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

The Effects of Tai Chi on Touching Sense, Balance, and Fitness in Hispanic Older Adults with Type 2 Diabetes
December 16, 2015 -
Peripheral neuropathy and loss of sense of touching in older adults with type 2 diabetes can increase risk of falls and disability. In nondiabetic older adult population, Tai Chi has been shown to enhance balance and fitness through improvements in sense of touching and neuromuscular control, and it is unclear if Tai Chi would elicit similar benefits in older adults with diabetes.

Therefore, researchers from University of Texas at El Paso performed a study to investigate the effects of an 8-week, three-hour-per-week Tai Chi intervention on peripheral sense of touching in older adults with type 2 diabetes. Participants were eight Hispanic older adults with type 2 diabetes who participated in the Tai Chi intervention and a convenience sample of Hispanic older adults as a referent group.

Baseline and post-intervention assessments included ankle proprioception, foot tactile sense, plantar pressure distribution, balance, and fitness. After intervention, older adults with type 2 diabetes showed significant improvements in ankle proprioception and fitness and decreased plantar pressure in the forefoot, with no statistical effect noted in balance or tactile sensation.

So this study results suggest that Tai Chi may be beneficial for older adults with diabetes as it improves ankle proprioception. However, study findings need to be confirmed in a larger sample size randomized controlled trial.

The study is published by Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine in October, 2015.


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