A letter on Diabetes and Ki Aikido was received by the Ki Federation in July 2010. It was written by Derek Martin who found a surprise improvement in his diabetes after starting Ki Aikido. Derek has kindly given us permission to reproduced the text of his original letter, and has also provided an update for April 2015.
The original letter - from July 2010
My principle reason for taking up Aikido again was that for the last 10 years I have been Type 2 Diabetic and have increasingly been unable to control my sugar levels. At my 6 monthly assessment, in January 2010, my GP informed me that my average glucose reading over the last 4 months was 14. If it was the same or higher after my next assessment, there would be no option but to move to insulin injections to control my diabetes.
I had already made what changes I could to my diet. I am a non-smoker, not overweight and exercised mildly whenever I could. I decided that I needed more exercise and remembered how much I had enjoyed Aikido all those years ago. As diabetes generally reduces muscle strength I needed to find an exercise or sporting activity where strength was not essential for performance. Ki Aikido seemed to fit the bill. I started in mid March this year and practiced twice a week from the start (more when possible). I found the Ki exercises to be relaxing and started to practice them every day - on average a half to three quarter hour session every day.
In May I attended my GPs office for the results of my latest blood tests and was as astonished as my GP at the results. In the two and a half months since I had started practicing Ki Aikido, my glucose levels had returned to less than half of the previous 4 months, at an average of 6. My cholesterol levels had reduced to 4, my blood pressure had returned to normal and I had lost 2.5 Kilos. In the space of 4 months or so over which the tests were taken, the only change I had made to my lifestyle was to take up Ki Aikido. My diet was the same and my drugs regime was the same. In fact the only thing that had increased was my weekly alcohol consumption - as I now went out for a "pint after practice" an additional 2 nights per week!
I feel calmer, more centred, generally ﬁtter and more relaxed as a result of taking up Ki Aikido and have heartily recommended it to all my other contacts with diabetes. My next assessment is towards the end of this year, and I hope to find that my average glucose levels have remained at their present level.
This experience has taken me completely by surprise, and my GP and diabetes clinic are also interested in the results. Although tests need to be monitored over a longer period to ensure it is not just a "fluke". Is there any precedent for the practice of Aikido and Ki exercises increasing the ability to control diabetes? If you have any evidence I would be very interested to see it.
The update - from April 2015
I am pleased to report that the glucose and general fitness levels weren't just a "flash in the pan". They have stayed with me for the last 5 years. I have regular checkups on my glucose, cholesterol and blood-pressure, as well as my heart . All have remained very stable and well. I believe this to be a result of my continuing practice.
My glucose is now on average around 7, my cholesterol, at my last check, was 3.5 and bloodpressure normal. I have continued with the same medication without the need for any change. I have even lost more weight, although the beer consumption is still higher than before I started ki aikido!With thanks to Derek Martin