Taijiquan for Diabetes
A study in America during 2012 investigated the effects of Taijiquan exercise on the levels of blood glucose, insulin and insulin receptors of patients with type 2 diabetes. Twelve subjects aged between 58-75 years old with type 2 diabetes participated in the study. They were trained with the protocol of Taijiquan exercise for 8 weeks.
Blood glucose, serum insulin, and insulin receptor activity were measured before and after the 8 week intervention and immediately after a single bout of Taiji exercise after the protocol. The results showed that by 8 weeks of Taijiquan exercise, the blood glucose decreased, while high and low-affinity insulin receptor numbers and low-affinity insulin receptor binding capacity increased. Serum insulin increased but was still within the normal range. After the single bout of Taiji exercise, blood glucose, high and low-affinity insulin receptor numbers and their binding capacity increased, while serum insulin did not change.
The 8 week Taijiquan intervention therefore showed benefits on the health status of patients with type 2 diabetes
The practice of Taijiquan involves learning to shift the bodyweight from one leg to another, while maintaining an upright and aligned posture and linking the upper and lower limbs in a smooth continuous flow of movement. It is allowing the one leg at a time to support the individual’s bodyweight that gives Taiji exercise a hidden cardiovascular workout that helps give each person a sense of health and well-being.