Qigong and Tai Chi Improve Health for Adults With Diabetes

by Shirley Archer, JD, MA on Apr 01, 2006

At the University of Queensland in Australia, a pilot 3-month study on the effects of qigong and tai chi practice on diabetes has achieved very successful results. Australia has one of the highest rates of diabetes in the world. The Diabetes Australia Research Trust funded the Diabetes Queensland Qigong Program to find ways to help people manage the disease. For the study, Liu Xin, a qigong and tai chi master, developed a series of exercises that were especially designed to target the risk factors for diabetes.

Eleven people participated in this unique exercise program, and they gained numerous health benefits from the regular practice of tai chi and qigong. Their flexibility improved, they had more energy, and they found they were sleeping better. “One of the most important results that came from the study was the significant reduction in waist circumference measurement,” said Liu. “Waist circumference is an indicator of central obesity, and central obesity is recognized as an important risk factor for developing many health problems, including diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.” Waist circumference is also one indicator of metabolic syndrome; other indicators include blood glucose levels, insulin resistance, blood pressure and body weight—all of which improved significantly in these subjects. The researchers intend to continue studying the effect of traditional Chinese exercises on people with elevated blood glucose levels.

If you would like more information about this study, Master Liu Xin can be contacted at liuxin@hms.uq .edu.au.


During the month of December, IDEA asked website visitors (www.ideafit.com) which mind-body program is most requested by personal training clients. Here’s how 224 people responded:

Pilates 93 out of 22442%

yoga 47 out of 22421%

tai chi 10 out of 224 4%

fusion 51 out of 22423%

(fitness training with one or more of the above)

not requested 23 out of 22410%

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© 2006 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

About the Author

Shirley Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA IDEA Author/Presenter

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, was the 2008 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year and is IDEA's mind-body-spirit spokesperson. She is a certified yoga and Pilates teacher and an award-winning author based in Los Angeles, California, and Zurich, Switzerland. Two of her books, The Walking Deck and The Strength and Toning Deck, are now featured as iPhone apps. Contact her at www.shirleyarcher.com.