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Dr Lam's Tai Chi, Health and Lifestyle Newsletter - Issue Number 170, Oct 2015

In this issue: 

Hello <<First Name>>

Great news!  The June 2016 One Week Workshop is now open for booking.  You can also download the brochure or forward it to your friends: Brochure front and back

We will have an exciting selection of classes at the beautiful Mt St Joseph University in Cincinnati.  Please visit the link and chose your preferred class as soon as possible to ensure a placement in the course of your choice.  I look forward to working with you there.

The preconference will be Exploring the Depth of Tai Chi for Energy.  It seems everyone can’t get enough of Tai Chi for Energy. Many people have found the trilogy with Tai Chi for Rehabilitation and Tai Chi for Energy 2 has become very popular.  With the three programmes your teaching tool box is very well equipped – Tai Chi for Rehabilitation covers almost all physical abilities from lying to sitting to standing.  Next Energy provides an exciting combination of moves for cultivating internal energy or qi for anyone especially so for younger participants, and practitioners with a more advanced skill level.  Finally Energy 2 delivers more sophisticated and challenging Chen style moves in a sequence which requires a high level of concentration.    

The One Week will be followed by a Master Class (MC) for the Yang 24 and Sun 73 Forms.  I have just conducted my first USA Master Class and it was so exciting that I have written a special article about it (see below).

The Atlanta workshops were very special.  At the Tai Chi for Rehabilitation and The Depth of TCA we had three husband and wife teams (including Jocelyn Simpson’s husband Garland, who not only attended his very first workshop, but also chauffeured participants and helped with many aspects!).  We also had two mothers attending with their daughters.  This really brought home to me what a huge tai chi family we have around the world.

I would love to hear all your family stories – we ran a series on generations a couple of years ago, and heard about great grandmothers participating with the whole family, right down to their great-grandchildren!  It would be lovely to hear how those children and growing up, and if they are still enjoying their tai chi.

Finally, the Sydney January workshop and the Master Class are filling up fast, please enrol as soon as you can to ensure placement for your chosen class.
This Month’s Special:  Tai Chi for Energy is a fun program suitable for all ages. Receive a 20% discount when you order the DVD.  Offer expires 31 October.  Please use coupon code TCEDVD20 when ordering.
Upcoming Workshops by Dr Paul Lam


January 2016

March 2016

June 2016

July 2016

September 2016

Other workshops by my authorised Master Trainers are displayed on the Master Trainer 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
Chock Petchprom, Instructor, Arkansas
I would like to share our story (and also our video).  About 5 years ago I became certified in Tai Chi for Arthritis, and later Tai Chi for Diabetes, under Sheika area, in Arkansas.  I have also bought your book and a number of DVDs to continue to improve my knowledge and technique. I am 76 years old and find that my individual Tai Chi practice helps me tremendously.
On April 1, 2015 I began to lead a group of individuals (ranging in age from mid 50's to mid 60's). I volunteer to lead this group every Saturday morning from 10:00-11:00 am, at the Moore (Oklahoma) Public Library. Yes we are probably known to the world as the community devastated by the May 2013 tornado.  This past Saturday, August 15, 2015, we were invited to practice our routine on the grounds of Cole's Gardens, where a Yoga Fest was taking place. Nine of my group showed up and, even though they are just beginning to perform the forms in a more synchronized manner, everyone gave it all they had. My son Erick videotaped our warm up and 12 form routine. 
Some of the individuals in the group I lead at the library were advised by their doctors to practice Tai Chi to improve their conditions. When we first started some of the older members of the group were barely able to keep their balance, but now they are more coordinated and feel great.  We have an older lady who attends regularly, who had a stroke that left her unable to speak clearly, and has great difficulty walking. During her Tai Chi practice I often suggest that she use a chair, to help balance herself, but she stubbornly refuses to and tries to perform all the forms as best she can.
We proudly wear our white or blue polo shirts with the patch that reads "TAI CHI for HEALTH Dr Paul Lam". But this last Saturday we wore red silk Chinese suits with a dragon of the same colour embroidered on the length of the tunic. We are proud to follow your method in Moore, Oklahoma.

Dr Lam replies:  Thank you Chock for your letter and video.  You are doing a wonderful job in your community and an inspiration for us.  My vision is for everyone to be able to try tai chi, and it the instructors like you at grass roots level with small classes are a vital part of that vision.
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The First USA Master Class
Dr Paul Lam
Now that the ink has dried on the certificates from my first USA Masterclass (MC) I would like to explain how the concept came about.  I have been teaching Depth workshops for many years, with some participants attending the Depth of Arthritis workshop seven times!  They told me that every time they found something new, and their confidence in teaching Tai Chi for Arthritis increased exponentially.

Over the years I have held various depth workshops for MTs, and for the last four years I have conducted depth workshops in China for the Yang 24 Forms, Chen 36 Forms, Sun 73 Forms and the Combined 42 Forms.  Over the last two years I opened these workshop to the instructors of Tai Chi for Health vision, and entry was by a video audition.

Still many participants told me they would like more depth, which inspired me to create my Master Class program.  Recently I held the first USA Master Class at Racine, Wisconsin.  Again, entry was by video audition.  I have been able to group participants with  proficiency of their chosen form so that I could work intensely with each individual participant on improving their tai chi.

Our group of 20 lived together at the beautiful DeKoven Centre on the shores of Lake Michigan for the five days, sharing all our meals and enjoying the glorious setting.  The two groups studied the Yang 24 or the Sun 73, with everyone coming together for warm ups, cool downs and joint sessions on Tai Chi for Energy and Tai Chi for Energy 2.

We had lively discussions on the depth of tai chi, spiral energy and personal development, with many members contributing their personal experiences and opinions.  It was a very stimulating workshop; some described it as life-changing.

I decided to certify effective teachers outside the Tai Chi for Health programs. Participants of the MC can apply for this with prior preparatary work. During the Master Class I also held a special session on the depth of teaching effectively, which, I was excited that the whole group attended.

The Teaching Certificate applicants worked very hard, and I was delighted to be able to present their certificates at the culmination of the workshop.  They were Bill Pickett, Linda Pickett and Mark Coffindaffer for the Sun 73 Forms.  Linda Ebeling, Candace Herrill, and Viola Everett gained their certificate for the Yang 24 Forms. Congratulations to all!

I will be running three more Master Classes next year:
  • January 2016 in Sydney, for the 24 and 73
  • June 2016 in Cincinnati for the 24 and 73
  • September 2016 on the East Coast for the Chen 36 and Sun 73
If you would like more information please contact
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My Tai Chi Tapestry
Kimberley Sandberg, Instructor

I like to picture my life as if it were a tapestry.   The knowledge I gain, the experiences I have, and most importantly, the people in my life weave together to form a unique creation.  Some threads in my tapestry are short, some are long.  Some threads are bright and vibrant, and many are plain— all quietly weaving together the fabric that make up my life.  Year after year, thread by thread, the breadth of my tapestry expands.  It is exciting for me to think that the creating of it never really ends.
My tai chi tapestry is quite new and rather small.  It began only 5 ½ years ago, first taught to me by Russ Smiley.  I am profoundly grateful for the beginning threads he gave to me.  The creating of this tapestry has brought me much joy already.  Every class I attend, each article I read, each new friend I make adds a thread.  Some threads are bright—like the time I got to practice tai chi out on a lake, enveloped by nature, my face to the setting sun.  Or the excitement I felt when I first heard Dr. Paul Lam explain the concept of spiral force during one of his workshops. 

Many threads seem more ordinary, like the weekly classes that I teach.  Yet the people and experiences that have come into my life through these weekly classes make the fabric of my tai chi tapestry strong, and rich with beauty. 

When I gain a new piece of knowledge that adds depth and understanding to my practice, I hold that lovely new thread in my heart and eagerly weave it into my tapestry.  I also hope that as I share the things I am learning with others, new threads are added to the fabric of their lives.  Perhaps these new threads bring them increased wellness and joy.

As we move forward in our personal tai chi journey, we can ask ourselves; what new threads will I add to my tai chi tapestry?  What classes will I take, which books will I read?  How can I deepen my understanding of the forms I am practicing?  We can also contemplate how we can add to the strength or beauty of another’s experience with tai chi.  What new threads will I share with those around me, and how can I bless the community in which I live?

I am profoundly grateful for tai chi in my life, and hope you and I may find increased health and happiness as we weave new tai chi threads into the tapestries of our lives.
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Humour, Laughter and Radiant Health
Dr Bob McBrien, Master Trainer, Salisbury, MD, USA
Health scientists are identifying the benefits tai chi offers people with chronic health conditions. Also, with digital scans (functional MRI), neuroscientists have identified where in the brain humour resides. Yes, they have found where the brain "lights up" when we get the joke; the punch line. We know that exercising our funny brain tunes up our mind, supports learning, and keeps us mentally sharp and creative. My essays aim to encourage readers to choose positive humour and to find the "punch lines" life brings daily. Do we l have a minimum daily requirement of laughter? I think so.

 Here are a few anecdotes about children to help readers get their MDR of humour today.
*Little Pete's parents wanted him to be a doctor and friend Tim's parents were hoping he would become a lawyer. Playing together one day Pete told Tim, "I want to play doctor." Tim replied, "Good. You operate and I'll sue you."
*I overheard a six year old boy tell his playmate, "Why do our parents make us go to bed when we are wide awake, and then make us get up when we are still sleepy?"
*A science teacher asked her third grade class, "What is the shape of the planet earth?" A boy in the back row called out, "It's in terrible shape!"
*Just before the Thanksgiving holiday recess, the first grade teacher asked the class, "What do you have to be thankful for?" One youngster said, “I'm thankful that I'm not the turkey."
* The dentist told seven year old John he had to have a filling. "What kind of filling do you want?" he asked,
"Do you have chocolate?” was the reply.
* A second grade teacher wrote a note to Tim's parents. It said," If you agree to not believe one-half of what Tim tells you goes on in my classroom, I won't believe one-half of what he tells me goes on at home."
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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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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. 

Sign up now for January 2015 Workshop
Susan Wallis attended my January one week, China workshop and tour, Wisconsin Master Class and Albany Tai Chi for Energy workshops all in this year!
Dr Lam conducting Tai Chi for Energy II training workshop in Albany 20th Sept 2015
Dr Lam and participants at the Master Class, Wisconsin, USA Sept 2015
Dr Lam and participants at the Master Class, Wisconsin, USA Sept 2015
Tai Chi for Energy Instructor training workshop at Albany, NY, USA 17th Sept 2015
Lake Michigan where Dr Lam conducted the Master Class, Wisconsin, USA Sept 2015
Master Trainer Julie Oberhaus assisting Dr Lam at the Tai Chi for Energy workshop in Albany 2015
Tai Chi for Rehabilitation instructor training workshop in Atlanta, USA 2015
Exploring the Depth of Tai Chi for Arthritis workshop in Atlanta, USA 2015
Exploring the Depth of Tai Chi for Arthritis workshop in Atlanta, USA 
Tai Chi for Rehabilitation instructor training workshop in Atlanta, USA 
Lake side Michigan
Dr Lam and participants at the Master Class, Wisconsin, USA Sept 2015
Ralph Dehner, master trainer of the Tai Chi for Rehabilitation program at its training workshop in Atlanta, USA 
Dr Paul Lam with Deborah Yaffe at the Tai Chi for Energy Workshop at Albany 2015
Dr Paul Lam with master trainers Guy Prentice and Lorraine Noval at the Tai Chi for Energy Workshop at Albany 2015
Exploring the Depth of Tai Chi for Arthritis workshop in Atlanta, Georgia, USA 2015
Master Trainers Mark Coffindaffer, Meghan Bryant, Bill and Linda Pickett, Jocelyn Simpson demonstration at the Atlanta tai chi workshop 2015
Dr Lam and Tracey at the Exploring the Depth of Tai Chi for Arthritis Workshop in Atlanta, 2015
Dr Lam, Glen Ray, master trainer Linda Ebeling at the beautiful De Koven center for master class 2015
Dr Lam demonstrating Chen  36 Tai Chi Forms at Atlanta 2015
Dr Lam with Kimberley
Dr Lam with Kimberley
Kimberley at the Master Class in Wisconsin 2015
Terry Crews at the Master Class in Wisconsin 2015
Deborah Dunn Yonke at the Master Class in Wisconsin 2015
Drs Paul Lam and Bob McBrien in Albany, USA Sept 2015.

Dr Paul Lam inviting you to join our 18th Annual Tai Chi Workshop in Sydney


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