Dr Lam's Tai Chi, Health and Lifestyle Newsletter - Issue Number 161, January 2015
In this issue:
Click on the title above to read the articles, and this link to subscribe and read previous newsletters.
Hello <<First Name>>
I am busy preparing for my One Week Workshop next week. It is an exciting time, and our theme will be “Embracing Challenges”. I have heard many wonderful stories recently from all around the world where our instructors are empowering older adults to overcome their health challenges. Senior Trainer Richard Link has overcome severe health challenges himself, and is now devoted to helping others. Just before Christmas he was recognised for his work with seniors at his Shelby Farms Wise Trek program both in his local newspaper, and also on television. Do read his article, and watch the interview. Ignore the fact that they insist on calling him Robert instead of Richard, both are great pieces!
I was inspired by Richard to make 2015 the unofficial “Year of the Senior”, and my June pre-conference in the USA will be Tai Chi for Rehabilitation. I will also be conducting the same workshop in Australia in July.
However, tai chi is for all ages, and this month we have the story of one of our youngest instructors, 10 Year old Sophia from the UK. Sophia attended a TC4K training conducted by Master Trainer Linda Arksey, who is passionate about teaching tai chi to the younger generation. Linda’s enthusiasm is infectious – no wonder kids love her.
Wishing you all the best for 2015.
This Month’s Special:
Tai Chi for Health is declaring 2015 the unofficial Year of the Senior! Receive a 30% discount when you order Tai Chi for Older Adults. Please quote coupon code JAN15MSC when ordering. Offer expires 31 January 2015.
Upcoming Workshops by Dr Paul Lam
- Exploring the Depth of Tai Chi for Arthritis by Dr Paul Lam, May 7, United Kingdom, Salford, Manchester
- Tai Chi for Energy Instructor Training by Dr Paul Lam, May 9, United Kingdom, Salford, Manchester
- Exploring the Depth of Tai Chi for Arthritis by Dr Paul Lam, May 16, Sweden, Lund
- Exploring the Depth of Tai Chi for Arthritis by Dr Paul Lam, May 23 Switzerland, Solothurn
- Tai Chi for Rehabilitation Instructor Training by Dr Paul Lam, July 2, Australia, Sydney
- Tai Chi for Arthritis Instructor Training by Dr Paul Lam and his Master Trainers, July 4, Australia, Sydney
- Tai Chi for Diabetes Instructor Training by Dr Paul Lam and his Master Trainers, July 4, Australia, Sydney
- Tai Chi for Energy Instructor Training by Dr Paul Lam and his Master Trainers, July 4, Australia, Sydney
- Tai Chi for Osteoporosis Instructor Training by Dr Paul Lam and his Master Trainers, July 4, Australia, Sydney
- Tai Chi for Energy 2 Workshop by Dr Paul Lam and his Master Trainers, July 4, Australia, Sydney
- Tai Chi for Energy Instructor Training by Dr Paul Lam, September 17, United States, NY, Colonie
- Tai Chi for Energy 2 with Dr Paul Lam, September 19, United States, NY, Colonie
- Tai Chi for Rehabilitation Instructor Training by Dr Paul Lam, September 24, United States, GA, Cartersville
- Exploring the Depth of Tai Chi for Arthritis with Dr Paul Lam, September 26 United States, GA, Cartersville
Many other workshops conducted by my authorised master trainers are listed on the Workshop Calendar.
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
Kath Scahill, Instructor, Auckland, New Zealand
I would like to tell you that recently I had to undergo a nose operation. They cleaned out my sinuses as well. I believe the proper name for the procedure is Septoplasty and Cautery of Turbinates.
The surgeon who was to have done the operation went back home to Spain so I had a totally new doctor take over my case. When I woke up, I was not prepared for both nostrils to be blocked and for the first 5 nights of trying to get some sleep, (with my mouth open) I was having panic attacks for the very first time in my life. Then I remembered you saying that you could visualise doing the movements of Tai Chi even if you couldn't get up and actually do them.
So into my thoughts came Tai Chi for Diabetes (with you standing in front of me), and I sat propped up in the bed working my way through the movements....it didn't completely take away the horrible feeling of not being able to breathe through my nose but it calmed me down. That and deep breathing.... So another plus from being at the Pukekohe Workshop in July.
Dr Lam replies: Happy to be of service! I am available for visualisation 24/7.
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Kilimanjaro Tai Chi
Sonia Tidemann, Instructor, Port Lincoln, Australia
There is a seeming absence of oxygen at the pinnacle of Uhuru peak, the highest of the three volcanic cones that comprise Mount Kilimanjaro and all its grandeur. It limits activity, that is, unless you’re a porter or guide. One of my class members had said, ‘I expect to see evidence of tai chi when you get to the top.’ I thought I’d have no problem because I’d managed to find a bit of space to practise amongst the rocks of the camp sites as we climbed progressively closer to the summit. It didn’t even feel as cumbersome as I’d expected in my boots.
I’ve always tried to maintain my focus, going into wobble mode or losing balance if my mind wandered. Focusing has also helped me to deepen my understanding of a form no matter how many times I’ve done it over the years, something I find amazing. On top of the Tanzanian world, however, I had to focus like I’d never focused before. Without it, I’d have flaked out from dizziness though I’d not suffered from any sort of altitude sickness during the ascent. It was also quite a revelation to realise what different muscles are utilised while engaging in tai chi and thus how beneficial it is, in the long term, for movements that involve control over balance.
I had to let go quickly any sort of intellectualising thoughts even though they probably only
occupied me for milliseconds. Returning to focus on my breathing, keeping it deep and slow to match my movements, I could almost relax into the low oxygen environment. It gave me a sense of great freedom as well as privilege to perform tai chi at such a height, surrounded by glaciers despite the proximity to the equator.
Back home, closer to sea level, I must say it is much easier to immerse myself in the forms but I still try to maintain the same level of focus.
Tai Chi is 4 Kidz too
Pete Mullender, Instructor, Kent, UK
It was a special moment when Sophia Mullender passed her Tai Chi for Kidz Instructor course, aged just 10. She attended the training in Nottingham in the UK held by Master Trainer Linda Arksey. Sophia has a background in gymnastics, football and is a black belt in Wado Ryu Karate. She successfully carried out all parts of the course, including a story on the history of tai chi, a Nottingham history themed warm up and also enjoyed Dr Lam’s instructor ‘quiz’.
Sophia wrote: I really enjoyed working through the course and meeting and talking to the people. The atmosphere there was lovely and welcoming. I enjoyed making up a fun tai chi warm up based on Robin Hood. I liked learning and going through the form and feel I got better over the weekend. Doing tai chi in a group is really nice. I learnt how to run a safe, fun class. I would like to carry on with tai chi and possibly learn the Yang 24 form next. I was asked by someone if tai chi would get boring for kids after repeating the same moves and I said that tai chi is like a sandwich, you always have bread with your sandwich, but you have a different filling every time.
Master Trainer Linda Arksey says TC4K’s ‘follow me’ style also works well with participants that suffer with Alzheimers. We have found this form ideal to hold family classes where we have got three generations ‘playing with tai chi’ together. There is an important task for us all to help spread the knowledge and benefits of tai chi to the next generation - a population nowadays generally less active and more stressed. My one tai chi wish would be to have discovered it far earlier - I would be much bendier than I am now.
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Humour, Laughter and Radiant Health
Dr Bob McBrien, Master Trainer, Salisbury, MD, USA
When we "wake up" to the punch line of a story we laugh. This capacity to find humor in our life, to be playful or to enjoy a funny story is known to energize the locations in our brain that express the sensations of delight. At the same time as we laugh there is an opportunity to think creatively and to gain wisdom about life's many challenges.
As we celebrate the beginning of a new year, along with making resolutions to lose 10 pounds, exercise more, or to be kind to strangers, there is one more tradition. The new year is a time for reflecting on the past year and thinking about lessons learned as we grow older and hopefully wiser. Enjoy these words of wisdom that include a bit of humor.* I wish the buck did stop here. I sure could use a few.
* I am in shape. Round's a shape.
* Have you ever noticed? Anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac.
* Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint (Mark Twain).
* Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
* Bills travel through the mail at twice the speed of paychecks.
* A dog has an owner. A cat has a staff.
* It is easier to get older than it is to get wiser
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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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