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Taking Tai Chi for Health to China!
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Dr Lam's Tai Chi, Health and Lifestyle Newsletter - Issue Number 165, May 2015

In this issue: 

Click on the title above to read the articles, and this link to subscribe and read previous newsletters.


Hello <<First Name>>
I am currently in China, having just finished my workshop and tour with a group of tai chi friends and participants.  We had a wonderful time and celebrated World Tai Chi and Qigong Day at the ancient Longmen Grottoes.  Like most attractions it was full of tourists, but we managed to find a space to do Tai Chi for Health forms right on the stroke of 10 o’clock.

I dropped a line to Bill Douglas - the creator of WTCQD and he was so impressed that he has featured our photos in his new newsletter, calling us a UN group because we came from nine countries.  Somewhere along the way the names got a little confused, so here are the names to go with the photo on the right.

There is something very special about teaching tai chi in China, and immersing ourselves in the local culture.  We had breakfast, lunch and dinner together every day. I was delighted to see the group developing their tai chi and personal growth in this special environment. Fun for me to see my friends becoming more adventurous with their food and adapting to some challenging situations such as unhygienic toilets.

A special moment was doing our tai chi practice on the top of the most ancient city wall in China - at the old capital Xian, and having several university students join in (photo).  Some had never tried tai chi before and there was great hilarity as they tried to follow us through the 24 Forms!  Our two guides, Sammy and Agnes, were a delight – Sammy was our guide last year and formed a special attachment to us, and they really enjoyed watching us practice our tai chi.

Thanks for your review for my memoir, please place order or review to Amazon.

I am looking forward to meeting with you at the workshops in UK, Sweden, Switzerland and the 13th Annual workshop in Portland USA.

We will be back at Kincoppal next year for the January workshop, with some exciting new features, such as fun competition and a chance to win an all inclusive package!  You can enrol soon - watch this space! 
 
This Month’s Special:
For May only, receive a 15% discount on the full range of instructional DVDs.  Please use coupon code MAYTCP15 when ordering.  Offer expires 31 May.
 
Upcoming Workshops by Dr Paul Lam

May

June

July

August

September

October

 
Yours in Tai Chi, 

 
Paul Lam, MD
http://www.taichiforhealthinstitute.org/
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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
Gary Setzer, Participant, Georgia, USA
 
Greetings: 
 
My name is Gary Setzer, age 64, a lifetime martial artists and instructor, who has looking for a new direction for these aging bones and joints.  AIso having been blessed in the past few years with HBP, HCL, Osteoarthritis, I have had to curtail my Kenpo Teaching and MA training.  I am looking at my 2015 New Year's resolutions and decided one of them is to become a Tai Chi for Health Instructor in my area of Loganville, GA.  I started my Tai Chi journey back in 2007 when I signed onto to learn the 24 Yang Style form in Snellville, GA.  This became my daily routine replacing my Kenpo and Kali training and teaching when the Snellville school closed in 2003.  Since then I retired from AT&T and my Wife and I moved to Loganville, GA to be close to Daughter and (3) grandkids. 
 
I have been hanging out with Dr. Paul Lam and his DVDs and books over three years now. And I continue to practice and buy his DVD's and books.  I recently completed his new Tai Chi for Energy DVD.  Added that one to my daily workout routine along with the TCA form and the 24 Yang form.  
 
I have the following DVDs and have learned the basic materials they provide.  
 
Tai Chi for Arthritis (complete set parts 1 and 2)
Tai Chi for Back Pain and recovery
Tai Chi for Seniors
Tai Chi for Energy (1st DVD)
Tai Chi for the Office Workers
Tai Chi 24 form as taught by Dr Paul Lam (original DVD and his new update) 
Tai Chi for Kids
Tai Chi for Rehabilitations (I watched it then I gave this one to my grandson to use as he has fibromylagia and other bone and joint issues)
 
I have and have read and continue to study Dr Paul Lam's books:
 
Tai Chi for Arthritis
Tai Chi for Beginners and 24 form 
Teaching Tai Chi handbook
 
Just completed reading and going back through it - A Study of Taijiquan by Sun LuTang
 
I have acquired read and gave away many other books on Tai Chi and DVDs and VHS Tapes that really proved to be too complicated, poor quality, or simply were impossible to learn from.  Much prefer Dr Paul Lam's books and DVDs.  
 
Dr Lam replies:
 
Wow!  Thanks Gary, you have done really well to study all those forms from the DVDs and books.  I love your enthusiasm and I hear that you are now studying with my Senior Trainer, Jocelyn Simpson.  I look forward to meeting you in person before too long! 
 
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Drawing Everyone into the Circle

John Melito, Instructor, Kansas City
 
How do I ‘draw a large circle’ to include every participant?  Generally:  be creative, smile, listen, observe and have a servant’s heart.  (I tend to use humor to my advantage, and have gotten great results.)  I know that sometimes it’s just not possible to include absolutely all participants all the time.  Just do your best as a teacher AND make it fun and ‘OK’ to feel uncomfortable or awkward!  I try put myself in the participants ‘shoes’.
 
Here’s an example of what I do to try to include everybody.  I find this works well for complex moves (i.e. ‘stroking birds tail’, or ‘leisurely tying coat’).  I might smile, show enthusiasm, and say:
“This next move is cool, and it’s a lot of fun!  I think you’re going to like it!”  Then, after teaching it using your stepwise method, I’d repeat some steps if needed. 
 
If I sense some of the participants are noticeably frustrated: I give a big smile, and admit to the class that this is a little more of a complex move than some others we’ve learned.  I say something like: “This move has a lot going on with your hands, arms, feet”, etc. 
 
To lessen and diffuse any anxiety and increase the fun, I might add:  “I remember that I was so confused when I first learned this,...I felt so awkward and uncomfortable.  It’s like I was wearing bunched up underwear! ...You know…it doesn’t hurt, but it sure does feel uncomfortable!”  (as I say this, I’ll wiggle slightly to mimic having bunched up underwear).  
 
Everyone smiles and laughs!  This immediately reduces, or even eliminates frustrations of the participant(s), especially those who are really feeling ‘left out’ because they’re not ‘getting it’.  The whole class relaxes and now has changed to a positive attitude of learning a
form, and having fun doing it. 
 
By saying that even I, the teacher, gets ‘flustered’ once in a while, draws that bigger circle around all the participants in class, which included those who felt frustrated or left out. The participants can relate to me more when (in a lighthearted manner) I admit my own frustrations at learning some movements.  They understand that the frustration, etc. which they might be going through is totally normal! 
 
My goal can be summed up this way:
Each flower is different, and grows at its own pace.  
My job is provide enough ‘nourishment’ to all the flowers to let them grow at their own rate.
 
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Humour, Laughter and Radiant Health
Dr Bob McBrien, Master Trainer, Salisbury, Maryland, USA

Neuroscientists  have  scanned  brains of mediators and happy people and are able to tell us about the biology of humor and laughter. We learn that when we are listening to a funny story, watching a Victor Borge on a DVD or responding to a joke our brain is multi-tasking.  This complex activity requires the teamwork of three brain areas.  Firstly the cognitive area helps us get the punch line. Remember it is the surprise in the story that tickles us.  Secondly a movement-controlling zone helps move the muscles of the face (the zygomatics) as we laugh. Finally an emotional area helps generate happy feelings.  When we have good feelings we counter balancing our stressful feelings that our hurried, hassled and harried lifestyle produces.

One way to exercise your brain’s humor/laughter system is the comic device called the 'one-liner'. Hopefully, the following one-liners may bring a chuckle. If you have a favorite one-liner to share send to me @ drbobtaichi@gmail.com .

* A recent study has found that wives who carry a little extra weight live longer than the husbands who mention it.
* Plan to be spontaneous tomorrow
* I used to have a handle on life, but it broke
* Help wanted - fortune teller: you know where to apply
* The one who laughs last thinks slowest
* I feel like I'm diagonally parked in a parallel universe
* I used to be indecisive; now I'm not sure
* The only cure for insomnia is to get more sleep
* Help stamp out and eradicate superfluous redundancy
* COLE'S LAW: Thinly sliced cabbage
* A day without sunshine is, like, night 

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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. 

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Dr Paul Lam with tai chi friends in China, at Longmen Grottoes 10 o'clock World Tai Chi and Qigong Day: 
Front row l-r  Linda Arksey (UK), Jennifer Chung (Singapore), Dr Paul Lam (Australia), Monika Forstner (ex-pat Germany, living in China), Marty Kidder (USA), Hazel Thompson (New Zealand)
Second row l-r  Catherine Fernon (Australia), Susan Wallis (USA), Marie Josee Trepanier (Canada), Mark Hoyle (Australia), Simon Yuen (Singapore)
Back row, Candace Herrill (USA) Rosalie Lackie (Australia), Jerry Pearson (USA), Angel Roman and Lizette Morales (Puerto Rico)
Dr Paul Lam with friends and tai chi family at the Tai Chi Museum at Chen Village - the birthplace of Tai Chi, April 2015
Chen's Village
 
There is a special feel about practicing tai chi at the Tai Chi symbol in front of the Museum at Chen Village, April 2015
We were delighted at a special moment while doing our tai chi practice on the top of the most ancient city wall in China - at the old capital Xian, and having several university students join in. Some had never tried tai chi before and told us they would be looking into it.
Younger students joining us at the Museum!
Dr Paul Lam conducting the special China workshop and tour starting at Zhuhai, April 2015
The Tai Chi tour included a visit to the Terra Cotta Warriors, April 2015
A peacock welcomes our tai chi tour party April 2015

 
Some of the amazing cave statues at the Longmen Grottoes during the tai chi tour April 2015

 
Our visit to Chen Village - origin of Chen style tai chi, at the practice place of Yang Lu-chan the creator of Yang style tai chi.

 
We enjoyed practicing tai chi at the oldest city wall in China - Xian April 2015

 
John with tai chi colleagues, Becky, Viola and Linda

 
Dr Paul Lam and friends at the Shaolin Temple during the tai chi tour April 2015
More tai chi practice at the ancient city wall in Xian during the tai chi tour April 2015
Dr Paul Lam and friends at the museum for the Terre Cotta Warriors during the tai chi tour April 2015
Dr Bob McBrien facilitating the Exploring the Depth of TCA workshop with Dr Lam in Vermont, USA Sept 2014.

 
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