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Happy New Year! 
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Dr Lam Tai Chi for Health Newsletter 
- Issue Number 185, January 2017

Hello <<First Name>>

In this issue: Wishing you a very happy and revitalizing 2017! Watch the Sydney Firework! Enjoy your tai chi and share it around. Let us keep spreading the enjoyment and power of tai chi. 100 years old Isolene's tai chi experience attests to that. Bravo Isolene!

I have learned over the years that tai chi is intrinsically empowering.  The slow movements engage me and make me more mindful, the smoother movements enhance serenity, the upright posture builds positive emotion, the flowing movements cultivate inner energy. I believe the empowering effect on the inner self, though less obvious, is even more important than the many remarkable physical health benefits. 

Please utilize my personal answers for questions such as: "What is Tai Chi?",  "How to Learn Tai Chi?", "What is Tai Chi for Health?" and other answers at Ask Dr Lam

I look forward to seeing you at one of my workshops next year.  Feel free to contact me through service@tchi.org.

Finally great news from New Zealand where an $80,000 grant has been awarded to study the beneficial effects of tai chi for breast cancer sufferers
 
This Month’s Special
If you have been thinking about learning a new form, or encouraging a friend to try tai chi, then the New Year Resolution 2017 bundle will fit the bill perfectly!  It comprises the Tai Chi for Beginners DVD, Tai Chi for Beginners and 24 Forms book, Tai Chi Music CD2 and the Warm Up and Cool Down chart.
This special package can only be ordered through this link

The special price is:
  • $59.95 for Australia (normally $88.80)
  • or $45.50 for the US (normally $68.35)
Offer expires 31st January.  Not to be used with any other discount.
 
Product Review Prize Winner
Congratulations to December prize winner, Susan Pinder from Australia. You have won 3 DVDs of your choice value AUD $120. You can see Susan’s review below. Susan, please contact us within one week to claim your prize.
Do post your review when you make a purchase to win a mystery prize.
 
Upcoming Workshops by Dr Paul Lam

March 2017

June 2017

Other workshops by my authorised Master Trainers are displayed on the Master Trainer Workshop Calendar

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 - and an Update
(Marcia White first wrote to Dr Lam in June.  Recently she sent him an update)
 
I have been working with the Tai Chi for arthritis programme for about a month now and am finding it really beneficial.  I started by watching it on You Tube and then bought the DVD which is excellent.  I am feeling more supple and the pain in my joints has lessened, plus it is helping my breathing as I tend to shallow breathe and this is making me feel so much more relaxed.
 
Dr Lam explains the moves really well and I am beginning to feel I know the group he works with on the DVD as I watch it and practise twice daily!
 
Thank you so much for this wonderful programme.
 
And …  six months later I would just like to say thank you again for the Tai Chi Lessons that have brought so much positivity and joy into my life.
 
I have progressed from Tai Chi for Arthritis 1 and am now working with Part 2.  I have also purchased Tai Chi Sun Style 73 Forms which I have not worked with yet but will incorporate this
slowly when I feel I am ready.
 
The Tai Chi has made such a difference for me, reducing my arthritic pain and also helping with balance and breathing.  Recently while practising, I suddenly felt a smile just spread across my
face and I understood then what you meant about it making you feel good.  It is such a beautiful and gentle way to exercise and yet it is also so much more than that and I think it makes you
feel good from the inside out.
 
I enjoy reading your newsletters and hearing about all the wonderful places you visit to bring Tai Chi to as many people as possible; keep up the good work!
 
Dr Lam replies:
 
Great to hear from you again Marcia, and I loved hearing about that smile! I would love to meet you in a workshop one day. 
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Tai Chi at 100
Joe Super, Instructor, West Virginia
 
“While I can’t do all the moves, I benefit from the moves that I can do. Tai Chi makes me feel better and helps with my balance and memory.” So said Isolene Michael in an interview with the Dominion Post on the occasion of her 100th birthday party. Yes, that is right—one-hundred years old, and an avid devotee of Tai Chi.
 
Isolene is one of a group of 10 to 15 “regular” who play and practice Tai Chi with Joe and Linda Super at the Village at Heritage Point, a retirement community in Morgantown, WV.  She always says after missing a session that “I come when I can but at times it is not always possible.” The routine and the camaraderie are an important part of her life, and she regrets when she misses a session. In the last couple of months she has barely missed a class. As I ask her about her dedication, she says that all of her life she has always been active, and she sees no reason to stop now.
 
As Tai Chi instructors we love having her in class. What is especially moving is watching her Single Whip and Cloud Hands. As those of you who teach or practice know, these moves, while simple on the surface, require a grace and fluidity that is difficult to achieve. Isolene has great fun with these and the other moves in the Tai Chi for Arthritis form. She practices them with an effortless smile that makes all of us enjoy Tai Chi even more.
 
In our class we take a five minute break at some point to practice achieving a state of tranquility and serenity, the jing that the Tai Chi Classics talk about. This morning as we were about to resume working on a few moves I explained to the class that this is one of the most difficult parts of doing the form for me. Achieving mental quiet is tough. I turned and asked Isolene how successful she was in entering this quiet mental space. Her response: “I have no problem in putting all of those years behind me. I can sit quietly for long periods and not worry, just enjoy, especially when I am outside.”
 
I often wonder whether Isolene is the oldest player of Tai Chi in the United States. Who knows, maybe in the world. Her statement that Tai Chi “makes me feel better” might be the best summary of the many benefits of Tai Chi. She is a delight to be with and helps us all in her own way.  
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Australia's First World Poomsae Champion
Barry Jordan, Participant, Canberra
Barry Jordan, who has recently moved to Bywong NSW (just out of Canberra), has just competed in the Taekwondo Poomsae World Championships which was held in Lima, Peru.  Poomsae is a defined pattern of defence-and-attack martial art motions. The competition attracts around 1,000 competitors from around 100 countries.  It looks and feels like a mini Olympics in all aspects.
In a first for Australia, Barry has won Gold, giving him the honour to become Australia’s first World Poomsae Champion.
Barry is qualified as a 6th Dan ‘Master’ in World Taekwondo Federation Taekwondo (the only taekwondo style seen at the Olympics) and has a martial arts club in Mitchell, Canberra called Nim Taekwondo.  He competes nationally and internationally as part of his goal for personal continuous improvement and to ensure his students have confidence in their Head Instructor.  Barry commenced competition in 2011 as an Australian representative at the World Championships in Russia.  He has since represented Australia on seven other occasions, won the Australian Champion title five times, won the US Open three years running and the Canadian Open earlier this year. 
Barry commenced taekwondo with his son in 1998 and as his journey progressed, he felt that something was missing from his training. It was all hard, physical training.  To add some balance to his training, Barry sought out Tai Chi training and before long, he was on a workshop with Dr Paul Lam’s senior instructors under the umbrella of the NSW Health, Southern NSW Local Health District.  Barry soon felt Tai Chi was where he could find what was needed to make his training complete. He attended a week training course in Sydney under Dr Lam which he says he completed on an emotional high that opened a door for him. 
Barry’s training then took him to China where he trained under a Daoist priest who also studied shaolin wushu.  Barry says this Master had an excellent understanding of internal martial arts.  Add to this some study in Korea and USA and meditation, Tai Chi and Qi Gong became important elements of his training.  It was all coming together but with a realization there was so much more to learn.
Barry promotes martial arts as not just a sport for the young, but for the whole family where the focus is on training and disciplining the mind along with the body.  It is a good exercise for children who are still growing as well as a good way for grown-ups to increase their physical fitness. Tai Chi and Taekwondo's movements require mobilisation of the joints, which increases the suppleness of one's body and results in improved balance.  Helping others improve their mobility, physical and mental strength is a goal Barry has had for some time.
Asked how he feels after becoming a World Champion – “motivated” was his reply.  The journey consists of many small steps, this was just one of them.
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In Pursuit of the Elusive Tai Chi Teacher
Kay Smith, Participant of Better Health Tai Chi Chuan - Dr Lam's school for over 30 years, Sydney
Watch the video of Kay and her elusive teacher doing tai chi fan on the street!
 
The story began one Tuesday evening in Sydney when the students from Dr Lam’s Tai Chi for Better Health group were arriving for their scheduled classes.
 
Oh no! Shock! Horror! The gates were locked and so the classes had to be abandoned. Disappointed students milled around despairingly on the footpath outside the gates.
 
One group of students was particularly disappointed because it was to be their final lesson with a very special teacher, Mark Hoyle. They had been practicing hard all week perfecting their Fan 18-Form Yang Style routine, so that it could be videoed and used as a guide in Mark’s absence.
 
The class had brought along a gift to show their appreciation to Mark for his enthusiasm, encouragement and, in particular, his commitment in travelling over 100 kms every week to teach classes.
 
Imagine their horror when they discovered that Mark had been whisked away by his travelling companions, anxious to begin their long trek home. They were left distraught, standing on the footpath, clutching the present and the video camera!!
 
What to do?
 
The only thing to do was to take chase. Racing through red lights, ‘faster than a speeding bullet, leaping over tall buildings in a single bound’ ……they finally tracked down their quarry at a busy petrol station.
It was at that bustling intersection with traffic whizzing past on all sides, horns honking, people staring, amongst rubbish bins and motorists refueling their cars, that the group was videoed performing their routine.
The present delivered, the goodbyes said, everyone went home satisfied that they had achieved yet another night of Tai Chi magic.
 
Seriously though ……….It was such a memorable and instructive experience for all of us! As a group we had managed through FOCUS to still the fury of daily city life. Tai Chi at its healing best!

From Dr Lam: Join us for the fun we have in Kogarah, Sydney Tuesday evening from 31st January 2017. Call 95336511
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Product of the Month Review Prize Winner
This month’s winner is:
Product:    Tai Chi for Flight
Posted by: Susan Pinder
4 out of 5 stars
Not just for Flying
I love this dvd, Tai Chi in Flight it is so easy to follow & I love the simplicity & beauty of the Qigong that follows after the warm ups. I have to admit I have not used it while flying as I have not flown anywhere!
I just love it as an exercise, I can do sitting in a chair anywhere. It is so relaxing. I would recommend this dvd to anybody. Thank you. 
 
Congratulations! Please contact service@tchi.org within one week to receive your prize. 
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Surrounded by Chi
Lou Ellen Brown, Instructor, Kansas City
I spent the most empowered weekend of my life with an amazing group of tai chi specialists.
I was blessed to be in the presence of Dr Paul Lam and his entourage of instructors, to name them all and their chi level would fill the newsletter.  If you have had the opportunity to be in the presence of Dr Lam in one of his trainings you may still feel the mindfulness training cultivating chi.  I am aglow from the synergy created by the practice of the Stepwise Progressive Teaching Method and co-attendee’s of the Exploring the Depth of Tai Chi for Arthritis for Fall Prevention Course October 8th and 9th, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri.   
 
My personal journey to Tai Chi for Arthritis as a certified trainer has included going to the grave site of Bruce and Brandon Lee.  In addition to travel I have also filled my time with obtaining five college degrees.  I have ran two marathons, several five-Kilometers runs and completed nine Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (AKA:  RAGBRAI) averages 450 miles as a support crew member for my caregiver.  My history includes surviving a list of cancer and benign tumors.  At age seventeen my first diagnosis was cervical cancer.  Due to cancer at age seventeen I was denied the opportunity of biological children.  Fifteen years in Oklahoma DHS Child Welfare as a foster care worker allowed me time to take care of those children. 

Every ten years a reoccurrence of cancer medical care was required.  I have successfully adjusted physically to include a benign five pound tumor.  The tumor had spread my organs so far apart the surgeon had to sew my organs where they belonged.  I was advised at the time if I broke any of the stitches I would have pain forever.  The following year was limited and immobilized.  As a forty-two year cancer surviving person I realized I was slowing down. 
 
I chose Tai Chi for Arthritis, as I had been given a diagnosis of Arthritis.  I now assist in the home care of those with chronic conditions.  I encourage them with Tai Chi exercise and mantras.  I now continue riding my recumbent bike, swimming, hiking and practicing Tai Chi. I completed a five kilometer at the first of November 2016 in an hour and three minutes.  I credit my practice of Tai Chi for Arthritis as a personal tool to build inner strength to wake up daily thankful for another day to complete Wa-Con-Da’s (Native American, Otoe Missouri language for God) will.  In 2014 I was awarded the Karen Packer Spirit of Collaboration Award, from the Iowa Caner Consortium for community work I have been able to assist as a volunteer with the Iowa Cancer Consortium committees, as a Tama County Soil and Water commissioner, a Region 1 Representative for the Iowa Department of Public Health Office of Minority and Multicultural Health, and volunteered with the Tama County Relay for Life.
 
I was blessed to get to meet and be taught by Dr. Lam in person.  As I continue my walk of life as reminded by monk Thich Nhat Hahn I walk thinking of his direction to walk as thoughtful walking “walk on mother earth kissing her with every step”, I thank the Creator Wa-Con-Da for my journey.  The people I have met and continue to meet on my journey which has not ended.  Beginning October 10, 2016 I start my teaching Tai Chi for Arthritis Class.  The medical team I have and all the non-for profits organizations contributing to my quality of life is including the American Cancer Society, and YMCA-Healthy Living Center of Clive, Iowa.  I also give thanks for my Native American Culture which teachings assist me in staying healthy includes a good positive spiritual strength, regular exercise (Tai Chi) and nutrition including proper hydration.
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Humour, Laughter and Radiant Health
Doctor Bob McBrien, Salisbury, Maryland, USA
 
A few days after last month’s newsletter came out I received an interesting email from a reader. The reader wrote, “I got up and thought, I want to laugh. I want to start out each day with something funny. I wondered where I could find humour.  Surprise! How wonderful it was to find Dr Lam’s newsletter in my email and your column suggesting a humour library with some sources for readers to start.”
With the arrival of 2017, we tend to seek renewal by making self-improvement resolutions. As one wit said, “My resolutions go in one year and out the other.”  Building a positive humour library will bring sources of laughter to brighten each day. Here are some bits of wit to brighten your day.
* Two antennas met on a roof, fell in love and got married...
...The ceremony wasn't much, but the reception was excellent.

* An invisible man marries an invisible woman...
...The kids were nothing to look at either.

* Deja Moo: The feeling that you've heard this bull before.

* It was an emotional wedding. Even the cake was in tiers.
*  The “roundest” night in King Arthur’s Round Table was Sir Circumference.  He ate too much pi.
* Parking for witches only.  All others will be toad.
* A fortune-teller escaped from the county jail. Police are looking for a small medium at large.
 
Share your favourite pun or healthy humour, send to: 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 Inaugural Exploring Workshops in Melbourne
Wishing a very Happy New Year to our international tai chi family! May tai chi bring you happiness and harmony!
We were lucky have dinner at a harbour side restaurant, I took photos and video from my table. Click the photos to see my Happy New Year video.
Greetings from Better Health Tai Chi Chuan
October prize winner Frank Croucher! Congrats!
Marcia White
Barry Jordan
From Kansa City Henry and Lou Brown
Drs Bob Mc Brien and Paul Lam
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