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taijiquan (tīˑ·gē·kwôn),

n in traditional Chinese medicine, family of health-promoting exercises that provide benefits for the body, mind, and soul by maintaining balance between the yin and yang components. Developed in the fourteenth century, these exercises comprise flowing movements that imitate the motion and form of animals, all of which share fundamental elements rooted in qi gong. Such elements include continuous, fluid movements; alternation between yin and yang principles (e.g., empty and full, open and closed); and deep, conscious breathing. Taijiquan is practiced to relax, to improve balance, to promote the flow of qi, and as an interior martial art. One may practice taijiquan either as the form (solitary) or as push hands (with a partner). Also called
tai chi, ta'i ch'i, tai chi chuan, tai chi quan, or
taiji. See also qi and qi gong.