Improve Glycemic Control in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes with Tai Chi

Improve Glycemic Control in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes with Tai Chi

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

Tai chi does not mean oriental wisdom or something exotic. It is the wisdom of your own senses, your own mind and body together as one process.” – Chungliang Al Huang

 

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 lifestyle. 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 that has been found to improve the symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes. The research is accumulating. So, it is reasonable to examine what has been learned

 

In today’s Research News article “Effect of tai chi on glycaemic control, lipid metabolism and body composition in adults with type 2 diabetes: A meta-analysis and systematic review.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8814847/ ) Guo and colleagues review, summarize, and perform a meta-analysis of the published research studies of the effectiveness of Tai Chi practice in the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes. They identified 23 published randomized clinical trials.

 

They report that the published research found that in comparison to usual clinical care, patients who were given Tai Chi practice had significantly lower levels of body mass index, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, insulin levels, fasting blood glucose, blood glucose levels after meals, HbA1c, total cholesterol, and low density lipoproteins (LDL), and higher levels of high density lipoproteins (HDL). Tai Chi produced similar results in comparison to aerobic exercise with body mass index, fasting blood glucose levels, total cholesterol, triglycerides, and low-density lipoproteins (LDL). Tai Chi produced superior results to aerobic exercise in reducing HbA1c and increasing high density lipoproteins (HDL).

 

Hence, the research published to date indicates that Tai Chi practice is superior to usual clinical care in improving obesity, glycemic control, and plasma fats and is superior to  aerobic exercise in improving glycemic control and blood fats. This suggests that Tai Chi practice should be recommended for patients with Type 2 Diabetes.

 

Tai Chi Chuan, the great ultimate, strengthens the weak, raises the sick, invigorates the debilitated, and encourages the timid.” – Cheng Man-ch’ing

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Guo S, Xu Y, Qin J, Chen Y, You Y, Tao J, Liu Z, Huang J. Effect of tai chi on glycaemic control, lipid metabolism and body composition in adults with type 2 diabetes: A meta-analysis and systematic review. J Rehabil Med. 2021 Mar 22;53(3):jrm00165. doi: 10.2340/16501977-2799. PMID: 33594445; PMCID: PMC8814847.

 

Abstract

Objective

The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate the effects of tai chi on metabolic control and body composition indicators in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Design

Systematic review and meta-analysis of existing literature.

Methods

Electronic resource databases were searched to collect eligible studies. Two reviewers selected studies and independently evaluated methodological quality.

Results

Twenty-three studies were included in this meta-analysis. The pooled results showed that tai chi had significant effects in improving metabolic indices, such as fasting blood glucose (mean difference (MD) = –1.04; 95% confidence interval (95% CI) –1.42 to 0.66; p < 0.01) and total cholesterol (MD = –0.50; 95% CI –0.86 to –0.13; p < 0.01) compared with conventional clinical therapy. Most indices did not support the use of tai chi over aerobic exercise, except for glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) (MD = –0.24; 95% CI –0.49 to 0.00; p < 0.01) and high-density lipoprotein (MD = 0.07; 95% CI 0.01 to 0.12; p < 0.01).

Conclusion

Tai chi had better effects on metabolic control and body composition indicators than clinical conventional therapy, but only on HbA1c and HDL were superior than that of aerobic exercise. The best time-window for tai chi intervention may differ with different metabolic indices.

LAY ABSTRACT

Exercise therapy is a possible alternative and effective strategy for blood glucose control in patients with type 2 diabetes, since drug therapy is associated with side-effects, long-term loss of efficacy, and poor adherence to lifelong treatment. A review of evidence was performed regarding the effects of tai chi on glycaemic control and other indicators in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. The results indicate that tai chi not only improves metabolic control, e.g. fasting blood glucose and total cholesterol, but also improves body composition indicators, e.g. body mass index. However, benefits of tai chi over aerobic exercise were seen in only a few outcome measures. The type and methodology of studies varied widely, with discrepancies in intensity, frequency, and duration of tai chi; therefore, further high-quality research is needed in order to draw specific and accurate conclusions.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8814847/

 

Reduce Distress with Diabetes with Mindfulness

Reduce Distress with Diabetes with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“I fight a battle against my body every day. One that doesn’t end, with no breaks, and no finish line. I keep fighting even when I’m tired, weak, or when I feel I’ve had enough. I fight for my health in more ways than others understand. Until there is a cure.” – The Diabetic Journal

 

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.

 

Dealing with diabetes causes considerable distress in the patient. Mindfulness practices have been shown to be helpful in managing diabetes. This predicts that mindfulness training should reduce diabetes distress.

 

In today’s Research News article “Effects of an integrated mindfulness intervention for veterans with diabetes distress: a randomized controlled trial.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8961140/ ) DiNardo and colleagues studied the effectiveness of online mindfulness raining in reducing diabetes distress in military veterans who were receiving education and support with diabetes self-management.

 

They found that the education and support program produced significant improvements in both the psychological and physical symptoms of diabetes. But the additional mindfulness training produced a greater reduction in diabetes distress and improvements in dietary behaviors. This suggests that mindfulness training should be incorporated into diabetes management programs.

 

Diabetes is like a roller coaster. It has its ups and downs, but it’s your choice to scream or enjoy the ride.” – Melissa Skrocki

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

DiNardo MM, Greco C, Phares AD, Beyer NM, Youk AO, Obrosky DS, Morone NE, Owen JE, Saba SK, Suss SJ, Siminerio L. Effects of an integrated mindfulness intervention for veterans with diabetes distress: a randomized controlled trial. BMJ Open Diabetes Res Care. 2022 Mar;10(2):e002631. doi: 10.1136/bmjdrc-2021-002631. PMID: 35346971; PMCID: PMC8961140.

 

Abstract

Introduction

US military veterans have disproportionately high rates of diabetes and diabetes-related morbidity in addition to being at risk of comorbid stress-related conditions. This study aimed to examine the effects of a technology-supported mindfulness intervention integrated into usual diabetes care and education on psychological and biobehavioral outcomes.

Research design and methods

Veterans (N=132) with type 1 or 2 diabetes participated in this two-arm randomized controlled efficacy trial. The intervention arm received a one-session mindfulness intervention integrated into a pre-existing program of diabetes self-management education and support (DSMES) plus one booster session and 24 weeks of home practice supported by a mobile application. The control arm received one 3-hour comprehensive DSMES group session. The primary outcome was change in diabetes distress (DD). The secondary outcomes were diabetes self-care behaviors, diabetes self-efficacy, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, mindfulness, hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C), body weight, and blood pressure. Assessments were conducted at baseline, 12 weeks, and 24 weeks. Participant satisfaction and engagement in home practice were assessed in the intervention group at 12 and 24 weeks.

Results

Intention-to-treat group by time analyses showed a statistically significant improvement in DD in both arms without significant intervention effect from baseline to 24 weeks. Examination of distal effects on DD between weeks 12 and 24 showed significantly greater improvement in the intervention arm. Improvement in DD was greater when baseline HbA1C was <8.5%. A significant intervention effect was also shown for general dietary behaviors. The secondary outcomes diabetes self-efficacy, PTSD, depression, and HbA1C significantly improved in both arms without significant intervention effects. Mindfulness and body weight were unchanged in either group.

Conclusions

A technology-supported mindfulness intervention integrated with DSMES showed stronger distal effects on DD compared with DSMES control. Examination of longer-term outcomes, underlying mechanisms, and the feasibility of virtual delivery is warranted.

Significance of this study

What is already known about this subject?

Diabetes distress related to the burden of diabetes self-care is an independent predictor of diabetes outcomes.

Emerging studies of mindfulness-based interventions have shown efficacy in reducing diabetes distress, but research is limited in populations at risk, including US military veterans.

What are the new findings?

A targeted mindfulness intervention integrated into conventional diabetes care is feasible, acceptable, and more efficacious for improving general dietary behaviors and for reducing diabetes distress after 12 weeks compared with conventional care.

Reductions in diabetes distress were greater with baseline hemoglobin A1C <8.5% (69 mol/mol), which may be relevant in selecting appropriate patients for mindfulness-based diabetes interventions.

Use of mobile technologies may help persons remain engaged in mindfulness practice and contribute to longer-term positive diabetes outcomes.

How might these results change the focus of research or clinical practice?

These results might influence standards of diabetes care to include mindfulness training as an adjunct to diabetes self-management education and support for suitable candidates.

Replication of these results with virtual delivery might help expand access to mindfulness-based educational programs for veterans and other persons at risk of diabetes and diabetes distress.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8961140/

 

Improve the Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes with Yoga Therapy

Iyengar Yoga Exercises For Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 - YouTube

Improve the Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes with Yoga Therapy

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.” – Emily Cronkleton

 

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-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 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 lifestyle. 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 “Impact of an Integrated Yoga Therapy Protocol on Insulin Resistance and Glycemic Control in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8798588/ ) Gowri and colleagues recruited adult patients with Type 2 diabetes and randomly assigned them to either receive twice weekly for 120 days sessions of yoga therapy or treatment as usual. Both groups received dietary advice. They were measured before treatment and 120 days later for body size and levels of insulin and lipids in the blood.

 

They found in comparison to baseline and the control group that the yoga therapy group had significantly lower body mass index (BMI), post-prandial and fasting blood glucose, HbA1c, insulin, insulin resistance, LDL cholesterol, and very-low density lipoproteins and higher levels of HDL cholesterol.

 

These are encouraging results that yoga therapy is a safe and effective treatment to improve the symptoms of type 2 diabetes. Future research should compare yoga therapy to other forms of exercise.

 

Yoga therapy works predominantly by its ability to decrease the stress response, which in turn controls blood glucose levels. In addition, postures and other yogic techniques may benefit the function of abdominal organs like the pancreas via mechanical and energetic effects.” – Robyn Tiger

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Mangala Gowri, M., Rajendran, J., Srinivasan, A. R., Bhavanani, A. B., & Meena, R. (2022). Impact of an Integrated Yoga Therapy Protocol on Insulin Resistance and Glycemic Control in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Rambam Maimonides medical journal, 13(1), e0005. https://doi.org/10.5041/RMMJ.10462

 

Abstract

Objective

Diabetes mellitus (DM), characterized by chronic hyperglycemia, is attributed to relative insulin deficiency or resistance, or both. Studies have shown that yoga can modulate parameters of insulin resistance. The present study explored the possible beneficial effects of integrated yoga therapy with reference to glycemic control and insulin resistance (IR) in individuals with diabetes maintained on standard oral medical care with yoga therapy, compared to those on standard oral medical care alone.

Methods

In this study, the subjects on yoga intervention comprised 35 type 2 diabetics, and an equal number of volunteers constituted the control group. Subjects ranged in age from 30 to 70 years, with hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) test more than 7%, and were maintained on diabetic diet and oral hypoglycemic agents. Blood samples were drawn prior to and after 120 days of integrated yoga therapy intervention. Fasting blood glucose (FBG), post-prandial blood glucose (PPBG), HbA1c, insulin, and lipid profile were assessed in both the intervention and control groups.

Results

The intervention group revealed significant improvements in body mass index (BMI) (0.7 kg/m2 median decrease; P=0.001), FBG (20 mg/dL median decrease; P<0.001), PPBG (33 mg/dL median decrease; P<0.001), HbA1c (0.4% median decrease; P<0.001), homeostatic model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) (1.2 median decrease; P<0.001), cholesterol (13 mg/dL median decrease, P=0.006), triacylglycerol (22 mg/dL median decrease; P=0.027), low-density lipoprotein (6 mg/dL median decrease; P=0.004), and very-low-density lipoprotein levels (4 mg/dL median decrease; P=0.032). Increases in high-density lipoprotein after 120 days were not significant (6 mg/dL median increase; P=0.15). However, when compared to changes observed in patients in the control group, all these improvements proved to be significant.

Conclusion

Administration of integrated yoga therapy to individuals with diabetes leads to a significant improvement in glycemic control, insulin resistance, and key biochemical parameters.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8798588/

Reduce Complications from Type-2 Diabetes with a Yoga Lifestyle

Reduce Complications from Type-2 Diabetes with a Yoga Lifestyle

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Yoga can be used as an effective therapy in reducing oxidative stress in type 2 diabetes. Yoga in addition to standard care helps reduce BMI and improve glycemic control in type 2 diabetic patients.” – Shreelaxmi V Hegde

 

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-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 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 lifestyle. 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 “A Prospective Study on Type-2 Diabetic Complications and Efficacy of Integrated Yoga: A Pan India 2017.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8558979/ ) Patil and colleagues recruited a large randomized cluster sample in India of adults with type-2 diabetes and had them complete a questionnaire regarding complications with the disease. They found that there were high incidence rates of complications including stroke, neuropathy, cardiac surgeries, kidney disease, eye diseases, claudication, and foot ulcers. The incidence of complications was generally higher in women than in men.

 

They then randomly assigned a subset of the sample to a no-treatment control condition or to yoga lifestyle intervention including the practice of yoga for an hour daily for 3 months along with dietary restrictions.  They report that in comparison to baseline and the control group the group that practiced yoga and dietary restrictions had significant reduction in all of the types of complications.

 

These results are very encouraging. But the lack of an active control condition limits the conclusions that can be reached. Placebo and attentional effects are alternate explanations for the results. In addition, the complex yoga lifestyle intervention, involving many component parts, makes it impossible to know what component or combination of components were effective. Nevertheless, previous controlled research has demonstrated the yoga practice is effective in reducing the symptoms of type-2 diabetes. So, the present findings are likely due to the ability of yoga to reduce complications from type-2 diabetes.

 

This is an important conclusion as the complications of type-2 diabetes are very serious and produce serious medical conditions that often lead to death. The reduction in these complications produced by the yoga lifestyle should result in improvements in the health, longevity, and quality of life in patients with type-2 diabetes.

 

So, reduce complications from type-2 diabetes with a yoga lifestyle.

 

yoga-based practices may have significant beneficial effects on multiple factors important in [type 2 diabetes] management and prevention, including glycemic control, insulin resistance, lipid profiles, body composition, and blood pressure. “ – Kim Innes

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are available on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Patil, S. S., Raghuram, N., Singh, A., Rajesh, S. K., Ahmed, S., & Hongasandra, N. (2021). A Prospective Study on Type-2 Diabetic Complications and Efficacy of Integrated Yoga: A Pan India 2017. Annals of neurosciences, 28(1-2), 21–28. https://doi.org/10.1177/09727531211016271

 

Abstract

Background:

Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) contributes to high mortality and morbidity because of its major complications related to kidney, heart, brain, and eyes. It also poses a high risk for mortality because of COVID-19. Studies suggest the possible implications of Yoga in delaying or attenuating such complications.

Methodology:

This was a pan-India multi centered cluster-randomized (4 level) two-armed trial in the rural and urban population of all populous states of India. Data were obtained using mobile app in all adults in the household of the selected clusters.

Results:

We report the diabetes related complications in 16623 adults (48% males, 52% females) from 65 districts (1 in 10 districts, 2011 census) of 29 (out of 35) states and Union Territories of India; mean age was 48.2 ± 12.46 years. Out of this 40% lived in rural and 62% in urban locations. In high risk diabetes individuals (scored ≥ 60 points on Indian diabetes risk score key), 18.0% had self-reported history of (peripheral neuropathy, 6.1% had h/o major strokes, 5.5% had minor strokes (transient ischemic episodes), 18.1% had lower limb claudication, 20.5% leg ulcers, 4.4% had h/o cardiac surgery, 4.8% angioplasty, and 15.1% had diabetes retinopathy. Complications were higher in rural than in urban areas, higher in people with extended duration of diabetes. Integrated yoga module for three months (one hour daily) showed significantly better reduction in symptoms related to complications as compared to control group (P < .001)

Conclusion:

The alarming high prevalence of complications in diabetes population calls for urgent action, where yoga may show the benefits in reduction of symptoms of complications.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8558979/

 

Decrease the Development of Diabetes in At-risk Patients with Yoga

Decrease the Development of Diabetes in At-risk Patients 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.” –  Emily Cronkleton 

 

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 lifestyle. 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. But it is not known if yoga practice can prevent people at risk for diabetes to actually become diabetic.

 

In today’s Research News article “Effectiveness of a Yoga-Based Lifestyle Protocol (YLP) in Preventing Diabetes in a High-Risk Indian Cohort: A Multicenter Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial (NMB-Trial).” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8231281/ ) Raghuram and colleagues recruited adults at risk for the development of Type 2 diabetes based upon HbA1c levels and randomly assigned them to receive yoga lifestyle training or to a treatment as usual control condition. Lifestyle training occurred in 9 sessions followed by 3 months of daily practice and included postures, breathing exercises, meditation, and relaxation. They were measured before and after training for HbA1c levels, body size, blood pressure, and physical activity.

 

They found that at the end of the yoga lifestyle intervention that significantly fewer of the yoga group transitioned into diabetes (11%) compared to the control condition (32%). In addition, significantly greater number of yoga lifestyle patients transitioned from prediabetes to normoglycemia than the controls. Hence the yoga intervention was successful in making it less likely that patients at risk for diabetes transition to full-fledged diabetes.

 

The weakness in the study was that the control condition did not receive any treatment. This leaves open some confounding interpretations of the results including placebo effects, attentional effects, experimenter bias etc. Future research should use an active control condition such as another exercise or game playing. But previous controlled research has demonstrated that yoga practice improves blood glucose levels and improve the health of patients with diabetes. So, it is likely that yoga and not some confounding factor was responsible for the improvements in the prediabetic patients.

 

So, decrease the development of diabetes in at-risk patients 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

 

Raghuram, N., Ram, V., Majumdar, V., Sk, R., Singh, A., Patil, S., Anand, A., Judu, I., Bhaskara, S., Basa, J. R., & Nagendra, H. R. (2021). Effectiveness of a Yoga-Based Lifestyle Protocol (YLP) in Preventing Diabetes in a High-Risk Indian Cohort: A Multicenter Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial (NMB-Trial). Frontiers in endocrinology, 12, 664657. https://doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2021.664657

 

Abstract

Introduction

Though several lines of evidence support the utility of yoga-based interventions in diabetes prevention, most of these studies have been limited by methodological issues, primarily sample size inadequacy. Hence, we tested the effectiveness of yoga-based lifestyle intervention against diabetes risk reduction in multicentre, large community settings of India, through a single-blind cluster-randomized controlled trial, Niyantrita Madhumeha Bharat Abhiyan (NMB).

Research Design and Methods

NMB-trial is a multicentre cluster-randomized trial conducted in 80 clusters [composed of rural units (villages) and urban units (Census Enumeration Blocks)] randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to intervention and control groups. Participants were individuals (age, 20–70 years) with prediabetes (blood HbA1c values in the range of 5.7–6.4%) and IDRS ≥ 60. The intervention included the practice of yoga-based lifestyle modification protocol (YLP) for 9 consecutive days, followed by daily home and weekly supervised practices for 3 months. The control cluster received standard of care advice for diabetes prevention. Statistical analyses were performed on an intention-to-treat basis, using available and imputed datasets. The primary outcome was the conversion from prediabetes to diabetes after the YLP intervention of 3 months (diagnosed based upon HbA1c cutoff >6.5%). Secondary outcome included regression to normoglycemia with HbA1c <5.7%.

Results

A total of 3380 (75.96%) participants were followed up at 3 months. At 3 months post-intervention, overall, diabetes developed in 726 (21.44%) participants. YLP was found to be significantly effective in halting progression to diabetes as compared to standard of care; adjusted RRR was 63.81(95% CI = 56.55–69.85). The YLP also accelerated regression to normoglycemia [adjusted Odds Ratio (adjOR) = 1.20 (95% CI, 1.02–1.43)]. Importantly, younger participants (≤40 years) were found to regress to normoglycemia more effectively than the older participants Pinteraction<0.001.

Conclusion

Based on the significant risk reduction derived from the large sample size, and the carefully designed randomized yoga-based intervention on high-risk populations, the study is a preliminary but strong proof-of-concept for yoga as a potential lifestyle-based treatment to curb the epidemic of diabetes. The observed findings also indicate a potential of YLP for diabetes prevention in low/moderate risk profile individuals that needs large-scale validation.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8231281/

 

Alter the Genes for Better Health with Meditation

Alter the Genes for Better Health with Meditation

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“meditation practices seem . . . promote endocrinal, neuronal, and behavioral functions. This suggests that the achievement of a state of inner silence through the practice of meditation can prevent or reverse the detrimental effects of a stressful environment.“ – Sabrina Venditti

 

Over the last several decades, research and anecdotal experiences have accumulated an impressive evidential case that the development of mindfulness has positive benefits for the individual’s mental, physical, and spiritual life. Mindfulness appears to be beneficial both for healthy people and for people suffering from a myriad of illnesses. It appears to be beneficial across ages, from children to the elderly. And it appears to be beneficial across genders, personalities, race, and ethnicity. The breadth and depth of benefits is unprecedented.

 

Meditation practice has been shown to improve health and longevity. One way it appears to act is by altering the genes which govern cellular processes in our bodies. The genes dictate all of the chemical processes in our bodies including immune and inflammatory responses. The ability of outside influences to affect gene expression is known as epigenetics. Hence, it is important to study the epigenetic alterations in gene expressions produced by meditation practice to determine if these effects are the intermediary between meditation and health.

 

In today’s Research News article “Transcriptomics of Long-Term Meditation Practice: Evidence for Prevention or Reversal of Stress Effects Harmful to Health.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8001870/ ) Wenuganen and colleagues recruited older (> 60 years of age) healthy adult experienced practitioners of Transcendental Meditation and matched non-practitioners. Blood was drawn and analyzed for gene expression with microarrays and polymerase chain reaction.

 

They found that the genes of the Transcendental Meditation practitioners were in general significantly downregulated (lower expression) than the non-practitioners. “Sixty-two genes were related to hematologic diseases, 26 to coronary artery disease, 34 to diabetes complications, 49 to inflammation, and 64 to CVD. All these disease-related genes were downregulated in the TM group relative to the control group.” The genes found to have lower expression in the Transcendental Meditation practitioners were related to inflammatory responses and suppressed energy efficiency, while those upregulated (higher expression) were related to immune system function.

 

These epigenetic findings suggest that Transcendental Meditation practice over years of practice improve the immune system and energy efficiency while reducing inflammation in older individuals. These epigenetic changes suggest that Transcendental Meditation practice improves the physiology’s ability to maintain health by being better prepared to respond to disease and stress. This suggests a mechanism by which meditation practice improves health and longevity.

 

So, alter the genes for better health with meditation.

 

meditation, yoga, and Tai Chi . . . all seem to have a beneficial effect on the expression of a slew of different genes. And, as you might expect, the affected genes are generally those involved in stress and inflammation.” – Alice Walton

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are a

Alter the Genes for Better Health with Meditation

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“meditation practices seem . . . promote endocrinal, neuronal, and behavioral functions. This suggests that the achievement of a state of inner silence through the practice of meditation can prevent or reverse the detrimental effects of a stressful environment.“ – Sabrina Venditti

 

Over the last several decades, research and anecdotal experiences have accumulated an impressive evidential case that the development of mindfulness has positive benefits for the individual’s mental, physical, and spiritual life. Mindfulness appears to be beneficial both for healthy people and for people suffering from a myriad of illnesses. It appears to be beneficial across ages, from children to the elderly. And it appears to be beneficial across genders, personalities, race, and ethnicity. The breadth and depth of benefits is unprecedented.

 

Meditation practice has been shown to improve health and longevity. One way it appears to act is by altering the genes which govern cellular processes in our bodies. The genes dictate all of the chemical processes in our bodies including immune and inflammatory responses. The ability of outside influences to affect gene expression is known as epigenetics. Hence, it is important to study the epigenetic alterations in gene expressions produced by meditation practice to determine if these effects are the intermediary between meditation and health.

 

In today’s Research News article “Transcriptomics of Long-Term Meditation Practice: Evidence for Prevention or Reversal of Stress Effects Harmful to Health.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8001870/ ) Wenuganen and colleagues recruited older (> 60 years of age) healthy adult experienced practitioners of Transcendental Meditation and matched non-practitioners. Blood was drawn and analyzed for gene expression with microarrays and polymerase chain reaction.

 

They found that the genes of the Transcendental Meditation practitioners were in general significantly downregulated (lower expression) than the non-practitioners. “Sixty-two genes were related to hematologic diseases, 26 to coronary artery disease, 34 to diabetes complications, 49 to inflammation, and 64 to CVD. All these disease-related genes were downregulated in the TM group relative to the control group.” The genes found to have lower expression in the Transcendental Meditation practitioners were related to inflammatory responses and suppressed energy efficiency, while those upregulated (higher expression) were related to immune system function.

 

These epigenetic findings suggest that Transcendental Meditation practice over years of practice improve the immune system and energy efficiency while reducing inflammation in older individuals. These epigenetic changes suggest that Transcendental Meditation practice improves the physiology’s ability to maintain health by being better prepared to respond to disease and stress. This suggests a mechanism by which meditation practice improves health and longevity.

 

So, alter the genes for better health with meditation.

 

meditation, yoga, and Tai Chi . . . all seem to have a beneficial effect on the expression of a slew of different genes. And, as you might expect, the affected genes are generally those involved in stress and inflammation.” – Alice Walton

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are available at the Contemplative Studies Blog http://contemplative-studies.org/wp/

They are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Wenuganen, S., Walton, K. G., Katta, S., Dalgard, C. L., Sukumar, G., Starr, J., Travis, F. T., Wallace, R. K., Morehead, P., Lonsdorf, N. K., Srivastava, M., & Fagan, J. (2021). Transcriptomics of Long-Term Meditation Practice: Evidence for Prevention or Reversal of Stress Effects Harmful to Health. Medicina (Kaunas, Lithuania), 57(3), 218. https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina57030218

 

Abstract

Background and Objectives: Stress can overload adaptive mechanisms, leading to epigenetic effects harmful to health. Research on the reversal of these effects is in its infancy. Early results suggest some meditation techniques have health benefits that grow with repeated practice. This study focused on possible transcriptomic effects of 38 years of twice-daily Transcendental Meditation® (TM®) practice. Materials and Methods: First, using Illumina® BeadChip microarray technology, differences in global gene expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were sought between healthy practitioners and tightly matched controls (n = 12, age 65). Second, these microarray results were verified on a subset of genes using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and were validated using qPCR in larger TM and control groups (n = 45, age 63). Bioinformatics investigation employed Ingenuity® Pathway Analysis (IPA®), DAVID, Genomatix, and R packages. Results: The 200 genes and loci found to meet strict criteria for differential expression in the microarray experiment showed contrasting patterns of expression that distinguished the two groups. Differential expression relating to immune function and energy efficiency were most apparent. In the TM group, relative to the control, all 49 genes associated with inflammation were downregulated, while genes associated with antiviral and antibody components of the defense response were upregulated. The largest expression differences were shown by six genes related to erythrocyte function that appeared to reflect a condition of lower energy efficiency in the control group. Results supporting these gene expression differences were obtained with qPCR-measured expression both in the well-matched microarray groups and in the larger, less well-matched groups. Conclusions: These findings are consistent with predictions based on results from earlier randomized trials of meditation and may provide evidence for stress-related molecular mechanisms underlying reductions in anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), cardiovascular disease (CVD), and other chronic disorders and diseases.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8001870/

 

re also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Wenuganen, S., Walton, K. G., Katta, S., Dalgard, C. L., Sukumar, G., Starr, J., Travis, F. T., Wallace, R. K., Morehead, P., Lonsdorf, N. K., Srivastava, M., & Fagan, J. (2021). Transcriptomics of Long-Term Meditation Practice: Evidence for Prevention or Reversal of Stress Effects Harmful to Health. Medicina (Kaunas, Lithuania), 57(3), 218. https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina57030218

 

Abstract

Background and Objectives: Stress can overload adaptive mechanisms, leading to epigenetic effects harmful to health. Research on the reversal of these effects is in its infancy. Early results suggest some meditation techniques have health benefits that grow with repeated practice. This study focused on possible transcriptomic effects of 38 years of twice-daily Transcendental Meditation® (TM®) practice. Materials and Methods: First, using Illumina® BeadChip microarray technology, differences in global gene expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were sought between healthy practitioners and tightly matched controls (n = 12, age 65). Second, these microarray results were verified on a subset of genes using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and were validated using qPCR in larger TM and control groups (n = 45, age 63). Bioinformatics investigation employed Ingenuity® Pathway Analysis (IPA®), DAVID, Genomatix, and R packages. Results: The 200 genes and loci found to meet strict criteria for differential expression in the microarray experiment showed contrasting patterns of expression that distinguished the two groups. Differential expression relating to immune function and energy efficiency were most apparent. In the TM group, relative to the control, all 49 genes associated with inflammation were downregulated, while genes associated with antiviral and antibody components of the defense response were upregulated. The largest expression differences were shown by six genes related to erythrocyte function that appeared to reflect a condition of lower energy efficiency in the control group. Results supporting these gene expression differences were obtained with qPCR-measured expression both in the well-matched microarray groups and in the larger, less well-matched groups. Conclusions: These findings are consistent with predictions based on results from earlier randomized trials of meditation and may provide evidence for stress-related molecular mechanisms underlying reductions in anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), cardiovascular disease (CVD), and other chronic disorders and diseases.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8001870/

 

Improve Lipid Metabolism in Diabetes with Yoga

Improve Lipid Metabolism in Diabetes with Yoga

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Yoga, being a lifestyle incorporating exercise and stress management training, targets the elevated lipid levels in patients with diabetes.” – Nisha Shantakumari

 

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 lifestyle. 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 “Effectiveness of Yoga Lifestyle on Lipid Metabolism in a Vulnerable Population-A Community Based Multicenter Randomized Controlled Trial.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8303653/ ) Nagarathna and colleagues recruited a large nationwide rural and urban based sample of adults with no diabetes, prediabetes (high risk for development of Type 2 diabetes), or type 2 diabetes and randomly assigned them to receive either standard lifestyle treatment with lectures on diet, exercise, sleep and stress management or the same lifestyle treatment plus 3 months of daily, 60 minute, yoga practice consisting of postures, breathing practices, relaxation, pranayama, meditation. Blood was drawn before and after treatment and assayed for lipids.

 

They found that in comparison to baseline and the control group, the yoga group after training had significantly lower levels of blood total cholesterol, triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein, and high-density lipoprotein. This was true particularly for participants with high baseline blood lipid levels. These improvements were present for both males and females, for urban and rural participants, and for younger (<40 years of age) and older (>40) praticipants.

 

This study examined a very large nationwide community sample (>10,000) participants and is thus highly generalizable. It replicates previous research demonstrating the ability of yoga practice reduce blood fat levels and to improves patients with diabetes. But yoga is both a contemplative practice and an exercise. The control condition in this study did not contain exercise. So, it is impossible to tell if the improvements occurred due to yoga practice or to the exercise provided in the practice. Future studies should contain an alternative exercise control condition.

 

Regardless, it is clear that yoga practice improves blood lipid profiles in prediabetic and diabetic adults. This should help to restrain or delay the secondary health problems that are associated with diabetes. This should improve the quality of life, health, and well-being of the individuals.

 

So, improve lipid metabolism in diabetes with yoga.

 

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.” – Emily Cronkleton

 

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., Kumar, S., Anand, A., Acharya, I. N., Singh, A. K., Patil, S. S., Latha, R. H., Datey, P., & Nagendra, H. R. (2021). Effectiveness of Yoga Lifestyle on Lipid Metabolism in a Vulnerable Population-A Community Based Multicenter Randomized Controlled Trial. Medicines (Basel, Switzerland), 8(7), 37. https://doi.org/10.3390/medicines8070037

 

Abstract

Background: Dyslipidemia poses a high risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke in Type 2 diabetes (T2DM). There are no studies on the impact of a validated integrated yoga lifestyle protocol on lipid profiles in a high-risk diabetes population. Methods: Here, we report the results of lipid profile values of 11,254 (yoga 5932 and control 5322) adults (20–70 years) of both genders with high risk (≥60 on Indian diabetes risk score) for diabetes from a nationwide rural and urban community-based two group (yoga and conventional management) cluster randomized controlled trial. The yoga group practiced a validated integrated yoga lifestyle protocol (DYP) in nine day camps followed by daily one-hour practice. Biochemical profiling included glycated hemoglobin and lipid profiles before and after three months. Results: There was a significant difference between groups (p < 0.001 ANCOVA) with improved serum total cholesterol, triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein, and high-density lipoprotein in the yoga group compared to the control group. Further, the regulatory effect of yoga was noted with a significant decrease or increase in those with high or low values of lipids, respectively, with marginal or no change in those within the normal range. Conclusion: Yoga lifestyle improves and regulates (lowered if high, increased if low) the blood lipid levels in both genders of prediabetic and diabetic individuals in both rural and urban Indian communities.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8303653/

 

Improve Diabetes in Older and Elderly Patients with Tai Chi

Improve Diabetes in Older and Elderly Patients with Tai Chi

 

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 lifestyle. 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 that has been found to improve the symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes. The research is accumulating. So, it is reasonable to examine what has been learned.

 

In today’s Research News article “A Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Tai Chi on Glucose and Lipid Metabolism in Middle-Aged and Elderly Diabetic Patients: Evidence from Randomized Controlled Trials.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8007338/ ) Liu and colleagues review, summarize, and perform a meta-analysis of the published randomized controlled studies of the effectiveness of Tai Chi practice in the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes in older and elderly patients. They identified 14 published studies.

 

They report that the published studies found that Tai Chi practice produced significant reductions in fasting blood glucose levels, glycated hemoglobin, cholesterol, triglycerides, and low density lipoproteins, and significantly increased the levels of high density lipoproteins. They report that these improvements occurred predominantly in studies where Tai Chi was practiced for at least 50 minutes per day, for at least 12 weeks.

 

The findings of this meta-analysis suggests that Tai Chi practice is a safe and effective treatment for older and elderly patients with Type 2 Diabetes improving blood glucose and lipid profiles. It is important to note that Tai Chi practice is gentle and 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 practice is an almost ideal treatment for Type 2 Diabetes

 

So, improve diabetes in older and elderly patients with Tai Chi.

 

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

 

Liu, Y. N., Wang, L., Fan, X., Liu, S., Wu, Q., & Qian, Y. L. (2021). A Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Tai Chi on Glucose and Lipid Metabolism in Middle-Aged and Elderly Diabetic Patients: Evidence from Randomized Controlled Trials. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2021, 6699935. https://doi.org/10.1155/2021/6699935

 

Abstract

This research review aimed to evaluate the effect of practicing Tai Chi on glucose and lipid metabolism in middle-aged and elderly diabetic patients. Furthermore, it aimed to provide a theoretical basis for the practice of Tai Chi as a way to improve glucose and lipid metabolism in middle-aged and elderly diabetic patients. Therefore, we searched for randomized controlled trials on the practice of Tai Chi in middle-aged and elderly diabetic patients in Chinese- and English-language electronic databases, such as Web of Science, PubMed, the Cochrane Library, EMBASE, Google Scholar, CNKI, Wanfang Database, and Weipu. We collected articles published no later than August 1, 2020. The methodological quality of the included studies was evaluated according to the standards of the Cochrane Collaboration System Evaluation Manual (version 5.1.0). Finally, 14 articles were included, showing an average Physiotherapy Evidence Database scale score of 6.57. The articles were meta-analyzed using Stata 14.0 software, showing that practicing Tai Chi improved middle-aged and elderly diabetic patients’ fasting blood glucose (WMD = −0.60, 95% CI [−1.08, −0.12], p=0.015), glycosylated hemoglobin (WMD = −0.87, 95% CI [−1.60, −0.14], p=0.019), total cholesterol (WMD = −0.48, 95% CI [−0.83, −0.14], p=0.006), triglycerides (WMD = −0.21, 95% CI [−0.37, −0.04], p=0.014), and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level significantly (WMD = −0.32, 95% CI [−0.63,−0.00], p=0.050). Conversely, patients’ high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels (WMD = 0.09, 95% CI [−0.01, 0.17], p=0.136) showed no obvious improvement. In conclusion, practicing Tai Chi in sessions lasting longer than 50 minutes (at least three times per week, for at least 12 weeks) can effectively improve glucose and lipid metabolism in middle-aged and elderly diabetic patients. However, several other factors affect glucose and lipid metabolism; therefore, further high-quality research is needed.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8007338/

 

Mindfulness Improves Physical and Mental Well-Being

Mindfulness Improves Physical and Mental Well-Being

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“scientists have found that practicing mindfulness is associated with changes in the structure and function of the brain as well as changes in our body’s response to stress, suggesting that this practice has important impacts on our physical and emotional health.” –  University of Minnesota

 

Over the last several decades, research and anecdotal experiences have accumulated an impressive evidential case that the development of mindfulness has positive benefits for the individual’s mentalphysical, and spiritual life. Mindfulness appears to be beneficial both for healthy people and for people suffering from a myriad of mental and physical illnesses. It appears to be beneficial across ages, from children, to adolescents, to the elderly. And it appears to be beneficial across genders, personalitiesrace, and ethnicity. The breadth and depth of benefits is unprecedented. There is no other treatment or practice that has been shown to come anyway near the range of mindfulness’ positive benefits.

 

Research on mindfulness effects on mental and physical health has exploded over the last few decades. So, it makes sense to pause and examine what has been learned. In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness-based interventions: an overall review” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8083197/ )  Zhang and colleagues reviewed and summarized the randomized controlled trials and meta-analyses of the effects of mindfulness-based practices on mental and physical health.

 

They report that the published research studies and meta-analyses found that mindfulness-based practices produced significant improvements in mental health including anxiety, depression, anger, prosocial behavior, loneliness, physiological and psychological indicators of stress, insomnia, eating disorders, addictions, psychoses, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and autism. They also report that mindfulness-based practices produced significant improvements in physical health including pain, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), aggression, and violence.

 

In addition, mindfulness-based practices produced safe, cost-effective improvements in professional and healthcare settings, in schools, and in the workplace. Further they report that mindfulness-based practices produced significant changes in the structure and activity of the nervous system, improvements in immune functioning and physiological markers of stress.

 

The review of the published research has provided a compelling case for the utilization of mindfulness-based practices for a myriad of psychological and physical problems in humans of all ages with and without disease. The range and depth of effects are unprecedented making a strong case for the routine training in mindfulness for the improvement of their well-being.

 

So, mindfulness improves physical and mental well-being.

 

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

 

Zhang, D., Lee, E., Mak, E., Ho, C. Y., & Wong, S. (2021). Mindfulness-based interventions: an overall review. British medical bulletin, ldab005. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1093/bmb/ldab005

 

Abstract

Introduction

This is an overall review on mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs).

Sources of data

We identified studies in PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, AMED, Web of Science and Google Scholar using keywords including ‘mindfulness’, ‘meditation’, and ‘review’, ‘meta-analysis’ or their variations.

Areas of agreement

MBIs are effective for improving many biopsychosocial conditions, including depression, anxiety, stress, insomnia, addiction, psychosis, pain, hypertension, weight control, cancer-related symptoms and prosocial behaviours. It is found to be beneficial in the healthcare settings, in schools and workplace but further research is warranted to look into its efficacy on different problems. MBIs are relatively safe, but ethical aspects should be considered. Mechanisms are suggested in both empirical and neurophysiological findings. Cost-effectiveness is found in treating some health conditions.

Areas of controversy

Inconclusive or only preliminary evidence on the effects of MBIs on PTSD, ADHD, ASD, eating disorders, loneliness and physical symptoms of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and respiratory conditions. Furthermore, some beneficial effects are not confirmed in subgroup populations. Cost-effectiveness is yet to confirm for many health conditions and populations.

Growing points

Many mindfulness systematic reviews and meta-analyses indicate low quality of included studies, hence high-quality studies with adequate sample size and longer follow-up period are needed.

Areas timely for developing research

More research is needed on online mindfulness trainings and interventions to improve biopsychosocial health during the COVID-19 pandemic; Deeper understanding of the mechanisms of MBIs integrating both empirical and neurophysiological findings; Long-term compliance and effects of MBIs; and development of mindfulness plus (mindfulness+) or personalized mindfulness programs to elevate the effectiveness for different purposes.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8083197/

Tai Chi Practice Improves the Symptoms of Multiple Diseases

Tai Chi Practice Improves the Symptoms of Multiple Diseases

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“In addition to easing balance problems, and possibly other symptoms, tai chi can help ease stress and anxiety and strengthen all parts of the body, with few if any harmful side effects.” Peter Wayne

 

Tai Chi is an ancient mindfulness practice involving slow prescribed movements. It is gentle and 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. Indeed, studies have shown that Tai Chi practice is effective in improving the symptoms of many different diseases. The evidence is accumulating. So, it makes sense to step back and summarize what has been learned about the effectiveness of different Tai Chi practices for different disease conditions.

 

In today’s Research News article “.Clinical Evidence of Tai Chi Exercise Prescriptions: A Systematic Review” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7972853/ ) Huang and colleagues review and summarize the published randomized controlled trials on the effectiveness of different Tai Chi practices for different disease conditions. They identified 139 published randomized controlled trials utilizing a number of different Tai Chi styles and numbers of forms. Yang style was by far the most frequent style and 24 forms was the most frequent number of forms employed.

 

They report that the published research found that Tai Chi practice produced significant improvement in the symptoms of musculoskeletal system or connective tissue diseases such as osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, and chronic low back pain.; on circulatory system diseases such as hypertension, stroke, coronary heart disease, and chronic heart failure; on mental and behavioral disorders such as depression, cognitive impairment, and intellectual disabilities; on nervous system diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, dementia, and sleep disorders; on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); on endocrine, nutritional, or metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome; on the physical and mental state of cancer patients, and on traumatic brain injury and urinary tract disorders; on balance control and flexibility and falls in older adults.

 

These are remarkable findings. Tai Chi practice appears to be a safe and effective treatment for the symptoms of a wide variety of diseases. It doesn’t cure the disease. Rather if alleviates the symptoms. It is not known the mechanisms by which Tai Chi has these benefits. Future research needs to further explore what facets or effects of Tai Chi practice are responsible for the disease symptom improvements.

 

So, Tai Chi practice improves the symptoms of multiple diseases.

 

Tai Chi and Qigong are evidence-based approaches to improve health-related quality of life, and they may be effective for a range of physical health conditions.” – Ryan Abbott

 

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

 

Huang, J., Wang, D., & Wang, J. (2021). Clinical Evidence of Tai Chi Exercise Prescriptions: A Systematic Review. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : eCAM, 2021, 5558805. https://doi.org/10.1155/2021/5558805

 

Abstract

Objectives

This systematic review aims to summarize the existing literature on Tai Chi randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and recommend Tai Chi exercise prescriptions for different diseases and populations.

Methods

A systematic search for Tai Chi RCTs was conducted in five electronic databases (PubMed, Cochrane Library, EMBASE, EBSCO, and Web of Science) from their inception to December 2019. SPSS 20.0 software and Microsoft Excel 2019 were used to analyze the data, and the risk of bias tool in the RevMan 5.3.5 software was used to evaluate the methodological quality of RCTs.

Results

A total of 139 articles were identified, including diseased populations (95, 68.3%) and healthy populations (44, 31.7%). The diseased populations included the following 10 disease types: musculoskeletal system or connective tissue diseases (34.7%), circulatory system diseases (23.2%), mental and behavioral disorders (12.6%), nervous system diseases (11.6%), respiratory system diseases (6.3%), endocrine, nutritional or metabolic diseases (5.3%), neoplasms (3.2%), injury, poisoning and certain other consequences of external causes (1.1%), genitourinary system diseases (1.1%), and diseases of the eye and adnexa (1.1%). Tai Chi exercise prescription was generally classified as moderate intensity. The most commonly applied Tai Chi style was Yang style (92, 66.2%), and the most frequently specified Tai Chi form was simplified 24-form Tai Chi (43, 30.9%). 12 weeks and 24 weeks, 2-3 times a week, and 60 min each time was the most commonly used cycle, frequency, and time of exercise in Tai Chi exercise prescriptions.

Conclusions

We recommend the more commonly used Tai Chi exercise prescriptions for different diseases and populations based on clinical evidence of Tai Chi. Further clinical research on Tai Chi should be combined with principles of exercise prescription to conduct large-sample epidemiological studies and long-term prospective follow-up studies to provide more substantive clinical evidence for Tai Chi exercise prescriptions.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7972853/