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Tai Chi Qigong for Health >> Tai Chi Qigong for Cardiovascular Health

Tai Chi May Be a Cost-effective Way to Reduce Risks for the Metabolic Syndrome

September 2008 - Metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions that put people at risk for heart disease and diabetes. These conditions include high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels, high levels of triglycerides (a type of fat in blood), low levels of HDL (the good cholesterol in blood), and too much fat around the waist.

The cause of metabolic syndrome might be insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone your body produces to help you turn sugar from food into energy for your body. If you are insulin resistant, too much sugar builds up in your blood, setting the stage for disease.

 Cardiovascular disease risk rises sharply with menopause, likely due to the coincident increase in insulin resistance and related atherogenic changes that together comprise the metabolic or insulin resistance syndrome, a cluster of metabolic and hemodynamic abnormalities strongly implicated in the pathogenesis and progression of cardiovascular disease.

According to some researchers from Center for the Study of Complementary and Alternative Therapies, University of Virginia Health Systems, a growing body of research suggests that traditional mind-body practices such as yoga, Tai Chi, and qigong may offer safe and cost-effective strategies for reducing insulin resistance syndrome-related risk factors for cardiovascular disease in older populations, including postmenopausal women. They think current evidence suggests that these practices may reduce insulin resistance and related physiological risk factors for cardiovascular disease; improve mood, well-being, and sleep; decrease sympathetic activation; and enhance cardiovagal function. However, they also pointed out that additional rigorous studies are needed to confirm existing findings and to examine long-term effects on cardiovascular health.


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