Tai Chi is an ancient martial art. It utilizes body movement with breathing and meditation to provide a holistic approach to the health of each individual. The movements are slow and graceful, with the emphasis on slow. The movements flow from one posture to another with a gentleness that makes this practice appealing to people of any age or health. Tai Chi management can offer many benefits for diabetic patients.
Weight Reduction with Tai Chi
Weight reduction or management are often the first things the doctor recommends for controlling blood glucose levels. Weight reduction is only achieved by either lowering your caloric intake or burning the calories you do take in. Many people with diabetes are just not physically able to take on a strenuous high impact exercise program to do this. Practicing Tai Chi burns calories, even though it is a very slow, gentle and low impact program. The gentle, fluid motions of movement that seem more like a dance than a workout would not appear to be burning calories but it has been shown to burn a very significant amount of calories.
Cardiopulmonary Benefits with Tai Chi
Tai Chi is known to improve circulation and promote microcirculations which are major benefits for anyone with diabetes. Many of those afflicted with diabetes suffer heart damage and peripheral damage to their limbs from the effects of the disease on the circulatory system. Many diabetics suffer nerve damage in their extremities as a result of elevated blood sugar levels and decreased circulation often leading to amputation. With a very low impact and soothing program such as Tai Chi perhaps the risk for such complications can be reduced.
Benefits for Stress Management
Managing stress is essential for management of diabetes and Tai Chi is very effective in learning this often difficult task due to the meditation, breathing and focus used in its practice. In Diabetes stress and illness can elevate blood sugar levels. Each time the levels peak and fall significantly it increases the long term damage done to the organs and vessels as a result. The control of stress and prevention of illness and overall good health and well being of the patient is of utmost importance for management of diabetes. Tai Chi increases the energy flow throughout the body and mind to achieve the goal of well being both physically and mentally.