Dr Lam Tai Chi for Health Newsletter
- Issue Number 176, April 2016
Hello <<First Name>>
In this issue:
I believe Tai Chi for Health programs will empower people. I believe anyone can learn Tai Chi for Health. I also believe that Tai Chi for Health programs can help bring more harmony to the world. Millions of people around the world have joined me in this vision, I firmly believe that a democratically elected non profit organisation is the best way to support our growth, vision and mission. Since 2010 the Dr Paul Lam Tai Chi for Health Institute, a non-profit organisation, is a democratically elected organization that governs the programs.
I urge everyone who supports the programs to support our Board, together we can change the world! Below is an important announcement from the Board.
"From the 1st May all instructors of the Tai Chi for Health programs who have completed an instructor training workshop will be required to register to become a board certified instructor. On completion the training or update workshop the Board will send you an invitation to register. Click FAQ to find out the benefits and more information (link.) For current instructors everything will remain unchanged until you are due for update."
This is a great step forward to align Tai Chi for Health Institute with similar professional bodies to provide more credibility and resource for the Tai Chi for Health vision. Your support would be essential for us to grow and to advance to our vision and mission.
Thank you for your interest in the largest study for Tai Chi for Arthritis by Dr Leigh Callahan. I have worked with Professor Rhayun Song, National Chung Nan University, to comprise a list of 35 published studies specifically on my Tai Chi for Health programs. Strong evidence is one of the main reasons health departments and organizations such as the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov), and Arthritis Foundations around the world support my programs.
Other reasons include well designed proven effective training programs, an effective governing board, good ethical standards and many effective certified instructors around the world.
Many people know the strength of the scientific evidence, what is not as well known is that scientific studies provide a clearer understanding of which element of tai chi is effective for which aspects of health and wellness. I love using scientific findings to improve all types of tai chi I practice and teach, that is the basis of creating Tai Chi for Health programs.
I founded the Tai Chi Association of Australia 19 years ago at the very first annual tai chi workshop in Sydney, and served as its founding President. It was wonderful to come back to serve TCAA at the same position. I am proud to tell you that tai chi is now an official World Wushu championship by itself and the Australian representative will be selected through our annual competition in June to participate at The Second World Taijiquan Championship. For more information please read my message at the TCAA Website.
Last week I was in Victoria conducting four tai chi workshops and it was my great pleasure to meet Jane, the Program Manager for Arthritis and Osteoporosis Victoria.
I have fond memories of the Foundation in Victoria; that's where I held the very first Tai Chi for Health workshop. From there continued to develop in collaboration. Victoria alone has trained well over 1,000 instructors. I like to share with you news about Arthritis and Osteoporosis Victoria. It is coordinating the Victorian Active Ageing Partnership (VAAP) on behalf of the Victorian Government and in collaboration with Fitness Australia and Monash University.
The purpose of the VAAP is to increase opportunities for participation in physical activity for older Victorians, especially in areas of socio-economic disadvantage and among isolated, lonely, older people not currently involved in physical activity. For more information about the VAAP and how you can become involved, visit http://www.arthritisvic.org.au/VAAP
Lastly, I am glad that you enjoyed reading the extract from my memoir about school bullies. This month I will tell you a different story set when I finished my last two years of high school in Australia.
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This Month’s Special
Receive a 20% discount when you purchase the Tai Chi for Arthritis 2 DVD. Please use coupon code TCA2APR20 when ordering. Offer expires 30 April. Not to be used with any other discount.
Upcoming Workshops by Dr Paul Lam
- Annual Pre Conference Exploring the Depth of Tai Chi for Energy by Dr Paul Lam, June 4, United States, OH, Cincinnati
- USA One Week Workshop by Dr Paul Lam, June 6, United States, Ohio, Cincinnati
- Dr Paul Lam's Master Class for Yang 24 and Sun 73 Forms, June 13, United States, Ohio, Cincinnati
- Exploring the Depth of Tai Chi for Arthritis by Dr Paul Lam, July 7, Australia, Sydney
- Tai Chi for Arthritis Instructor Training by Dr Paul Lam, July 9, Australia, Sydney
- Tai Chi for Energy Instructor Training Workshop by Dr Paul Lam, July 9, Australia, Sydney
- Tai Chi for Osteoporosis Instructor Training Workshop by Dr Paul Lam, July 9, Australia, Sydney
- Tai Chi for Arthritis Part 2 Workshop by Dr Paul Lam, July 9, Australia, Sydney
- Tai Chi for Rehabilitation Instructor Training by Dr Paul Lam with Optional Depth of 24 Forms, July 15, New Zealand, Taupo
- 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, MD
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Revisiting Born Strong
Dr Paul Lam
At Trinity, one day I accidentally bumped into a boy named Murphy and knocked his hat out of his hand. Three years younger, he towered over me with his muscular frame. When he yelled at me, I didn’t quite understand what he said but thought, No need to be rude about an accident. Generally seniority took precedence, but muscle often won out. I guess he looked at a little Chinese kid with huge glasses and saw no reason to be polite. My poor English prevented me from explaining, so I gestured for him to follow me to a nearby empty classroom. We sat on either side of a desk, and I put my hand out inviting him to Indian wrestle with me. Sick of being pushed around, I put every ounce of my strength into that wrestle. From somewhere deep within, I pulled up more strength than I thought I had, and I beat him. He couldn’t believe it, so he put up his other hand and we wrestled again. I won that one, too.
Often people don’t admit defeat gracefully, so it surprised me when the six-foot giant stood up and reached out to shake my hand, smiling. Every time I ran into Murphy after that he acted pleasant to me. What a much different experience than I would have had in Hong Kong. Murphy showed me a trait that is ingrained in the Australian culture—being fair and having a real sporting spirit.
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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
John Melito, Instructor, Kansas City
Where is YOUR tai chi?...‘Inside’ or ‘Outside’?
I have been learning (from your DVDs, books & workshops), and teaching your TCH programs exclusively, for the past six years. I use your stepwise teaching methods, and have found them to be most effective for virtually all learners (including developmentally disabled adults).
Here are some thoughts:
At my first ‘Exploring the Depths of TCA workshop, I heard you say ‘Tai chi is an internal art’. A simple statement, but at the time, I really didn’t quite understand what you meant.
After attending several of your workshops, what I’ve come to realize: YOU know where your tai chi ‘is’.
Your tai chi is ‘INSIDE'. Your ‘OUTSIDE’ movements, reflect the tai chi principles which you are applying.
Perhaps that is why your movements are so balanced, smooth, continuous and very pleasant to watch, and learn from.
Thank you for helping me to continue my tai chi journey.
Here are some questions which might influence other TCH teachers to improve themselves and thus, be more effective in helping others:
Do you do tai chi, daily, even when you’re not teaching it?
Do you revisit to further examine and analyze Dr. Lam’s dvd’s even AFTER you have learned that particular form?
Do you CONTINUE to research and learn about tai chi & gi gong and their medical benefits?
How serious are you about teaching TCH programs.. in other words, Do you practice each lesson by yourself, BEFORE you teach it?
Do you prepare a written outline of the intended lesson, and then rehearse it?
Do you have a desire to improve your teaching techniques by using the stepwise method?
Can YOU become a more effective TCH teacher?
Do you also have a desire to improve your own tai chi?
Do your tai chi class participants deserve more?
Are you and/or your students bored with your classes?
Do you seek out suggestions from other tai chi teachers?
By Improving yourself, you help improve others as well. They become the beneficiaries of your improvement!
Remember…’you can only coast, going downhill’.
Dr Lam replies:
Thank you John for your insightful comments, and for the thought provoking questions for instructors. I am sure they will find them helpful.
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Tai Chi in the Winter
Pamela Levac, Instructor, Toronto
There's nothing better than doing Tai Chi outside in a beautiful place. In the summer, I meet with my students in a local park beside a large river. We love practicing outside under blue skies, on the green grass. But when you live in Canada, you have about four months of great Tai Chi weather, and then it gets cold, icy or snowy. Sometimes all three at once.
A few weeks ago, someone in my Tai Chi Club, a group that has been playing Tai Chi for about ten years with a few new participants here and there, joked that we should meet at our usual outdoor spot and do Tai Chi on snowshoes! We all laughed, and then I thought, well, why not give it a try? After all, Dr. Lam had just done Tai Chi in a hurricane!
With a big smile on my face, I said, "Okay, let's do it." We arranged to meet the next weekend, weather cooperating. The day was sunny and not too cold, about -10 C with a light wind. Most of us had snowshoes, and few energetic members stomped down a nice patch of snow so people in boots would have a more stable surface to practice on. We began a routine. The first attempt was punctuated with laughter and comments about balance, tips on how to navigate turning without stepping on the snowshoes, and general silliness.
Then Tai Chi started to work its magic. We slowed down and noticed where we were placing our feet. We forgot we were wearing layers of warm clothing, and paid attention to the birds singing. We felt the warm sunshine on our faces and noticed the beautiful blue shadows cast by the trees on the snow. It didn't matter that it was winter: we were doing Tai Chi outside!
Tai Chi has broadened my horizons in so many ways and that day was no exception. I never thought it would be possible (or fun) to do Tai Chi outside in the winter, but now I know it is both possible, and fun. We all had a wonderful time together, and shared pictures and memories of the event at our next class. One of the participants even commented that it was the best time to do Tai Chi outside, since there were no bugs! I guess it's always a good time to do Tai Chi, isn't it?
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Humour, Laughter and Radiant Health
Dr Bob McBrien, Master Trainer, Salisbury, MD, USA
Teaching Tai Chi for Health classes in a senior center has many benefits for both teacher and student. One discovery for me was the healthy sense of humor most of my students have.
They love to tell humorous stories that are in the positive category I have been promoting in these monthly essays.
Here are funny answers students wrote in history tests that teachers collected over the years and shared with their fellow teachers.
My students who have retired from their careers in the classrooms are delighted to share these anecdotes. Enjoy some of the funny answers students wrote as the labored through exams.
* Julius Caesar extinguished himself on the battlefield.
* William Tell shot an arrow through an apple while standing on his son's head.
* Writing at the same times as Shakespeare was Miguel Cervantes. His most famour novel was Donkey Hote.
*Another famous author was John Milton. Milton wrote, "Paradise lost." Then his wife died and he wrote "Paradise Regained.".
*Sir Walter Raleigh is recognized by historians because he invented cigarettes and started smoking.
* and my favorite, "The Magna provided that no man should be hanged twice for the same offense."
If you have favorite anecdotes about school children's test answers please share them with me at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have a great piece of humour to share, send it 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.