The 140th monthly treat with Dr Bob's humor essays

Dr Lam Tai Chi for Health Newsletter 
- Issue Number 193, September 2017


In this issue:

At the Adelaide workshop 2017, Dr Lam with mother Mardiyah and son Sharifin 

Hello <<First Name>>

This is a very special issue because Dr Bob, our regular humour columnist has delivered his 140th monthly humour essay. I can‘t tell you how many times I have smiled or laughed out loud at his humour. I can imagine my global community receiving the newsletter have had many similar moments.

Let me tell you more about Dr Bob, a Doctor of Psychology who served in the US military in South Korea. As well as teaching me some Korean he is a Master Trainer for several Tai Chi for Health programs, he has empowered countless people improve their health and wellness.

We have been friends for many years, among other things I learned from him, he introduced me to Dr. William Glasser's Reality Therapy and Choice Theory Psychology. His theory challenged the traditional approach to psychiatry, and numerous people have learned and benefited from his methods. It resonates so well with our Tai Chi for Health vision to empower people to improve their health and wellness.

I love the way Dr Bob tells funny stories with a straight face. I would like to send a special thank you to Bob for all the health and happiness he has shared with his participants and our readers. Enjoy this special one.

We are now in Singapore where I have just conducted a workshop for Master and Senior Trainers from different countries. Next is a run of workshops in Europe and then the Fall tour in the USA. It is wonderful to travel and meet interesting people. I hope to interview some of them and capture the spirit of the workshops for the online lessons, which are almost ready. Watch this space!

The January 2018 20th Anniversary workshop is almost full, and we may have to close registration earlier than advertised. Do book quickly to ensure your place.

The June 2018 annual workshop in USA will be at Forest Grove University, Oregon, a beautiful venue in a natural setting. The dates will be:
  • June 2-3, Preconference: Exploring the Depth and Magic of 24 Forms
  • June 4-9, the week long workshop with all popular courses of 2017 and a few new ones
  • June11-15, Dr Lam's Master Class for Sun 73 and Chen 56 forms. There will be limited placement for the class. Dr Lam will teach these classes personally. Participation is by invitation only, if interested please write to Di at
Booking will be open soon, watch this space!

Yours in Tai Chi,

Paul Lam, MD

Please don't reply to this Newsletter, contact us via

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This Month’s Special

Buy the Sun 73 DVD and receive a 20% discount! Please use code SEPTSN20 when ordering. Offer expires 30 September. Not to be used with any other discount.

Product Review Prize Winners

Congratulations to Katrine Kennedy (Australia), please contact us within one week to claim your prize. You can see Katrine’s review below. Do be sure to post your review when you make a purchase to win 3 DVDs of your choice, value AUD $120. 
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Upcoming Workshops by Dr Paul Lam

September 2017

October 2017

November 2017

January 2018 

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Evaluation of the 6-week pilot of the Tai Chi for Arthritis for Fall Prevention Program at BLENNZ (Blind, Low Vision Education Network, New Zealand)

Jocelyn Atkins, Instructor, Auckland, New Zealand

Executive Summary

The Sun-style Tai Chi for Arthritis for Fall Prevention Program (the program) was trialed with four students for six weeks during May to June 2017. The students were all aged 18 and enrolled in the Kickstart Experience Program (Kickstart) at the Homai Campus of BLENNZ (Blind, Low Vision Education Network, New Zealand). Homai is a suburb of Manurewa, Auckland, New Zealand.

Of the four students, David is blind and the other three (Jake, Katie and Lorna) are partially sighted.  The teacher and the two residential youth workers involved with Kickstart (the staff) joined the lessons to assist the instructor with any health and safety issues.

The instructor and two of the staff and observed positive changes by the third lesson with David and Katie and changes were noticed in all students by the end of the six weeks.  (These changes are detailed in Point 2 of this report.) The biggest improvements occurred in the areas of balance, posture, fall prevention and stress management. These changes were noted by observation, rather than by quantitative measures.

At the end of the pilot, the students reported on the effects they had noticed and a sample of their comments is as follows:
  • David: I do not fall down as often.
  • Jake: I am more relaxed. I am not stressing.
  • Katie: I can now balance on one leg.
  • Lorna: Tai chi helps me to calm down. I sleep so much better on the night after the class.
As an additional benefit, two of the staff also commented on positive changes in themselves as a result of joining in with the tai chi lessons, such as feeling more energised during the class and more relaxed afterwards.

The lessons were taught by an instructor, Jocelyn Watkin, who is a certified by the Board of the Tai Chi for Health Institute to teach the program. This program has been developed by Dr Paul Lam and the Tai Chi for Health Institute to improve balance and posture, strengthen leg muscles and is used extensively for fall prevention. Qigong breathing is an integrated part of this program and is especially beneficial for overall health, mental relaxation and to manage stress. 

During the 6-week pilot, all four of the students learned selected warm-up exercises and the first eight steps of the program. David had 12 one-hour lessons in total over the six weeks - one lesson per week as a 1-on-1 with the instructor and then one 1-hour lesson per week with the other three students (Jake, Katie and Lorna). 

The purpose of the pilot was to determine if the program could help the students with one or more of the following:
  • Balance
  • Posture
  • Fall prevention
  • Stress management
  • Confidence
  • Physical strength and general fitness
  • Flexibility (joints and/or overall movement)
  • Spatial awareness
The pilot was successful and it was agreed to continue with the tai chi lessons until the end of Term Two (July 7th) and also for Term Three (26 July to 29 September 2017).
The success of the pilot was attributed to a number of factors, including good preparation, the type of tai chi (Sun-style), the Tai Chi for Arthritis for Fall Prevention Program (including the Qigong), the instructor's expertise in tai chi, martial arts and teaching, the support of the Kickstart staff and the willingness of the students to give tai chi a go.

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Dr Lam and Master Trainer Meghan Bryant 

Tai Chi is like...

By participants from MT Susan Scheuer’s class, Florida

MT Susan Scheuer gave her participants a homework assignment recently, after Pam Gibson wrote the following definition.  The rest of the class submitted a further nine definitions, and we share the first five this month. Thanks to Susan and her class for their creative writing!

"Tai Chi is like a jigsaw puzzle. At first, it takes forever to sort out all the little pieces of the puzzle, all the steps. Then you get the border pieces together and see the outline of the form. After a bit of work, you see more of the form. Then, suddenly, all the pieces fit together and it flows."
- Pam Gibson, Bradenton FL

"Tai Chi is like a mountain stream in that it starts small and flows outward and onward to something greater.  Like a stream, it has its ups and downs, flowing over objects that would slow the flow but instead the stream rounds off the sharp edges of the rocks that would hinder its progress.  Like a stream that carries dirt, leaves, and twigs for soil improvement, Tai Chi carries things with it that nurtures the body and spirit."
- Peggy Fischer, Sarasota, FL

"Tai Chi is a little like ballet in that the movements are so graceful and flowing, some examples of which are White Crane Spreads Wings, or the Single Whip/Punch Under Elbow/Repulse Monkey sequence.  Also in ballet, as in Tai Chi, balance is involved throughout as is concentration and focus, not to mention leg strength!"
- Natalie Costa, Bradenton FL

"Tai Chi reminds me of.........  DANCING!!!
While watching the Bee Gees perform on TV last week,
I couldn't sit still ...... so I was up dancing to their music and automatically many Tai Chi movements were a big part of my dance interpretation. I felt energized!!!"

- Judy Ewing, Bradenton, FL

"Doing tai chi is like being on a vacation.  No headlines, no cell phones, no errands to run, no chores to do. I can concentrate on posture, breathing and slow, deliberate movements without distractions and focus on the pleasure of being aware that i am content."
- S. G. Bradenton, Florida

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Product Review Prize Winners

Product:  Tai Chi for Health Wristband
 Rated 5 out of 5 stars 
Posted by: Katrine Kennedy
Fun, Versatile, Popular!
Tai chi participants love the wristbands. Many use them as friendship bands, giving them to friends and family. Many wear them to class which gives a sense of community. Some wear the bands daily to remind them to include lots of practice during the day.
Congratulations Katrine, please contact to receive your prize.

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Humor, Laughter and Radiant Health

by Dr Bob McBrien

My search for positive forms of humor (“healthy humor”) has been assisted by a recent contribution e-mailed to me by Master Trainer Betty Scanlon. The style of humor you will read below is category not often seen titled, Idiosyncrasies of English. Many thanks to Betty Scanlon.

The examples of healthy humor below meet my criteria for positive forms of humor.  A few criteria are: 1. The humor does not put-down anyone, 2. It requires a bit of thought to discover the punch-line, and 3. You can tell the story to your grandmother.
Here are a few examples:
* I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, "Where's the self-help section?"
   She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose.
* Is there another word for synonym?  
* If a parsley farmer is sued, can they garnish his wages?
* One nice thing about egotists: they don't talk about other people.
* If you ate both pasta and antipasto, would you still be hungry?
* Why is there an expiration date on sour cream?
* Where do forest rangers go to "get away from it all?"
And my favorite:
* The main reason that Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live. 

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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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