, Xie H, Huang M, Cheng AS. Health benefits of qigong or tai chi for cancer patients: a systematic review and meta-analyses. Complement Thera Med 2014;22:173-86.  
  9. Campo RA, Light KC, O'Connor K, Nakamura Y, Lipschitz D, LaStayo PC, et al. Blood pressure, salivary cortisol, and inflammatory cytokine outcomes in senior female cancer survivors enrolled in a tai chi chih randomized controlled trial. J Cancer Survivorship 2015;9:115-25.
  10. Campo RA, O'Connor K, Light KC, Nakamura Y, Lipschitz DL, Lastayo PC, et al. Feasibility and Acceptability of a Tai Chi Chih Randomized controlled trial in senior female cancer survivors. IntegrCancer Ther 2013;12:464-74.
  11. Liu J, Chen P, Wang R, Yuan Y, Wang X, Li C. Effect of Tai Chi on mononuclear cell functions in patients with non-small cell lung cancer. BMC Complement Altern Med 2015;15:3.
  12. Irwin MR, Olmstead R, Breen EC, Witarama T, Carrillo C, Sadeghi N, et al. Tai chi, cellular inflammation, and transcriptome dynamics in breast cancer survivors with insomnia: a randomized controlled trial. J Natl Cancer Inst Monogr. 2014;2014:295-301.
  13. Fong SS, Chung LM, Tsang WW, Leung JC, Charm CY, Luk WS, et al. Balance Performance in Irradiated Survivors of Nasopharyngeal Cancer with and without Tai Chi Qigong Training. eCAM 2014;2014:719437.
  14. Fong SS, Ng SS, Lee HW, Pang MY, Luk WS, Chung JW, et al. The effects of a 6-month Tai Chi Qigong training program on temporomandibular, cervical, and shoulder joint mobility and sleep problems in nasopharyngeal cancer survivors. Integr Cancer Ther 2015;14:16-25.
  15. Fong SS, Ng SS, Luk WS, Chung JW, Leung JC, Masters RS. Effects of a 6-month Tai Chi Qigong program on arterial hemodynamics and functional aerobic capacity in survivors of nasopharyngeal cancer. J Cancer Survivorship 2014;8:618-26.
  16. Wang R, Liu J, Chen P, Yu D. Regular tai chi exercise decreases the percentage of type 2 cytokine-producing cells in postsurgical non-small cell lung cancer survivors. Cancer Nursing 2013;36:E27-34
  17. Yan JH, Pan L, Zhang XM, Sun CX, Cui GH. Lack of efficacy of Tai Chi in improving quality of life in breast cancer survivors: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 2014;15:3715-20.