There are not so many articles online that discuss the benefits of Tai Chi for diabetes. Besides enhancing microcirculation, practitioners of this ancient Chinese exercise say that it is a very potent way to manage stress and has helped them burn a considerable amount of calories allowing them to lose weight rapidly. Tai Chi can actually aid the body in attaining homeostatic chemical levels. One example of this was revealed in a study showing how Tai Chi helped participants attain a “balancing effect” on the hormonal chemistry of their sex hormones that elevated the inordinately low levels of estrogen in older women while reducing the inordinately high levels of estrogen in older men.
Other studies also produced similar results which suggest that perhaps, significant research had been done on the benefits of Tai Chi (as well as Qigong) for people suffering from diabetes, provided that the results in other studies initially and at the minimum, indicate Tai Chi (and Qigong) provide lots of benefits for diabetes sufferers. In Western medical research, there doesn’t appear to be much study on the use of tai chi and qigong as an adjunctive therapy for diabetes.
However, studies conducted in Chinese medical institutions showed really incredible results. One study performed in the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine and Pharmacology discovered that levels of blood sugar could be successfully reduced through performing Qi Gong exercises. In the study, 42.9 percent of patients were able to reduce their intake of medications and were able to increase their consumption of staple foods. Another study performed by researchers at the Nanjing University discovered that geriatric obesity with metabolic disorder of type 2 diabetes mellitus can be regulated by doing Tai Chi exercise. It was found that Tai chi helped regulate the endocrine-nervous system of the patients.
Based on these amazing results, why hasn’t Western medicine attempted any medical research on this?
In the United States only less than half of one percent of NIH funding goes to research on complementary and alternative therapies. This means that homeopathy, herbal medicine, meditation, yoga, acupuncture, etc., all get a tiny allocation of the NIH budget. A lot of the benefits enjoyed by people suffering from various conditions from the practice of Tai Chi and Qigong will never be experienced by others having the same conditions unless the NIH allocates enough funding research for these two ancient healing arts. Until adequate research is done, majority of doctors will not have the knowledge needed to inform their patients of the possible benefits and use of Tai Chi and Qigong as a viable treatment for their conditions.
Nonetheless, it is possible to request your doctor to do some research on Tai chi and qi gong for you. But, in the meantime, we can discuss current prescriptions for treatment of diabetes therapy, which we can then compare them to the benefits that Tai Chi provides to determine if tai chi is indeed a good therapeutic option for diabetes. We need to emphasize that it is not an option to self-treat. We highly recommend that you talk to your doctor and medical research institutions to appeal on your behalf for more research on tai chi and other effective natural health therapies in order that you could have the widest possible options for strengthening, restoring, or maintaining your health.
The Post Graduate Medicine Online website posted an article written by several doctors which state that “Exercise, diet, and the quest for the ideal body weight are the most important elements of any plan of treatment for type 2 diabetes. . .” Besides providing cardiovascular benefits that’s almost the same as moderate impact aerobics, Tai Chi exercise surprisingly (given its low impact nature) can help a person burn a considerable amount of calories. The amount of calories it can be burn can be as almost as much as downhill skiing and even much more than surfing. For people with diabetes, these cardiovascular benefits and amazing calorie burning capacity provided by gentle Tai chi exercises can be extremely important in the management or even cure of their disease.
Information regarding diabetes provided by the health website Top5plus5.com disclosed that the kind of exercise practiced by a patient is vital to their health and well being. According to the website, “People suffering from active diabetic retinopathy should not perform exercises involving any heavy lifting or straining since these activities can elicit eye damage. They need to also realize that nerve injury brought about by high levels of blood sugar can result in sensation loss of the feet that, later on, may lead to ulceration and blistering. People suffering from progressive heart damage brought about by high blood sugar need to be aware of their risk of sudden heart failure and death.” With regards to the health of the heart, Tai Chi may provide some benefits that are so vital for people with diabetes. The BBC news reported on October 9, 2004, that Tai Chi may remedy heart failure. The BBC also said that the British Heart Foundation thought that this was “excellent news,” and in the future, Tai Chi could be into integrated in the treatment programmes in the UK.
We need to stress once again that you should never treat yourself. Also, we recommend that you need to always consider all possible treatments in consultation with your doctor. This article is meant to foster a dialogue between your doctor and you, and optimistically between your doctor and health organizations. Hopefully, this will result in a more commonsensical distribution of funding of medical research towards natural health therapies such as Tai Chi and Qigong.
We hope that in the not so distant future, doctors, will discover for themselves what Tai Chi and Qigong can offer a person in terms of health. Hopefully, we may see the inclusion of Tai Chi and natural health therapies courses in medical colleges and universities. There is really no reason why there should be a war between conventional therapies and alternative therapies. In the future, conventional therapies could expand to include modes of treatment that works best for the patient. A great number of people in the medical profession do advocate for such a vision.
Vickery Health & Wellness
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