The concept of 'chi' is central to the Chinese view of the world and can roughly be translated as 'vital force'.
The main aim of Tai Chi is to develop the circulation of 'chi' within the body and by doing so the health and vitality of the individual are enhanced.
Another aim of Tai Chi is to foster a calm and tranquil mind with a relaxed focus on the precise performance of these exercises. Learning to do them correctly provides an opportunity to develop balance, correct alignment of the body, fine motor control and co-ordination of movement and in this process there are many observable health benefits.
Regular practice of Tai Chi helps to promote improved muscle tone and posture, mental focus co-ordination and balance , general levels of vitality, increased flexibility and spatial awareness.
There have been a number of studies of these health benefits and there is currently a lot of interest in the use of Tai Chi to help with rehabilitation of patients after serious illnesses (particularly heart problems and debilitative long term conditions) as well as in preventative healthcare such as reducing stress levels or helping to reduce incidence of falls by elderly people.