Dr Lam Tai Chi for Health Newsletter
- Issue Number 180, August 2016
Hello <<First Name>>
In this issue:
I firmly believe family is the most important thing in life, I am excited every time I meet family members sharing quality time playing tai chi together. What a wonderful way to cement bonding, enjoy non-competitive activities and get healthier and happier together. Thank you for sharing your stories about playing tai chi with your families. Your wonderful photos and stories tell it all! I hope you are as inspired by Sharif Zyhier as I am, he became a Tai Chi for Arthritis instructor in order to help teach his 13 grandchildren tai chi! We have a big tai chi family, it is so very special to have families within the family.
I am preparing for my coming global workshop tour. Some workshops in UK and USA are nearly fully subscribed, please enrol if you would like to come. I am excited about the inaugural Exploring the Depth of Tai Chi for Diabetes. I am planning to take you beyond the boundaries of accepted knowledge. I will help you understand the corresponding Qi flow along the meridians relating to Diabetes, in order to cultivate the healing energy to help control or to prevent diabetes. I will also integrate Traditional Chinese Medicine with modern medical knowledge to give you a new perspective on the inner power of Tai Chi for Diabetes.
The Depth of Tai Chi for Rehabilitation, could just as well be named Tai Chi for Regeneration; almost everyone including experienced tai chi practitioners are surprised at the depth of this simple set and the range of its applications. Just about every instructor who has taught it to their students of all levels receives a strong positive response! It is also an excellent prequel to Tai Chi for Energy, check out the workshops below, come to join me in our tai chi journey.
Recently my tai chi friend and colleague Rani Hughes shared with me the sad news that Bhante Kassapa had passed away. I had the good fortune to meet this inspirational spiritual teacher in Sri Lanka three years ago, and even taught tai chi in his mountain retreat. Rani has written a very beautiful piece about him, which I would like to share with you: “With a heavy heart, I am travelling to Sri Lanka for the funeral of my beloved teacher, Venerable Bhante Kassapa. Thank- you Bhante for your wonderful teachings, guidance and friendship over the past 20 years. May you obtain full liberation and continue to be a blessing for all beings. Sadhu sadhu sadhu”
Twenty years ago I produced my very first tai chi video. 500 hours of planning, researching and hard work later I was smitten! To put your heart and soul into a project and see the final result on the screen is very exciting. Then people began telling me how much my program had helped them; there no greater reward than helping others to improve the quality of their lives! Tai chi had changed my life, now it was my turn to help others change theirs.
I want to share with you more of my projects such as "The Tai Chi Traveller"; "How to Learn Tai Chi?" "How to Improve Your Tai Chi?" "What Makes Tai Chi Magical?"… I am kicking off with "My Invitation to the 19th Annual Workshop in Sydney". I would love your feedback.
My project includes Q and A; if you send me your tai chi questions, I will try to answer them with YouTube clips. It takes a long time to produce a video, so be patient. If you subscribe to my YouTube channel or Newsletter, or like my FaceBook page, then you will receive notification as soon as they are posted.
It’s not necessary to learn more tai chi sets in order to reach a high level. As one Tai Chi for Health instructor said:“Over the last 30 years, I’ve learned many sets of forms. My greatest improvement, however, came from teaching the simple sets, like Tai Chi for Beginners. When I teach how to integrate the essential principles into the forms... Through numerous repetitions, I have found that my understanding of the essential principles deepen each time, and, as a result, my forms improve immensely.”
Here are some guidelines that would help you to progress whichever way you choose to move on.
This Month’s Special
Receive a 20% discount when you purchase the 24 Forms DVD. Please use coupon code SPAUG2420 when ordering. Offer expires 31 August. Not to be used with any other discount.
Upcoming Workshops by Dr Paul Lam
- Tai Chi for Rehabilitation Instructor Training by Dr Paul Lam, September 1, United Kingdom, Manchester
- Tai Chi for Energy 2 Workshop by Dr Paul Lam, September 3, United Kingdom, Manchester
- Depth of Chen 36 with Dr Paul Lam, September 5, United Kingdom, Manchester
- Exploring the Depth of Tai Chi for Energy, September 16, United States, NY, Colonie
- Exploring the Depth of Tai Chi for Diabetes by Dr. Paul Lam, September 17, United States, NJ, Liberty Corner
- Dr Paul Lam's Master Class for Sun 73 and Chen 36 Forms, September 21, Lenox, MA, United States
- Tai Chi for Rehabilitation by Dr Paul Lam, October 1, United States, FL, Vero Beach
- Tai Chi for Energy Instructor Training by Dr Paul Lam, October 3, United States, Florida, Vero Beach
- Exploring the Depth of Tai Chi for Rehabilitation by Dr Paul Lam, October 7, United States, MO, Kansas City
- Exploring the Depth of Tai Chi for Arthritis for Fall Prevention by Dr. Paul Lam, October 8, United States, MO, Kansas City
- Exploring the Depth of Yang 24 Forms, California, October 14, United States, CA, Fresno
- Exploring the Depth Tai Chi for Arthritis for Fall Prevention by Dr.Paul Lam, October 15, United States, CA, Fresno
- Exploring the Depth of Tai Chi for Rehabilitation by Dr.Paul Lam, October 21, United States, WA, Bainbridge Island
- Exploring the Depth of Tai Chi for Arthritis by Dr Paul Lam, October 22, United States, WA, Bainbridge Island
Other workshops by my authorised Master Trainers are displayed on the Master Trainer Workshop Calendar
Yours in Tai Chi,
Paul Lam, family physician specializing in preventive medicine,
Director of Tai Chi for Health Institute.
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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
Angela Valdez, Instructor, Alaska
I was blessed to have the opportunity to attend the Annual Tai Chi workshop in Ohio this past June. It was an incredible experience to mingle for 7 days with tai chi people. It was truly amazing to spend time with this family who had never met me yet greeted me with open arms. The experience was everything I hoped it would be . . . and so much more!!
Dr. Lam is a gifted Tai Chi master. His demonstrations were masterful and beyond awe inspiring. He moves with such grace and beauty that you cannot help but be emotionally moved. Surprisingly, though, his greatest and most inspiring gift came not during a demonstration of his skill, but during the talent show. By his own admission, his singing skills are not spectacular . . . but he moved forward with his passion and sang for us.
He sang an anthem, a prayer of thanks, a history of his life and his life’s quest. It was the imperfection that spoke the loudest to me. The message came, not from his head nor from his skills, but straight from the heart. The heart is an incredibly powerful messenger!
He could have spoken for hours or written dozens of books, and I don’t think any of those things could have been nearly as powerful for me as those few minutes of singing were! The few lines I write here cannot convey the power of that experience, but I am compelled to share how it has inspired me.
During the workshop, I studied the Yang 24 form. At the end of that week, I could do the form better than before, but the grace and beauty that comes from decades of practice were not evident in my execution of it!! Because I was so inspired by Dr. Lam’s courage to go forth with passion and share his prayer of thanksgiving, hope and dreams with all of us, I decided I should begin teaching this form just as soon as I got home. So, I did.
Four students signed up for my 7:30 – 8:00 morning class 4 days a week. I was honest with them, saying it would be like “the poor sighted leading the blind’. I pledged to practice to stay a bit ahead of them, and would teach 2-3 movements per week so we could finish the form before fall. The students were inspired. They practiced. They attended regularly and never missed a single class. They wanted more! So, we scheduled a weekend class mid-July and finished the last few moves.
We’re not good . . . yet. We just barely know the language of the form, and have a long way to go before the flow comes. I have described a tai chi class as being like a flock of birds – each moving with their own spirit, but all going in the same direction. This class is no different; though I often wonder, as I step aside to watch them ‘show me’, if they are even going in the same direction!
I ponder this feeling that I really should quest for perfection. I look at this class and know, that if perfection is my goal, I have failed miserably. It’s funny to me that, for the first time in my life, I feel no shame in that failure. Four people have received a gift that makes them smile. They are proud of their progress and recognize that with practice they will improve. They still come to practice every day, and they are still inspired!
One day, perhaps a dozen years from now, I will attain the grace and beauty of my teacher. One day I may become the teacher I strive to be – the one who can skillfully execute this form without having to run back between classes and review the video or the notes I took! That day will come with perseverance and hard work. But until then, I will let my heart speak and share what I have learned with others. They deserve this gift today, so they can grow along with me. Even babies can plant seeds, and those plants grow just as tall as those planted by experts!!
What Dr. Lam gave me through his song, is the recognition that even before we are the teachers to emulate, we have the ability to inspire . . . and to teach. Even before we have grace and beauty, we can keep our students safe. If we go forward with passion, we, each of us, has the power to give the beauty of Tai Chi to others. How amazing is that!!
Dr Lam replies:
Angela, I love your analogy, yes, even babies can plant seeds which will one day grow as tall as those planted by the experts. Your love and care for your participants shines through. They are lucky to have you as their teacher!
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Product of the Month Review Prize Winners
This month’s winners of the Tai Chi Music CD 2 are from Australia: Christine Milton and from USA: Wallace Notley. Congratulations Christine and Wallace! Please contact (within one week) firstname.lastname@example.org (Australia) or email@example.com (USA) to receive your prize.
Posted by: Christine Milton
Product: Teaching Tai Chi Effectively Book - 2011 Edition
Thank you Dr Paul Lam for updating "Teaching Tai Chi Effectively." There is valuable, additional information and it is a great reference book for using with my class. I get inspiration from the little teaching tips and always learning.
Posted by: Wallace Notley
Product: Tai Chi for Arthritis DVD, Wallcharts and Handbook
In the Tai Chi for Arthritis product series above I am currently using both the wall charts, the handbook, and the 12 lessons. I have not started on the Part 2 dvd 6 lessons yet. I like both wall charts because they enable me to get as complete an overview of all the different movements taught. This helps me to better encompass the principles of Tai Chi by freezing the essence of each movement on a picture eventually making practice without the dvds easier. Also, the handbook has presented a way to review and retain the salient principles of the practice.
I have found the 12 lessons on both dvds to be very helpful. I especially enjoy the way Dr Lam breaks down the lessons into parts that make learning each movement clear and coordinates the parts into the whole form. For example, for the more complex parry and punch lesson, the whole movement is presented first, then the footwork separately, then the hand movements separately, and finally the parts are presented together into the clear and coherent whole form.
Thank you for helping so many people worldwide.
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Tai Chi and Family – your stories
Arturo Fernandez, Instructor, Barcelona
I'm sending you the TCA form with our baby Luna in the sling. She seems to love it to fall asleep :)
Tai Chi in New Zealand
Eileen Bandcroft, Instructor, Waiuku, New Zealand
This is me with my GREAT grandson Kyro practising our tai chi at Opotiki, New Zealand.
Tai Chi Across the Generations
Sharif Zyhier, Instructor, USA
As a working grandfather, I took every advantage to spend valuable, quality time with my grandchildren. It was obvious to me that one of my goals for retirement was to spend more qualitative and quantitative time with our grandchildren.
When I began studying Tai Chi for Arthritis I had no idea of the many health benefits, or of the history and philosophy of Tai Chi. I was very pleased and enthused to discover how much fun, challenge, peace and calm that Tai Chi brought to me. My family was happy that their “Papa” was so excited about studying and learning Tai Chi that they began asking me to explain the art of Tai Chi to them.
This sparked an even greater interest in me to learn and I decided that I would embark on a new journey in life – to teach Tai Chi for Arthritis and Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention to seniors as well as to teach TCA to the youth in urban communities. I was so pleased to hear our grandchildren say that they were interested in learning Tai Chi, and what fast learners they are!
I look forward to developing quality relationships as I continue on my journey to teach Tai Chi for Health.
The King Family
Barbara Holgate, Instructor, Queensland, Australia
This is a lovely photo of the King family. Patrick started coming my classes earlier this year. Each week he would bring a prized gerbera from his garden for the teacher which I thought was a lovely gesture. Then he started bringing his entire family including his daughter, mother and wife. I thought this was a lovely photo of a family enjoying Tai Chi together. Don't they look great!!
IMG 3 - Is a photo of Geoff and Roslyn Head who have been attending my classes for the last six years. Once again, it is so nice to have couples come along to class and Geoff and Ros are very committed to their Tai Chi.
Also note in the King Family Photo that I have a gentleman reflected on the left side of the photo who was determined to make the family smile. I am not sure what Tai Chi movement that was meant to be, but I'm sure it isn't one from Dr Paul Lam's Tai Chi for Health Programs. We DO enjoy our Tai Chi together on a Tuesday evening!!!!
Sisters in Law and in Tai Chi!
Heather Wright, Instructor, Melbourne
We are sisters-in-law and this year made the journey from Melbourne to Sydney to soak up the amazing tai chi atmosphere and learn some new forms.
Joyce started learning tai chi in 2000 with Ron James at Moonee Ponds. She learned TCA, 100 Chen style and Qigong.
I started learning tai chi in 2005 with Elaine Davidson at Chirnside Park. I learned TCA, Oolun (a form developed by Elaine) and Qigong.
We would see each other at family occasions and neither realized that the other was doing tai chi. At one time or another Joyce probably mentioned tai chi but as I wasn’t learning it then it wasn’t a common interest. We had lots of other things to talk about, family, holidays, kids, etc.
Then…..we connected the dots realizing that we were both learning tai chi and that we both completed TCA instructor training in 2012. Since then we have attended Workshops to learn TCE and Discovering the Depths of TCA. After last years workshop we decided we would like to go to the Sydney Workshop, teed it up with our husbands (who are brothers) and the rest is history.
Joyce teaches TCA at the Craigieburn Leisure Centre and Meadow Heights School.
I teach 8 classes at home in Mooroolbark, another at a business in Scoresby and at an aged care facility in Ringwood.
We both teach TCA to PAG (Planned Activity Groups) in our area. Today we have celebrated World Tai Chi and Qigong Day at Lilydale Lake with 15 other tai chi enthusiasts from around Victoria.
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Humour, Laughter and Radiant Health
Doctor Bob McBrien, Salisbury, Maryland, USA
Our ability to find a good laugh each day contributes to an optimistic outlook on life. A quote by Mark Twain guides us on this theory. He said, “Humour is a great thing…the minute it crops up, all our hardness yields, all our irritations and resentments flit away, and a sunny spirit takes their place.” Humour & laughter promote radiant health.
Have you noticed that the ability to poke fun at life is a key trait of the happiest folks taking your tai chi for health classes? Sometimes finding the laugh of the day is easy when your newspaper headline is funnier than the cartoons. Here are a few examples of headlines that got past the editors.
Send your humorous headline to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers
- Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over
- Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures
- Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges
- New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group
- Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half
- Kids Make Nutritious Snacks
- Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors
- Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures
- Town council meeting on open meetings is closed
If you find positive humour you would like to share send to me @ email@example.com
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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.