Tai Chi Combined with Mental Imagery Theory Improves Balance for Diabetic Older People
October 19, 2015 -
One of the effects of diabetes mellitus
(DM), peripheral neuropathy, affects the sensation in the feet and can increase
the chance of falling. Two institutions in California, Loma Linda University and
Hoag Hospital, teamed up in a study to investigate the effect of 8 weeks of Tai Chi training combined with mental imagery
(MI) on improving balance in people with diabetes and an age matched control
Seventeen healthy people and 12 diabetic
sedentary patients ranging from 40-80 years of age were recruited. All
participants in both groups attended a Yang style of Tai Chi class using MI
strategies, 2 sessions a week for 8 weeks. Each session was one hour long.
Measures were taken using a balance platform test, an Activities-specific
Balance Confidence (ABC) Scale, a one leg standing test (OLS), functional reach
test (FRT) and hemoglobin A1C. These measures were taken twice, pre and
post-study, for both groups.
At the end of the study, both groups
experienced significant improvements in ABC, OLS, FRT after completing 8 weeks
of Tai Chi exercise with no significant improvement between groups. Participants
using the balance platform test demonstrated improvement in balance in all
different tasks with no significant change between groups. There was no
significant change in HbA1C for the diabetic group.
All results showed an improvement in balance
in the diabetic and the control groups; however, no significant difference
between the groups was observed. Since the DM group had more problems with
balance impairment at baseline than the control, the diabetic group showed the
most benefit from the Tai Chi exercise.
Their study is published in the October,
2015 issue of Medical science monitor