Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tai Chi Can Help Improve Diabetes

For those of you who may want the benefits of exercise on diabetic control but may be physically unable to complete strenuous activities due to age, condition or injury Tai Chi is a great alternative

Tai Chi is a Chinese martial art that combines diaphragmatic breathing and relaxation with gentle circular, fluid movements.

It is well known that Tai Chi improves respiratory and cardiovascular function, while improving flexibility and relieving stress. Many studies have also shown that diabetes control improves with Tai Chi.
This is reinforced in a recent study of ninety-nine adults diagnosed with type 2 diabetes who participated in a supervised tai chi exercise program two days a week with three days of home practice for six months.1 The adherent group significantly lowered their fasting blood glucose levels, improved their management of the disease, and enhanced their overall quality of life, including mental health, vitality and energy.

There are nearly 1.2 million people in Malaysia who have type 2 diabetes, a figure that is almost double the number of known type 2 diabetics in Australia with a similar population size.

Anyone 45 years old or older should consider getting tested for diabetes. If you are 45 or older and overweight getting tested is strongly recommended.

Shingles/Kayap/带 状 疱 疹, Baby Boomers and Tai Chi

One in five people who have had chickenpox will get shingles (herpes zoster) later in life, usually after age 50, and the risk increases as people get older.

Tai Chi has previously been shown to improve immune system response, in contrast to strenuous physical activity, which depresses it.

An investigation into the impact of a 12 week Tai Chi Chuan exercise programme, on 30 patients found the levels interleukin-12, a signaling molecule which boosts the immune response, increased in level; interleukin-4, which lessens the immune response, declined.2 In an alternative explanation also suggested by the authors, the exercise may boost levels of fitness along with a feeling of well being -- this in turn may boost the health of the immune system.

This low impact Tai Chi exercise may help baby boomers avoid getting shingles by increasing immunity to herpes zoster virus comparable to those achieved with the herpes zoster vaccine, according to the results of a randomized controlled trial.3

Tai Chi For Beginners

If you stay in the Klang district, the Tai Chi group that meets Tuesdays and Fridays at Hin Hua High School, Persiaran Raja Muda Musa welcomes beginners. Bilingual classes start at 8.30pm under the direction of Messrs Aw and Ng. Call our pharmacy on 03 31688469 for further details.

1 Rhayun Song, Sukhee Ahn, Beverly L. Roberts, Eun Ok Lee, You Hern Ahn. Adhering to a T'ai Chi Program to Improve Glucose Control and Quality of Life for Individuals with Type 2 Diabetes. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. June 2009, 15(6): 627-632.
2 S-H Yeh, H Chuang, L-W Lin, C-Y Hsiao, P-W Wang, R-T Liu, K D Yang. Regular Tai Chi Chuan exercise improves T cell helper function of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus with an increase in T-bet transcription factor and IL-12 production. Br J Sports Med 2009 Nov;43(11):845-50.
3 Irwin, M.R., et al. Augmenting immune responses to varicella zoster virus in older adults: A randomized, controlled trial of Tai Chi. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (2007), 55(4):511-517.

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