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Impossible dream brings us to greater heights
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Dr Lam Tai Chi for Health Newsletter 
- Issue Number 179, July 2016

Hello <<First Name>>

In this issue: I had a wonderful time at the US One Week Workshop at Mount St Joseph University in Cincinnati. We had quite a few new faces this year, along with many regulars, everyone's positive energy created an exciting and supportive environment for all of us to grow!  The venue was amazing and the staff most helpful.

On the first day all the MTs joined to demonstrate the Sun 73 Forms. Conceived and organised by Ileina Ferrier as a tribute to me, it was beautiful. I deeply appreciated it. It was a wonderful start to our one week of sharing many were moved to tears.

That is part of the magic of being a member of the Tai Chi for Health family; the positive energy we receive from others inspires us to greater heights. This happens at every level, from small classes in hospital and age care facilities through to the final demonstrations on the last day. Every demonstration received a standing ovation, with a lot of foot stamping and cheering on the bleachers.
One of the most moving speeches of the week came from Johhny Packard, “How to Brighten 100 Skys”. (Click on the title to view a YouTube clip)  His tale of teaching Tai Chi for Health in prison and making a stunning breakthrough with one young woman had everyone on the edge of their seats. Later one of the participants was so moved by his presentation, she (anonymously) donated a place worth over $2000 in my September Sun 73 Master Class to Johhny. That generosity was greatly appreciated by the 200 people at the workshop, I want to personally thank the incredibly generous person from the bottom of my heart.

I have no vocal skills; I don’t even sing in my shower! But at the Talent Show I felt compelled to share my version of “The Impossible Dream” (which resonates with my mission to share Tai Chi for Health), assisted by the talented musician, Jocelyn Simpson, on her keyboard. I opened my heart to my tai chi family and our hearts were beating together with the song! An experience I will never forget! Click here for a YouTube clip of my singing.

On Friday morning my demonstration of the Chen 36 Sword, I felt great as my qi flows smoothly being inspired by the positive energy of the week, I will share that and more from the workshop in the August newsletter.

This year as well as Embracing Diversity, we also embraced social media. From the first day photos were posted of all the activities, and many thanks to all my Facebook friends for participating so enthusiastically and sharing with their friends. By the end of the week I had personally received over 2000 messages, with numerous friend requests, many from people who had never even tried tai chi! The photos and messages are still coming in. You can see photos of this and other workshops at http://www.drpaullam.photostockplus.com/. 

Finally, many congratulations to Cathy Mendelson who won the all-inclusive package for the 2017 One Week Workshop. Cathy has decided she would like to use her prize to attend Sydney in January, where I will be delighted to introduce her to person who won the same package at this year’s Sydney workshop, Norman Trubik! The 2017 June one week workshop will be held at Ashville NC on 12th to 17th June, with preconference two days prior.  Mark it in your diary now! 

This Month’s Special
Receive a 20% discount when you purchase the Tai Chi for Beginners DVD. Please use coupon code 20JULYTCB when ordering. Offer expires 30 July. Not to be used with any other discount.
 
Upcoming Workshops by Dr Paul Lam
 
July 2016

September 2016

 October 2016

January 2017

Other workshops by my authorised Master Trainers are displayed on the Master Trainer Workshop Calendar
 
Yours in Tai Chi,
 

 
Paul Lam, refocused family physician, director of
Tai Chi for Health Institute.
http://www.taichiforhealthinstitute.org/ 
 
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How to Brighten One Thousand Skys,
Johhny Packard, Instructor, Burlington, Wisconsin, USA

Breakfast in jail is at 5 am. If you sleep through it, your next reason to get up is when they hand out meds at 8. And then at 9 am, twice a week there’s tai chi class with Johnny Packard and Paul. Our participants did often come to class hungry, groggy and medicated, yet Paul and I experienced some small success.
One participant was witnessed practicing her tai chi while waiting to appear in court.

Surveys were given before, during, and after the 12 week program, and a statistically significant decrease in depression was measured.

And then there was “Sky”, a young participant who attended most of our classes and bore the tell-tale signs of substance abuse. After a run through Tai Chi for Rehabilitation, I turned around and asked Sky, “How’d that go?” She replied, “Great! I could teach this.” I concurred. “Keeping practicing, and when you get out you can become a Board Certified Instructor in a weekend for about 300 bucks.” Sky worried though, “I have a record. Isn’t that a problem?” And it hit me, “No Sky. A criminal record is an asset. It means you have a unique set of experiences and can reach a whole new group of people who need tai chi.”

Tai chi in the states is evolving to reflect the diversity of this great country. Thus, we will need a diverse group of tai chi teachers and leaders.

Right now there are volunteer opportunities available to every Tai Chi for Health instructor in any jail in America, where you could impact dozens of people like Sky, desperate for a positive and healthful influence in their lives.

Likewise, there are volunteer opportunities with the Tai Chi for Health Community available to everyone in this room, where you can impact 100s of Tai Chi for Health instructors and participants. 

Now you might not think of yourself as a TCHC volunteer.

I sure didn’t! As a TCHC scholarship winner in 2014 and first time attendee at what my teacher Ron Pfeiffer calls “Tai Chi Summer Camp”, I never imagined that 2 years later I would be on the TCHC Board, serve as Secretary to the Executive Committee and be talking to the entire annual workshop this morning.

So please, take a few minutes out of your busy schedule this week, visit the TCHC information table just outside the gym, and ask the volunteers there “What does TCHC do for me? And what can I do for TCHC?”

If a woman like Sky can think outside of the confines of her jail cell and imagine a future where she is free and clean and a Tai Chi for Health teacher, then surely we all can envision roles for ourselves as active members of TCHC. And as a leader in the Tai Chi for Health Community, you could foster the professional development of hundreds of Tai Chi for Health instructors, who will go on to brighten the lives of one thousand Skys.

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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
Kartikey Shukla, Participant, Singapore
 
Dear Sir,
 
I Kartikey, I recently had the opportunity to see you and learn the depths of Tai Chi for Arthritis during the Singapore workshop last month, 
 
Those two days have been such a beautiful experience for both me and my wife Sylvia that after saying final good bye to you we really felt little sad, but, as all good things must end we are already looking forward to meeting you soon, I see your posts of ongoing USA workshop and my wish to be part of one such workshop is getting stronger and stronger, 
 
Every day I rush back from office to practice tai chi for about 40-60 mins, I so wish to do more but it is impossible with 10+ hours of job & related commute, every session I spent practicing it make me more convinced that this is what I want to do full time and I deeply want to start doing it asap, 
 
I am so grateful that I found your programs which turned out to be the calling I have been looking for, I am sure that going forward my life is dedicated to spreading this joy and happiness to as many people as possible, I have made up my mind to be a full time instructor and climb higher up the ladder in years to come, I am eagerly waiting for Jennifer to conduct instructor's workshop so that I can get my starting point, till then I am practicing at every window I get in my schedule, after attending your workshop my practices have got so much better, 
 
Two weeks earlier I felt something magical while practicing, I had some infection on my parotid glands, one evening I could feel an intense sensation in the infected area as soon as I started warm-up, that sensation was there till I was practicing tai chi and went away when I stopped but the feeling after it was like as if I have healed it, pain was lesser and swelling reduced. I was so happy that I thought I must share this experience with you. 
 
We just wanted to thank you for the experience that can’t be defined, it was magical experience that we had in those two days and still continue to experience because of you.  
 
Sylvia too has same aspiration to follow the suit, but she will be joining me later as her continuing her job is important for us to stay in Singapore. 
 
Hope to join your mission soon, I hope I can gain my first instructor's certificate within few months from now and kick-start my journey. I have started learning 73 forms and I am having great time, I plan to go for Energy 2 after this and will continue learning, I believe I have found treasure which may never end :) 
 
Dr Lam replies:
Thank you Kartikey for your enthusiasm and dedication. I will look forward to meeting you again, maybe at next year’s USA Workshop! 
 
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THE DARK SIDE OF TAI CHI
Ralph Dehner, Master Trainer, Ohio
 
At previous June One Week Workshops I have shared with the participants my twenty year struggle to resist the darker side of tai chi.  This has been received sympathetically and I now feel ready to share my video presentation from this year’s workshop.  Please do not judge me, just listen with your ears, eyes and heart.

PS: If the link does not work, email me - you find me at the Institute's website under Master Trainers.
 
Ralph Dehner 
 
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Humour, Laughter and Radiant Health
Doctor Bob McBrien, Salisbury, Maryland, USA

One of the high points of attending the June Workshop is connecting with old friends and making new friends is. On several occasions this June, in Cincinnati,  tai chi friends told me how much they enjoyed reading my humour essays each month in this newsletter. It is good to know that my goal of promoting the sharing of healthy humour is being achieved.

A common remark was how much the humour from children was appreciated. In their innocence children are able to see the various “punch lines” in their day. Or perhaps a child’s view on life is perceived by adults as funny. We are able to use our “beginner’s mind” when we share a laugh with a child. Here are a few more examples of how children brighten our day.

*A physician told this story about her an event with her four-year-old daughter. As Doctor Mom was on the way to preschool, she saw her stethoscope on the car seat where she left it. Her little girl picked it up and began playing with it.
"Be still, my heart," thought the doctor, my daughter wants to follow in my footsteps!   Then the child spoke into the instrument:
"Welcome to McDonald's. May I take your order?"
*One day a dad was driving across town with his four-year-old daughter. He beeped his car horn by mistake, his daughter turned and looked at him for an explanation.  He said, "I did that by accident."
She replied, "I know that, Daddy."  He replied, "How'd you know?"
The daughter replied, "Because you didn't say 'Jerk!' afterwards!"
*It was the end of the day when the policeman parked his police van in front of the station. As he gathered his equipment, his K-9 partner, Jake, began barking, and the officer saw a young boy staring in at the dog.
 "Is that a dog you got back there?" he asked. 
"It sure is,” the officer replied. 
Puzzled, the boy looked at the officer and then towards the back of the van several times. Finally he said, "What crime did he commit?"
 *A 3 year old boy’s reply, when his mother told him his shoes were on the wrong feet,  “Don’t kid me, Mom; I know these are my feet."

If you find positive humour you would like to share send to me @ 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 January 2017 Annual Workshop at Sydney
Dr Lam applauding all, what a great workshop!
Group sharing our energy
A big thanks to the instructors
Betty, Sandra, Jim, Gurney and Pat
Johhny Packard
An ecstatic Libby after a great demo
Betty and her class
A fabulous prize
Beautiful Fan Demo
Becky runs a tight ship
Betty, Sandra, Jim, Gurney and Pat
Bill with a bevvy of beauties
Chen Sword demo
Dan Jones III
Social night with hippopotamus
Betty, Richard, Marianne and Maureen winning a prize.
24 Forms class
Golden Cock standing on one leg pose from the 42 Forms
All dressed up and ready to party
Mo and Richard Caldwell strutt their stuff - winners of the dancing contest
Gurney and Mark Puttin on the Ritz
Singing straight from my heart
I couldn't have done it without Jocelyn
Paul teaching
Julie and Nuala
Museum in Bangkok, Thailand
Pat Lawson
Sandra Pruzansky
Spiral force on the dance floor with Heather
Cathi with Beverley
Combined 42
Daniela Osteazan
Doreen and Grover swingdance
Born Wrong Ralph Dephner
Dr Bob
Dr Bob Mc Brien, MT Update
Debra and Paul
Bill Pickett
Dan, Paul and Alice trying out for the Rockettes
Single Whip Sun style
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