Regular tai chi practice helps us to deal with new challenges better.
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Dr Lam's Tai Chi and Health Newsletter

- Issue Number 159, Nov, 2014

In this issue:

Click on the title above to read the articles
Hello <<First Name>>
First of all, I have exciting news.  Two of my January workshop courses, Tai Chi for Arthritis and Tai Chi for Energy are accredited by the Australian Physiotherapy Association. I am also in the process of applying for re- accreditation from Fitness Australia. Do tell your own physio or fitness leader about this development, it will enhance their professional qualifications to be a trained instructor.

As you will know, we have been undergoing a major overhaul of our website.  This has proved to be a much bigger and demanding task than we anticipated.  Thanks for all your positive comments about the new look site, and your patience as we fix the bugs.  My staff and I have put in a huge amount of effort, and we are very excited to see the new site taking shape.

The theme of my January 2015 workshop will be “Overcoming Challenges” This is quite ironic, as we have overcome quite a few recently.  Any change to our routine brings unexpected problems, and I have come to realize now, more than ever, how much tai chi helps me to keep a balanced perspective. 

Tai chi has been a part of my life for nearly 40 years, and it has helped me in so many ways. As a doctor I am sure that without it I would be severely disabled from my arthritis by now, instead of enjoying life and travelling the world to teach for half of every year. Next month I will feature a short extract from my own memoir, which I hope to publish soon. My memoir is my way of acknowledging my enormous debt to tai chi and my dream is that it will inspire many others to try it. 
This Month’s Special:
Do your Christmas shopping early and avoid the rush!  Give the gift of health to your friends and loved ones, with our 30% discount off any Health Series DVD.  Offer expires 30th November 2014.  Please use coupon code XMASSP when ordering.
Upcoming Workshops by Dr Paul Lam

January 2015

May 2015

June 2015

I will be sending another list of upcoming workshops not posted online because of the website work to the workshop notifying list. 
Yours in Tai Chi,

Paul Lam, MD
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(Dr Lam receives many letters.  Each month we feature one, and he answers any questions raised)
A letter to Dr Lam
Anne Crichton, Senior Trainer, Manchester, UK

Hello Dr Lam. I thought you would like to see the effects of a TCA class!
Ken and Joan attend my Friday group. Ken is in his mid 70's and was referred by his doctor after double knee replacements had impaired his balance. Joan is in her late 80's and when she first came to my class her balance was so poor I constantly feared she would topple over! She sometimes gets a bit depressed but says tai chi helps her feel more positive.  Their improvement has been amazing.  

Today the whole class did the complete Tai Chi for Arthritis form for the first time and were all delighted. Ken burst into song and before I knew it they were waltzing.! (I guess waltzing is about weight shift too!)

They are happy for me to send you this picture and asked me to tell you how much they appreciate and benefit from your tai chi for health programme.

Dr Lam replies: 
Thank you Anne, Ken and Joan for sharing this with us.  What a wonderful story!  I see so many people who enjoy their tai chi, but I haven’t had any dancing during a workshop session.  They look so joyful, long may they continue!

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Post Polio Syndrome
Robert Whelchel, Instructor, Georgia, US
I had Polio in 1949 at age 7.  I spent three months in Warm Springs, GA at a facility to treat children and grownups afflicted with polio.
While there, I was fit with a corset and neck brace I was required to wear day and night for 5 years.  I returned to Warm Springs at 3 month intervals for evaluation and adjustment of the brace corresponding to my growth. 
One of the happiest days of my life was when I got rid of that brace.  I finally was “normal” again.  I participated in every sport activity available except football, specifically, basketball and track.  I believed I was never going to think about polio or its effects again.  Most polio survivors are driven to excel physically to prove to themselves they are “normal”.  I was no different.
Much to my surprise, in my late 40's I began to experience acute muscle fatigue and pain.  After consulting with local physicians, I returned to Warm Springs.  At that time I was diagnosed with post polio syndrome and told the only possibility to relieve the symptoms was to get more rest and avoid exertion.  Many persons my age have suffered more than I from this syndrome and returned to using braces and wheel chairs.
Eighteen months ago, James Knight, a trainer at Alcovy Fitness told me about a new program he had initiated.  It was called tai chi for arthritis.  I had previously tried a yoga class but it became too physically stressful for me due to arthritis affecting my wrists.

I decided to give tai chi a try.
To my amazement, this gentle exercise has allowed me to actually gain strength in my legs and improve my overall energy level without pain or stress.  Balance has also substantially improved.
While there is no cure for this condition, tai chi is the closest thing I have found.  With continued practice and expansion of my tai chi repertoire I am certain that my quality of life will continue to improve.
I was recently certified to teach tai chi for arthritis part I.   I plan to be certified as well for part 2 and continue to expand my knowledge through learning the 73 Sun style forms. 
The primary purpose for this article is to make others aware that tai chi for arthritis can be helpful to persons suffering from post polio syndrome.  
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The Poetry of Tai Chi
Dave Moore, Instructor, Irving, Texas, USA
Breathe In, breathe out.
My first conscious response
As eyes open I search for the light of a new day.
Breathe In, breathe out.
Breathing in
I absorb the energy of the universe.
Letting it charge the battery of my soul
As I breathe out.
Breathing in
I stand up straight, shoulders back
Then let them drop and relax
As I breathe out.
Breathing In
I picture myself in that special place
Feeling the warmth of the sand on my feet
As I breathe out.
Breathing in
I hear the sound of the ocean waves
Connecting to the beat of natures metronome
As I breathe out
Breathing in
I taste the salt
And savor the smell of the ocean breeze
As I breathe out.
Breathing in
I see my view obstructed by dense fog
But I sense something is there beyond
As I breathe out
Breathing In
Holding an invisible ball, my arms float up
Then slowly sink down 
As I breathe out.
Breathing In
I shift my weight to the right foot and bring the ball up
Then step with my left foot forward pushing the ball into the fog
As I breathe out.
Breathing In
I bring the ball back to my chest
Then relax my shoulders
As I breathe out.
Breathing In
The ball expands pushing my hands apart
Then it collapses to its original size 
As I breathe out.
Breathing in
I turn and take a small step to the right placing my heel where my toe has been
Then push my hands forward and whip open a curtain of fog
As I breathe out
Breathing In
My right foot steps back to the left and my right hand follows arching down to my hip
Then left hand drops down right hand floats up and wipes away the fog when stepping right
As I breathe out
Two more times
Step in; switch hands; as I breathe in
Then step out while clearing the fog with my hands
As I breathe out
I pause when I see a glimmer of light in the window I have cleaned
The imaginary ball I hold expands as I breathe in
Then it collapses to its original size
 As I breathe out.
I turn to the left and repeat the movements in that direction
Step in: switch hands; as I breathe in
Then step out while clearing the fog with my hands
As I breathe out
There is a path through the fog and I can see clearly now
The imaginary ball I hold expands as I breath in
Then it collapse to its original size and my hands drift down to my sides
 As I breathe out.

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Humour, Laughter and Radiant Health
Dr Bob McBrien, Master Trainer, Salisbury, MD, USA

Among the academic disciplines that are involved with how we experience humor, psychologists have contributed theories and conducted studies that describe four styles of humor. Two styles of humor, affiliative and self-enhancing, are described as nurturing well-being. Two other styles, aggressive and  self-defeating humor are known to be detrimental to well-being. Frequent readers know that my goal for these monthly essays is to offer uplifting, healthy humor. Hopefully the bit of wit that follows will contribute to your sense of well-being.
* An elderly gentleman had serious hearing problems for a number of years.

He finally went to the doctor and the doctor was able to prescribe a set of tiny hi-tech hearing aids that  returned the gentleman's hearing 100%.

After a month the old-timer returned for a check-up.  The doctor said, "Your hearing is almost perfect. Your family must be really pleased that you can hear again."  The gentleman replied, "Oh, I haven't told my family yet. I have been sitting around  listening  to their conversations.  The doctor asked, "How did that work for you?
The old-timer replied, "I've changed my will three times!"   
*Send your favorite humor to

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Warning: Dr Lam does not necessarily endorse the opinion of other authors. Before practicing any program featured in this newsletter, please check with your physician or therapist. The authors and anyone involved in the production of this newsletter will not be held responsible in any way whatsoever for any injury which may arise as a result of following the instructions given in this newsletter. 
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Remember to register for the January 2015 Tai Chi Workshop in Sydney!

Join Dr Paul Lam for the 17th annual workshop - great tai chi with the most beautiful views, share positive energy and enjoy the camaraderie. Closing date: 15th November 2014.
Register online 

Join us for the 30th annual workshop at the beautiful Oregon, USA June 2015
The friendly and knowledgeable instructors
Tai chi training at June 2014
Enjoy your class, meet friends and develop your tai chi
At the Exploring the Depth of TCA workshop with Dr Lam in Ashville 2014

Dr Paul Lam at the Dallas after the Tai Chi for Energy Instructor training workshop

Dr Paul Lam at the June 2014 annual tai chi workshop in St Louis, USA

Ken and Joan attending Anne Crichton, Senior Trainer, Manchester, UK, TCA class!  

Robert Whelchel and Tai chi - what an inspiration!

Dr Paul Lam at the June 2014 annual tai chi workshop in USA with the Chen style 36 Forms class.

The beautiful Pacific University at Oregon, USA - the venue for the next June annual tai chi workshop in USA 2015.

Dr Paul Lam, Dave Moore (82) and Sherry Jones at the Dallas Tai Chi for Energy instructor training workshop Oct 2014

Dave helping out at the registration desk at the Tai  Chi for Arthritis workshop in Dallas 2014


Dr Bob McBrien facilitating the Exploring the Depth of TCA workshop with Dr Lam in Vermont, USA Sept 2014 
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