Dr Lam Tai Chi for Health Newsletter
- Issue Number 183, November 2016
Hello <<First Name>>
In this issue:
My Fall workshop tour in the USA was amazing in so many ways! I thoroughly enjoy meeting the people who come to my workshops over the years, and the many new participants. I am really happy to see from the gleam in your eyes how much you enjoyed the workshop.
Thank you to those who told me how much the workshops restored your vigour and enthusiasm for tai chi and improved your skill and knowledge. I certainly learned a lot about tai chi from working together. Just as importantly I learn much about the Tai Chi for Health programs, the vision and how it was taught, understand your challenges and your joy and your fulfilment in helping to empower others.
Throughout the workshops many MTs and STs came along to help. Together we developed deeper knowledge of the Tai Chi for Health vision and how share it more effectively. The increasing funding and support from CDC, National Council on Ageing, Arthritis Foundation and other health organizations leading to a tremendous growth and reach of the Tai Chi for Health vision. It is indeed a very fulfilling feeling.
I hope to see you at more workshops next year and renew old friendships and make new friends.
World Diabetes Day is November 14th and we are marking the occasion with a worldwide special bundle. Check the Tai Chi Productions homepage for details on the 12th.
Meanwhile back in Melbourne, Australia, Master Trainer Rani Hughes has become a radio celebrity! Rani was interviewed by ABC Radio and even gave a short tai chi lesson on air. Her item was so popular that she has been invited back to record short tai chi/meditation sessions for ABC. Well done Rani! ABC has agreed to share the interview with our readers. Click here to hear it.
The January One Week Workshop is almost full, the closing date is 15th November less than 2 weeks. Do book quickly, the University will require the exact number of participants so after the day we will not be able to take more enrolments.
back to top
This Month’s Special
Christmas is just around the corner, so we are offering a very special discount! The best gift you can give to your family and friends is health! For the month of November receive a 35% discount off ANY DVD. Please use coupon code NOVDVD35 when ordering. Offer expires 31st November. Not to be used with any other discount.
Product Review Prize Winners – Christmas Package
For November we will have a very special surprise package – Two DVDs and Two Music CDs! They are:
Total value USD $79.80 or AUD $99.80
- Tai Chi for Energy (8 Lessons) - A unique program that combines two powerful forms of tai chi to improve health, wellness, internal energy,and the ability to manage stress.
- Tai Chi for Energy 2 (8 Lessons) - Expand and unleash more power in your tai chi to deliver unbelievable vitality.
- Tai Chi Music, Volume 1and Volume 2 - Music composed for your tai chi practice
Congratulations to this month’s prize winners, Frank Croucher, (Australia) and Kelly Lucy Glostott (USA) You can see their reviews below. Please contact us within one week to claim your prize.
Be sure to post your review when you make a purchase so that you will be included in the prize draw.
Upcoming Workshops by Dr Paul Lam
Other workshops by my authorised Master Trainers are displayed on the Master Trainer Workshop Calendar
Yours in Tai Chi,
Paul Lam, MD
back to top
(Dr Lam receives many letters. Each month we feature one, and he answers any questions raised)
A Letter to Dr Lam
Anmarie Landi, Instructor, Warwickshire, UK
Firstly, I wanted to thank you for your instruction at the workshop in Manchester in September. I have found it relatively easy to keep up the form since because of the level of training. In the meantime, I have proudly shown off my renewed knee flexibility and wanted to finally send an email to you about it as promised.
In March 2012, I was seriously injured during a ski holiday in France. The incident resulted in a twisting of my right leg, which was so bad I had micro-fractured leg bones that showed up as mere shadows on the MRI scan 5 weeks later because they had been so badly damaged. I was very lucky they did not break/shatter. Unfortunately, my ACL had not fared as well and was completely destroyed - there was nothing left but debris inside my knee.
The treatment / advice I got was to immobilise it and wait - this resulted in me having an entirely frozen knee about 5 weeks later and I had to go through a long period of rehab just to get it to bend at right angles so I could have an operation to replace the ACL with some hamstring.
It is now 4 and 1/2 years since the injury and I had 9 months in 2012 during which I was unable to walk unassisted or drive. However, despite physio, my range of movement took a long time to improve and when I came to the workshop that weekend, I had been resigned to never being able to "sit on my haunches" or sit cross legged and I had adapted how I sat and knelt to avoid having to bend my knee and put it under too much strain.
Then after the workshop - I was so excited and came to you to show you that I could now sit on my haunches and I have found I can sit cross legged too. Whilst these are not exactly - essential – activities, this return to nearly normal extent of bending etc. means that I am "freed" when I play with my niece and nephew. When I need to "squat" down to see what they are doing, or I need to lift something properly and bend my knees to do so, I can do so because I have the range and the renewed strength in the key leg muscles.
Thank you for showing me so definitively the "magic" of tai chi and how essential it is to health and the unmeasurable blessing it can bestow with regard to musculoskeletal flexibility, injury recovery and pain control.
I look forward to participating in further workshops
Dr Lam replies:
Well it must be something special, I have never posed for a photo on my knees before! It was a real pleasure working with you. Thanks for sharing your story.
back to top
Product of the Month Review Prize Winners
This month’s winners are:
Product: Tai Chi for Arthritis Part 2 Wall Chart
Posted by: Frank Croucher, Tasmania, Australia
“Having ordered and received the Part 1 wall chart, I was delighted to see that there is a second one (Part 2). Now with a complete set, I can have them laminated and they will be a very useful teaching aid (once I have completed the January workshop!). I am really looking forward to getting things rolling, and being able to assist my Tai Chi teacher here in NW Tasmania.”
Product: Tai Chi for Rehabilitation DVD
Posted By: Kelly Lucy Glostott
“I've been recovering from a neurological injury for the last year and a half. I tried programs for circuit training and active yoga, targeted for people like me who are recovering from injury, but they were too intense and didn't improve my energy and strength for long. I tried Dr. Lam's free introductory video online before I ordered the DVD and have enjoyed much improvement in my energy levels, mood, posture, and overall internal strength. I think I am even losing excess weight with Tai Chi when the high-intensity programs didn't give me that result! My energy levels have been stable for the last 6 weeks, for the first time since my injury.
I really appreciate Dr. Lam's gentle, encouraging approach that helps me feel capable, and keeps me coming back each morning for another session of practice.
I work in healthcare and have long believed that life energy is an important, but often neglected (in Western medicine), aspect of health and disease. My experience with this DVD confirms that Chi can be the missing piece when recovery hits a roadblock.”
Congratulations! Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org (Australia) or email@example.com (USA) to receive your prize.
back to top
Tai Chi Competition Inspirational
Robin Malby, Master Trainer and Linda Scott, Instructor, California
In July 2014, Master Trainer candidate Hong Yang arranged for Tai Chi for Arthritis (TCA) to be featured as a short demo at the beginning of the Lightning Tai Chi International Championship held in Pasadena, California. Occurring every other year, this is the only full-day, tai chi-only event in the United States. Master Trainer Robin Malby helped to lead the group along with Hong Yang and Senior Trainer Art Lopez from Fresno, California. Hong included many TCA students from her classes in the demo and Art brought several students from Fresno to participate. Senior Trainer David Ortiz, also from Fresno, attended. An additional group of local TCA instructors participated in the 50-person demo.
The demonstration was received with loud applause and great interest. A summary of Dr. Lam’s programs and an introduction to the Tai Chi for Arthritis form was explained beforehand. Up to this point, very few participants competed in the Sun style. The Tai Chi for Arthritis demonstration changed that, and when the next Lightning Tai Chi International Championship was held in July 2016 in Pasadena, several more individuals and groups participated in Sun 73. Also, Hong Yang saw a significant increase in her TCA and Sun 73 classes.
Because of the increased interest in Sun style, we were invited to give the opening group demonstration of Sun 73. Robin Malby, Master Trainer candidate Darcie Alexander, David Ortiz, instructor Linda Scott, and Art Lopez and some of his students joined many of Hong Yang’s students and other Lightning Tai Chi students to form a group of 100 strong. It was electrifying to perform with so many individuals moving as one for such a large, appreciative audience!
After teaching a Tai Chi for Diabetes workshop this spring with Robin Malby, Hong Yong was so pleased with the workshop participants’ progress that she encouraged them to compete in the category “Other Forms and Weapons.” Linda Scott and six of her class participants from Carlsbad, California, accepted the challenge and practiced for months to prepare. Robin Malby joined them for the competition. As one Carlsbad participant, Jan Ryan said, “The beauty of community is what first attracted me to tai chi. To see its diversity in style and practice at the competition inspires me to make tai chi a lifelong practice. To compete as a team gave us a shared goal; we improved individually and together. Just as our tai chi deepened, so did our relationships.”
Instructor Debra Dunn-Yonke brought a busload of students to watch, and they sat ringside wearing their blue polo shirts featuring the Tai Chi for Health logo looking like VIPs. Debra said, “We arrived home in Bakersfield safely, very encouraged and inspired by the beautiful day of sharing our love of tai chi!”
back to top
Another Rehabilitation Story
Edgar Lloyd, Participant, Newcastle, Australia
In 2011 I was diagnosed with Parkinsons Disease and sought a programme of exercises to improve my balance without the need of medication.
I attended Falls Prevention Clinic at The Rankin Park Hospital at Newcastle. At the clinic a programme of tai chi was recommended as a way if improving my balance and generally slowing down the effects of Parkinsons Disease. I had previously attended tai chi classes but was disappointed with the professionalism of the programme and the instruction and gained little satisfaction.
In January 2015 I attended the Arthritis and Falls Prevention Programme at Rose Bay (Kincoppal) and was extremely satisfied with the professionalism of the instructors and content of the programme. I found that I could not keep up with the rest of the class but I was determined to seek further instruction within the Newcastle area as I felt that my balance had improved.
At the January programme I was introduced to a Lorraine Norton who was also attending a more advanced programme at Kincoppal. Lorraine was already conducting tai chi classes in Newcastle and I started to attend these classes. I have been attending these classes for about 18 months now and my balance has improved to such an extent that I have not had a fall (other than of a minor nature for over six months. I still need to exercise care and be aware of my actions, but my overall health condition to such an extent that I believe I can minimise the effects of my Parkinsons Disease and prevent any further deterioration.
back to top
Humour, Laughter and Radiant Health
Doctor Bob McBrien, Salisbury, Maryland, USA
Teaching Tai Chi for Health classes in retirement communities provides unique learning opportunities for instructors. The saying, "By your students you are taught", is especially true when your students are over 80 years old. One area my students have taught me about is the healthy attitude most pensioners have regarding their experiences with the "sunset" years of their lives. Many of our older students are the last of their family and circle of friends to still be alive. Yet they laugh about their experiences with facing death. These old timers show us how healthy it is to have laughter and how humor supports our health and well-being, even when we are 93!
Following are a few of examples of this type of humor.
* On his 100th birthday John was interviewed by the local TV station news reporter. The reporter asked, "Mr John, can you describe a benefit you've received living to be 100?"
"No peer pressure," was John's reply.
* Continuing his interview the reporter next asked, "Can you offer the secret to living to be 100 to our viewers?"
"Keep breathing," John said.
*Three octogenarians are out walking.
First one says, 'Windy, isn't it?'
Second one says, 'No, it's Thursday!'
Third one says, 'So am I. Let's go get a beer.'
Another life lesson was learned in a Zen monastery.
Ikkyu, the Zen master, was very clever as a young boy. His master was revered as a sage. The master had a precious teacup, a rare antique. While preparing the morning tea for his master, young Ikkyu happened to break this precious cup. He was gripped with anxiety about having to give the bad news to his master.
Hearing the footsteps of his master, he held the pieces of the cup behind him and when the master appeared, Ikkyu asked: "Why do people have to die?”
"This is natural," explained the master. "Everything has to die. We have just so long to live." When the time comes and nature calls we die."
Ikkyu, produced the shattered cup, saying: "Master I think this morning was the time for your teacup to die."
back to top
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.