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Dr Lam Tai Chi for Health Newsletter 
- Issue Number 187, March 2017

Hello <<First Name>>

In this issue:
  • From me to you, Paul Lam
  • Product Review Prize Winners
  • A Letter to Dr Lam, Barbara Clough
  • Teaching Participants with Health Challenges, Linda Arksey video
  • The Tai Chi Way to be Healthy and Happy, John Walter
  • My Tai Chi Challenge, Darci Alexander, MT, California video
  • Humour, Laughter and Radiant Health, Bob McBrien
I am very excited to see that the June workshop is nearly fully registered, please enrol as soon as possible. We have extended the early bird discount from 1st of March to 4th of March. Check out the preconference workshop, I am going to teach Tai Chi for Rehabilitation with exclusive new movements for this workshop only. I look forward to seeing you there.

The American College of Physicians have an article “Non-Invasive treatment for Acute/Sub-acute and Chronic Low Back Pain, a Practice Guideline from the American College of Physicians” It recommends tai chi for back pain.

One of the studies quoted was conducted at Sydney University, physiotherapist dept.  Professor Amanda Hall is a Tai Chi for Health certified instructor who used the Tai Chi for Arthritis (same as Tai Chi for Back Pain) program. This world largest study using tai chi for back pain showed significant improvement in pain and quality of life.

Tai chi's ultimate purpose is to cultivate qi, and improve balance between the yin and yang. It is an holistic exercise where the entire body and mind are engaged, it will bring better qi and health to the entire person. It is possible to place emphasis on certain acupuncture meridians to have more therapeutic effect on certain conditions, but it does not work in isolation. So when your back pain receives extra attention the benefit would be more to the back, but still positively improving the overall health of the entire person.

There is robust evidence that tai chi significantly reduces falls, the risk of stroke, diabetes and the pain of arthritis. It improves cardiovascular disease, heart conditions and immunity. For those of us who practice tai chi we know that what ultimately matters are the quality of your life and wellness. Tai chi improves that almost magically.

I love teaching tai chi especially at the workshops, now that I am refocusing on preventive medicine through tai chi, I can make more significant differences to people's quality of life. By working together I can improve your skill and become more effective at using tai chi to help other and at the same time enjoying tai chi more. The air gets fresher and the view become more beautiful as we climbing up higher the tai chi mountain.

Great news on the January 2018 workshop, the 20th annual workshop in Australia and 36th combining with USA's. It will commence on Monday, 8 January to Saturday 13. I have chosen the Beachfront Novotel Wollongong for the occasion. Right on the beach and air conditioned throughout!  We will have registration online soon, as well as more workshops in USA later this year. Email us at service@tchi.org and we will add your name to the waiting list for any workshop not yet online and let you know when it is ready for registration.

This month I have some videos from the January 2017 workshop, with Linda Arksey, Master Trainer and Olympic Coach; new Master Trainer Darci Alexander’s inspiring talks, plus the Sun 73 class demonstration.  It does take time to edit and upload videos - thanks for telling me how much you enjoy watching them!

I am sure you would enjoy reading this. John Walter a good friend and great writer converts my memoir Born Strong to a bookazine version, here is how he does it.

This Month’s Special
Buy any Intermediate Series DVD and receive a 20% discount!  Please use code MARINT20 when ordering. Offer expires 31 March. Not to be used with any other discount.
 
Product Review Prize Winner
Congratulations to Deborah Ellis (Australia) and Camille Torgeson (USA)!
You have each won 3 DVDs of your choice value AUD $120. You can see their reviews below, please contact us within one week to claim your prize. 
You can win a mystery prize too by posting your review when you make a purchase.
 
Upcoming Workshops by Dr Paul Lam

June

July  

August 

 

September 2017

October 2017 

Please don't reply to this Newsletter, contact us via service@tchi.org
 
Yours in Tai Chi,
 
 
Paul Lam, MD
Director
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
Barbara Clough, Victoria, British Colombia
 
Thank you and your dedicated group of trainers for the professional and user-friendly Tai Chi programs. I have just received the Tai Chi for Rehabilitation DVD and would like to briefly express my appreciation and mention how important the Tai Chi for Arthritis 1 & 2 (TCA) and now this new DVD have been on my journey to recovery.

While awaiting two hip surgeries every activity seemed to result in more pain until I ordered the two TCA DVDs. The first gave me a safe and pain free way to maintain activity while giving me the hope that comes with accomplishment. Two years later, after successful surgeries, I added TCA 2 and am amazed how it complimented my other rehab activities. Learning, reviewing, and continuing to learn to work with my personal challenges is an ongoing process.

Eight months after my second surgery I revisited your website, clicked on “programs” and reread the article “Choosing the Best Tai Chi for Health Program for You”. This lead me to order the Tai Chi for Rehabilitation DVD.  Just into the first session, I am working with the Dan Tien breathing and understand why I need to strengthen my core before adding a more vigorous activity that my back cannot handle. I am so grateful for these wonderful learning tools.

With the help of your programs I am learning to move within my own range, to slow down and enjoy the process. I still need to learn to be patient and not attached to a particular outcome.  Thank you!

Dr Lam replies:
 
Great to hear from you Barbara!  I look forward to hearing more as you work you way through the programs!
 
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Product of the Month Review Prize Winners
This month’s winners are:
Product:     Tai Chi for Arthritis Part 2 - 6 Lessons with Dr Paul Lam
Posted by:  Deborah Ellis

"I found that both Tai Chi for Arthritis and Arthritis 2 DVDs are a great asset for any leader. I use them to keep focus with my class demonstrations. Thank You"
 
Product:     Tai Chi for Arthritis, 12 Lessons with Dr Paul Lam
Posted by:  Camille Torgeson
 
The best way to learn Tai Chi!  The Tai Chi for Arthritis DVDs are clear and easy to follow for those who need to hear the instructions and well as see the movements from all angles.  Learning Tai Chi can be a challenge but this makes it easy for most anyone to pick up the ideas expressed by Dr. Lam.  I love using this program with my students who are older, many with arthritis, many with other disease complications.  They all take a lot away when using this program.
 
Please contact service@tchi.org (Australia) or serviceusa@taichiproductions.com to arrange delivery of your DVDs.
 
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Teaching Participants with Health Challenges
Linda Arksey, MT, UK, see the video presentation of the talk
 
Good morning ladies and gentlemen and Dr Lam.
At some point all of us will be affected by health challenges. It may be class participants, relatives, a friend, a neighbour, or yourself. We all have set backs, it is the rhythm of life. The health challenges we face today are different to those of our parents and what they had to contend with.
 
Globally chronic conditions such as Diabetes, Osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s and Dementia to mention just a few are on the rise and rising year on year. Medical advances and interventions means we are living longer and countries are facing the increasing costs of social and medical care of an aging population, which means more pressure on health care systems. I used to teach my Grandmother Tai Chi and at the age of 100 years old she said “If I had known I was going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself”, she lived until 102 and in part I would like to attribute that to Tai Chi.
 
As we all know Dr Lam’s Tai Chi for Health Programs have impacted on over 8 million people worldwide. The Tai Chi for Health programs are designed to help people facing Health Challenges from minor aches and pains, to the serious and even life threatening conditions. We train our instructors to be safe and effective and this is why we are widely recommended and supported by many notable organisations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and National Council for Ageing in the USA, and many governmental departments around the world.
 
One of those Tai Chi programs close to my heart is Tai Chi for Rehabilitation. This can be performed standing, sitting, lying down or even through visualisation. Throughout this program we can see the powerful effect of the open and close movement, this is paramount to healing. If that is all that a person can do due to their Health Challenges, then something is better than nothing. Better health is not just about exercise and diet, but also about having a positive mental attitude. Research shows that having a positive mental attitude and how you feel in yourself is important to rehabilitation and Tai Chi gives us this.
 
At the conference Dr Lam spoke about the Tai Chi for Health logo, how the colours represent us as farmers. We are planting seeds to grow trees. I was reminded of the expression “From small acorns giant oak trees grow”.  This all had to start somewhere Dr Lams’ acorn of a dream and vision is now growing into a wood. As we continue to nurture our trees, soon it will be a forest. The roots of the trees are starting to stretch out and become entwined as we reach out to different countries and communities.
So what is the take home message?
 
We are all ambassadors for our institute, our international institute.
We can and we are helping people with many health challenges to improve their health and wellness.
 
The final words are in a quote.
“Healthy citizens are the greatest asset any country can have” – Winston Churchill
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The Tai Chi Way: To be Healthy and Happy
By John Walter, Instructor, USA
A new book featuring an “easy-read” memoir by Dr. Paul Lam offers fresh perspective on how tai chi can transform a person’s life. The Tai Chi Way: To be Healthy & Happy, published late last year, includes an abbreviated version of Dr. Lam’s recent memoir, Born Strong, hitting the highlights of his own dramatic life.
In the introduction, Paul writes: Tai chi transformed my life and I wanted to share how effective my Tai Chi for Health Program has been for so many people around the world. The full-length memoir enabled me to tell that story. This publication does the same, and in an easy-read, entertaining way. I hope the reader will find The Tai Chi Way to be an enjoyable starting point to a healthier, happier life in this busy and challenging world.”

Special features of the 128-page publication are a newly curated set of photographs from Paul’s life, many showcasing students and teachers at his workshops. There is a set of highlighted excerpts from the book that distill the essence of tai chi. Paul’s “Recipe for Health”is included, as well a new writing, “A Tai Chi Sampler,”which I worked with Paul to develop as a quick introduction to tai chi for the complete novice.

It seems to me there are three types of readers who will enjoy and benefit from this book. Even if they have read the full-length memoir, experienced tai chi practitioners will gain new insight into the experiences that have informed Paul’s work in developing tai chi for health. Much editorial shape was given to make this book “shine,”as Paul put it.

Tai chi beginners will find the same sort of value, I think. The book is just plain inspiring. It will make you want to learn more about tai chi and keep developing your skills.

Finally, people who know nothing about tai chi will discover that this book is a perfect sort of portal to tai chi, a way to a more healthy and happy life. And that’s why it occurs to me that this book would make a great gift for a friend or family member whom you think would benefit from tai chi. And we know that is everyone!
 
The price on the Wilkinson Publishing website is $29.99, which includes postage and handling within Australia and New Zealand. (About 21 $USD.)
Click the direct link to the book. Or visit the Wilkinson Publishing website: www.wilkinsonpublishing.com.au and search with the keywords, Tai Chi. Or go to amazon and search Dr Paul Lam.

From the book’s synopsis:
One man’s incredible true story of growing up under the Communist rule of Mao Zedong in China and finding his way to Australia, medicine and tai chi.
In 1948, Dr Paul Lam’s mother left him in the care of his grandmother in China. Ten months old at the time, Dr Lam – whose given Chinese names is Bon Trong, meaning “born to be strong” – grew up under the cruel Communist regime of Mao Zedong and nearly perished during the Great Famine. After escaping from China, studying in Hong Kong, and finally settling in Australia, Dr Lam won a scholarship to study medicine.

Malnutrition left Dr Lam with severe osteoarthritis. He found that tai chi not only helped him manage the condition, the ancient practice improved every aspect of his life. Dr Lam’s burning passion to help others led him to create the Tai Chi for Health programs, where he combined his Western and Chinese medical knowledge with modern teaching methods. More than five million people worldwide practice his Tai Chi for Health programs. The Tai Chi Way is Paul’s story, told with passion and vivid detail.

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My Tai Chi Challenge, click here for video presentation.
Darci Alexander, MT, California, USA

It was a Health Challenge that got me into the Beautiful World of Tai Chi for Health programs!
An accident (due to someone else) broke 2 of my vertebrae and burst into my spinal cord. I had to have an emergency surgery or I would end up paralyzed and in a wheelchair.
Prior to the accident I was very active. I had to have Physical Therapy and on the LAST DAY of PT I told my therapist, Well I won’t be snow skiing with my kids or water skiing with my brother anymore, but at least NOW I can sit in a car and drive 3 hours to where my cousin lived and go with her to Tai Chi this weekend.
She looked at me with wide eyes and said: “You do Tai Chi?! She knew the healing benefits and the NEED for IT in OUR AREA! She said, “If you get certified I will hire you to teach in my clinic”.
Now, I was painfully shy growing up and first said No, but then thought: How could I NOT share such a healing medicine??? WITHOUT any Bad Side Effects!
Some call Tai Chi “Meditation in Motion” but Harvard Medical stated that it might well be called “Medication in Motion”!
So, I looked into different Tai Chi programs and found Dr Lam’s programs to be the Best by far!  I then found Robin Malby 4 hours away giving a TCA workshop.  That was 6 years ago and I’ve been teaching ever since.
In my classes: I want to create a healing atmosphere where everyone is welcome with whatever Health Challenge they have!
I’d like to share just 2 of these with you…
My husband worked at a small school for many years and a Co-worker of his had to quit her job due to Fibromyalgia. He told her about my TCA class and she started coming. After a few months she BOUNDED in to Class and Announced: “THANK YOU for giving me my life back! I can once again take care of my Beloved Grandchildren and even do some volunteer work!
I had no idea.
Then, a gentleman with Parkinson’s came and I couldn’t tell if he was getting anything out of it, especially because what he was doing did not look like you would want it to look.
BUT, he was safe, he was learning Principles, connecting his Mind to his Muscles and Brain to his Body, and was loved and accepted just the way he was!
After class one day he stated: “I feel like a HUMAN again”!
So, it works in ways we’re not even aware of!
Some of you are working on getting certified to teach this weekend…
I commend you for wanting to share this LIFE GIVING GIFT to others!
It’s a LIFE LINE or LIFE GIVING for some of us!
And to those of you who are already teaching….
Keep up the good work!
I’m So Glad YOU were all there for me ~ This is where it all Started…. Australia!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
 
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Humour, Laughter and Radiant Health
Doctor Bob McBrien, Salisbury, Maryland, USA
 
This winter in Maryland has fewer than average “snow days” for school children. About a month ago, we did have a good storm that closed schools & businesses. Being stuck in the house calls for a good sense of humor, but imagine spending five days in medical center with no activity and limited staff. A friend of ours in her middle 80s was admitted to our local medical center with dehydration and related symptoms. Listening to her talk about her time on the fifth floor during the snow storm, it was a delight to hear her laughter as she told stories that prompted the theme for this month's essay.
*The day after the heavy snowfall, this notice was posted on the bulletin board in the student nurse’s lounge: "Student nurses will please stop again using our sterile bedpans for sleds."
*A toddler was brought into our emergency room after ingesting part of a plug-in air freshener. After consulting Poison Control and monitoring him, the doctor wrote on his discharge, "Patient doing well. Ready to go home. Smells good." 
*Prior to his biopsy, the patient confessed to a student nurse just how nervous he was. "Don't worry," the young nurse assured him. "You're just having a little autopsy."
*As my friend was admitted to the medical center, the clerk reached for his wrist, saying, "I'm going to give you this bracelet."
"Has it got rubies and diamonds?" my friend asked with a grin.
"No," was the answer. "But it costs just as much."
*Looking in on his elderly patient, the attending physician saw that she was dressed and preparing to go home. After exchanging greetings, the woman looked around the room and pointed at the many plants she had received as get well gifts. "Please doctor, pick out a few plants and take them home, I have too many to care for" she said
"No, no," he replied, " I don't think I should take any. Everything I touch dies."
 
Do you have a story that brings out laughter? Send it to me at drbobtaichi@gmail.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. 
Sign up now for the June Annual Workshops in USA
Dr Lam and Jocelyn celebrating their successful duet "The Impossible Dream" at the June Annual Workshop 2016
demonstration of the Sun Style 73 Forms at the January tai chi workshop
Barbara Clough
Linda Arksey, master trainer and Olympic coach
Dr Lam offers a gift of health
Dr Paul at the January 2017 19th annual workshop
Darci Alexander
Drs Bob Mc Brien and Paul Lam
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