Earth-shattering news!

Dr Lam Tai Chi for Health Newsletter 
- Issue Number 189, May 201

STOP PRESS: The closing day for June Workshop in USA will be extended for 3 days, after 4th May there will be no enrollment.


In this issue:

Hello <<First Name>>

I have earth-shattering news! Well, earth-shattering to me.

Over the last five years I have been working on online lessons. Finally, the technology and the timing are right! It is a new way to learn and share tai chi! Another great step in technology, like from book to video, or video to DVD.

Why is this earth shattering? There are so many more things we can do with online lessons. You can access the lessons through the internet with your computer, iPad, smart television, mobile phone anywhere and anytime for as long as you like. You can ask questions and share your thoughts with instructors and students. Every month you will hear the latest developments in tai chi, new way to enjoy tai chi, and learn great idea from world-renowned experts, my colleagues and friends. You can join me in my workshops around the world, and meet my friends.

You will become an important member of my Tai Chi for Health global community.

The quality of the picture will be in High Definition (HD). The online lessons will be available on 1 August 2017. Watch this page, I will keep you informed on how we progress.

My goal is to make this even more enjoyable and easier to learn than my face-to-face lessons. I would love to hear your thought and suggestion how I can make the online lesson more useful for you. Of course all my DVDs will still be available for as long as you want them. They are useful in many other ways, and make a great gift for friends.

August is still a little way off, and I am starting my workshops at Asheville, USA, and then back home for the July mid-year workshops. This June the energy at Asheville is already raising, with record attendance and more great instructors; the classes would be amazing! The entire workshop would be a new experience. One thing for sure is that I will not sing this time– it is your turn to sing!  Over the last 35 annual workshops our team have learned new ideas and skill that we cannot wait to share them with you.

The World Tai Chi Day was a great success, what a wonderful time for us all to share and show the beauty and power of tai chi? Here is one of videos by Pat McDonald on the event, see more photos below at the Gallery.

I was very surprised to see Lady Gaga on the cover of Arthritis magazine. What could such a young and athletic performer have to say about arthritis? It turns out that the 31 year old suffers from the inflammatory joint condition synovitis and she had also broken her hip, requiring emergency surgery. One more dance routine and she would have needed a full hip replacement!

Now recovering, she still suffers from chronic hip pain. I am very tempted to send her a copy of Tai Chi for Rehabilitation and start a new program, Tai Chi for Rock Stars!

Yours in Tai Chi,

Paul Lam, MD

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This Month’s Special

Buy a copy of the Tai Chi Music II CD, produced by my incredibly talented musical daughter and son in law, and receive a FREE copy of Tai Chi Music I CD!  Please use this link when ordering. Offer expires May 31. Not to be used with any other discount.

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Upcoming Workshops by Dr Paul Lam




September 2017

October 2017

November 2017

January 2018 

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A Letter to Dr Lam

From: Damian, South Georgia

I was conversing with Jomarie Monsorno a few weeks ago at dinner and she told about how you found out you didn’t to wear glasses any longer, because of the years of Tai Chi Chuan practice. I have been practicing the martial arts (external/internal styles) for 50 years. I started my internal arts practice in 1996 studying Chen.  I practiced much qigong which always liked to do more than the forms.

I have an appointment at the eye doctor and my wife is with me. I go through the exam with the doctor to find out that I have 20/20 vision. In the last ten years, my exams showed no change in my eye sight until this year and when Jomarie told me your story I thought, “What else could the answer be?” It really surprised my wife!
Time for practice.

Dr Lam replies:

Great to hear from you, Damian. Yes, some years ago I discovered I no longer needed my trademark glasses. Now people tell me they know when a DVD is new when I am not wearing my glasses. There has been no scientific study done on this effect as yet, but you and I certainly know tai chi improve eyesight!

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Marlena and Ed are just behind Dr Lam

Where Did I Put My Keys?

Marlena Fiol and Ed O’Connor, Instructors, Tucson

“I just had them,” I said, fishing through the pockets of the jacket I had worn that morning. “Where did I put my keys?”

My husband glanced up from his book. “Did you look to see if you put them in the freezer?”

If you think this is a joke, you are probably too young to read on.

Aging is no joke:

Our skin wrinkles.

Our bones and muscles become weaker. 

We do not hear so well anymore, either.

Our bladders lose control…

OK,  I will stop.

But really, the scariest part is what begins to happen to our brains.

We start with around 100 billion brain neurons, but we begin to lose them as we age, negatively affecting brain function. Our neural deterioration is leading to a worldwide dementia epidemic.

And what does this have to do with tai chi, you ask?

Apparently, a lot.*

For centuries, the brain was thought to be a fairly fixed and unregenerative organ that, once in decline, was not likely to recover. World-renowned Norman Doidge, M.D., best-selling author of The Brain’s Way of Healing, teaches us that neurons and pathways in the brain are actually much more modifiable than we thought. Doidge argues that by becoming mindfully aware of the smallest possible sensory distinctions between movements we can literally rebuild our brain maps.

Does this sound familiar? Our own Dr. Lam has long taught us that integrating body and mind through mindful awareness is one of the ultimate aims in tai chi:

--Mindful awareness of weight transference, consciously shifting our weight onto one leg, placing the empty foot forward, backward or sideways, and then feeling the weight shift from the weighted foot to the empty foot.

--Mindful awareness of where our feet are, feeling all nine points of the foot on the ground beneath us.

It turns out that mindfully practicing tai chi is a fantastic method for rewiring our aging brains. Doidge says he personally practices tai chi to get into the flow state that presumably opens his perception to such sensory differentiations.

What an exciting opportunity to reverse the mental deterioration that would have us forget that we left our keys in the freezer! 

*We are not medical experts. However, the information we present is recognized by scientists and available in the popular press.

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Michael and His Daughter

Tai Chi at the Christ Hospital

Michael Porte, instructor, Cincinnati
Teaching Tai Chi in a hospital can make you feel like an angel.  I volunteer at the Christ Hospital in Cincinnati to teach tai chi to patients in wheel chairs.  These are patients in the rehab center who are recovering from a stroke or some other serious ailment.  Amy Jonson who works with patients full-time brings two volunteers into the hospital every week, Melanie Moon to teach yoga and myself to teach tai chi.  
One patient in my tai chi class was worried that she had promised her family she would be home for Thanksgiving.  After our tai chi class she said her mind had cleared and she decided to call them on the phone on Thanksgiving Day instead of chancing a long car trip while recovering from a stroke.  Usually there will be four or five students in wheel chairs in the class.  I usually quote Arthur Ashe, the great tennis player:  "Start where you are.  Use what you have.  Do what you can."  
Many of them cannot raise their arms very high.  I always encourage them to stay within their comfort zone.  We start with the warm up exercises, then do seated tai chi for arthritis.  We end with the cool down exercises.  Then we ask the patients to tell us how they feel.  Most of them have never tried tai chi before.  Many express great surprise at how relaxing and enjoyable it is.  This past Thursday, Amy told me when I arrived that she had only one patient.  He was in such great pain that he couldn't move out of the chair in his room.  She asked me if I would be willing to go to his room and teach him tai chi in his chair.  Of course, I agreed.  Upon meeting the man, we talked until I gained his confidence.  Then we did the warm up exercises.  We did seated tai chi for arthritis.  For the cool down, we did qi gong with healing sounds for each organ of the body.  These are ancient Chinese sounds that are designed to heal.  When I asked him, "How do you feel?"  He said:  "The pain is gone." 

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Product of the Month Review Prize Winners

Congratulations to Robin Bennett (Australia) and James Serenson (USA)! You have both won 3 DVDs of your choice, value AUD $120. You can see your reviews below, please contact us within one week to claim your prize.

Do be sure to post your review when you make a purchase to win a mystery prize.

Product: Tai Chi for Beginners Handbook
Posted by: Robin Bennett, Australia

The benefits of tai chi for Beginners

"Not everyone has the ability to retain sequencing and retain multi movements, the beginner set addresses this as it is short, easy to learn and creates awareness about body alignment.  The Beginners Handbook is cost effective, easy to understand, gives a broad insight into Tai Chi and enough information to wet the appetite to look for further reading."

Product: Sun Style 73 Forms
Posted by: James Serenson

"I have purchased the Sun Style 73 forms for further advancement in my learning Tai Chi.

I have recently retired and am starting with Tai Chi for Arthritis 1 and 2. Then I will move on to the 73 forms.

Dr Lam presents the material in a way it is easy to learn through visualization, explanation and repetition.

Thank You Doctor Lam Looking forward to learning more about Tai Chi."

*Please contact (Australia) or (USA) to arrange delivery of your DVD prizes.

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Humor, Laughter and Radiant Health

by Dr Bob McBrien

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. The experience of ageing is the main topic of their stories and jokes. Common themes include, growing older, dealing with health and forgetfulness and of course, the so-called generation gap.  Here is a story on told us.  

An elderly man in Florida owned a large property that included a three-acre pool in one of the back-corner section where he had planted orange and lemon trees. The pool was fixed up for swimming and he also had a picnic table in the shade of the fruit trees.

One evening the old timer decided to go down to the pool to look it over, as he hadn't been there for a while. He grabbed a bucket to bring back some oranges and lemons and slowly walked to the back-corner.

As he neared the pool, he heard voices and laughter.  As he came closer he saw four young women (probably from the near-by college) stark naked swimming in his pool.  When he made the group aware of his presence they all went to the deep end.

One of the women called out, 'We're not coming out until you leave!”

The old man answered, “I didn't come down here to watch you ladies swim naked, and I won’t make you get out of my pool.”

Holding the bucket up for the swimmers to see, he said, “I just came down to feed the alligators.”

Here is the lesson: Old timers may walk slowly, but they can still think fast.

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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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