Harvard Heart Letter

Tai chi: A gentle exercise that may help heal your heart

Described as "meditation in motion," tai chi may foster a sense of relaxation that helps lower stress levels.

Research suggests benefits for a range of cardiovascular conditions.

For centuries, millions of Chinese have practiced the flowing, meditative exercise known as tai chi. In recent years, tai chi's popularity has risen in the United States, thanks in part to growing evidence for its health benefits. Hundreds of studies dating back to the late 1950s show modest improvements for a wide range of conditions, including heart failure, coronary artery disease, and high blood pressure.

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