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A new, exciting way to share Tai Chi with online lessons and my global community

Dr Lam Tai Chi for Health Newsletter 
- Issue Number 194, October 2017

 

In this issue:


Online Tai Chi Lessons feature your favourite Tai Chi for Health programs and can be streamed on virtually any device with an internet connection. Subscriptions available for every 2 or 12 months.
Hello <<First Name>>,

This is exciting news – my Online Tai Chi Lessons are now ready! I started investigating online lessons about eight years ago but the technology did not meet my requirements. I have kept looking at it, and now the technology is advanced enough for all the applications I want to share.

I am posting two videos to explain my online lessons and global community. The first is "What Are Online Lessons":
The second video is my inaugural Monthly Bulletin for the Global Community. When you subscribe to Online Tai Chi Lessons, you automatically get access to my Global Community, where every month I will share with you new ideas to develop your tai chi, introduce my friends with inspirational stories, and interviews with medical and tai chi experts. You can join me at the highlight of my global workshops tour with beautiful sceneries, people and demonstrations, and even funny stories. I will also share my Recipe for Health and answer your questions.
OLL - Monthly Bulletin 1 (2017_09)
In the video above, I am talking about the new content available for the Global Community in this first month. Every month, I will place all videos and resources in their respective folders in the Global Community, so you can browse the library at your convenience. And every month, I will add more and more contents and topics, too.

You will get full access to the Global Community when you subscribe to Online Tai Chi Lessons (subscriptions available for every 2 months or annual).

I would like to offer you a one-time only introductory 50% discount on your first payment to any subscription to Online Tai Chi Lessons (annual subscriptions not included). Please go to www.onlinetaichilessons.com and use the coupon code INTRO50 – valid for only two weeks from the time of this e-mail.
I had a wonderful time in my global workshop tour, there is this beautiful bonding and friendship within our tai chi community, like a large family. This was especially evident at the workshops in London September this year. Master Trainer Nuala Perrin has been a great force in working with the European Tai Chi for Health leaders; she looks after everybody so well, like a big sister. I want to share with you this feeling, so I talked to some of these fascinating people. For example, Colin Hughes, a prominent professor of Geology, University of Manchester and Senior Trainer describes the family pull like a gravitational force! If you think that is geo-humor, hear his description on spiral force! I will share some of these interviews at the second Monthly Bulletin and next Newsletter.

In Nuala's caring way, she wanted to give me a special 70th birthday present – my tai chi friends making the number 70 in tai chi poses! I will be 70 in a few months, and I do appreciate that tai chi has transformed my health, as I still continue to improve my physical strength and flexibility. Working with my tai chi family around the world vitalizes my tai chi progression. The more I share the more I gain. Tai chi has been a wonderful tool to help me appreciate and enjoy my life. Creating the Tai Chi for Health programs and the Tai Chi for Health Community has been the greatest and most fulfilling achievement of my life.
If you would like to send me a birthday gift I would gladly accept it. My gift registry will only accept stories of how you have empowered yourself or others to improve health and wellness through the Tai Chi for Health programs. I have created a website page to publish all my gifts. Send it to service@tchi.org and I will add yours in. I would love to collect a wealth of such gifts. 

Last but certainly not least, the June Pre-conference and Weeklong workshops are now open for booking! Scroll down the workshop list below.

Yours in Tai Chi,


Paul Lam, MD
Director
www.taichiforhealthinstitute.org

Please don't reply to this Newsletter, contact us via service@tchi.org

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This Month’s Special


In celebration of World Arthritis Day (12th October 2017), this month's special is a Tai Chi for Arthritis bundle, including all of the following products in a special package available at a 42% discount:

DVD: Tai Chi for Arthritis
DVD: Tai Chi for Arthritis, Part 2
HANDBOOK: Tai Chi for Arthritis
WALL CHART: Tai Chi for Arthritis
WALL CHART: Tai Chi for Arthritis, Part 2
WALL CHART: Warm Up and Cool Down Exercises
MUSIC CD: Tai Chi Music (Volume 2)

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Upcoming Workshops by Dr Paul Lam


October 2017

November 2017

January 2018

June 2017

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Introducing the USA Workshop Team


I’m excited to introduce to you our new USA workshop team. Before I introduce them I want to sincerely thank Becky Rahe for all of her hard work for the three previous years. Becky stepped up when I needed someone to handle the workshops and she did a great job! In fact she did such a good job I have to add two people to handle the work load. 

Craig Miller will now be my USA workshop manager. Craig is from Missouri became a ST this year and has been a student of Tai Chi for 15 years.  He does a lot of work with people with Parkinsons Disease.  He is a great family man with two teenage girls and a lovely wife.

Just in case you do not know Becky Rahe, she is an MT from Ohio and began her Tai Chi journey in 2004. She is proficient in Yang, Chen and Sun forms. Besides Tai Chi, she teaches classes in CPR and First Aid. She has a wonderfully supportive husband and two great kids.

Ernestine (Ernie) Hall is an ST in Missouri. She began her Tai Chi journey ten years ago after a 30 year career in newspaper marketing research and consultation. Next year will mark her 10th consecutive June conference with me. Ernie is a certified medical fitness specialist, educator and Tai Chi instructor for cancer patients and others with chronic conditions in a hospital setting.  She is also the president for the Tai Chi for Health Community (TCHC).

The USA will now have regular hours Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM, and Tuesday and Thursday 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM (all times CST). Becky, Ernie or Craig will be available to answer your questions during those times, outside those hours, you can leave your message and they would be answered asap. You can also email them at service@drlamtaichiworkshops.com.
 
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Rosalie Lackie (left) with Dr Lam

Dancing in the Ballroom

By Rosalie Lackie, Instructor, Adelaide


Years ago, when I was about 16 years old, I came to Adelaide (from my home town of Port Pirie in South Australia), with several girl-friends to attend a dance, which was being held in the Burnside Ballroom.

Just a little older now (!), this weekend I have just returned to the Burnside Ballroom, to attend a “Tai Chi for Energy” workshop with Dr Paul Lam.  But how times have changed!

Whilst the Burnside Ballroom is still a stunningly beautiful old building, my first impression, when I walked in for the tai chi class yesterday, was that the building was not nearly as big as I remembered it. In those days, dances were big affairs and probably at least 200-300 young people were crammed into the Ballroom. Our tai chi workshop was small by comparison.

Further, it has been a very cold and wet weekend (by SA standards), and the ballroom wasn’t particularly well heated – unless the generated heat from all those sweaty young bodies, all those years ago! (Though we warmed up as we played our tai chi.)

But at age 16, I very much lacked confidence and my memories of my first visit to the Burnside Ballroom are not particularly good. For a start, I was always very tall and I towered above most boys of my age. An upright posture was not something that I even considered then. And I certainly didn’t know how to “song” my joints, relax or even “jing” (or jig) to the sound of the music, much less entertain the possibility of enjoying myself or having fun at a dance!!

There was no equality or choice in those days. Girls had to wait to be asked to dance by the boys, and I certainly didn’t expect to be (and usually wasn’t) asked to dance. The girls sat on the chairs around the edge of the dance-floor, whilst most of the boys stood outside the hall, gathering their own confidence to come inside for the last dance, after consuming lots of alcohol!

So how wonderful to be able to return to the Burnside Ballroom this weekend. Today, everyone could participate equally - (male/female, young/old, experienced/less experienced) - yin and yang, balanced and in harmony.

We were encouraged to work with the Principles of Tai Chi, to your own ability. I recognised that I have grown. Today I enjoy the dance of Tai Chi and I try to stand tall. I also enjoy moving slowly, smoothly and continuously, and I know that I am growing in knowledge and tai chi ability - as well as in my life. I now mindfully know that my whole life has spiraled, and my spirit continues to soar. I feel good about myself, and this weekend, I enjoyed every minute of this “Tai Chi Dance for my Soul”.

Thank you Dr Lam, and all the tai chi friends who joined with me in the Burnside Ballroom, for this enjoyable weekend at the Adelaide “Tai Chi for Energy” Workshop.

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Dancing Among The Delphiniums

By Hazel Thompson, Master Trainer, Sydney, Australia


(My father and I share this story for the millions whose loved ones are suffering from dementia. We would like them to know that there can be a way forward.)

My parents, Jack and Margaret Gwilliam, were ballroom dance teachers (Modern Sequence and Latin American, plus Old Time Popular Sequence for the dancers out there). Well respected MCs and competition judges, they remained fit and healthy into their seventies, and felt that was all the exercise they needed. They did try a tai chi class once, but dismissed it as “mumbo-jumbo”. Needless to say, their teacher had never attended a TCHI instructor workshop.

In her early 80s mum started finding it difficult to remember dance sequences, and soldiered on with dad whispering the steps into her ear. Eventually the music stopped, and the falls began, to be diagnosed as Dementia with Lewy Bodies, also known as Parkinson’s Dementia. 

Mum’s symptoms ranged from hallucinations in the early stage, depression and lack of appetite to confusion and violent outbursts. Through all this dad continued to care for her 24/7, having promised mum he would never put her into residential care. Despite constant supervision, mum had many falls, resulting in serious fractures and a hip replacement. Their picture-perfect bungalow with its English country garden became cluttered with walkers and wheelchairs, as dad lovingly lifted her from the couch to the wheelchair, wheelchair to the car and back again. Well meaning friends suggested a mobility scooter. On their first outing Mum, a non-driver, crashed it violently into the door frame when she confused the brake with the accelerator, and never touched it again.

DLB is a very cruel condition. Confused 90% of the time, mum would insist that dad was not her husband, but an intruder, and that she was in fact married to Jack, who was a much nicer man who cooked her meals and looked after her. Sometimes the clouds lifted for an hour or so, and she would reminisce with dad about their 65 year marriage, and all the wonderful times they had dancing together. Dad was convinced she had “come back” and would be heartbroken when the delusions returned.
Mum passed away peacefully at home, in her own bed, and dad was a broken man. His soul mate was gone and all his energy had gone into her care; now he had nothing left to live for. The garden, which he had maintained daily during mum’s illness so she would have somewhere pleasant to sit, became overgrown. Mum had loved musicals, but the dementia robbed her of that joy, so the DVD player sat unused. Time, friends told him, was a great healer, but he was not ready to let go of his grief. The psychiatrist simply couldn’t understand why the medication wasn’t working, why he wasn’t ready to enjoy life again, but would cry himself to sleep every night.

That was three years ago. He got back into the garden and tidied it up as a tribute to mum’s memory. He flushed the medication down the toilet, keeps the house spotless, cooks his own meals and enjoys watching Manchester City play on TV. Every day he still breaks down and cries, but then he dries his eyes and pulls himself together. Now there is a new challenge as his own health begins to suffer. His arthritis has worsened to the point where he can only get around with a stick. He can no longer kneel to tend his plants, and he simply can’t walk in a straight line any more. A fireman for many years, on a recent visit he told me he was afraid to stand on the stepladder to change a light bulb. He has been offered a double knee replacement, but feel that at his age he would never recover fully.

Something had to be done, and aid came from Adelaide, Australia, and Rosemary Lackie’s beautiful article, “Dancing in the Ballroom, Then and Now”. Rosemary merged dancing and tai chi so seamlessly that I realised here was my way past dad’s objections to tai chi. I read it to him over our 3pm Gin and Tonics (we are British, don’t forget) and he was quite enchanted by her story. I followed it up with a Letter to Dr Lam about depression. Then I said “What a shame, we have a great little form called Tai Chi for Rehabilitation and a dancer like you could learn it in a jiffy, but you aren't keen on tai chi, so never mind.” Then I finished my G&T and went to bring in the washing.

The next morning dad asked me about TCR, and we began lessons on the spot. Dance scripts are presented in sections, with everything related to Line of Dance, or the direction of the movement, so I was careful to stick to a similar format as I explained the warm ups. As a dancer he immediately challenged himself to memorising the warm ups, and was pleased they are so logical. Over our twice daily lessons for the next three days he related the Open Close to Fire Brigade chest expansion exercises, the side stepping in Wave Hands to Rumba and the Chen moves to Tango. Okay, as Paul often points out, tai chi is not dancing, but if it works for dad, who am I to argue?

Each morning dad goes out to feed the birds. On the third morning I heard him go out, but when he didn’t come back in after ten minutes I went to check on him, sure he had fallen. Instead I saw him doing his own version of TCR among the roses and delphiniums, moving with much more confidence and grace than an 87 year old with dodgy knees has any right to.

Later he told me he hasn’t the heart to go dancing again, it would be too painful, but now he has found a new type of dance that he can enjoy by himself. He is positive that it will help him regain his leg strength and balance and help him cultivate a sense of peace and acceptance. 

I am overjoyed, I don’t expect to get my old dad back, but a new version, who has found a way to regain his mobility. I feel that our lessons were the most valuable time we have spent together during the last three years. As I waved goodbye dad was on his way to buy a new DVD player. He even felt ready to dust off mum’s favorite DVD and settle down to watch Cabaret, over his 3pm Gin and Tonic.

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Product Review Prize Winners


Every month we choose the best reviews posted on the Tai Chi Productions website. Be sure to post your review whenever you make a purchase as you may be chosen to win a mystery prize.

Congratulations to Hillary Simon (Australia) and Andrea Lauzon (USA)! Please contact us within one week to claim your prize. You can see their reviews below.


Product:  Digital Download Tai Chi Music Album Vol 2

 Rated 5 out of 5 stars 
Posted by: Hillary Simon
"It is wonderful to have the album downloaded on my phone. Now I do not have to have access to a CD player. I have appropriate Tai Chi music to practice my Tai Chi wherever I go."

Congratulations Hillary, please contact service@tchi.org to receive your prize.

Product:  Tai Chi for Arthritis DVD
 Rated 5 out of 5 stars 
Posted by: Andrea Lauzon
Tai Chi is Awesome!
“I teach Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention at a senior centre, and my students love this program. It has helped so many of them have more confidence in their daily lives and with their balance. I have recently ordered this DVD for at least half of my students so they can practice at home.”

Congratulations Andrea, please contact service@tchi.org to receive your prize.

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Humor, Laughter and Radiant Health

by Dr Bob McBrien


In the USA the end of summer the beginning of fall and the return to school begins the familiar cycle of classes, homework, quizzes and parents’ sending teachers excuse notes when a child misses a day of school. The variety of excuses often provide teachers with a bit of humor to lighten the load of planning lessons. correcting essays and a multitude of tasks. What follows are notes from parents asking a teacher to excuse their child for missing school. These were, collected by schools from all over the USA (my source (of course) is Google).
  • Please excuse Patty for being absent from school.  She was sick and I had her shot.
  • Please excuse Charles being absent on September 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, and also 33.
  • Please excuse Marvin from Physical Education lessons for a few days.  Yesterday he fell out of a tree and misplaced his hip.
  • Jack has been absent because he had two teeth taken out of his face.
  • Please excuse Roger from school. He has very loose vowels.
  • Please excuse Peter from being absent yesterday. He had (diahre) (dyrea) (direathe) the runs.
  • Please excuse Ted for being.  It was his father's fault.
And my favorite:
  • Please excuse Joanne for missing school yesterday.  We forgot to get the Sunday paper off the porch, and when we found it Monday, we thought it was Sunday. 
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GALLERY

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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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