Richard G. Petty, MD

T’ai Chi Ch’uan and Diabetic Health

Regular readers will know that I am a great fan of t’ai chi ch’uan and qigong. I have been recommending them to people for years and even taught it for a while.

I have also been very interested in metabolic problems, particularly insulin resistance and diabetes.

So I was intrigued to see a study from Taiwan that was just sent to me.

The trial involved thirty-two people with type 2 diabetes mellitus who participated in three hour-long tai chi sessions once a week for 12 weeks. The conclusions were that practicing t’ai chi might help improve one component of immune function and also improve the control of blood glucose.

The researchers found statistically significant reductions in levels of glycosylated (glycated) hemoglobin in the blood of participants, indicating improved long-term blood glucose control. Glycosylated hemoglobin or HbA1c reflects the average blood glucose over the last 8-12 weeks, implying that the improvement must have been quite swift.

They also found increased numbers of regulatory and killer T cells. This may be important: people with diabetes are at considerably increased risk of getting infections.

It is even more impressive that the study was published in the journal Diabetes Care, that is known for its exacting standards.

If you or a loved one has diabetes, you may want to think about taking up t’ai chi.

Good luck!

About Richard G. Petty, MD
Dr. Richard G. Petty, MD is a world-renowned authority on the brain, and his revolutionary work on human energy systems has been acclaimed around the globe. He is also an accredited specialist in internal and metabolic medicine, endocrinology, psychiatry, acupuncture and homeopathy. He has been an innovator and leader of the human potential movement for over thirty years and is also an active researcher, teacher, writer, professional speaker and broadcaster. He is the author of five books, including the groundbreaking and best selling CD series Healing, Meaning and Purpose. He has taught in over 45 countries and 48 states in the last ten years, but spends as much time as possible on his horse farm in Georgia.

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