Improve Cardiovascular and Metabolic Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes with Yoga

Improve Cardiovascular and Metabolic Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes with Yoga

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

Yoga practices such as cleansing processes, asanas, pranayama, mudras, bandha, meditation, mindfulness, and relaxation are known to reduce blood glucose levels and to help in the management of comorbid disease conditions associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus, resulting in significant positive clinical outcomes.” – Arkiath Veettil Raveendran

 

Diabetes is a major health issue. It is estimated that 30 million people in the United States and nearly 600 million people worldwide have diabetes and the numbers are growing. Type II Diabetes results from a resistance of tissues, especially fat tissues, to the ability of insulin to promote the uptake of glucose from the blood. As a result, blood sugar levels rise producing hyperglycemia. Diabetes is heavily associated with other diseases such as cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, and circulatory problems leading to amputations. As a result, diabetes doubles the risk of death of any cause compared to individuals of the same age without diabetes.

 

Type 2 diabetes is a common and increasingly prevalent illness that is largely preventable. One of the reasons for the increasing incidence of Type 2 Diabetes is its association with overweight and obesity which is becoming epidemic in the industrialized world. A leading cause of this is a sedentary life style. Unlike Type I Diabetes, Type II does not require insulin injections. Instead, the treatment and prevention of Type 2 Diabetes focuses on diet, exercise, and weight control. Recently, mindfulness practices have been shown to be helpful in managing diabetes. A mindfulness practice that combines mindfulness with exercise is yoga and it has been shown to be helpful in the treatment of Type II Diabetes.

 

In today’s Research News article “Yoga-based lifestyle treatment and composite treatment goals in Type 2 Diabetes in a rural South Indian setup- a retrospective study.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7156497/), Arumugam and colleagues recruited adults with Type 2 Diabetes in rural India and randomly assigned them to either standard care or to 6 months of 1 hour daily supervised yoga practice “comprised of loosening practices, asanas, pranayama, relaxation techniques, and meditation.” They were measured before and after treatment for blood levels of A1c, LDL and HDL-cholesterol, fasting blood glucose, postprandial blood glucose, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, weight, total cholesterol, triglyceride, and body mass index (BMI).

 

They found that for the most part the control group had deterioration of most measures of their cardiovascular and metabolic health while the yoga group had significant improvements in all measures, including blood fats and glucose, blood pressure, and body weight, except total triglycerides. Hence, the patients with Type 2 Diabetes markedly reduced their risk factors for cardiovascular disease while the control group increased their risk.

 

These are very encouraging results that yoga practice can improve the health of patients with Type 2 Diabetes in rural India and lower their risk of developing serious cardiovascular disease. It would be important in future research to include another condition of perhaps aerobic exercise to evaluate if yoga practice confers extra benefits beyond its exercise effects. Regardless, the results suggest that yoga practice improves the physical well-being of patients with Type 2 Diabetes in rural settings.

 

So, improve cardiovascular and metabolic symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes with yoga.

 

Yoga is considered to be a promising, cost-effective option in the treatment and prevention of diabetes, with data from several studies suggesting that yoga and other mind-body therapies can reduce stress-related hyperglycemia and have a positive effect on blood glucose control.” – Diabetes UK

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Arumugam, G., Nagarathna, R., Majumdar, V., Singh, M., Srinivasalu, R., Sanjival, R., Ram, V. S., & Nagendra, H. R. (2020). Yoga-based lifestyle treatment and composite treatment goals in Type 2 Diabetes in a rural South Indian setup- a retrospective study. Scientific reports, 10(1), 6402. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-63133-1

 

Abstract

This multicentre retrospective study examined the effects of adjunct yoga-treatment in achieving composite cardiovascular goals for type 2 diabetes (T2D), set forth by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) in rural Indian settings. Records were extracted for 146 T2D patients, aged ≥20–70 years, and treated under the “Apollo Total Health Programme” for rural diabetes management, for the period April 2016 to November 2016. The study cohort comprised of two treatment groups (n = 73 each); non-yoga group (standard of care) and yoga group (adjunct yoga-treatment). Propensity score matching was applied between the study groups to define the cohort. Composite cardiovascular scores were based on the combination of individual ADA goals; A1c < 7%, blood pressure (BP) < 140/90 mmHg, stringent BP (<130/80 mmHg) and lipid, LDL-C < 100 mg/dl [risk factor for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease]. Logistic regression was used to compare between the two treatment groups. Compared to standard of care, adjunct yoga-treatment was found to significantly facilitate the attainment of ADA composite score by 8-fold; A1c, ~2-fold; LDL-C, ~2-fold; BP < 140/90 mmHg and <130/80 mmHg by ~8-and ~6-fold respectively. This study provides the first evidence for significant efficacy of adjunct yoga-treatment for the attainment of favourable treatment goals for T2D in rural Indian settings.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7156497/

 

Improve Cardiovascular Function with Qigong

Improve Cardiovascular Function with Qigong

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Heart rate, respiratory rate, systolic blood pressure and rate-pressure product were significantly decreased during Qi-training. From these results, we suggest that… Qi-training has psychological effects that indicate stabilization the of cardiovascular system.” – Michelle Fletcher

 

Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer, claiming more lives than all forms of cancer combined. Lifestyle changes have proved to be quite effective in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. These include quitting smoking, weight reduction, improved diet, physical activity, and reducing stresses. Contemplative practices, such as meditation, tai chi, and yoga, have also been shown to be helpful for heart health. These practices have also been shown to be helpful for producing the kinds of other lifestyle changes needed such as smoking cessationweight reduction and stress reduction.

 

Tai Chi and Qigong are ancient mindfulness practices involving slow prescribed movements. They are gentle and completely safe, can be used with the elderly and sickly, are inexpensive to administer, can be performed in groups or alone, at home or in a facility or even public park, and can be quickly learned. In addition, they can also be practiced in social groups without professional supervision. This can make it fun, improving the likelihood of long-term engagement in the practice. Since Tai Chi and Qigong are both mindfulness practices and exercises, they may be an acceptable and effective method to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

 

In today’s Research News article “Qigong for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6956616/), Hartley and colleagues review, summarize, and perform a meta-analysis of the published research literature on the effectiveness of Qigong practice to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. They identified 12 published randomized controlled trials with a total of 1369 participants.

 

They report that in a couple of studies that followed up 20 to 30 years after Qigong training that there was a significant reduction in all-cause mortality. They also report that Qigong training produced significant reductions in systolic blood pressure and blood fat levels including total cholesterol, triglycerides, and low-density lipoproteins. They found that the published trials, though, had significant risks of bias.

 

The primary conclusion was that larger better controlled trials are needed. But the results are promising and suggest that Qigong training reduced risk factors for cardiovascular disease. This gentle exercise may be an effective treatment to change lifestyle, increasing exercise, decreasing the likelihood of cardiovascular disease, and maybe increasing longevity.

 

So, improve cardiovascular function with Qigong.

 

“tai chi may help lower blood pressure. A review of 26 studies found average drops of several points in blood pressure values in people who did tai chi.” – Harvard Heart Letter

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Hartley, L., Lee, M. S., Kwong, J. S., Flowers, N., Todkill, D., Ernst, E., & Rees, K. (2015). Qigong for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews, 2015(6), CD010390. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD010390.pub2

 

Abstract

Background

Two major determinants of cardiovascular disease (CVD) are a sedentary lifestyle and stress. Qigong involves physical exercise, mind regulation and breathing control to restore the flow of Qi (a pivotal life energy). As it is thought to help reduce stress and involves exercise, qigong may be an effective strategy for the primary prevention of CVD.

Objectives

To determine the effectiveness of qigong for the primary prevention of CVD.

Search methods

We searched the following electronic databases: the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (November 2014, Issue 10 of 12); MEDLINE (Ovid) (1946 to 2014 October week 4); EMBASE Classic + EMBASE (Ovid) (1947 to 2014 November 4); Web of Science Core Collection (1970 to 31 October 2014); Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE), Health Technology Assessment Database and Health Economics Evaluations Database (November 2014, Issue 4 of 4). We searched several Asian databases (inception to July 2013) and the Allied and Complementary Medicine Database (AMED) (inception to December 2013), as well as trial registers and reference lists of reviews and articles; we also approached experts in the field and applied no language restrictions in our search.

Selection criteria

Randomised controlled trials lasting at least three months involving healthy adults or those at high risk of CVD. Trials examined any type of qigong, and comparison groups provided no intervention or minimal intervention. Outcomes of interest included clinical CVD events and major CVD risk factors. We did not include trials that involved multi‐factorial lifestyle interventions or weight loss.

Data collection and analysis

Two review authors independently selected trials for inclusion. Two review authors extracted data from included studies and assessed the risk of bias.

Main results

We identified 11 completed trials (1369 participants) and one ongoing trial. Trials were heterogeneous in participants recruited, qigong duration and length of follow‐up periods. We were unable to ascertain the risk of bias in nine trials published in Chinese, as insufficient methodological details were reported and we were unable to contact the study authors to clarify this.

We performed no meta‐analyses, as trials were small and were at significant risk of bias. Clinical events were detailed in subsequent reports of two trials when statistically significant effects of qigong were seen for all‐cause mortality, stroke mortality and stroke incidence at 20 to 30 years after completion of the trials. However, these trials were designed to examine outcomes in the short term, and it is not clear whether qigong was practised during extended periods of follow‐up; therefore effects cannot be attributed to the intervention. None of the included studies reported other non‐fatal CVD events.

Six trials provided data that could be used to examine the effects of qigong on blood pressure. Reductions in systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) were seen in three and two trials, respectively. Three trials examined the effects of qigong on blood lipids when favourable effects were seen in one trial for total cholesterol, low‐density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides, and two trials showed favourable effects on high‐density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. The only trial considered at low risk of selection and detection bias did not demonstrate statistically significant effects on CVD risk factors with qigong, but this study was small and was underpowered. None of the included studies reported incidence of type 2 diabetes (T2D), adverse events, quality of life or costs.

Authors’ conclusions

Currently, very limited evidence is available on the effectiveness of qigong for the primary prevention of CVD. Most of the trials included in this review are likely to be at high risk of bias, so we have very low confidence in the validity of the results. Publication of the ongoing trial will add to the limited evidence base, but further trials of high methodological quality with sufficient sample size and follow‐up are needed to be incorporated in an update of this review before the effectiveness of qigong for CVD prevention can be established.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6956616/

 

Improve Blood Fat Levels in Type 2 Diabetes with Yoga

Improve Blood Fat Levels in Type 2 Diabetes with Yoga

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

Yoga can do more than just relax your body in mind — especially if you’re living with diabetes. Certain poses may help lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels while also improving circulation, leading many experts to recommend yoga for diabetes management.” – Healthline

 

Diabetes is a major health issue. It is estimated that 30 million people in the United States and nearly 600 million people worldwide have diabetes and the numbers are growing. Type II Diabetes results from a resistance of tissues, especially fat tissues, to the ability of insulin to promote the uptake of glucose from the blood. As a result, blood sugar levels rise producing hyperglycemia. Diabetes is heavily associated with other diseases such as cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, and circulatory problems leading to amputations. As a result, diabetes doubles the risk of death of any cause compared to individuals of the same age without diabetes.

 

Type 2 diabetes is a common and increasingly prevalent illness that is largely preventable. One of the reasons for the increasing incidence of Type 2 Diabetes is its association with overweight and obesity which is becoming epidemic in the industrialized world. A leading cause of this is a sedentary life style. Unlike Type I Diabetes, Type II does not require insulin injections. Instead, the treatment and prevention of Type 2 Diabetes focuses on diet, exercise, and weight control. Recently, mindfulness practices have been shown to be helpful in managing diabetes. A mindfulness practice that combines mindfulness with exercise is yoga and it has been shown to be helpful in the treatment of Type II Diabetes.

 

In today’s Research News article “Efficacy of a Validated Yoga Protocol on Dyslipidemia in Diabetes Patients: NMB-2017 India Trial.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6963794/), Nagarathna and colleagues recruited a stratified sample of adult patients with Type 2 Diabetes and assigned them to receive yoga training that was specifically designed for the treatment of diabetes and consisted of 9 days of 2-hour training sessions followed by daily 1-hour practice at home guided by DVD. They were measured before training and 3 months later for body size and blood was drawn and assayed for fasting blood glucose, glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL, VLDL, and HDL.

 

They found that in both male and female patients with Dyslipidemia (high blood fat levels) there was a significant decrease in the total blood fat levels produced by participation in the yoga program. This included significant decreases in triglycerides, LDL, and VLDL. These improvements were significantly greater in patients from rural areas than those from urban areas. Around two thirds of the patients with Dyslipidemia had their blood fat levels returned to normal levels after yoga practice.

 

These results are interesting but the lack of a comparison (control) conditions limits their significance. But prior controlled studies have shown the yoga practice produces significant improvements in the symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes. So, the present results likely also reflect the effects of yoga practice and not a confounding variable.

 

The results suggest that yoga practice can reduce Dyslipidemia in Type 2 Diabetes patients. It would be useful to follow up these patients to see if the treatment improves the patients’ overall health and reduces heart disease. The reduction in Dyslipidemia would predict such benefits.

 

So, improve blood fat levels in Type 2 Diabetes with yoga.

 

findings suggest that yogic practices may promote significant improvements in several indices of importance in [Type 2 Diabetes] management, including glycemic control, lipid levels, and body composition.” – Kim Innes

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Nagarathna, R., Tyagi, R., Kaur, G., Vendan, V., Acharya, I. N., Anand, A., … Nagendra, H. R. (2019). Efficacy of a Validated Yoga Protocol on Dyslipidemia in Diabetes Patients: NMB-2017 India Trial. Medicines (Basel, Switzerland), 6(4), 100. doi:10.3390/medicines6040100

 

Abstract

Background: Dyslipidemia is considered a risk factor in Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) resulting in cardio-vascular complications. Yoga practices have shown promising results in alleviating Type 2 Diabetes pathology. Method: In this stratified trial on a Yoga based lifestyle program in cases with Type 2 diabetes, in the rural and urban population from all zones of India, a total of 17,012 adults (>20 years) of both genders were screened for lipid profile and sugar levels. Those who satisfied the selection criteria were taught the Diabetes Yoga Protocol (DYP) for three months and the data were analyzed. Results: Among those with Diabetes, 29.1% had elevated total cholesterol (TC > 200 mg/dL) levels that were higher in urban (69%) than rural (31%) Diabetes patients. There was a positive correlation (p = 0.048) between HbA1c and total cholesterol levels. DYP intervention helped in reducing TC from 232.34 ± 31.48 mg/dL to 189.38 ± 40.23 mg/dL with significant pre post difference (p < 0.001). Conversion rate from high TC (>200 mg/dL) to normal TC (<200 mg/dL) was observed in 60.3% of cases with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM); from high LDL (>130 mg/dL) to normal LDL (<130 mg/dL) in 73.7%; from high triglyceride (>200 mg/dL) to normal triglyceride level (<200 mg/dL) in 63%; from low HDL (<45 mg/dL) to normal HDL (>45 mg/dL) in 43.7% of T2DM patients after three months of DYP. Conclusions: A Yoga lifestyle program designed specifically to manage Diabetes helps in reducing the co-morbidity of dyslipidemia in cases of patients with T2DM.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6963794/

 

Improve the Rehabilitation of Cardiac Patients with Mindfulness

Improve the Rehabilitation of Cardiac Patients with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Meditation practice may be clinically useful in the secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease [the prevention of further heart or stroke events for people who already have the condition].” – British Heart Foundation

 

Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer. A myriad of treatments has been developed including a variety of surgical procedures and medications. In addition, lifestyle changes have proved to be effective including quitting smoking, weight reduction, improved diet, physical activity, and reducing stresses. Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, 60% of cardiovascular disease patients decline participation, making these patients at high risk for another attack.

 

Contemplative practices have been shown to be safe and effective alternative treatments for cardiovascular disease. Practices such as meditation, tai chi, and yoga, have been shown to be helpful for heart health and to reduce the physiological and psychological responses to stress. Additionally, they have been shown to be helpful for producing the kinds of lifestyle changes needed to prevent heart disease such as smoking cessation, and weight reduction. They have also been shown to be effective in maintaining cardiovascular health and the treatment of cardiovascular disease. Hence it is reasonable to continue studying the effects of mindfulness training on patients with cardiovascular disease.

 

In today’s Research News article “Randomized Trial of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction in Cardiac Patients Eligible for Cardiac Rehabilitation.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6895078/), Niijar and colleagues performed a pilot randomized controlled trial of the effectiveness of mindfulness training for the mental and physical health of cardiovascular disease patients.

 

They recruited patients with cardiovascular disease who were participating in an exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation program. The patients were randomly assigned to receive either usual care or an 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program that met once a week for 2.5 hours and consisted of meditation, body scan, and yoga practices and discussion along with daily home practice. They were measured at baseline and 3 and 9 months later for depressive symptoms, anxiety, perceived stress, health-related quality of life, health history, medication usage, heart rate, heart rate variability, blood pressure, and blood triglycerides and HbA1c.

 

They found that in comparison to baseline and the usual care group, the group that received the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) had significantly lower levels of depression and anxiety and non-significant trends for lower levels of perceived stress and systolic blood pressure and higher levels of health related quality of life and self-rated health. They also found that the lower the levels of depression and anxiety at 3 months follow-up, the lower the cardiovascular risk factors at the 9-month follow-up, including systolic blood pressure, blood triglycerides, HbA1c, and body mass index.

 

This was a small pilot study that did not have sufficient statistical power to detect small group differences. In addition, all participants received exercise based cardiac rehabilitation program that would be expected to produce improvements by itself. Nevertheless, the study found that the additional participation in a mindfulness training produced significant improvements in the psychological health of the participants and also found trends toward improvements in physiological health. The results suggest that a large randomized controlled trial is justified.

 

The results suggest that a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program may be an effective treatment as a supplement to exercise based cardiac rehabilitation program for the long-term improvement of the mental and physical health of these at-risk patients. This suggests that participation in MBSR in conjunction with exercise may reduce the risk of another cardiovascular event and improve the longevity and mental health of these vulnerable patients.

 

So, improve the rehabilitation of cardiac patients with mindfulness.

 

meditation may promote heart health and reduce cardiovascular risk.” – American College of Cardiology

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Nijjar, P. S., Connett, J. E., Lindquist, R., Brown, R., Burt, M., Pergolski, A., … Everson-Rose, S. A. (2019). Randomized Trial of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction in Cardiac Patients Eligible for Cardiac Rehabilitation. Scientific reports, 9(1), 18415. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-54932-2

 

Abstract

Currently, exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is the only recommended secondary prevention strategy for cardiac patients that attempts to tackle stress and psychosocial wellbeing, but it is under-utilized and lacks a comprehensive curriculum for this purpose; hence there is a critical gap to address psychosocial needs of cardiac patients after an event. Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) has shown benefits in the general population but its role in cardiac patients is not clear. We conducted a pilot randomized controlled trial (RCT) of MBSR in CR-eligible cardiac patients during their initial year of recovery. Patients were allocated 2:1 (intervention:control) to an 8-week MBSR group intervention or usual care. Standard measures of depression, anxiety, perceived stress, health related quality of life (HRQOL), blood pressure, biomarkers (lipids, HbA1c, CRP) and 24-hour Holter monitoring were obtained at baseline, 3- and 9-months post-randomization. Sub-group analyses were performed for participants with at least mild depression (PHQ-9 ≥ 5). 47 patients [mean age 58.6 years; 38% female; 77% white] were enrolled in 2 cohorts. 87% of MBSR patients completed the intervention; study retention was >95% at each follow-up visit. At 3 months, compared to controls, MBSR patients showed improvements in depression [p = 0.01] and anxiety [p = 0.04] with a similar trend in HRQOL [p = 0.06]. The MBSR group showed greater improvement or less worsening of most CV risk factors, with an attenuation of treatment effects at 9 months. Participants with at PHQ-9 scores ≥5 at baseline showed greater improvement in psychosocial and CV outcomes, that persisted at 9 months. MBSR is a safe and well received secondary prevention strategy. This pilot RCT provides preliminary evidence of MBSR’s potential to improve short term psychosocial well-being in cardiac patients during their first year of recovery.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6895078/

 

Improve Type 2 Diabetes with Tai Chi Practice

Improve Type 2 Diabetes with Tai Chi Practice

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

Tai Chi exercises can improve blood glucose levels and improve the control of type 2 diabetes and immune system response.” – Medical News Today

 

Diabetes is a major health issue. It is estimated that 30 million people in the United States have diabetes and the numbers are growing. Type 2 Diabetes results from a resistance of tissues, especially fat tissues, to the ability of insulin to promote the uptake of glucose from the blood. As a result, blood sugar levels rise producing hyperglycemia. Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States. In addition, diabetes is heavily associated with other diseases such as cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, and circulatory problems leading to amputations. As a result, diabetes doubles the risk of death of any cause compared to individuals of the same age without diabetes.

 

Type 2 diabetes is largely preventable. One of the reasons for the increasing incidence of Type 2 Diabetes is its association with overweight and obesity which is becoming epidemic in the industrialized world. A leading cause of this is a sedentary life style. Current treatments for Type 2 Diabetes focus on diet, exercise, and weight control. Recently, mindfulness practices have been shown to be helpful in managing diabetesTai Chi is mindfulness practice and a gentle exercise. As such, it is reasonable to investigate its usefulness in preventing and treating Type 2 Diabetes.

 

In today’s Research News article “Tai Chi for type 2 diabetes mellitus.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6513484/), Zhou and colleagues review and summarize the published research randomized controlled trials of the effectiveness of Tai Chi practice for the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes. They report on 8 published randomized controlled trials.

 

The published studies found that in general Tai Chi practice produces significant improvements in the metabolic profile of Type 2 Diabetes patients including a significant reduction in fasting blood glucose levels, plasma HbA1c, total cholesterol, triglycerides, and body mass index (BMI). For fasting blood glucose levels, plasma HbA1c these reductions were greatest when Tai Chi had been practiced for at least 3 months.

 

These results suggest that Tai Chi practiced for at least 3 months is effective in treating Type 2 diabetes. It is important to recognize that Tai Chi is a gentle and safe exercise that is appropriate for all ages including the elderly and for individuals with illnesses. Also, Tai Chi is inexpensive to administer, can be performed in groups or alone, at home or in a facility, and can be quickly learned. In addition, it can be practiced in social groups. This can make it fun, improving the likelihood of long-term engagement in the practice. So, Tai Chi practice would appear to be an almost ideal gentle exercise to treat Type 2 Diabetes.

 

So, improve type 2 diabetes with Tai Chi practice.

 

Diet and exercise are the cornerstone of diabetes management. People with diabetes who exercise regularly have better control over their blood glucose levels and fewer complications such as heart disease and stroke. Many people, however, are unable to keep up with their regular exercise because they either don’t enjoy it, or have a problem finding time to exercise. Tai chi offers a major advantage: It’s enjoyable, and to many, it’s almost addictive.” – Paul Lam

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Zhou, J., Zhang, H., Shi, G., Zhang, L., Liu, H., Qin, Y., & Yang, J. (2018). Tai Chi for type 2 diabetes mellitus. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2018(7), CD009717. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD009717.pub2

 

Abstract

This is a protocol for a Cochrane Review (Intervention). The objectives are as follows:

To assess the effects of Tai Chi for type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Background

Description of the condition

Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder resulting from a defect in insulin secretion, insulin action, or both. A consequence of this is chronic hyperglycaemia (that is elevated levels of plasma glucose) with disturbances of carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism. Long‐term complications of diabetes mellitus include retinopathy, nephropathy and neuropathy. The risk of cardiovascular disease is also increased. For a detailed overview of diabetes mellitus, please see under ‘Additional information’ in the information on the Cochrane Metabolic and Endocrine Disorders Group in the Cochrane Library (see ‘About’, ‘Cochrane Review Groups (CRGs)’).

Description of the intervention

Exercise or physical activity is one of the principal therapies for type 2 diabetes (Kirk 2007). A systematic review found that exercise can significantly reduce glycosylated haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels by 0.6% (Thomas 2006). The rate of aerobic and resistance exercise necessary to achieve metabolic benefits in clinical trials has sometimes resulted in poor compliance (Brandon 2003), because a large proportion of adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus do not follow recommended physical activity guidelines (Mokdad 2003). A low‐impact, low‐intensity exercise such as Tai Chi may reduce poor compliance in this population and provide a beneficial alternative.

Tai Chi is a traditional Chinese martial art that has been practised for many centuries. The three major components of Tai Chi are movement, meditation and deep breathing (Li 2001a). There are various perspectives on how Tai Chi works. Eastern philosophy holds that Tai Chi unblocks the flow of ‘Qi’. When Qi flows properly, the body, mind and spirit are in balance and health is maintained (Cohen 1997). Others believe that Tai Chi works in the same way as other mind‐body therapies, i.e. the connection between the mind and the body can relieve stress, combat disease and enhance physical well‐being (Li 2001aQiang 2010). Tai Chi combines deep diaphragmatic breathing and relaxation with movement, including many fundamental postural stances, and Qi is said to flow imperceptibly and smoothly from one to the other through slow and soft activity (Chinese Sport 1983). Physical responses to Tai Chi do not exceed 55% of maximum oxygen intake or 60% of the individual maximum heart rate (Li 2001b).

Adverse effects of the intervention

Exercise may lead to hypoglycaemia, falls, injuries, pain or fatigue.

How the intervention might work

A meta‐analysis showed that exercise significantly improves glycaemic control and reduces visceral adipose tissue and plasma triglycerides, but not plasma cholesterol, in people with type 2 diabetes, independently of weight loss (Thomas 2006). Tai Chi is a low‐impact, low‐intensity exercise, and people with diabetes who exercise regularly have better glycaemia control and cardiovascular outcomes than those who do not exercise (Kuramoto 2006Li 2001b). Tai Chi also has an impact on muscle mass through slow and gentle movements (Orr 2006; Qin 2005).

An insulin receptor defect is an important risk factor in the pathology of type 2 diabetes (Youngren 2007). Tai Chi exercise may increase insulin sensitivity (Wang 2008). Furthermore, Tai Chi enhances type 1 T helper function along with an increase in blood interleukin (IL)‐12 levels in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus (Yeh 2009).

Why it is important to do this review

Exercise is one of the principal therapies for type 2 diabetes mellitus and has definite effects and few side effects. Exercise interventions significantly improve glycaemic control, as indicated by a decrease in HbA1c. Tai Chi may be especially useful for elderly type 2 diabetes patients. Although Tai Chi may improve insulin sensitivity and lead to better glucose control, the evidence of the effects of Tai Chi on type 2 diabetes are still limited and conflicting. A systematic review of the effects of Tai Chi on type 2 diabetes is warranted.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6513484/

 

Yoga Practice May Help Prevent the Development of Type II Diabetes

Yoga Practice May Help Prevent the Development of Type II Diabetes

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Yoga can do more than just relax your body in mind — especially if you’re living with diabetes. Certain poses may help lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels while also improving circulation, leading many experts to recommend yoga for diabetes management.” – Healthline

 

Diabetes is a major health issue. It is estimated that 30 million people in the United States and nearly 600 million people worldwide have diabetes and the numbers are growing. Type II Diabetes results from a resistance of tissues, especially fat tissues, to the ability of insulin to promote the uptake of glucose from the blood. As a result, blood sugar levels rise producing hyperglycemia. Diabetes is heavily associated with other diseases such as cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, and circulatory problems leading to amputations. As a result, diabetes doubles the risk of death of any cause compared to individuals of the same age without diabetes.

 

Type 2 diabetes is a common and increasingly prevalent illness that is largely preventable. One of the reasons for the increasing incidence of Type 2 Diabetes is its association with overweight and obesity which is becoming epidemic in the industrialized world. A leading cause of this is a sedentary life style. Unlike Type I Diabetes, Type II does not require insulin injections. Instead, the treatment and prevention of Type 2 Diabetes focuses on diet, exercise, and weight control. Recently, mindfulness practices have been shown to be helpful in managing diabetes. A mindfulness practice that combines mindfulness with exercise is yoga and it has been shown to be helpful in the treatment of Type II Diabetes. Prevention is always better than treatments. So, it is important to investigate the ability of yoga practice to prevent Type II diabetes in at risk individuals.

 

In today’s Research News article “.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6795440/), Ramamoorthi and colleagues reviewed, summarized, and performed a meta-analysis of the published controlled research studies of the effectiveness of yoga practice in improving prediabetic symptoms. The found 14 published studies with a total of 834 participants.

 

They report that the published research found that yoga practice significantly improved prediabetic symptoms. They included a significant reduction in fasting blood glucose levels and systolic blood pressure, and improved blood lipid profiles including low density lipoproteins, cholesterol, and triglycerides.

 

This meta-analysis suggests that yoga practice is a safe and effective practice that improves the metabolic signs predictive of future Type II diabetes. It appears to improve glycemic control, blood lipid profiles, and blood pressure. These are very encouraging results. It will be important to follow-up over the long-term to see if these improvements are lasting and if they reduce the transition from then prediabetic state to Type II diabetes.

 

So, yoga practice may help prevent the development of Type II Diabetes.

 

yoga for diabetes provides unique benefits that can effectively restore the body to a state of natural health and proper function.” – Yoga U

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Ramamoorthi, R., Gahreman, D., Skinner, T., & Moss, S. (2019). The effect of yoga practice on glycemic control and other health parameters in the prediabetic state: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PloS one, 14(10), e0221067. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0221067

 

Abstract

A systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted to investigate the effects of yoga on glycemic control, lipid profiles, body composition and blood pressure in people in the pre-diabetic state. Studies on the effectiveness of yoga on population groups under high risk for diabetes, called prediabetic or suffering from metabolic syndromes were extracted from a thorough search of PubMed, Scopus, Cochrane Library, EBSCO and IndMED databases. Both Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) and non-RCT studies were included in the systematic review and meta-analysis. Studies published between Jan 2002 and Dec 2018 were included. Studies were considered for evaluation if they investigated a yoga intervention to prevent T2DM, against a control group, while also reporting glycemic control and other health parameters of T2DM management. Summary effect sizes and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated using the Comprehensive Meta-Analysis software in addition to publication bias. Of the 46,500 identified studies, 14 studies with 834 participants of whom were 50% women, were found to be eligible for inclusion in our systematic review. Our quantitative synthesis included 12 randomized control trials and 2 non-randomized control trials, with the follow-up period ranging from 4 to 52 weeks. Compared to controls, yoga intervention improved fasting blood glucose (FBG) [Standard Mean Difference (SMD -0.064 mg/dL (95% CI -0.201 to 0.074)]; low density lipoprotein (LDL) [SMD-0.090 mg/dL (95% CI -0.270 to 0.090)]; triglycerides [SMD -0.148 mg/dL (95% CI -0.285 to -0.012)]; total cholesterol [SMD -0.058 mg/dL (95% CI -0.220 to 0.104)] and systolic blood pressure [SMD -0.058 mm Hg (95% CI -0.168 to 0.053)]. This meta-analysis uncovered clinically improved effects of yoga intervention on glycemic control, lipid profiles and other parameters of T2DM management in prediabetic population. These results suggest that yoga intervention may be considered as a comprehensive and alternative approach to preventing T2DM. Further adequately powered, well designed RCTs are needed to support our findings and investigate the long-term effects of yoga in T2DM patients.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6795440/

 

Improve Metabolic Syndrome with Qigong

Improve Metabolic Syndrome with Qigong

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“For patients at risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes, the Chinese exercises Tai Chi and Qigong may improve clinical parameters associated with the conditions.” – Charles Bankhead

 

Metabolic Syndrome is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. It generally results from overweight and abdominal obesity and includes high blood pressure, insulin resistance and elevation of plasma cholesterol and triglycerides. It is highly associated with obesity and type-2 diabetes. Metabolic Syndrome incidence has been rising rapidly and it currently affects 34% of U.S. adults. The simplest treatment is simply exercise and weight loss. Also, mindfulness techniques have been shown to be effective in treating Metabolic Syndrome.

 

Obviously, there is a need for effective treatments to prevent or treat obesity and metabolic syndrome. But, despite copious research and a myriad of dietary and exercise programs, there still is no safe and effective treatment. Qigong practice is both an exercise and a mindfulness practice. It has been found to be effective for an array of physical and psychological issues. It appears to strengthen the immune systemreduce inflammation, and improve cardiovascular function. So, with indications of so many benefits it makes sense to step back and review the research and summarize what is known about the effects of Qigong training on metabolic syndrome.

 

In today’s Research News article “Wuqinxi Qigong as an Alternative Exercise for Improving Risk Factors Associated with Metabolic Syndrome: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6517947/), Zou and colleagues review, summarize, and perform a meta-analysis on the published randomized controlled trials investigating the effectiveness of Qigong practice for the treatment of metabolic syndrome. They identified 9 published research studies that included a total of 628 participants.

 

They report that the published research found that Qigong practice produced significant reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressure, total plasma triglycerides and cholesterol, including reductions in low density lipoproteins (LDL Cholesterol) and high density lipoproteins (HDL Cholesterol). In addition, they found that the longer the duration of practice the greater the decreases in diastolic blood pressure, total plasma triglycerides and cholesterol, and low density lipoproteins (LDL Cholesterol).

 

The findings are exciting as they suggest that Qigong practice is a safe and effective treatment for the symptoms of metabolic syndrome and the longer the practice continues the greater the benefits. Qigong is a gentle and safe mindfulness practice. It is appropriate for all ages including the elderly and for individuals with illnesses that limit their activities or range of motion. It is inexpensive to administer, can be performed in parks or alone, at home or in a facility, and can be quickly learned. In addition, it can be practiced in social groups. This can make it fun, improving the likelihood of long-term engagement in the practice. So, Qigong practice would appear to be an excellent gentle practice to treat the symptoms of metabolic syndrome.

 

So, improve metabolic syndrome with Qigong.

 

“Qigong exercise has shown promising results in clinical experience and in randomized, controlled pilot studies for affecting aspects of T2DM including positive associations between participation in Qigong and blood glucose, triglycerides, total cholesterol, weight, BMI and insulin resistance.” – Guan-Cheng Sun

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Zou, L., Zhang, Y., Sasaki, J. E., Yeung, A. S., Yang, L., Loprinzi, P. D., … Mai, Y. (2019). Wuqinxi Qigong as an Alternative Exercise for Improving Risk Factors Associated with Metabolic Syndrome: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. International journal of environmental research and public health, 16(8), 1396. doi:10.3390/ijerph16081396

 

Abstract

Background: The improvement of living standards has led to increases in the prevalence of hypokinetic diseases. In particular, multifactorial complex diseases, such as metabolic syndrome, are becoming more prevalent. Currently, developing effective methods to combat or prevent metabolic syndrome is of critical public health importance. Thus, we conducted a systematic review to evaluate the existing literature regarding the effects of Wuqinxi exercise on reducing risk factors related to metabolic syndrome. Methods:Both English- and Chinese-language databases were searched for randomized controlled trials investigating the effects of Wuqinxi on these outcomes. Meanwhile, we extracted usable data for computing pooled effect size estimates, along with the random-effects model. Results: The synthesized results showed positive effects of Wuqinxi exercise on systolic blood pressure (SBP, SMD = 0.62, 95% CI 0.38 to 0.85, p< 0.001, I2 = 24.06%), diastolic blood pressure (DBP, SMD = 0.62, 95% CI 0.22 to 1.00, p < 0.001, I2 = 61.28%), total plasma cholesterol (TC, SMD = 0.88, 95% CI 0.41 to 1.36, p < 0.001, I2 = 78.71%), triglyceride (TG, SMD = 0.87, 95% CI 0.49 to 1.24, p < 0.001, I2 = 67.22%), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C, SMD = 1.24, 95% CI 0.76 to 1.72, p < 0.001, I2 = 78.27%), and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL, SMD = 0.95, 95% CI 0.43 to 1.46, p < 0.001, I2 = 82.27%). In addition, regression results showed that longer-duration Wuqinxi intervention significantly improved DBP (β = 0.00016, Q = 5.72, df = 1, p = 0.02), TC (β = −0.00010, Q = 9.03, df = 1, p = 0.01), TG (β = 0.00012, Q = 6.23, df = 1, p = 0.01), and LDL (β = 0.00011, Q = 5.52, df = 1, p = 0.02). Conclusions: Wuqinxi may be an effective intervention to alleviate the cardiovascular disease risk factors of metabolic syndrome.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6517947/

 

Improve Glucose Control in Type 2 Diabetes with Tai Chi Practice

Improve Glucose Control in Type 2 Diabetes with Tai Chi Practice

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Gentle exercise has been shown by studies to prevent diabetes in 60 percent of cases. Therefore, since tai chi is a gentle exercise, we can assume that it’s effective in preventing and improving the control of diabetes.” – Paul Lam

 

Diabetes is a major health issue. It is estimated that 30 million people in the United States have diabetes and the numbers are growing. Type 2 Diabetes results from a resistance of tissues, especially fat tissues, to the ability of insulin to promote the uptake of glucose from the blood. As a result, blood sugar levels rise producing hyperglycemia. Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States. In addition, diabetes is heavily associated with other diseases such as cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, and circulatory problems leading to amputations. As a result, diabetes doubles the risk of death of any cause compared to individuals of the same age without diabetes.

 

Type 2 diabetes is a common and increasingly prevalent illness that is largely preventable. One of the reasons for the increasing incidence of Type 2 Diabetes is its association with overweight and obesity which is becoming epidemic in the industrialized world. Qigong and Tai Chi have been practiced for thousands of years with benefits for health and longevityQigong and Tai Chi trainings are designed to enhance function and regulate the activities of the body through controlled breathing, mindful concentration, and gentle movements. Diet and exercise are prescribed to treat Type 2 Diabetes.

 

Qigong and Tai Chi are gentle exercises that are potentially useful in treating Type 2 Diabetes. There are many forms of mindful movement and practice can occur with different frequencies and durations. It would be useful to know what types and durations of Tai Chi practice were best for the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes. In today’s Research News article “Different training durations and styles of tai chi for glucose control in patients with type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of controlled trials.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6419417/), Xia and colleagues review, summarize, and perform a meta-analysis of the published controlled research literature on the effectiveness of different types and durations of Tai Chi practice for the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes.

 

They identified 17 research studies that included a comparison, control, group. They report that the research finds that in general Tai Chi practice produces significant improvements in the metabolic profile of Type 2 Diabetes patients including a significant reduction in fasting blood glucose levels, plasma HbA1c, total cholesterol, triglycerides, and body mass index (BMI). For fasting blood glucose levels, plasma HbA1c these reductions were greatest when Tai Chi had been practiced for at least 3 months. These differences were not significant for Yang style movements of Tai Chi, but were significant for other Tai Chi styles.

 

These results suggest that only certain styles of Tai Chi practiced for at least 3 months are effective in treating Type 2 diabetes. These are useful findings that further clarify what are the most effective parameters for Tai Chi practice for treating Type 2 diabetes. It is important to recognize that Tai Chi is a gentle and safe exercise that is appropriate for all ages including the elderly and for individuals with illnesses. Also, Tai Chi is inexpensive to administer, can be performed in groups or alone, at home or in a facility, and can be quickly learned. In addition, it can be practiced in social groups. This can make it fun, improving the likelihood of long-term engagement in the practice. So, Tai Chi practice would appear to be an almost ideal gentle exercise to treat Type 2 Diabetes.

 

So, improve glucose control in Type 2 Diabetes with Tai Chi practice.

 

“According to two small studies, Tai Chi exercises can improve blood glucose levels and improve the control of type 2 diabetes and immune system response.” – Anna Sophia McKenney

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Xia, T. W., Yang, Y., Li, W. H., Tang, Z. H., Li, Z. R., & Qiao, L. J. (2019). Different training durations and styles of tai chi for glucose control in patients with type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of controlled trials. BMC complementary and alternative medicine, 19(1), 63. doi:10.1186/s12906-019-2475-y

 

Abstract

Background

Physical activity is an important part of the diabetes management plan. However, the effects caused by different training durations and styles of Tai Chi have not been evaluated. We conducted an updated systematic review of the effects of Tai Chi on patients with type 2 diabetes based on different training durations and styles.

Methods

We performed a search for Chinese and English studies in 8 databases. Two reviewers independently selected the eligible trials and conducted a critical appraisal of the methodological quality.

Results

Seventeen trials were included. Tai Chi was found to have reduced fasting blood glucose (FBG) [SMD = − 0.54, 95% CI (− 0.91, − 0.16), P = 0.005] and HbA1c [SMD = − 0.68, 95% CI (− 1.17, − 0.19), P = 0.006] overall, compared with a control group. Considering the subgroup analysis, the pooled results showed that 24 movements or Yang-style Tai Chi did not significantly reduce FBG after a duration of ≤3 months [SMD = − 0.46, 95% CI (− 1.42, 0.50), P = 0.35] or > 3 months [SMD = − 0.50, 95% CI (− 1.49, 0.49), P = 0.32], nor did it reduce HbA1c [SMD = − 1.22, 95% CI (− 2.90, 0.47), P = 0.16] after a duration > 3 months in all studies. However, other styles of Tai Chi significantly reduced FBG [SMD = − 0.90, 95% CI (− 1.28, − 0.52), P < 0.00001] and HbA1c [SMD = − 0.90, 95% CI (− 1.28, − 0.52), P < 0.00001] after a duration > 3 months, while no significant reduction in FBG [SMD = − 0.34, 95% CI (− 0.76, 0.08), P = 0.12] or HbA1c [SMD = − 0.34, 95% CI (− 0.76, 0.08), P = 0.12] was found after a duration ≤3 months.

Conclusions

Tai Chi seems to be effective in treating type 2 diabetes. Different training durations and styles result in variable effectiveness. The evidence was insufficient to support whether long-term Tai Chi training was more effective.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6419417/

 

Heighten Mental and Physical Well-Being with Mindfulness Training

Heighten Mental and Physical Well-Being with Mindfulness Training

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“By focusing on the here and now, many people who practice mindfulness find that they are less likely to get caught up in worries about the future or regrets over the past, are less preoccupied with concerns about success and self-esteem, and are better able to form deep connections with others. If greater well-being isn’t enough of an incentive, scientists have discovered that mindfulness techniques help improve physical health in a number of ways. Mindfulness can: help relieve stress, treat heart disease, lower blood pressure, reduce chronic pain, , improve sleep, and alleviate gastrointestinal difficulties.” – Harvard Health

 

Mindfulness training has been shown to be effective in improving physical and psychological health and particularly with the physical and psychological reactions to stress. Techniques such as Mindfulness Training, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) as well as Yoga practice and Tai Chi or Qigong practice have been demonstrated to be effective. This has led to an increasing adoption of these mindfulness techniques for the health and well-being of both healthy and ill individuals.

 

This research suggests that engaging in mindfulness practices can make you a better human being, with greater mental and physical well-being. In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness Training: Can It Create Superheroes?” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00613/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_951898_69_Psycho_20190404_arts_A), Jones and colleagues review and summarize the published research on the effects of mindfulness training on psychological and physical well-being.

 

They found that the published research presented substantial findings that mindfulness training enhanced physical functioning including improved health, decreased heart rate, blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood cortisol and resistance to disease, including improved stress responding, increased immune system response, and decreased inflammatory responses. They also report the mindfulness training produces tended to protect against the mental and physical effects of aging, including reduced cognitive decline and reduced brain deterioration. In addition, they report that mindfulness training produces improved cognitive processing, including improved heightened attentional ability, improved neural processing, and alterations of brain systems underlying consciousness. Mindfulness training also produced greater resilience and fearlessness, including improved emotion regulation, reduced responding to negative stimuli, lower pain responding, and lower fear conditioning. Mindfulness training also produced more self-less and pro-social behaviors, including increased altruism, increased kindness, and compassion. Finally, they report that mindfulness training can produce some control over autonomic responses.

 

This review suggests that people who engage in mindfulness training become superior in mental and physical health to non-practitioners and have superior cognitive abilities particularly in regard to attention and higher-level thinking. This doesn’t exactly make them “superheroes” but rather better versions of themselves.

 

So, heighten mental and physical well-being with mindfulness training.

 

Ultimately, engaging in mindfulness meditation cultivates our ability to both focus and broaden our attention, which is a practical way to elicit psychological well-being.” – Jennifer Wolkin

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Jones P (2019) Mindfulness Training: Can It Create Superheroes? Front. Psychol. 10:613. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00613

 

With the emergence of the science of heroism there now exists both theoretical and empirical literature on the characteristics of our everyday hero. We seek to expand this inquiry and ask what could be the causes and conditions of a superhero. To address this we investigate the origins of mindfulness, Buddhist psychology and the assertion that its practitioners who have attained expertise in mindfulness practices can develop supernormal capabilities. Examining first their foundational eight “jhana” states (levels of attention) and the six consequent “abhinnas” (siddhis or special abilities) that arise from such mental mastery, we then explore any evidence that mindfulness practices have unfolded the supernormal potential of its practitioners. We found a growing base of empirical literature suggesting some practitioners exhibit indicators of enhanced functioning including elevated physical health and resistance to disease, increased immunity to aging and improved cognitive processing, greater resilience and fearlessness, more self-less and pro-social behaviors, some control over normally autonomic responses, and possibly some paranormal functionality. These improvements in normal human functioning provide some evidence that there are practices that develop these abilities, and as such we might want to consider adopting them to develop this capability. There are however insufficient studies of expert meditators and more research of adepts is called for that explores the relationship between levels of attentional skill and increases in functionality. We propose in search of the superhero, that if conventional mindfulness training can already augment mental and physical capabilities, a more serious inquiry and translation of its advanced methods into mainstream psychological theory is warranted.

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00613/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_951898_69_Psycho_20190404_arts_A

Improve Health with Qigong

Improve Health with Qigong

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

The health benefits from Qigong and Tai Chi comes about both by supporting the body’s natural tendency to return to balance and equilibrium and also gently yet profoundly creating strength, flexibility and balance in the muscles and joints through gentle flowing movements.” – Denise Nagel

 

Qigong and Tai Chi have been practiced for thousands of years with benefits for health and longevity. Qigong and Tai Chi training are designed to enhance function and regulate the activities of the body through regulated breathing, mindful concentration, and gentle movements. Only recently though have the effects of Qigong practice been scrutinized with empirical research. It has been found to be effective for an array of physical and psychological issues. It appears to strengthen the immune systemreduce inflammationincrease the number of cancer killing cells in the bloodstream and improve cardiovascular function.

 

Because Qigong is not strenuous, involving slow gentle movements, and is safe, having no appreciable side effects, it is appropriate for all ages including the elderly and for individuals with illnesses that limit their activities or range of motion. So, with indications of so many benefits it makes sense to step back and review the research on the effects of Qigong training on health and well-being.

 

In today’s Research News article “Beneficial Effects of Qigong Wuqinxi in the Improvement of Health Condition, Prevention, and Treatment of Chronic Diseases: Evidence from a Systematic Review.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6220394/ ), Guo and colleagues review and summarize the published research literature on the effects of Qigong practice on physical and psychological health. They found 28 published research studies.

 

They report that the research finds that Qigong practice by healthy adults produces improvements in cognitive functions including concentration and attention, strengthens the immune system, improves body shape and size, physical function, and the cardiovascular system, improves mood and psychological well-being, improves lipid metabolism, slows physiological indicators of aging, and reduces inflammation. For clinical populations, they report that the research indicates that Qigong practice reduces depression, and improves osteoarthritis, including knee osteoarthritis, metabolic syndrome, and blood fat levels.

 

Conclusions from these very exciting findings must be tempered as the research methodologies were often weak. More tightly controlled studies are needed. Regardless, these findings suggest that Qigong practice produces improved physical and psychological health in both healthy adults and people with mental and physical diseases. These are a remarkable set of benefits from this simple practice and suggest the reason why it has continued to be practiced by large numbers of people for hundreds of years. Hence, this simple, inexpensive, convenient, safe, and fun practice may improve the participants ability to successfully conduct their lives, improving health and well-being.

 

So, improve health with Qigong.

 

“A compelling body of research emerges when Tai Chi studies and the growing body of Qigong studies are combined. The evidence suggests that a wide range of health benefits accrue in response to these meditative movement forms.” – Dr. Mercola

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Guo, Y., Xu, M., Wei, Z., Hu, Q., Chen, Y., Yan, J., & Wei, Y. (2018). Beneficial Effects of Qigong Wuqinxi in the Improvement of Health Condition, Prevention, and Treatment of Chronic Diseases: Evidence from a Systematic Review. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2018, 3235950. doi:10.1155/2018/3235950

 

Abstract

Purpose

Qigong is a modality of traditional Chinese mind-body medicine that has been used to prevent and cure ailments, to improve health in China for thousands of years. Wuqinxi, a Chinese traditional Qigong that focuses on mind-body integration, is thought to be an effective exercise in promoting physical and mental wellbeing. Thus, we summarized the evidence and aim to unravel effects of Wuqinxi on health outcomes.

Methods

We performed a systematic review of Wuqinxi studies published in English or Chinese since 1979. Relevant English and Chinese language electronic data bases were used for literature search. The selection of studies, data extraction, and validation were performed independently by two reviewers.

Results

A total of 28 eligible studies were included in this review, among which three are 3 in English and 25 in Chinese. The studies included in this review involve three different experimental designs: (1) 16 RCTs; (2) 2 historical cohort studies; and (3) 10 pretest and posttest studies (PPS). Participants in this review are categorized as either healthy or clinical populations. The results from this systematic review support the notion that Wuqinxi may be effective as an adjunctive rehabilitation method for improving psychological and physiological wellbeing among different age of healthy populations in addition to alleviating and treating diseases among various clinical populations.

Conclusion

The results indicated that Wuqinxi has been thought to be beneficial to improve health and treat chronic diseases. However, the methodological problems in the majority of included studies make it difficult to draw firm conclusive statements. More methodologically rigorous designed large-scale RCTs with a long-term follow-up assessment should be further conducted to examine the effects of Wuqixi on health-related parameters and disease-specific measures in different health conditions. This systematic review lends insight for future studies on Wuqinxi and its potential application in preventive and rehabilitation medicine.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6220394/