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Tai Chi Qigong for Health >> Tai Chi Qigong for Diabetes

Tai Chi Combined with Mental Imagery Theory Improves Balance for Diabetic Older People
October 19, 2015 -
One of the effects of diabetes mellitus (DM), peripheral neuropathy, affects the sensation in the feet and can increase the chance of falling. Two institutions in California, Loma Linda University and Hoag Hospital, teamed up in a study to investigate the effect of 8 weeks of Tai Chi training combined with mental imagery (MI) on improving balance in people with diabetes and an age matched control group.

Seventeen healthy people and 12 diabetic sedentary patients ranging from 40-80 years of age were recruited. All participants in both groups attended a Yang style of Tai Chi class using MI strategies, 2 sessions a week for 8 weeks. Each session was one hour long. Measures were taken using a balance platform test, an Activities-specific Balance Confidence (ABC) Scale, a one leg standing test (OLS), functional reach test (FRT) and hemoglobin A1C. These measures were taken twice, pre and post-study, for both groups.

At the end of the study, both groups experienced significant improvements in ABC, OLS, FRT after completing 8 weeks of Tai Chi exercise with no significant improvement between groups. Participants using the balance platform test demonstrated improvement in balance in all different tasks with no significant change between groups. There was no significant change in HbA1C for the diabetic group.

All results showed an improvement in balance in the diabetic and the control groups; however, no significant difference between the groups was observed. Since the DM group had more problems with balance impairment at baseline than the control, the diabetic group showed the most benefit from the Tai Chi exercise.

Their study is published in the October, 2015 issue of Medical science monitor basic research.


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