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Dr. Gregory Pais, ND
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Home arrow Blog arrow TAI CHI, QIGONG, AND DIABETES
British Journal of Sports Medicine Source reference: Liu X, et al.  "Preliminary study of the effects of Tai Chi and Qigong medical exercise on indicators of metabolic syndrome and glycemic control in adults with raised blood glucose levels" Br J Sports Med 2008; DOI: 10. 116/bjsm. 2007. 045476
British Journal of Sports Medicine Source reference: Yeh SH, et al.  "Regular Tai Chi Chuan exercise improves T cell helper function of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus with an increase n T-bet transcription factor and IL-12 production" Br J Sports Med 2008; DOI: 10. 1136/bjsm. 2007. 043562

For patients at risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes, the Chinese exercises Tai Chi and Qigong (pronounced Chee Gong) may improve clinical signs associated with the conditions, two small studies suggested.

After 12 weeks of regular Tai Chi and Qigong exercises, 11 patients with hyperglycemia had significant improvement in body mass index, waist circumference, and blood pressure,
as reported online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Additionally, glycosylated hemoglobin, fasting insulin, and insulin resistance all decreased. Study participants also found the exercise program acceptable, as indicated by attendance at more than 90% of the sessions and almost 80% adherence to home practice. 

A second study found that a group of patients with type 2 diabetes had significant improvement in parameters of immune function, which were accompanied by a significant decrease in glycosylated hemoglobin. All from doing Tai Chi or Qigong. These Chinese exercises may be easier to learn than gym-based exercises and do not require any complicated or expensive equipment.

Participants attended three 90-minute Tai Chi/Qigong training sessions weekly for 12 weeks and were encouraged to practice the exercises at home.  The primary outcome was the change in clinical parameters associated with diabetes markers.


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