Dr Lam's Tai Chi, Health and Lifestyle Newsletter - Issue Number 165, May 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 currently in China, having just finished my workshop and tour with a group of tai chi friends and participants. We had a wonderful time and celebrated World Tai Chi and Qigong Day at the ancient Longmen Grottoes. Like most attractions it was full of tourists, but we managed to find a space to do Tai Chi for Health forms right on the stroke of 10 o’clock.
I dropped a line to Bill Douglas - the creator of WTCQD and he was so impressed that he has featured our photos in his new newsletter, calling us a UN group because we came from nine countries. Somewhere along the way the names got a little confused, so here are the names to go with the photo on the right.
There is something very special about teaching tai chi in China, and immersing ourselves in the local culture. We had breakfast, lunch and dinner together every day. I was delighted to see the group developing their tai chi and personal growth in this special environment. Fun for me to see my friends becoming more adventurous with their food and adapting to some challenging situations such as unhygienic toilets.
A special moment was doing our tai chi practice on the top of the most ancient city wall in China - at the old capital Xian, and having several university students join in (photo). Some had never tried tai chi before and there was great hilarity as they tried to follow us through the 24 Forms! Our two guides, Sammy and Agnes, were a delight – Sammy was our guide last year and formed a special attachment to us, and they really enjoyed watching us practice our tai chi.
Thanks for your review for my memoir, please place order or review to Amazon.
I am looking forward to meeting with you at the workshops in UK, Sweden, Switzerland and the 13th Annual workshop in Portland USA.
We will be back at Kincoppal next year for the January workshop, with some exciting new features, such as fun competition and a chance to win an all inclusive package! You can enrol soon - watch this space!
This Month’s Special:
For May only, receive a 15% discount on the full range of instructional DVDs. Please use coupon code MAYTCP15 when ordering. Offer expires 31 May.
Upcoming Workshops by Dr Paul Lam
- Exploring the Depth of Tai Chi for Arthritis by Dr Paul Lam, May 7, United Kingdom, Salford, Manchester - fully registered
- Tai Chi for Energy Instructor Training by Dr Paul Lam, May 9, United Kingdom, Salford, Manchester - fully registered
- 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 with Optional Fall Prevention module 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
- Tai Chi for Energy Instructor Training with Dr Paul Lam, October 1, United States, OH, Painesville
- Tai Chi for Energy 2 with Dr Paul Lam, October 3, United States, Ohio
- Exploring the Depth of Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention by Dr. Paul Lam, October 8, United States, AZ, Tucson
- Depth of Tai Chi for Energy with Dr Paul, Lam October 23, United States, CA, Walnut Creek
- Tai Chi for Energy 2 with Dr Paul Lam, October 24th United States, CA, Walnut Creek
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
Gary Setzer, Participant, Georgia, USA
My name is Gary Setzer, age 64, a lifetime martial artists and instructor, who has looking for a new direction for these aging bones and joints. AIso having been blessed in the past few years with HBP, HCL, Osteoarthritis, I have had to curtail my Kenpo Teaching and MA training. I am looking at my 2015 New Year's resolutions and decided one of them is to become a Tai Chi for Health Instructor in my area of Loganville, GA. I started my Tai Chi journey back in 2007 when I signed onto to learn the 24 Yang Style form in Snellville, GA. This became my daily routine replacing my Kenpo and Kali training and teaching when the Snellville school closed in 2003. Since then I retired from AT&T and my Wife and I moved to Loganville, GA to be close to Daughter and (3) grandkids.
I have been hanging out with Dr. Paul Lam and his DVDs and books over three years now. And I continue to practice and buy his DVD's and books. I recently completed his new Tai Chi for Energy DVD. Added that one to my daily workout routine along with the TCA form and the 24 Yang form.
I have the following DVDs and have learned the basic materials they provide.
Tai Chi for Arthritis (complete set parts 1 and 2)
Tai Chi for Back Pain and recovery
Tai Chi for Seniors
Tai Chi for Energy (1st DVD)
Tai Chi for the Office Workers
Tai Chi 24 form as taught by Dr Paul Lam (original DVD and his new update)
Tai Chi for Kids
Tai Chi for Rehabilitations (I watched it then I gave this one to my grandson to use as he has fibromylagia and other bone and joint issues)
I have and have read and continue to study Dr Paul Lam's books:
Tai Chi for Arthritis
Tai Chi for Beginners and 24 form
Teaching Tai Chi handbook
Just completed reading and going back through it - A Study of Taijiquan by Sun LuTang
I have acquired read and gave away many other books on Tai Chi and DVDs and VHS Tapes that really proved to be too complicated, poor quality, or simply were impossible to learn from. Much prefer Dr Paul Lam's books and DVDs.
Dr Lam replies:
Wow! Thanks Gary, you have done really well to study all those forms from the DVDs and books. I love your enthusiasm and I hear that you are now studying with my Senior Trainer, Jocelyn Simpson. I look forward to meeting you in person before too long!
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Drawing Everyone into the Circle
John Melito, Instructor, Kansas City
How do I ‘draw a large circle’ to include every participant? Generally: be creative, smile, listen, observe and have a servant’s heart. (I tend to use humor to my advantage, and have gotten great results.) I know that sometimes it’s just not possible to include absolutely all participants all the time. Just do your best as a teacher AND make it fun and ‘OK’ to feel uncomfortable or awkward! I try put myself in the participants ‘shoes’.
Here’s an example of what I do to try to include everybody. I find this works well for complex moves (i.e. ‘stroking birds tail’, or ‘leisurely tying coat’). I might smile, show enthusiasm, and say:
“This next move is cool, and it’s a lot of fun! I think you’re going to like it!” Then, after teaching it using your stepwise method, I’d repeat some steps if needed.
If I sense some of the participants are noticeably frustrated: I give a big smile, and admit to the class that this is a little more of a complex move than some others we’ve learned. I say something like: “This move has a lot going on with your hands, arms, feet”, etc.
To lessen and diffuse any anxiety and increase the fun, I might add: “I remember that I was so confused when I first learned this,...I felt so awkward and uncomfortable. It’s like I was wearing bunched up underwear! ...You know…it doesn’t hurt, but it sure does feel uncomfortable!” (as I say this, I’ll wiggle slightly to mimic having bunched up underwear).
Everyone smiles and laughs! This immediately reduces, or even eliminates frustrations of the participant(s), especially those who are really feeling ‘left out’ because they’re not ‘getting it’. The whole class relaxes and now has changed to a positive attitude of learning a
form, and having fun doing it.
By saying that even I, the teacher, gets ‘flustered’ once in a while, draws that bigger circle around all the participants in class, which included those who felt frustrated or left out. The participants can relate to me more when (in a lighthearted manner) I admit my own frustrations at learning some movements. They understand that the frustration, etc. which they might be going through is totally normal!
My goal can be summed up this way:
Each flower is different, and grows at its own pace.
My job is provide enough ‘nourishment’ to all the flowers to let them grow at their own rate.
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Humour, Laughter and Radiant Health
Dr Bob McBrien, Master Trainer, Salisbury, Maryland, USA
Neuroscientists have scanned brains of mediators and happy people and are able to tell us about the biology of humor and laughter. We learn that when we are listening to a funny story, watching a Victor Borge on a DVD or responding to a joke our brain is multi-tasking. This complex activity requires the teamwork of three brain areas. Firstly the cognitive area helps us get the punch line. Remember it is the surprise in the story that tickles us. Secondly a movement-controlling zone helps move the muscles of the face (the zygomatics) as we laugh. Finally an emotional area helps generate happy feelings. When we have good feelings we counter balancing our stressful feelings that our hurried, hassled and harried lifestyle produces.
One way to exercise your brain’s humor/laughter system is the comic device called the 'one-liner'. Hopefully, the following one-liners may bring a chuckle. If you have a favorite one-liner to share send to me @ firstname.lastname@example.org .
* A recent study has found that wives who carry a little extra weight live longer than the husbands who mention it.
* Plan to be spontaneous tomorrow
* I used to have a handle on life, but it broke
* Help wanted - fortune teller: you know where to apply
* The one who laughs last thinks slowest
* I feel like I'm diagonally parked in a parallel universe
* I used to be indecisive; now I'm not sure
* The only cure for insomnia is to get more sleep
* Help stamp out and eradicate superfluous redundancy
* COLE'S LAW: Thinly sliced cabbage
* A day without sunshine is, like, night
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END OF NEWSLETTER
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.