Today, although people seldom need martial skills for survival, Taijiquan remains an excellent art of self-defense. Also, considerable health benefits can be derived from it. It is a highly developed system of harmonizing the external body with internal energy. Its external movements stretch and strengthen the muscles, tendons and ligaments, while the unique spiralling and twining movements massage the body's internal organs as well as circulate qi energy throughout the body by the process of dredging the acupuncture channels (jingluo and jingmai). In China this important exercise is practiced daily by millions to preserve and enhance vitality.
Research by Western scientists has documented numerous health benefits enjoyed by people regularly engaging in Taijiquan. Health-related benefits include reduced blood pressure, increased bone density, improved functioning of the immune system, increased leg strength, and a lower incidence of falls among the elderly. In today's hectic and stress-filled world, full of competing demands and overabundant choices, Taijiquan provides a means by which to quiet the mind and relax the body. Practicing Chen style Taijiquan encourages deep, regulated, natural breathing and a calm mind.
Chen Taijiquan is an inimitable example of Chinese martial culture, providing a tangible link to past generations of Taiji practitioners. Changed little through the passing generations, this art draws increasing numbers of practitioners by the aesthetic nature of its movements. It combines power, grace and agility, and is a means of self-expression for many.