The first clinical trial in Australia involved a pilot study to assess whether traditional Chinese exercises helped stem the growing problem of diabetes led to unexpected results.
A team of researchers from the University of Queensland discovered that by performing the Chinese exercises Tai Chi and Qigong, the subjects in the study improved significantly many indicators of metabolic syndrome including blood pressure, HbA1c, waist circumference, and body weight.
Liu Xin, a Tai Chi and Qigong master, as well as a PhD student, formulated a set of exercises to help control diabetes.
He stated that it was encouraging for him to witness such remarkable outcomes over a short period of time and he’s now looking for more people willing to take part in further studies.
He said, “This specific program led to results that were positive on indicators of glucose metabolism and therefore can potentially contribute to the development of secondary prevention approaches for Type 2 diabetes.”
Eleven test volunteers undertook the exercise program during the three month pilot study. The study included chi kung or Qigong which was a Chinese traditional art involving a combination of mind training, movement, and breathing. Qigong in West Orange is a five millennia old healing art that helps restore energy, detoxifies, and relieves anxiety and stress in the body.
Financed by the Diabetes Australia Research Trust, the Queensland Diabetes Qigong Program is being conducted by researchers Dr Nicola Burton and Dr Yvette Miller, Professor Wendy Brown who is the project leader, and Mr Liu, at the University of Queensland’s School of Human Movement Studies.
Among developed nations, Australia has one of the highest rates of diabetes. There are about 7.5 percent of adults (25 years and above) suffering from diabetes and a further 16 percent with a high chance of developing Type-ll diabetes.
Having studied tai chi and qigong for over three decades, Mr Liu believed that the spiral motions of the uniquely crafted exercises could activate the muscles more than traditional exercises, resulting in greater utilization and uptake of glucose.
The study showed that qigong and tai chi had significant positive effects on the participants’ health including higher energy, improved flexibility, and better sleeping patterns. The participants stated they would continue the exercises after the end of the study.
Liu said, “One especially critical outcome of the study was the substantial decrease in the measurement of the waist circumference of the participants,”
“Waist circumference is a sign of central obesity which is deemed an important risk factor for the development of various health problems including cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.”