Thaijiquan, or Thai Chi as it is more commonly know, is a martial art revered for both its defense training and health benefits. People practice Thai Chi for traditional and modern reasons, but many choose it as an exercise programme that offers peace of mind.
The art combines deep breathing with soft movements and has previously been shown to improve immune system response. Previous studies have also shown that Thai Chi improves cardiovascular and respiratory function, while also reducing stress. It now looks as though Thai Chi could have a positive effect for those suffering from diabetes.
Researchers from the Chungnam National University, College of Nursing, in South Korea have been studying the effects of Thai Chi on certain measures linked with type 2 diabetes, such as neuropathy scores, glucose control and balance.
The study focused on 59 diabetic patients with neuropathy and put them through a typical ‘Thai Chi for Diabetes’ programme. This required two one-hour sessions of Thai Chi a week, for 12 weeks.
The journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine published the results, which showed that the Thai Chi group performed better than the control group with regards to total symptom scores, balance, glucose control and quality of life.
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