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Breathing Exercises for Blood Sugar Control?

January 7th, 2010 No comments

I can’t wait to see how the skeptics and drug company gomers will try to suppress this.  Important to any industry is repeat business.  Hence, drug companies don’t want to cure you, they want to keep you on drugs for life.  Imagine using breathing exercises, or Qi Gong, to control diabetes!  No repeat business there, eh?

A Bastyr University study (http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00885846?term=NCT00885846&rank=1 and reported on http://www.wtvq.com/health/1698-qigong-for-diabetes-) has shown that Qigong use in diabetics not only lowers blood sugar, it also decreases insulin resistance and even allows them to lose weight!  (I have GOT to do this.)  Here are excerpts:

Qigong for Diabetes
Written by Kristi Runyon
Wednesday, 06 January 2010 11:45

Millions of Americans have type 2 diabetes and fluctuating sugar levels can cause major health problems. New research shows there could be a more natural way to combat the disease with ancient Chinese medicine.

Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes is a condition which affects the body’s ability to use glucose for energy. When we eat, the body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose, a form of sugar. Normally, specialized cells in the pancreas release insulin, a hormone needed to unlock cell walls and enable the glucose to be used as fuel. In people with type 2 diabetes, the body is unable to effectively use insulin. Eventually, insulin production declines. Symptoms include: weight loss, fatigue, increased hunger and thirst, frequent urination, weight loss, vision problems and slow wound healing.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 24 million Americans have diabetes. Type 2 is the most common form, accounting for 90 to 95 percent of all cases. Most people with type 2 diabetes are overweight, sedentary and have a family history of the condition.

Qigong
Qigong is a traditional Chinese practice that emphasizes posture (positions), movement, breathing techniques and mental focus. It comes from two words: Qi (meaning life force) and Gong (accomplishment or skill gained through steady practice). The theory behind Qigong is that the body can be trained to move Qi, restoring harmony and health. The techniques can be adapted for people of different abilities and health conditions.

Researchers estimate about a half-million Americans use Qigong. The techniques reportedly relax the body and improve respiration, blood flow, heart rate and digestion.

Qigong for Diabetes
Investigators at Bastyr University in Seattle recently performed a pilot study to compare the effects of Qigong against progressive resistance therapy or placebo on 32 people with type 2 diabetes. Participants assigned to the Qigong group practiced the therapy for 30 minutes at a time, two times a week for 12 weeks. In addition, once each week, they met with a certified instructor for one hour to ensure the Qigong was being done correctly. Those in the progressive resistance training group used resistance exercises for the same amount of time as those in the Qigong group. A third group (placebo) received no intervention. The researchers measured levels of blood sugar, hemoglobin A1c, insulin, fasting C-peptide, cortisol and psychological stress before, during and at the end of the study.

Here’s a significant anectode: the Qigong was quality controlled.  I remember a study at our university (before I was brought on) where ear acupuncture for weight loss was studied.  It was epic fail.  I asked later on, “did we just stick the seeds on the points or did we teach them how to use them properly?   Did we make sure someone ensured compliance?”

And not just one, not two, but several blood exams!

Researcher, Amy Putiri, M.S., says the investigators found participants in the Qigong group had significantly lower levels of fasting blood glucose, improved ability to use insulin (less insulin resistance) and reduced stress. They also lost weight. Participants in progressive resistance training had some decreases in blood glucose, but the results were inconsistent and not significant. Those in this exercise group were also more likely to gain weight.

They gained weight because they gained muscle mass.

Researchers don’t know exactly how Qigong may help lower some of the markers associated with type 2 diabetes. Putiri believes meditation, slowed movement and breathing exercises promote relaxation and reduce stress, which may improve how the body functions. In addition, she says Qigong restores the mind-body connection and the harmony between the pancreas, kidneys and liver. The findings from the Bastyr study are expected to be published in the January 2010 issue of Diabetes Care. Other small studies suggest that Qigong may also be beneficial as a complimetary therapy for patients with metabolic syndrome and elevated glucose levels.

Qigong works not by suppressing the markers, but by promoting proper body function by ensuring smooth flow of Qi.  In Chinese medicine, diabetes may result from problems with the Lungs, Kidneys, Spleen or a combination thereof.  Diabetes in TCM is seen as a problem with Body Fluids.  The Lungs and Kidneys also have an intimate relationship with Qi, the Lungs receiving Qi and the Kidneys holding Qi.  Can we presume that by ensuring proper Qi flow the Lungs and Kidneys then are freer to control Fluids, and thus, Diabetes?

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