Tailored Forms of Taiji for Depression



This paper intervenes in the debate about the effectiveness of ‘tai chi’ (henceforth taiji) forms tailored for specific illnesses by looking at the example of their use in the treatment of depression. In the efforts to bring taiji to the West, one movement has been toward simplification. Another is the development of tailored forms. This paper analyzes two new forms of taiji for depression, created by contemporary American teachers Drs Aihan Kuhn and Albert Yeung. I argue that studies are needed to compare the medical effectiveness of tailored forms with more traditional forms. Questions to be explored in such studies would range from the clinical to the sociological. Do tailored forms of taiji provide improved outcomes for the conditions targeted? What about the usefulness of such forms for patients with co-morbidities? Do tailored forms ‘treat’ one illness, but have less effectiveness in preventing the onset of other illnesses? And finally, would tailored forms better fit into a Western perspective on treating illness and therefore be more readily assimilated into the Western health care system? The analysis of the creation and dissemination of tailored forms is significant for understanding the history and development of taijiquan in a global context.


tai chitaijidepressionAihan KuhnAlbert Yeung
  • Volume: 12
  • Page/Article: 47-56
  • DOI: 10.18573/mas.156
  • Published on 13 Jun 2022