Is Tai Chi Chuan (taijiquan) the only kind of Tai Chi (taiji)? Some would say so, and yet others teach what they call Tai Chi Kung (taijigong). I have heard it said that saying "Tai Chi" without the "Chuan" is like saying
"hot" without the "dog". Since there is no source of absolute knowledge or authority where taijiquan is involved, there is a lot of room for debate.
For my own part, I only practice taijiquan, which is commonly translated as
Grand Ultimate Fist - where Chuan means Fist. So taijigong would be for health only, just as taijiquan is for martial arts.
Many masters shake their heads at this dichotomy because the only externally verifiable source of validation for taiji is through martial application, and because taiji is healthy only as a consequence of its martial roots. Even the least of the exercises make the average person quite healthy, or at least healthier.
I fall into the happy middle of this debate. I advocate taijiquan as a martial way, and it is my preferred approach. But I am happy beyond words to be able to pass along a version of it to those who want access to the many and varied health benefits of taiji. I find its benefits extend to all aspects of my life, far beyond the physical.
So do not say you want it "only" for health. Good health is all we have,
the only thing that can guarantee a high level quality of life. As such, we must nurture it by every method possible. Many masters from the last century have stories of being diagnosed with a mortal illness, only to begin learning taiji and recovering their health without medical assistance.
But if you want to learn the martial way as well, that is always available.