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Open AccessArticle

Effect of Tai Chi Combined with Mental Imagery on Cutaneous Microcirculatory Function and Blood Pressure in a Diabetic and Elderly Population

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Department of Physical Therapy, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia
2
School of Physical Therapy, Touro University Nevada, Henderson, NV 89014, USA
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Department of Physical Therapy, Eulji University, Seongnam 13135, Korea
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Department of Physical Therapy, Gachon University, Incheon 21936, Korea
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Healthcare 2020, 8(3), 342; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8030342
Received: 4 September 2020 / Revised: 10 September 2020 / Accepted: 14 September 2020 / Published: 16 September 2020
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of Tai Chi (TC) training combined with mental imagery (MI) on blood pressure and cutaneous microcirculatory function in individuals with diabetes and age-matched healthy subjects. All subjects participated in a one-hour Yang style TC exercise with MI twice per week for 8 weeks. An activities-specific balance confidence (ABC) measurement, a single-leg stance (SLS), a functional reach test (FRT), systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and skin blood flow were assessed. All functional outcomes were significantly improved in both groups, and systolic and diastolic blood pressures were lower in both groups after the TC training (p < 0.05), but there was no significant group effect. Skin blood flow decreased in the age-matched elderly group when heat and occlusion were applied (p < 0.05), but no difference was found in the diabetes group. Combining TC with MI showed an improvement in functional outcomes and blood pressure but cutaneous microcirculatory function did not improve. Combining TC intervention with MI theory showed an improvement in functional outcomes and blood pressure, which showed cardiovascular benefits not only in diabetes but in age-matched healthy subjects. However, cutaneous microcirculatory function was increased only in age-matched healthy subjects. View Full-Text
Keywords: Tai Chi; mental imagery; diabetes; blood pressure; blood flow Tai Chi; mental imagery; diabetes; blood pressure; blood flow
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MDPI and ACS Style

Alsubiheen, A.; Petrofsky, J.; Yu, W.; Lee, H. Effect of Tai Chi Combined with Mental Imagery on Cutaneous Microcirculatory Function and Blood Pressure in a Diabetic and Elderly Population. Healthcare 2020, 8, 342.

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