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/

 

Reduce Painful Diabetic Neuropathy with Mindfulness

Reduce Painful Diabetic Neuropathy with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

Meditation techniques can help people struggling with neuropathy symptoms live through their pain. It can help to lower stress, improve your coping skills, and decrease your pain intensity. Taking a mind-body approach is a noninvasive technique that provides you with more control over your condition.” – Healthline

 

Managing Diabetes can be difficult on the health and quality of life of the patient. In addition, Diabetes can lead to a very painful condition known as diabetic neuropathy. The high blood glucose levels associated with diabetes can damage nerves and result in a burning pain and numbness, particularly from the legs and feet. It affects the majority of long-term diabetes patients. This is not only painful but is also disruptive to the normal life functions of these patients. There are no cures, but diabetic neuropathy can be prevented by blood glucose control in the diabetic patient with a rigorous program of measured diet and exercise. Treatment for diabetic neuropathy usually involves pain management with drugs.

 

Mindfulness practices have been shown to help with pain management and with quality of life in diabetes patients. It is possible, then, that mindfulness practices may be effective in reducing pain and improving quality of life in patients with diabetic neuropathy. In today’s Research News article “Randomized Trial of the Effect of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction on Pain-Related Disability, Pain Intensity, Health-Related Quality of Life, and A1C in Patients With Painful Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5734176/ ), Nathan and colleagues examined the effectiveness of mindfulness training on reducing pain and improving the quality of life in patients with Painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy (PDPN).

 

They recruited adults with Type II Diabetes and with Painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy (PDPN). The participants were maintained on their usual pharmacological treatments and randomly assigned to a wait-list or to receive an additional 8-week program, once weekly 2.5 hour sessions and home practice, of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). The mindfulness program consists of group discussion and training in sitting, walking, and body scan meditations, and yoga practice. They were measured before and after training and 3 months later for pain related disability, pain severity, pain catastrophizing, health related and diabetic neuropathy related quality of life, depression, diabetes self-care, blood sugar reactions, and A1C levels, a measure of long-term blood glucose control.

 

They found that in comparison to baseline and the wait-list control, the participants who received Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) training had significantly improved scores on all measures including lower pain related disability, pain severity, pain catastrophizing, depression health related and diabetic neuropathy related quality of life, diabetes self-care, blood sugar reactions, and A1C levels. These improvements were maintained at the 3-month follow-up. In addition, there was a high retention rate with 94% of the treated patients completing the 8-week training and the 3-month follow-up.

 

These results are striking and important. Diabetic Neuropathy is a torment for Type II Diabetes patients and mindfulness training was found to markedly improve this condition. It increased quality of life and health and decreased pain and pain associated psychological and physical difficulties. This relief of suffering in important and remarkable and should lead to a recommendation for mindfulness training to be included in the usual care of patients with Painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy (PDPN).

 

So, reduce painful diabetic neuropathy with mindfulness.

 

“When people with diabetes are more mindful – being calmly aware of what is going on around them, inside their bodies and in their minds – they can potentially make healthier lifestyle choices, such as diet, medication and exercise, that help lower their blood glucose. Additionally, stress reduction decreases the amount of stress hormones, such as cortisol, in the blood. When elevated for too long, cortisol can cause anxiety, depression, digestive problems, heart disease, sleep problems, weight gain and memory and concentration problems.” – Diabetes Canada

 

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

 

Nathan, H. J., Poulin, P., Wozny, D., Taljaard, M., Smyth, C., Gilron, I., Sorisky, A., Lochnan, H., … Shergill, Y. (2017). Randomized Trial of the Effect of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction on Pain-Related Disability, Pain Intensity, Health-Related Quality of Life, and A1C in Patients With Painful Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy. Clinical diabetes : a publication of the American Diabetes Association, 35(5), 294-304.

 

Abstract

IN BRIEF Painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy (PDPN) has a large negative impact on patients’ physical and mental functioning, and pharmacological therapies rarely provide more than partial relief. Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is a group psychosocial intervention that was developed for patients with chronic illness who were not responding to existing medical treatments. This study tested the effects of community-based MBSR courses for patients with PDPN. Among patients whose PDPN pharmacotherapy had been optimized in a chronic pain clinic, those randomly assigned to treatment with MBSR experienced improved function, better health-related quality of life, and reduced pain intensity, pain catastrophizing, and depression compared to those receiving usual care.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5734176/

 

Tai Chi Practice Improves Type II Diabetes

 

T

ai Chi Practice Improves Type II Diabetes

 

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 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 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 “The Effects of Tai Chi on Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Meta-Analysis.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6079589/ ), Chao and colleagues review, summarize, and perform a meta-analysis of the published randomized controlled trials of the efficacy of Tai Chi practice for the treatment of Type II Diabetes. They identified 14 published research studies.

 

They found that the published research reports that Tai Chi practice produces a significant reduction in fasting blood glucose, blood glucose 2 hours after eating, and HbA1c levels in comparison to non-exercise control conditions, but equivalent reductions to aerobic exercises. The levels of HbA1c in the blood is a marker of blood glucose fluctuations. Diabetes management requires reducing fluctuations of blood glucose fluctuations. So, reduced HbA1c levels indicates better control. Hence, Tai Chi practice is as effective as aerobic exercises such as walking, running, and dancing in improving blood glucose levels and reduced fluctuations in blood glucose in people with Type II Diabetes.

 

This is important as Tai Chi practice is completely safe, can be used with the elderly and sickly, is 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, it 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. Hence, Tai Chi would appear to be an excellent treatment for helping to control blood glucose levels in  people with Type II Diabetes.

 

So, Tai Chi practice improves Type II Diabetes.

 

Combining tai chi with a healthful diet, other daily exercises and solid medical care could help people with diabetes and pre-diabetes to increase their health, manage their condition and prevent further symptoms.” – Mark Stibich

 

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

 

Chao, M., Wang, C., Dong, X., & Ding, M. (2018). The Effects of Tai Chi on Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Meta-Analysis. Journal of diabetes research, 2018, 7350567. doi:10.1155/2018/7350567

 

Abstract

Objective

To investigate the effects of Tai chi in type 2 diabetes mellitus (type-2 DM) patients using systematic review and meta-analysis.

Methods

Seven electronic resource databases were searched, and randomized controlled trials on the role of Tai chi in type-2 DM patients were retrieved. The meta-analysis was performed with RevMan 5.3, and research quality evaluation was conducted with the modified Jadad scale.

Results

Fourteen studies, with 798 individuals related to the intervention of Tai chi on diabetes, were included. The results showed that, compared with nonexercise, Tai chi had the effect of lowering fasting blood glucose [MD = −1.39, 95% CI (−1.95, −0.84), P < 0.0001] and the subgroup effect size decreased with the increase of total exercise amount, there is no significant difference between Tai chi and other aerobic exercises [MD = −0.50, 95% CI (−1.02, 0.02), P = 0.06]; compared with nonexercise, Tai chi could reduce HbA1c [MD = −0.21, 95% CI (−0.61, 0.19), P = 0.31], and the group effect size decreased with the increase of total exercise amount. The reducing HbA1c effect of Tai chi was better than that of other aerobic exercises, but the difference was at the margin of statistical significance [MD = −0.19, 95% CI (−0.37, 0.00), P = 0.05]; compared with nonexercise, Tai chi had the effect of reducing 2 h postprandial blood glucose [MD = −2.07, 95% CI (−2.89, −1.26), P = 0.0002], there is no significant difference between Tai chi and other aerobic exercises in reducing 2 h postprandial blood glucose [MD = −0.44, 95% CI (−1.42, 0.54), P = 0.38].

Conclusion

Tai chi can effectively affect the management of blood glucose and HbA1c in type-2 DM patients. Long-term adherence to Tai chi has a better role in reducing blood glucose and HbA1c levels in type 2 DM patients.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6079589/

 

Improve Autonomic Function, Metabolism, and Physical Fitness with Tai Chi

Improve Autonomic Function, Metabolism, and Physical Fitness with Tai Chi

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

Qigong and Tai Chi initiate the “relaxation response,” which is fostered when the mind is freed from its many distractions. This decreases the sympathetic function of the autonomic nervous system, which in turn reduces heart rate and blood pressure, dilates the blood capillaries, and optimizes the delivery of oxygen and nutrition to the tissues.”

 

Tai Chi has been practiced for thousands of years with benefits for health and longevity. Tai Chi training is 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 Tai Chi 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 system, reduce inflammationincrease the number of cancer killing cells in the bloodstream and improve cardiovascular function.

 

Because Tai Chi 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 explore further the effects of Tai Chi training on physical and psychological well-being.

 

In today’s Research News article “Effect of Tai Chi Synergy T1 Exercise on Autonomic Function, Metabolism, and Physical Fitness of Healthy Individuals.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2018/6351938/ ), Tai and colleagues recruited adults and randomly assigned them to either participate in 12 weeks, once a week for 60 minutes, of either Tai Chi synergy T1 exercise or a metabolically equivalent walking exercise. “Tai Chi synergy T1 exercise is an aerobic exercise composed of movements derived not only from Tai Chi exercise but also from Eight Trigrams Palms, form and will boxing, mantis boxing, Qigong, and Yoga . . . The 60-minute exercise involves 4 exercise elements: handwork, trunk work, legwork, and whole-body work. The 3 levels of exercise intensity, light, average, and heavy, are adjusted according to the tolerance and fitness of the exerciser.” The participants were measured before and after the 12 weeks of training for body size and fatness, heart rate and blood pressure, serum glucose and cholesterol, physical fitness, bone density, and cell counts of immune regulator cells, including T cells, CD3+ cells, CD19+ B cells, CD16-CD56- cytotoxic T cells, and CD16+CD56+ NK/T cells.

 

They found that both exercises decreased the Body Mass Index (BMI) indicating decreased body fatness and also increased parasympathetic control of heart rate and blood pressure suggesting reduced activation and greater relaxation. Tai Chi synergy T1 exercise, but not walking, was found to significantly improve physical fitness and reduce blood levels of glucose and cholesterol. Tai Chi synergy T1 exercise was also found to improve immune system function as indicated by significantly increased T cells, CD3+ T cells, CD19+ B cells, and CD16+CD56+NK cells and significantly decreased CD3+ cytotoxic T cells.

 

These results are impressive especially as the group sizes were relatively small, 26 and 23 participants. They suggest that Tai Chi synergy T1 exercise is safe and effective in improving the physical health of participants; improving body fatness, physiological relaxation, physical fitness, and immune system function. Metabolically equivalent walking exercise also improved physical health, but not to the same extent as Tai Chi synergy T1 exercise.

 

It is well established that exercise is important for health. There’s no question there. There is, however, a question as to what exercises may be best for which group of people. Tai Chi and similar mindful movement exercises have been shown to improve cardiovascular fitness, muscle recovery after exercise, movement and flexibility, and immune and metabolic function. The present study demonstrated that a particular form of augmented Tai Chi is very effective in improving health. It would be interesting to compare the effectgiveness of various forms of mindful movement prctices.

 

So, improve autonomic function, metabolism, and physical fitness with Tai Chi.

 

“Qigong practice activate a number of the body’s self regulating systems which are responsible for the balanced function of the tissues, organs and glands. The uptake of oxygen, as well as, oxygen metabolism is tremendously enhanced by Qigong practice.” – Roger Jahnke

 

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

 

Hsu-Chih Tai, Yi-Sheng Chou, I-Shiang Tzeng, et al., “Effect of Tai Chi Synergy T1 Exercise on Autonomic Function, Metabolism, and Physical Fitness of Healthy Individuals,” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2018, Article ID 6351938, 7 pages, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/6351938.

 

Abstract

Objectives. Tai Chi synergy T1 exercise is an aerobic exercise derived mainly from Tai Chi exercise. It is also derived from the Eight Trigrams Palms, form and will boxing, mantis boxing, Qigong, and Yoga, with a total of 16 sessions in 63 minutes. In this study, we investigated its effects on autonomic modulation, metabolism, immunity, and physical function in healthy practitioners. Method. We recruited a total of 26 volunteers and 23 control participants. Heart rate variability (HRV), blood pressure, and body mass index (BMI) were recorded before and after practicing Tai Chi synergy T1 exercise and regular walking for 10 weeks, respectively. Serum glucose, cholesterol, and peripheral blood including B and T cell counts were also measured. They underwent one-minute bent-knee sit-ups, sit and reach test, and three-minute gradual step test. Results. Tai Chi synergy T1 exercise enhanced parasympathetic modulation and attenuated sympathetic nerve control with increased very low frequency (VLF) and high frequency (HF) but decreased low frequency (LF) compared to the control group. Metabolic profiles including serum glucose, cholesterol, and BMI significantly improved after exercise. The exercise enhanced innate and adaptive immunity by increasing the counts of CD3+ T cells, CD19+ B cells, and CD16+CD56+ NK cells but decreasing the CD3+ cytotoxic T cell count. All monitored parameters including physical fitness and physical strength improved after the exercise. Conclusion. Tai Chi synergy T1 exercise improves autonomic modulation, body metabolism, physical fitness, and physical strength after 10 weeks of practice.

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2018/6351938/

 

Improve Diabetes with Meditation

Improve Diabetes with Meditation

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“As a therapist who works primarily with people with diabetes, I have found that those who have a deeper understanding of themselves and have the ability to cope well with stressful life events simply live better with diabetes, both in terms of diabetes control and general quality of life.” – Joseph Nelson

 

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. 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. There is a need for further research into this promising approach to the treatment of patients with diabetes.

 

In today’s Research News article “Mind–Body Interactions and Mindfulness Meditation in Diabetes.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5954593/ ), Priya and Kalra review and summarize the published research literature on the effectiveness of meditation-based practices for patients with diabetes. They report that the research found that meditation produces changes to the brain areas that reduce the physiological and psychological responses to stress and this improves emotion regulation and coping responses to the disease and overall feelings of well-being.

 

They report that in diabetes patients, meditation-based treatments have been found to improve the psychological state of the patients including improved mood and reduced psychological distress, anxiety, and depression and increased self-care behaviors. These treatments also appear to improve the diabetes patient’s physiological state including lower weight and waist circumference, improved glycemic control, and improved cardiovascular health, including blood pressure, heart rate variability, and vascular resistance.

 

Hence, the published research indicates that meditation-based practices are safe and effective treatments for diabetes patients. “To summarise, mindfulness interventions have demonstrated impact on a broad range of outcomes relating to all domains of holistic care in diabetes – biological, psychological and also social” (Priya and Kalra, 2018).

 

So, improve diabetes with meditation.

 

“Exercise trains the body and meditation train the mind. Many people with diabetes find meditation is a good way to reduce stress, lower blood sugar levels, lower blood pressure readings and minimize pain. Regular meditation should become an important part of your diabetes self-management program.” – Roberta Kleinman

 

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

 

Priya, G., & Kalra, S. (2018). Mind–Body Interactions and Mindfulness Meditation in Diabetes. European Endocrinology, 14(1), 35–41. http://doi.org/10.17925/EE.2018.14.1.35

 

Abstract

Diabetes is associated with significant psychological distress. It is, therefore, important to ensure the physical and emotional as well as psychosocial wellbeing of individuals living with diabetes. Meditation-based strategies have been evaluated for their complementary role in several chronic disorders including depression, anxiety, obesity, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The practice of meditation is associated with reduction in stress and negative emotions and improvements in patient attitude, health-related behaviour and coping skills. There is increased parasympathetic activity with reduction in sympathetic vascular tone, stress hormones and inflammatory markers. Additionally, several studies evaluated the role of mindfulness-based stress reduction in diabetic individuals and demonstrated modest improvements in body weight, glycaemic control and blood pressure. Thus, mindfulness meditation-based intervention can lead to improvements across all domains of holistic care – biological, psychological and social. Though most of these studies have been of short duration and included small numbers of patients, meditation strategies can be useful adjunctive techniques to lifestyle modification and pharmacological management of diabetes and help improve patient wellbeing.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5954593/

Improve Glucodynamics in Coronary Artery Disease with Meditation

Improve Glucodynamics in Coronary Artery Disease with Meditation

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

Meditation can be a useful part of cardiovascular risk reduction/ I do recommend it, along with diet and exercise. It can also help decrease the sense of stress and anxiety.” – Deepak Bhatt

 

Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) disease is the number one killer, claiming more lives than all forms of cancer combined. “Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. About 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year–that’s 1 in every 4 deaths. Every year about 735,000 Americans have a heart attack.” (Centers for Disease Control). Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) is highly associated with Type 2 diabetes and those with Type 2 diabetes have a significantly higher risk of death from CAD. So, control of blood glucose and insulin levels are important in the treatment and prevention of CAD.

 

A myriad of treatments has been developed for heart disease including a variety of surgical procedures and medications. But the safest effective treatments are lifestyle changes. These include quitting smoking, weight reduction, improved diet, physical activity, and reducing stresses. Cardiac rehabilitation programs for patients recovering from a heart attack, emphasize these lifestyle changes. Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, 60% of cardiac patients decline participation, making these patients at high risk for another attack. Other safe and effective treatments for cardiovascular disease are 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 lifestyle changes needed to prevent heart disease such as smoking cessationweight reduction, and stress reduction.

 

In today’s Research News article “Effect of 6 months of meditation on blood sugar, glycosylated hemoglobin, and insulin levels in patients of coronary artery disease. Int J Yoga.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: http://www.ijoy.org.in/article.asp?issn=0973-6131;year=2018;volume=11;issue=2;spage=122;epage=128;aulast=Sinha ), Sinha and colleagues recruited patients with Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) and prescribed for them a program of medications and dietary restrictions. They were then randomly assigned to either receive an additional meditation practice or no further treatment. Meditation was focused on breathing, the body, distress, and self-compassion and was practiced twice a week for 6 months. They were measured before during and after treatment for hemoglobin, blood sugar, fasting glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c), and fasting serum insulin.

 

They found that after treatment the meditation group but not the control group had significant decreases in fasting and after meal blood sugar and fasting glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c), a marker of good control of blood glucose levels. It is good to remember that all of these patients, meditation, and control, received standard dietary and drug treatments. So, the beneficial effects of meditation were additional to the effects of the usual treatment. Hence, meditation improved markers of the development of type 2 diabetes in these patients with Coronary Artery Disease (CAD). Unfortunately, there wasn’t a control in the study for expectancy, experimenter bias, or attentional effects, so the conclusions must be tempered with caution.

 

Mindfulness training has previously been shown to be helpful in the treatment of diabetes. The importance of the present findings is that meditation can also help prevent type 2 diabetes in a delicate and vulnerable population of patients with CAD. This suggests that meditation training may help to promote the health and well-being and potentially the longevity of CAD patients.

 

So, improve glucodynamics in coronary artery disease with meditation.

 

“meditation, which includes mindfulness approaches and Transcendental Meditation, can be considered in addition to existing standard treatment for heart problems, including lowering cholesterol, losing weight and stopping smoking.” – American Heart Association

 

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

 

Sinha SS, Jain AK, Tyagi S, Gupta S K, Mahajan AS. Effect of 6 months of meditation on blood sugar, glycosylated hemoglobin, and insulin levels in patients of coronary artery disease. Int J Yoga 2018;11:122-8

 

Background and Objectives: Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. It has been recognized that stress, diabetes, and hypertension are important in etiology and progression of CAD. This study is to evaluate the role of meditation in improving biochemical parameters such as blood glucose, glycosylated hemoglobin, and serum insulin levels in known CAD patients. Material and Methods: Sixty CAD patients are divided into two groups of which one group did meditation and other did not. Blood glucose, glycosylated hemoglobin, and fasting serum insulin levels were measured before and at the end of 6 months of study in both the groups. Results: At the end of the study, significant decrease was seen in patients who practiced meditation as compared to other group. Conclusion: Meditation may modulate the physiological response to stress through neurohumoral activation, which may be a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of CAD.

http://www.ijoy.org.in/article.asp?issn=0973-6131;year=2018;volume=11;issue=2;spage=122;epage=128;aulast=Sinha

Improve Type II Diabetes with Yoga

Improve Type II Diabetes with Yoga

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Regular yoga practice can help reduce the level of sugar in the blood, along with lowering blood pressure, keeping a weight check, reducing the symptoms and slowing the rate of progression of diabetes, as well as lessening the severity of further complications.” – The Art of Living

 

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 as a therapeutic intervention for the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: http://www.ijoy.org.in/article.asp?issn=0973-6131;year=2018;volume=11;issue=2;spage=129;epage=138;aulast=Mondal ), Mondal and colleagues recruited older sedentary women (aged 55-70 years) with Type 2 Diabetes and randomly assigned them to either a yoga practice or a wait-list control group. Yoga practice occurred for 35-55 minutes, 3 days per week for 12 weeks and included postures, breathing exercises, meditation, and chanting. The women were measured before, mid-point, and after training for body size, fasting and after meal plasma glucose, total cholesterol, TG, low-density lipoprotein, very low-density lipoprotein, and high-density lipoprotein.

 

They found that after 6 and 12 weeks of yoga practice there were significant improvements in the blood glucose and blood fat markers of Type 2 Diabetes including reductions in blood glucose, total blood fat, cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein, and very low-density lipoprotein, and increases in high-density lipoprotein. Hence the group that practiced yoga showed significant improvements in these markers of Type II Diabetes. Although the women were not followed beyond the time frame of the study, these improvements would predict better overall health and longevity.

 

These are interesting results that are similar to previous reports that is yoga practice is helpful in the treatment of Type II Diabetes. They extend these findings to older sedentary women. Because the control condition did not contain any activities, it cannot be concluded that yoga practice per se was necessary for the improvements. It is possible that any form of exercise would have produced similar results in this sedentary group. Future research needs to include groups performing other forms of exercise to compare to yoga practice. But it is clear that yoga practice is beneficial for the health of these older women with Type II Diabetes

 

So, improve Type II Diabetes with yoga.

 

“For those wondering how to prevent diabetes or even relieve the condition, a number of studies have revealed that yoga can reduce contributing factors and help patients cope with diabetic symptoms. Although regular exercise can help, 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

 

Mondal S, Kundu B, Saha S. Yoga as a therapeutic intervention for the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Int J Yoga 2018;11:129-38

Purpose: This study aimed to investigate the effects of 12 weeks yogic intervention on blood sugar and lipid profile in elder women with Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Subjects and Methods: Twenty elderly (age range 55–70 years) T2DM women were divided into two groups, namely, yogic intervention group (YIG: n = 10, age 64.70 ± 4.03, body mass index [BMI] 24.26 ± 3.40) and control group (CG: n = 10, age 64.40 ± 4.79, BMI 24.28 ± 2.36). YIG underwent yoga practice (Asanas, Kriyas, Pranayamas) for 12 weeks (3 sessions/week), while the CG continued their usual routine activities. Standing height, body weight, BMI, blood sugar, and lipid profile were measured before commencement and after 6 and 12 weeks of yogic intervention in both groups. Results: There was a significant (P < 0.01) decrease in fasting plasma glucose, postprandial blood sugar, total cholesterol, triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein, and very low density lipoprotein, with a significant (P < 0.01) increase in high-density lipoprotein level from its initial value in YIG, while showing insignificant result in CG. Conclusion: It can be said that yogic intervention may have the beneficial effects on blood sugar and lipid profile in elderly women with T2DM.

http://www.ijoy.org.in/article.asp?issn=0973-6131;year=2018;volume=11;issue=2;spage=129;epage=138;aulast=Mondal

 

Improve Adult Onset Diabetes with Qigong

Improve Adult Onset Diabetes with Qigong

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“After 12 weeks, the qigong patients had lowered their fasting blood glucose and their levels of self-reported stress and improved their insulin resistance. The gentle exercise group also brought down blood glucose levels, though somewhat less…and lowered stress.” – BottomLine

 

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. Only recently though have the effects of these practices been scrutinized with empirical research. This research has found that they are effective for an array of physical and psychological issues.

 

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. In today’s Research News article “The Effects of Qigong on Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5817377/ ), Meng and colleagues review, summarize, and perform a meta-analysis of the 21 published research studies regarding the effectiveness of Qigong practice in the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes.

 

The summary of the research indicates that Qigong practice improves fasting glucose levels in Type 2 Diabetes patients when compared to a no-exercise condition, but the improvement is not significantly different than that produced by other exercise programs. Importantly, Qigong practice was found to improve Glycosylated Hemoglobin (HbA1c) and two-hour postprandial (after eating) blood glucose levels both in comparison to no-exercise and other exercise groups. Hence, the published research suggests that Qigong practice is superior to other exercises in improving the symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes.

 

These are encouraging findings. Qigong practice appears to be an almost ideal exercise for adult-onset diabetes (Type 2). It not only produces better results than other exercises but it is also not strenuous, involving slow gentle movements, 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, is 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, it can be practiced in social groups without professional supervision. This can make it fun, improving the likelihood of long-term engagement in the practice.

 

So, improve adult onset diabetes with Qigong.

 

“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. . . . You can practice Tai Chi almost anywhere. Stress stands in the way of controlling diabetes. Since tai chi encourages mental relaxation and reduces stress, it follows that Tai Chi can improve the control of diabetes.” – 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

 

Meng, D., Chunyan, W., Xiaosheng, D., & Xiangren, Y. (2018). The Effects of Qigong on Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : eCAM, 2018, 8182938. http://doi.org/10.1155/2018/8182938

 

Abstract

Objective

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of Qigong on type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) using the systematic review and meta-analysis.

Methods

All prospective, randomized, controlled clinical trials published in English or Chinese and involving the use of Qigong by patients with DM were searched in 7 electronic databases from their respective inception to June 2016. The meta-analysis was conducted using the Revman 5.2. The quality of the included trials was assessed using the Jadad rating scale. Two researchers independently completed the inclusion, data extraction, and quality assessment.

Results

Twenty-one trials with 1326 patients met the inclusion criteria and were reviewed. The meta-analysis demonstrated that, compared with no exercise, the Qigong had significant effects on fasting blood glucose (MD = −0.99, 95% CI (−1.23, 0.75), P < 0.0001), HbA1c (MD = −0.84, 95% CI (−1.02, −0.65), P < 0.0001), and postprandial blood glucose (MD = −1.55, 95% CI (−2.19, −0.91), P < 0.00001).

Conclusion

The Qigong training can improve the blood glucose status of the type 2 DM patients and has positive effects on the management of type 2 DM. However, future research with better quality still needs to be conducted to address the effects of Qigong on type 2 DM.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5817377/

 

Decrease Stroke Risk with Tai Chi or Qigong

Decrease Stroke Risk with Tai Chi or Qigong

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“One of the main issues that a stroke survivor experiences is a problem with balance. . .This is where tai chi can make a huge difference. With a complete focus on slow, controlled, and repetitive movements, tai chi is effective in improving one’s balance through dynamic motion and coordination”. Saebo

 

Every year, more than 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke and it is the third leading cause of death, killing around 140,000 Americans each year. A stroke results from an interruption of the blood supply to the brain, depriving it of needed oxygen and nutrients. This can result in the death of brain cells and depending on the extent of the damage produce profound loss of function. Strokes come in two varieties. The most common (87%) is ischemic stroke resulting from a blocked artery. But strokes can also occur due to leaking or rupture of a blood vessel in the brain, known as hemorrhagic stroke.

 

There are a number of risk factors for stroke that are unchangeable, such as family history, age, and genes. But there are a very large number of factors that are under our control including high blood pressure, smoking, high cholesterol, poor diet, sedentariness, and obesity. Given this list it is clear that basic physical fitness and exercise would be excellent for stroke prevention. The ancient mindful movement technique Tai Chi is a very safe form of gentle exercise that appears to be beneficial for stroke victims.

 

In today’s Research News article “Efficacy of Tai Chi and qigong for the prevention of stroke and stroke risk factors: A systematic review with meta-analysis.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5690748/ ),

Lauche and colleagues review, summarize, and perform a meta-analysis of the effects of Tai Chi or Qigong practice on risk factors for Stroke. They did not find any trials that reported actual incidence of stroke, but found 21 research controlled trials that reported on risk factors for stroke, including hypertension, hyperlipidaemia, diabetes, overweight or obesity, or metabolic syndrome.

 

They found that the published research reported that Tai Chi or Qigong practice produced significant improvement in hypertension including reductions in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. The studies also reported significant improvements in hyperlipidaemia, including lower levels of triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol, and higher levels of HDL cholesterol and in diabetes including fasting blood glucose levels and insulin sensitivity. Tai Chi or Qigong practice was also found to improve the body weight index in overweight and obese individuals. No adverse events were reported in any of the trials.

 

These results are remarkable in the breadth and extent of the effects of Tai Chi or Qigong practice on risk factors for stroke. Although there were no direct measures of stroke incidence the reductions in risk factors would predict a reduction, over the long-term of the likelihood and incidence of stroke. Lauche and colleagues, however, caution that the trials tended to be of low quality with considerable risk of bias. Hence, conclusions need to be tempered and the results needs to be confirmed with more highly controlled trials.

 

The review found evidence that Tai Chi or Qigong practices are safe, with no negative effects or adverse reactions. In addition, they can be implemented to large numbers of individuals at relatively low cost, can be conveniently practiced at home or in a clinic, and can be practiced alone or in groups. Also, since the practice is gentle and safe it can be used with frail, sickly or elderly individuals. Hence, Tai Chi or Qigong practice appears to be an excellent treatment for the reduction of the risk for stroke in vulnerable individuals.

 

So, decrease stroke risk with Tai Chi or Qigong.

 

“The main physical benefits of Tai Chi are better balance, improved strength, flexibility and aerobic endurance. Psycho-social benefits include less depression, anxiety and stress, and better quality of life.” – Ruth E. Taylor-Piliae

 

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

 

Lauche, R., Peng, W., Ferguson, C., Cramer, H., Frawley, J., Adams, J., & Sibbritt, D. (2017). Efficacy of Tai Chi and qigong for the prevention of stroke and stroke risk factors: A systematic review with meta-analysis. Medicine, 96(45), e8517. http://doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000008517

 

Abstract

Background:

This review aims to summarize the evidence of Tai Chi and qigong interventions for the primary prevention of stroke, including the effects on populations with major stroke risk factors.

Methods:

A systematic literature search was conducted on January 16, 2017 using the PubMed, Scopus, Cochrane Library, and CINAHL databases. Randomized controlled trials examining the efficacy of Tai Chi or qigong for stroke prevention and stroke risk factors were included. Risk of bias was assessed using the Cochrane Risk of Bias tool.

Results:

Twenty-one trials with n = 1604 patients with hypertension, hyperlipidaemia, diabetes, overweight or obesity, or metabolic syndrome were included. No trials were found that examined the effects of Tai Chi/qigong on stroke incidence. Meta-analyses revealed significant, but not robust, benefits of Tai Chi/qigong over no interventions for hypertension (systolic blood pressure: −15.55 mm Hg (95% CI: −21.16; −9.95); diastolic blood pressure: −10.66 mm Hg (95% CI: −14.90, −6.43); the homeostatic model assessment (HOMA) index (−2.86%; 95% CI: −5.35, −0.38) and fasting blood glucose (−9.6 mg/dL; 95% CI: −17.28, −1.91), and for the body mass index compared with exercise controls (−1.65 kg/m2; 95% CI: −3.11, −0.20). Risk of bias was unclear or high for the majority of trials and domains, and heterogeneity between trials was high. Only 6 trials adequately reported safety. No recommendation for the use of Tai Chi/qigong for the prevention of stroke can be given.

Conclusion:

Although Tai Chi and qigong show some potential more robust studies are required to provide conclusive evidence on the efficacy and safety of Tai Chi and qigong for reducing major stroke risk factors.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5690748/