tai chi

Illustration: Jasu Hu

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Tai Chi

What it is: A Chinese mind-body practice that involves slow, rhythmic movements; mental focus; and controlled breathing.

Science says: Though there are only a handful of solid studies on tai chi's effects on chronic pain, some have shown that it can, in fact, reduce discomfort. One review found that osteoarthritis sufferers who practiced tai chi for an average of 60 minutes two or three times per week for about 12 weeks felt less achy than their peers who didn't.

Best for: Lower back pain, knee osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia.