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Tai Chi can change your life style; closing date of June annual workshop and beach tai chi via drone...

Dr Lam Tai Chi for Health Newsletter 
- Issue Number 199, March 2018

 

In this issue:

Hello <<First Name>>,

At the January workshop, I learned a very important medical finding from Professor Rhayun Song. When someone takes up a healthy habit such as tai chi and persists for six months, that tends to change their way of life. In other words, they will eat more healthily, be more sociable, stop smoking, cut down their alcohol intake and so on. Their change of lifestyle could then be permanent. Especially from a family physician’s perspective, helping people to change their lifestyle is challenging, this information is great news.

Professor Song is doing research on how tai chi can change lifestyle, and here is my interview with her.

It was a wonderful time at the Friday social dinner when everyone was singing with Elvis. Here is an interview with Mark and a clip of the show.

At the last issue, I posted a video of Linda presenting at the workshop about her team winning the most prestigious Integrative Medicine Award from HRH Prince of Wales recently. Here is an interview with Linda.

It really useful for all of us to hear new medical advances, inspirational stories from different walks of life, please share these videos and the newsletter with you participants and friends.

Great news for January 2019!  We have now secured the booking for next year’s workshop which will commence on Monday, 7th January to the 12th 2019. The booking site and brochure will be ready soon. Thanks to all of you who told me what a wonderful experience you had at the Novotel beachfront hotel in Wollongong, and are waiting to book for next year. Watch this space!

Naomi and Judy were telling me that at first they thought the cost for Novotel was a little higher than the year before, but in the end, they realised it was actually cheaper because everything was included. They couldn’t get over how sumptuous the buffet was, and how roomy the hotel was, especially as it is right on the beachfront.

Here is a fascinating comment from Richard Link: “After watching our beach aerial demo several times I suddenly realized something very significant. From the air, it seems that we were not exactly together but it was more like a wave that started in the center and gently flowed to the outside people. It just reminded me of something that I have heard you say several times. It’s what it looks like when the pebble is dropped in the pool and it gently ripples outward. With our blue shirts from the air, it looked like that ripple in the pool.”

For those who haven’t seen the footage of the morning beach practise, here is a link to the video. All these videos and more are available at the Global Community at a part of my Online Tai Chi Lessons, you can subscribe to the Global Community at a nominal admin fee.

I am excited that it is only three months to the June workshop in Oregon. The classes are filling up fast and the closing date for early bird discount is on the 1st March, but I am going to extend it for three days since February is a short month. Do enrol as soon as possible to ensure your place in your chosen class. I look forward to seeing you there.

Our team is working very hard on the new two programs and documentary before I leave for the 3 months global tour soon. I will let you know how it goes.

Yours in Tai Chi,


Paul Lam, MD
Director
taichiforhealthinstitute.org

Please don't reply to this Newsletter, contact us via service@tchi.org

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This Month’s Special


Receive a 20% discount when you purchase the Tai Chi for Energy DVD. Please use coupon code MAR20TCE when ordering. Offer expires 31 March 2018. Not to be used with any other discount.

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Upcoming Workshops by Dr Paul Lam

 

March 2018

June 2018

July 2018 

August 2018 

September 2018

October 2018 

November 2018


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Yin and Yang in Action, Part Two

Morag McDade, Senior Trainer, Scotland


Introducing the Bright Energy of The Very Young!

For several weeks now our sessions have taken a new shape, and abound with new energy! Rosie’s new vision was to invite local nursery children aged 2-5yrs to join in with our Tai Chi sessions. Cue Tai Chi 4 Kidz! Along came a group of children from FirTrees Nursery, accompanied by three nursery staff members. More recently, children and staff from Forgewood nursery have also been involved.

And so our joint TC4K/TCA sessions began, with the children joining in with the first half hour of each class. At every weekly session, the childrens’ lovely, bright energy immediately has a very positive effect on the older participants.  Facial expressions lift and there is a noticeable increase in participation.  Each session starts with refreshments for everyone and during this short social activity, the two groups have the opportunity to settle and say hello to one another prior to the Tai Chi session. There is lots of happy chatter, and we have gentle music playing to create a tranquil and happy environment for everyone.

The ‘Big People’ are then asked if they will help by showing the children some of the Tai Chi that they themselves have been practising, while the children are given the important job of helping me to check that the older class members are carrying out the movements ‘properly’. From the first session each group have risen to the task.  The children are encouraged to join in and copy the movements, and so far there have been no disputes!

Periodically, to allow the children to move around a little more, I use short singing/action games in between Tai Chi movements, where we can practise ‘stepping softly like a cat’ or ‘creeping slowly like a snake’, and the older participants join in with these too. A favourite is ‘There’s a Bear in the Forest’!
 
From the start of these joint sessions, I have found that the older section of the class easily and happily responds to the ‘child friendly’ language and content used with the children, so that all are now familiar with e.g.  ‘Opening a big fan’ (Single Whip), ‘Opening/Closing the ball’ (Open/Close), – with the visual and tactile help of my multicoloured expanding ball – and of course everyone loves Waving Hands in Clouds together.  Each week I use various props with the children such as toy animals or my large puppet (Tai Chi Tina) and they are given a colouring picture to take back to the nursery, depicting something that we have focussed on during the session.

For example, here is this week’s picture, to remind the children of how they were practising how to first ‘stand as still as a mountain’…. and then ‘move like flowing water’.  
After the children have left, (with many waves and smiles) the mental imagery used remains relevant to the adults, making the movements more meaningful and enjoyable for them, but with more adult-friendly content now added.  I’m able to refer back to the childrens’ participation, saying for example, "Remember how the children were trying to move slowly and smoothly, like water? You were great at showing them how to do that – let’s do it again!"

During seated sessions, I use frequent reminders to keep feet and legs moving gently as much as possible, with visualisation for those whose movement is more restricted. I ask everyone to imagine using each foot to make a little footprint in soft moss or a thick carpet as we turn to the opposite side.

A few of the participants are able to do a little ‘standing-up’ Tai Chi, and I will soon be focusing more on posture and mindful weight shift with this group. 

During my ‘previous life’ as a specialist Speech and Language Therapist, I had many years of experience of working with all age groups, but almost always separately.  Now, I feel hugely inspired by the positive energy generated by bringing the young and old together in this hugely enjoyable and beneficial way. Thank you, Rosie!

Our joint TC4K/TCA sessions are continuing, hopefully for some time to come.  I wonder if this might be the epitome of Yin and Yang in action? It’s certainly a lot of satisfaction and fun for me!

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How Tai Chi is Aiding in Managing ME/CFS (Myalgic Encephalitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome)

Marcus Goddefroy, Participant, Victoria, Australia


It is probably already 6 years since I started to learn Tai Chi here in Newstead Victoria.

I am dealing with the chronic illness of ME/CFS.

The multi benefits of attending the Tai Chi classes and my desire to support my teacher, led me to become an instructor myself, in order to share the physical, mental and social benefits of practicing Tai Chi in our community.

ME/CFS is a bit of a tricky condition, little can be done about it. So fare, a management strategy is recommended by the medical fraternity. I felt I needed a cardiovascular exercise in order not to suffer muscle wastage, particularly where the heart muscle tires so easy.

Running, even long distance walking was too much, but I figured that I could do Tai Chi.

Initially, I could not sit through a whole Tai Chi class, but after a while, I gained strength and did not exhaust my self beyond gain.

Just recently I had an email from a friend who like me is dealing with ME/CFS.

She told me that she is getting really weak from muscle wastage. This made me reflect on my own body and how I had managed through practicing Tai Chi to strengthen it.

I then realized how people with ME/CFS experience the exhaustion as muscle weakness.

This is a common misunderstanding through misreading this symptom. Thinking we have become weak, we do less, but this does results in diminished muscle mass. 
 
My improved strength and muscle tone through practicing Tai Chi proved that it is not loss of strength we are dealing with, but that the lack of endurance is mistaken for weak muscles.

Through my Tai Chi practice I also noted that when I move in a constant motion, I manage to lessen the exhaustion a great deal, but if I have pauses in my Tai Chi form I tire quickly.

The continuous motion through the different muscle groups allows for the fatigue or the lack of endurance to be lessened. Each group of muscles smoothly tenses and releases without burning up the limited energy available, but still have the benefit of muscle building. 

Nevertheless one must still keep in mind the issue of Orthostatic Intolerance. This inability to be upright for a long time, brings on a whole range of symptoms, with brain fog the most debilitating and the most stealthy, causing a slow inhibiting of our cognitive or clear thinking capabilities.

Hence I still need to have regular horizontal time. Through Tai Chi, my heart and other muscles are stronger but they still suffer from endurance issues. My low blood pressure will thus still regularly be delivering insufficient oxygen to the extremities of my brain. One needs thus beware of the need to rest in a horizontal position. In my case, for every hour I am up, I need one down.

Ever keen to find the elusive cure to ME/CFS, I hope to discover through my tai chi practice more secrets, to one day crack the dysfunction. At present, I am focusing on breath and chi.

My best wishes to all Tai Chi practitioners and instructors. 

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Tai Chi for Health in 2018

Steven Burton, Instructor and Health Promotion Officer, Albury, Australia


Greetings Tai Chi class participants and best wishes for 2018! Another year of Tai Chi lies ahead of us and I wish you well with your practice over coming months.

I recently attended the one week long Tai Chi for Health Workshop in Wollongong run by Dr Paul Lam and all the Tai Chi for Health Master Trainers and Senior Instructors. What an experience! There were 130 participants and representatives from 11 different countries and it was amazing to hear how Tai Chi is growing internationally! More and more people are taking time-out’on a daily or near-daily basis to practice their form in order to enhance the benefits they gain from Tai Chi. Dr Lam himself emphasised the importance of regular (daily) practice in order to truly gain a whole lot more from what Tai Chi has to offer. It really gave me something to think about.

The workshop program consisted of a daily gathering at 9 am with about 45 minutes of talks and demonstrations from Tai Chi practitioners from around the world, followed by breaking off into our elected classes to learn a nominated Tai Chi form for the rest of the day, for a whole week. I choose the 73 Form and it certainly kept our group busy for the duration of the workshop with lots of instruction and practice. The big moment was when we demonstrated what we had learned on the final day. Fortunately, there was plenty of support!

So what is the suggested length of time for daily practice? About half an hour a day, but you should work up to this if it is too much initially. If this is the case, perhaps start with 10-15 minutes each day. Pick a quiet tranquil place to practice. Some people like to have soothing relaxing music in the background and others like to have complete quiet. Your choice.

If you have the time and the capacity, it is even better to have half an hour of practice in the morning and half an hour in the afternoon, but as mentioned, build up to it if necessary. Either way, it is important to have regular practice. As you may know, Tai Chi works on the body, the mind and the breath and it takes practice to get all of the benefits.  When you practice regularly and add in the breathing and engage your mind to control the body, you will see results quicker than just doing the physical movements or not practicing at all!

One of the truly great things about Tai Chi is the ease that it takes to do it. You can be in your pyjamas or day to day outfit and still do Tai Chi! However flat footwear is comfortable and recommended for safety reasons. Set yourself some ‘practice-goals’ for the coming year, be honest and realistic about these goals and keep at it – you will definitely notice the difference! 

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Product Review Prize Winners


Every month we choose the best reviews posted on the Tai Chi Productions website. Be sure to post your review whenever you make a purchase as you may be chosen to win a mystery prize.

Congratulations to Alison Swinbank from Australia, and Terrie Hollen from the USA. Please contact us within one week to claim your prize. You can see their reviews below. Do be sure to post your review when you make a purchase to win a mystery prize.


Product:  Born Strong: Dr Lam's memoir (e-book)

 Rated 5 out of 5 stars 
Posted by: Alison Swinbank

"Loved the journey of shared memories"

Really enjoyed learning more about the wonderful life journey that brought Dr Lam into my life. He has some amazing memories of love and hardship - and the most impressive theme throughout was the undercurrent of love. He was/is truly “born strong!"

Thank you, Alison, please contact manager@taichiproductions.com to receive your prize.
 

Product:  Tai Chi for Diabetes DVD

 Rated 5 out of 5 stars 
Posted by: Terrie L Hollen

"Ah-mah-ZING"

I have fibromyalgia and have had to do warm-ups and forms very slowly building up gradually. I looked back at when I first started which was Dec 5, 2016 until today, I cannot believe how much better I feel and how much stronger feel. I only wish I lived in Australia to go to Dr. Lam's classes in person. You are the best Dr. Lam Thank you so much for pursuing your vision and helping people like me to live a much more active lifestyle!

Thank you, Terrie, please contact serviceusa@taichiproductions.com to receive your prize.

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Humour, Laughter and Radiant Health

Dr Bob McBrien, Master Trainer, Salisbury, MD, USA


Each month I search for examples of healthy, uplifting humor to present in these essays. Thanks to Google I am able to find positive humor and sources reporting studies that support the belief that positive humor and laughter contribute to radiant health. The science reports coming from the field Positive Psychology is often my source for my essays. This month I found Emma M. Seppälä Ph.D’s post on the health benefits of laughter. Dr. Seppälä lists research showing that laughter supports resilience, reduces stress, lowers inflammation and boosts immunity. 
 
This month I selected essays and exam answers from fifth graders tasked with describing the Universe.
 
* A vibration is a motion that can’t make up its mind which way it wants to go.
 
* One drop of cyanide on a dog’s tongue will kill the strongest man.
 
* A blizzard is when it snows sideways.
 
* It is so hot in some places that people have to live in other places.
 
* When they broke open molecules, they found atoms and when they broke open atoms they found explosions.
 
* Genetics explain why you look like your father and if you don’t why you should.
 
* One horsepower is the amount of energy it takes to drag a horse 500 feet in one second.
 
And my favorite:
* a monsoon is a French gentleman.

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Click Here to Sign Up Now for the June 2018 Workshop in Portland, Oregon

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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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