Tai Chi for Health Programs

Tai Chi for Health Is for Everyone!DTCA Ashville 2 

Tai Chi for Health programs are accessible for just about anyone, they are easy-to-learn; safe and effective for health. Dr Paul Lam and a team of tai chi and medical experts have created these programs by combining authentic traditional tai chi, up-to-date medical knowledge and teaching methods.The programs are designed to empower people to improve health and wellness. They are shown by studies to be safe and effective. That is why the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (cdc.gov) and arthritis foundations around the world recommend one or more of the Health programs.

Richard Link Senior Trainer of the Tai Chi for Health Institute and FriendsYou might ask, “Why create different programs? Couldn’t we just use TCA for all conditions?” Yes, you could, as TCA would be safe and effective for most chronic conditions. However, there are several reasons why we created different programs. It is like a tailor-made shirt; while a large shirt would fit most people, one that’s tailor-made fits better. Thus, each program has its special feature. For example, TCA is focused on healing; plus, the tai chi forms, within this program, were specifically chosen to be safe—while effective—for people with arthritis. Therefore, this safe, healing focus also suits a group of conditions with challenges similar to those of arthritis. Tai Chi for Diabetes (TCD), on the other hand, focuses on a gentle, progressive increment of physical exertion. This gentle progression minimises the possibility of hypoglycaemia—a side effect that people with diabetes might encounter when they start new exercises. TCD also employs acupuncture points (energy points) for diabetics, based on traditional Chinese medicine. DTCA vermont2


Another advantage of having different programs is to provide you with choices and diversity of tai chi sets.
 
Important Note: To ensure the quality and ethical standards of our programs, Dr Paul Lam Tai Chi for Health Institute has listed all its authorized Master Trainers, Senior Trainers, as well as instructors trained and certified by them on its website. Any enquiries please contact us at service@tchi.org.
 
Click on a topic below for more information:Dr Lam, Linda from MN and Linda from UK at Alaska Tai Chi for Diabetes workshop
 
 
 The List of Tai  Chi for Health Programs:

tai chi for arthritis workshop in Oregan, USA 2006

 

  • Tai Chi for Arthritis proven by studies to relieve pain, improve balance and is safe, and supported by Arthritis Foundations worldwide. >>more
  • Tai Chi for Diabetes is designed to improve the control of and prevent type II diabetes, it enhances relaxation and reduces complications from diabetes. >>more 
  • Tai Chi for Beginners – the 6 Easy Steps will bring you better health and enjoyment of tai chi. >>more
  • Tai Chi for Back Pain enhances the stabilisers (core) muscles; to reduce pain, prevents recurrence and improves relaxation. It is also suitable for people who are wheelchair bounded or with a variety of chronic conditions. >>more
  • Tai Chi for Osteoporosis is designed to slow down bone loss; improve balance and quality of life. Supported by Osteoporosis Australia. >>more
  • Tai Chi 4 Kidz is a fun activity to develop children’s concentration and coordination. >>more 
  • Tai Chi at Work shows the secret to managing work stress and turning it into a source of strength. >>more
  • Qigong for Health includes breathing exercises especially beneficial for relaxation and inner energy. >>more
  • Tai Chi for Falls Prevention – based on the Tai Chi for Arthritis program, is shown to prevent falls, improve balance and health.>>more
 

To Find a Class: Click this link or go to Instructors, choose your country and location then click ‘find’

Related articles:


How to be Certified to Teach a Tai Chi for Health Program?

By Dr Paul Lam

Tai chi is a complex art from ancient China, nowadays used mostly for health improvement. Specially designed tai chi programs for health purpose have many advantages. All instructors from the Tai Chi for Health Institute (TCHI) teach one or more of Dr Paul Lam's Tai Chi for Health programs. A number of medical studies have shown them to be effective for health improvement, also safe and easy to learn.
 
Tai Chi for Health Institute has established an effective instructors training system since 1997.Dr Paul Lam teaching a Tai Chi for Health program in New Zealand - photo courtesy of Accident Compensation Corporation 2008 It is based on Dr Paul Lam's original work with his medical and tai chi colleagues, in collaboration with organisations around the world including the Arthritis Foundations of America, Australia, Singapore and UK. Many organizations such as Health department of NSW, Aged Victoria, Health department of South Australia, Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC – a New Zealand National Governmental body); Universities, Arthritis and Diabetes Foundations around the world support the programs.
 
The largest study of Tai Chi for Arthritis, by Professor Leigh Callahan from the University of North Carolina, shows significant health benefits for people with all types of arthritis. This landmark study was presented at the annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Rheumatology on 8th November 2010.
 
In the study, 354 participants were randomly assigned to two groups. The Tai Chi group received 8 weeks of lessons, while the other group was a control group waiting for Tai Chi classes. It was found that there was significant pain relief, less stiffness and better ability to manage daily living.  The participants felt better about their overall wellness, as well as experiencing improved balance.
 
Ongoing studies are conducted and published regarding the efficacy and safety of these programs, and with regard specifically to the teaching of the programs.
 
Click the topics below to find out more:Dr Lam has presented Tai Chi for Health programs at the oldest university in history - the University of Bolognia
 
Related Articles:
 
 
 
 


How to benefit from ‘Diversity’

Dr Paul Lam
Like many other things in the modern world, we are overwhelmed with too many choices. When you go to the grocery store, you see twenty perhaps a hundred different types of cereals you can have for breakfast alone and everyone is saying very loudly through advertisement and marketing techniques that theirs is the best. So exposed to diversity in Tai Chi can be like having too many choices, it can be confusing, it can be so overwhelming it may put you off learning Tai Chi. Let us look at it positively, take it as a challenge and benefited from the choices available to us.
© Copyrights Dr Paul Lam.
All rights reserved, copying for non-profit educational purpose is permitted.

Like many other things in
the modern world, we are overwhelmed with too many choices. When you go to the
grocery store, you see twenty perhaps a hundred different types of cereals you
can have for breakfast alone and everyone is saying very loudly through advertisement
and marketing techniques that theirs is the best. So exposed to diversity in
Tai Chi can be like having too many choices, it can be confusing, it can be
so overwhelming it may put you off learning Tai Chi. Let us look at it positively,
take it as a challenge and benefited from the choices available to us.

The Guiding Principles

It is helpful to have some
guiding principles to steer us from the overwhelming choices, to find the right
things for our own needs. A principle is something that is always true despite
change of time and circumstances. For example love is a better bonding for relationship
than hate is a principle, which holds true always. A set of guiding principles
will help us to work through the diversity to find out what is beneficial to
us.

Another way to look at diversity
is that in one way these differences are telling us that perhaps they are not
so important; therefore they are not the principles that stay true no matter
what. For example different styles have different ways to shape our hands, Yang
style has open hands, while Chen Style has closing hands (the fingers closer
with the little finger pressing toward the thumb with a inward wrapping force).
The difference with stepping is, Yang Style not touching the ground in between
each step and in Chen Style we drag our foot on the ground.

It doesn't mean that the
minor details are not important, once we understand the big picture. Once we
see the elephant as a gigantic animal instead of a wall or a tubing (see the
previous article Diversity – good or bad?), then the minor differences will
make sense. For example, once we understand Tai Chi was originally a martial
art with emphasis in internal development of qi. Then we can look at each movement
and each step to see whether it is effective as a martial art and for qi enhancement.
We can then see all different ways of shaping hands and stepping have their
own and unique advantages at these aspects. Then because we understand this
big picture, different ways to do things become different and useful techniques
that can be quite useful, depending on which style we are more suited to, or
have more talent for, or more liking to.

I would like to outline
a few guiding principles.

Past the Superficial.

The very thing that sets
Tai Chi apart from other martial arts or other exercises, like running or walking,
is that Tai Chi is an internal art. It involves the mind, the inside body and
the inner power – the qi. Being internal means we have to constantly use our
minds to focus on what we are doing. To focus on our movements helps us to integrate
our mind and body. We have to constantly use our minds to analyse the movement
that helps us to practice intelligently, find out what matters and effective.
We constantly use our minds to check if the movements fulfilling martial art
principles, the mind over body principle and that the mind power is more important
not just harsh force. We use our thinking ability to see if these particular
steps and movements have helped us to improve our qi – our inner power. For
example the Yang's open hand shape are more effective for qi to flow through,
while Chen's close hands are effective for combat. Both ways are important and
useful, in the long run stronger qi will give you strong inner power and more
effective martial art ability. With the stepping of Yang style it train better
balance control and subtlety while the dragging foot in Chen style is useful
to place foot in strategically position in combat, and also train stronger lower
limb muscles.

Another example is when
you deliver a Chen style punch; there is a clear difference between it and a
Karate style punch. The Chen style punch is powered by an inner force and is
elastic with the force travelling in spiral. It has to be soft outside and strong
inside (cotton exterior and steel inside). Whereas I imagine a Karate punch
would emphasise on a straightforward force and speed. Whatever a punch is executed
properly it generates more qi and more body awareness for you.

Integration

Integration means whenever
you move, is your mind and body are integrated. The hand, trunk, foot all fully
coordinated, at a given point of time, are part of the body should be at one
position and then move in coordination with each other. One part of the body
moves the rest follow. Internally qi flows smoothly integrating with the movements
and their martial art intention. Any single movement without integration throughout
the body and with the internal body is not Tai Chi.

Balance

The very core of Tai Chi
is balance, balance of movements, of yin and yang and of internal and external.
Too soft or too harsh are both not well balanced; a movement that stretches
so far that you nearly fall is not good Tai Chi.

For example, last article
in diversity, I mentioned that with Wu style the body tends to lean slightly
forward, does it still give you good balance? Are you maintaining better balance
with your body vertical to the ground? I believe learning 5 to 10 degrees forward
helps to issue power. If you are totally upright it can be harder to push forward
with power. On the other hand even though you lean slightly forward you're still
capable of maintaining balance. I do not want to imply which is right, in fact
I practise several styles of Tai Chi except Wu style. I believe that different
people have different structures of bodies and for many people to slightly lean
forward may a good thing for them so long as the principle of being in balance
is achieved.

Another example is too much
emphasis on relaxation. This is very important but if you are so soft and so
relaxed like a jelly, then there is no strength. That to me is imbalance with
only too much yin and not enough yang.

Dantian

Dantian is three fingerbreadths
below the belly button and slightly inwards. It is the centre of the body and
is the centre of qi. No matter what style you practice the awarness of Dantian
and the training of sinking qi to the Dantian is an essential part of Tai Chi.
If a particular technique does not help you to be more aware of the Dantian,
nor to help you sinking qi to the Dantian then you will need to think very carefully
about that technique.

Practise

One of the absolute 'always
stay true' principles, is practice. No matter how bright you are or how good
your method of Tai Chi is and how much you understand the theories, if you do
not practice, if you do not sweat enough, you will not truly understand the
inner meaning of Tai Chi and you will not benefit much from it.

In Conclusion

Don't let diversity overwhelm
you. I believe the best things in life are simple. Understand simple truth.
Venture out, try it out, test it out, use your mind to figure it out. You will
be fascinated by different styles, forms and interpretations and discover what
suits you best.

It is important to be aware
of your need in learning Tai Chi. Most people are learning Tai Chi for better
health. I believe the criteria for better health is no different from better
martial art. Being healthy means you need to be stronger inside and out and
have more clarity in your mind. Together with stronger qi, better balance of
body and mind, works well both for health and martial arts. Once you know your
needs you can gravitate your learning towards what is more effective for your
goal.


How to Improve Your Tai Chi

Dr Paul Lam
If you seek to improve your Tai Chi, it will happen. Bear in mind that you need to think about what you are doing and you need to practice regularly. Remember the four directions when you practice. Practise one direction for a while before moving to another. Taking time to do it slowly and correctly is the quickest way to improve your level. Following these directions and you may find your journey to higher levels of Tai Chi more enjoyable.
The
Four Directions to Improve Tai Chi


Diversity: Good or bad?

Dr Paul Lam
Confronted with so many styles, forms and interpretations of Tai Chi, we should view the situation as an opportunity to enrich our knowledge and to help us progress more rapidly through our levels of Tai Chi.

© Copyrights Dr Paul
Lam. All rights reserved, copying for non-profit educational purpose is permitted.

From a business magazine
comes the following: "In such a world, the only thing we can trust is that
the certain becomes uncertain, and the unlikely becomes likely. The future cannot
be predicted – it has to be created. Einstein was wrong. No single theory can
guide us. Diversity rules. Questions rather than answers fundamentally drive
the future


The Combined 42 Forms

 
 
By: Dr Paul Lam
� Copyrights Tai Chi Productions 2007. All rights reserved, no part of this article may be reproduced in any forms or by any means, without permission in writing, except for non-profit educational purpose. For example: you can photocopy this article for a friend, paying student, or conference participant as long as this article is not included as part of your charge
Synopsis:
 This set can be suitable for almost anyone and is gaining popularity rapidly since its creation in 1990. This article outlines its background and structure, as well as a brief history of the most popular 24 Forms. The 42 Forms is the official competitions Forms in major international competitions.
 
(Click here for information about the 42 Combined Forms instructional DVD by Dr Lam.)

Photo 1 Dr Paul Lam Forms 16 Heel KickPhoto 1 Dr Paul Lam Forms 16 Heel Kick

What is a Set of Tai Chi Forms?

Tai Chi is a powerful art of immense depth; the set of Forms or the routine is the foundation of this art. One cannot imagine practising Tai Chi without doing one set of Forms or another. According to Yang Chan Fu (who is known by many as the modern father of Tai Chi in the 30's) "to start learning Tai Chi you have to start with the Forms". There are many styles of Tai Chi, and within each style, it has different Forms. Even with one well-known set of Forms, there are many versions. Students might feel confused facing so many choices, or they could take it as an advantage to have so many choices available.

Why Should We Find Out More about Different Forms?

While one can practise one set of Forms and become a real expert on Tai Chi, there are many advantages learning more sets. Different sets and styles of Forms have their own unique characteristics and points of interest. Learning more sets enriches one's techniques, broaden horizon and is a fun and challenging thing to do. To many, learning different sets helps to improve the levels of their Tai Chi faster.

Since different Forms and styles have their unique characteristics and some characteristics might be more suitable to one person than another, it is beneficial to examine different Forms and styles. Many traditional Forms are excellent, but not all traditional Forms are good simply because they are older. Some of these excellent Forms might not be suitable for modern time. The 42 Forms has many features and advantages compare to many others.

The Advantage of Understanding the Background and Structure of a Set of Forms

To learn a set of Forms it is helpful and interesting to understand its structure and background history. Like an artist playing a musical composition, it is possible to play the music well, but to play it as a piece of art it becomes necessary to understand the inner meaning, the composer's intention and the structure of the piece. In fact, most artists find these out before they start to study the work seriously. It is a good idea for us to know as much as possible about a set of Forms before learning it, even if we were not learning it, we will learn something about Tai Chi from its background history.

This can be difficult for the older set of Forms since Chinese martial art history is mixed with many legends; it is not always possible to find out the true version. Fortunately for the modern Forms, we have a better chance to find out information that is more accurate.

History of Tai Chi and Forms

Tai Chi utilises techniques that could date back to more than a thousand years. However, the accountable history of Tai Chi dates back to the 16th Century in the Chen Village in Wen Xian County, Henan Province. Like most great arts which survives and improves with the passage of time, Tai Chi went through a great deal of changes. With changes of time, the needs in society changes and Tai Chi has evolved to meet the challenge of time. For example, the need for self defence is of less importance nowadays, so Tai Chi has been proven to be one of the most effective if not the most effective exercises for health.

Photo 2 Pushing Hands Photo 2 Pushing Hands

From Chen style comes Yang style created by Yang Luchan, from both Chen and Yang styles other styles such as Sun, Wu and Wu Style have originated. Some of these older Forms have certain problems in modern time. For instance, the Chen style has two sets of Forms, the first set is the 83 Forms (known in Chinese as the first road) and it takes approximately 35 minutes to complete these Forms. The second set (The Cannon Fists) is harder and more vigorous. It was said that if you work hard at the 83 Forms full time for three years, then you are ready to learn the second set. This may be suitable if we make Tai Chi a University course. Students can study the first set full time for three years as a Bachelor degree, then make the second set a post-graduate degree. While many enthusiasts would like to see this made reality, for most of us, this is not suitable. Take another example, the classical Yang style, the 88 Forms takes approximately 30 to 40 minutes to practise, not to mention how long it will take to learn. After learning it, if you were to practise just three rounds of the set per day then you will need approximately two hours. Most of our students will find it difficult to devote 2 hours per day for practise, not to mention the motivation needed.

The Origin of the 24 Forms

It is well understood that not many people are willing or able to spend two hours per day to practise Tai Chi. Since most practitioners use Tai Chi for health improvement, there is no need for doing this. This is not to say the fundamental principles and the intrinsic power of the art should be changed.

In order to popularise Tai Chi; the Chinese National Sports Committee had authorised the country's four most renowned Tai Chi experts to compose The 24 Forms. Based mainly on the Yang style, and by eliminating many repetitions and retaining most of the essential principles of Tai Chi, the 88 Forms was condensed to only 24 Forms. The 24 Forms is easier to learn, to remember and practice, the whole set takes around five minutes. A busy person can do three rounds in 20 minutes (including warm up exercises). This will be adequate to improve and maintain good health. Most clinical studies on the many health benefits of Tai Chi are based on people practising this set of Forms. The 24 Forms very quickly became the most popular Forms in the world.
(Click here for information of the instructional DVD of the 24 Forms, or book Tai Chi for Beginners and the 24 Forms by Dr Lam)
 
The Origin of the First Combined Forms; the 48 Forms

After the creation of The 24 Forms, there comes a growing demand for more difficult Forms for the purposes of further studies and demonstration. In 1976, the Combined 48 Forms were created by three Tai Chi experts headed by Professor Men Hui Feng.

The combined Forms were created based on combining and condensing classical Forms of the four major styles, namely Chen, Yang, Wu and Sun. The idea is to take the best of all styles and to express these in a short space of time, not unlike the Reader's Digest condensed version of classical novels. This idea proved to be very popular and effective. In the space age, we want to learn everything quickly, and to obtain the maximal benefits within minimal time. This is not meant to negate the need of time and patience to learn and practice Tai Chi. It is possible to achieve a specific goal with less time if we define our goal clearly and plan carefully.

The Origin of the 42 Forms

Later as Tai Chi became more popular, competition flourishes especially within China. When there is competition there are always rules and time limit becomes an important issue. The practical time limit is set on six minutes for most competitions in China. Competitor usually condenses their choice of Forms to six minutes, so in a competition every competitor will be performing different sets of Forms. This creates difficulties such as setting the standards especial when the competitors are very close in their skills.
 

Photo 3: Form 12 Single WhipPhoto 3: Form 12 Single Whip

In the late eighties, the Chinese Sports Committee realised the need to standardise competition Forms. It had chosen the four major styles and a combined Forms. These five sets of Forms were created by different teams of experts, and later approved by a committee of Tai Chi experts in China. All sets of Forms thus created were named after their style, e.g., the Chen Style National Competition Forms is the 56 Forms, and so on. The combined Forms are The 42 Forms or simply the Competition Forms, as it is known in China. Since the creation of these Forms, they become the essential and most sought-after sets for competitions. Books and videos have been made for these Forms by the Chinese Sports Authority.

The immense popularity of The 42 Forms since its creation is an indication of how well it was composed. In October 1990, the 11th Asian Games were held in Beijing, China. For the first time in the history of the Asian Games, Wushu (martial arts) was included as an item for competition. The 42 Forms is the only Forms being chosen to represent Tai Chi.

In fact, the creation of these sets have much further benefits than being useful in competitions. Standardised sets (whilst many traditional sets are said to be standardised but not as precise as these. There are always confusion with traditional sets which is the most authentic, whereas these sets are standardised precisely with books and videos) have immense positive effects on understanding and improvement of Tai Chi in general. Like the standardise the Chinese languages by the Qing dynasty, it had far greater effect than anyone could imagine. If China did not have the standardisation of language, the language would not have developed so well, nor the culture and unity of China. Of course standardising any thing has positive and negative effects, many consider in terms of Tai Chi development, it has immeasurable positive effects.

Background history of The 42 Forms

A very brief description of The 42 Forms is that it is a condensed version of The 48 Forms, and is based mainly on The 48 Forms. One of the main differences is that where are three repetitions in The 48 Forms, The 42 Forms has only two.

The Structure of the 24 Forms

The 24 Forms has a logical structure, and is divided into four sections. The first section consists of gentle stretching of the upper and lower limbs, which works as warming up for the later parts, such as the movement "Parting Wild Horse's Mane". The second section is more difficult with further stretching and turning of the body, such as the movement "Stroking Bird's Tail" which expresses the 'theme' of this Forms (this movement contains the four basic moves of Push hands, is the most important form of the set). The third section contains the climax where the most difficult parts are executed, such as the "Heel Kicks". The fourth section contains technically difficult moves such as the "Needle at The Sea Bottom", but not as physically demanding as the third. Later slower movements such as "Apparent Closing Up" works as winding down exercise. Apart from the traditional principles of Tai Chi, the 24 Forms has incorporated principles of modern physiology and medical science.

The Structure of the 42 Forms

The 42 Forms contains the essential principles and important characteristics of the four major styles, retains the traditional principles of Tai Chi, is rich in content and technique, meticulous constructed and is fully compliant with competition rules.

In terms of structure, it follows the general principle of The 24 Forms but with some significant variations. It starts with Form 2 Stroking Birds Tail immediately after the Form 1 Commencing Form. This movement displays technique and style to attract peoples' (for both the practitioner and the spectator) interest and attention, yet it still provides gentle stretching of the upper and lower body. The rest of the first section also serves as a warm up but with movements that are more substantial than those of the 24 Forms.

Photo 4: Form 17 Cover with Hand and Punch with FistPhoto 4: Form 17 Cover with Hand and Punch with Fist

The second section starts with the Sun style's Form 11 Opening and Closing, not only is this the most characteristic movement of the Sun style, it also signifies the importance of Qigong within the set. Near the end of this section, the first climax appears with the Form 17 Cover with Hand and Punch with Fistand Forms 18 Parting Wild Horse's Mane from the more vigorous Chen style. Since there are more contents in The 42 Forms, two climaxes are needed. Section 3 starts with Form 19 Waving Hands Like Clouds a slower and easier movement to break up the intensity, then to more difficult movements to prepare for the next. The second climax starts with the fourth section by the movements such as Form 32 Body Thrust with half Horse Stance, Form 33 Turn Body with Full Roll-Back and Forms 34 Hold and Punch in Crossed Squatting Stance. Then logically the winding down comes in to finished off with another Form 40 Stroking Bird's Tail on the other side.

Throughout the Forms the balance of the body is well maintained by giving roughly equal numbers of movements for both sides (many of the traditional Forms only has the right-side movements). Each movement is carefully composed to provide suitable exercise for all parts of the body, to improve mental relaxation and mental concentration, to acquire a wide range of Tai Chi techniques and to improve the function of all internal organs.

Photo 5: Form 33 Turn Body with Full Roll-Back Photo 5: Form 33 Turn Body with Full Roll-Back

The Composition of 42 Forms

While the 42 Forms is the combination of four major styles, each stype is not represented in equal proportion, the majority of the Forms are Yang style. Being the most popular style, which is characterised by gentle and graceful movements, it is appropriate for Yang's to be the main building blocks of the set.

Form 11 Opening and Closing of Hands, Forms 12 Single Whip, Forms 14 Turn Body and Push Palm are Sun style. They are characterised by flowing movement like water in a stream, much Qigong (Chi Gong) practise such as Form 11, and whenever one foot stepping forward or backward the other foot follows. Practitioner of Yang style will notice the significant difference of Form 12 in Sun and the Yang styles.

Form 17 Cover with Hand and Punch with Fist, Form 18 Parting Wild Horse's Mane and Form 32 Body Thrust with Half Horse Stance are Chen Style. Chen's is characterised by being more vigorous, containing attacking movements and more obvious in self defence application. Punching movements are abundant in Chen style and Form 17 is a typical example of them.

Forms 20 Step Back to Subdue Tiger, Forms 21 Kicking with Toes Forward, Form 34 Hold and Punch in Crossed Squatting Stance and Forms 35 Thread Palm and Lowering Movements are Wu style, which is characterised by close to body movements and lively steps.

Form 39: Drawing Bow to Shoot Tiger Photos 6: Form 39: Drawing Bow to Shoot Tiger

The Pros of The 42 Forms

It is amazing to have a set of Forms which embraces four major styles yet have its own life and spirit. It is rich in contents and techniques yet suitable for almost anyone to learn.

It also did well to:

  • Expresses and emphasises the fundamental requirements of Tai Chi such as tranquillity and relaxed body, internal component (mental, or your will) leads the external movement of the body and softness compliments the hardness.
  • Retains the traditional principles of Tai Chi.
  • Incorporates the knowledge of modern medical science so that the Forms become more balanced, physiological sound and more health oriented.

To do all these within six minutes are a real achievement.

The Cons of The 42 Forms

It is very hard to think of any negative point for The 42 Forms, perhaps the beginners might find it easier to learn The 24 Forms first before starting on the 42 Forms, as it is more difficult. It is a relatively "young" set, therefore has been scientific tested for health benefits. Although base on our knowledge of medicine and Tai Chi, many believe it should have greater benefits than The 24 Forms. For non-competition purpose, I slightly prefer The 48 Forms because it allows more time to express the contents.

While the competition time limit is 6 minutes, which does not allow a fuller expression of slowness with inner force, for normal practise it is recommended to do the Forms from 6 to 10 minutes.

Summary

The 42 Forms is well created with a great deal of thought and work. It contains a rich mixture of styles and techniques, yet breathes its own life as a wonderfully integrated set of Forms. It is designed to be suitable from the novice to the most advanced practitioners, fulfilling the modern needs, offering maximal benefits and techniques in a minimal time. Being beautiful to watch and practise, The 42 Forms has certainly proven to be very popular with many Tai Chi enthusiasts.
 
Related articles

Four Qigong Exercises

Dr Paul Lam
Qigong is one of the oldest exercises in Chinese history. Qigong is a breathing exercise that requires regular practise, and is especially beneficial for health and mental relaxation. Qigong is an integrated part of Tai Chi.
Four Qigong Exercises © Copyrights Dr
Paul Lam. All rights reserved, no part of this article may be reproduced in any
forms or by any means, without permission in writing.

Qigong is one of the oldest exercises in Chinese history, dating
back more than one thousand years.

There are numerous types of Qigong. Generally speaking, Qigong
is a variety of breathing, gymnastic, and meditative exercises. In Chinese,
Qi means several things; the most common meaning of Qi is air. Here, Qi means
the life energy inside a person. This life energy comes from the combination
of three things: the air breathed in through the lungs, essential Qi from the
kidney, and the Qi absorbed from food and water through the digestive system.
Qi circulates throughout the body, performing many functions to maintain good
health. The stronger Qi you have, the healthier and stronger you are. The word
Gong means a method of exercise that requires a great deal of time in which
to become proficient.

Simply put, Qigong is a breathing exercise that requires regular
practise, and is especially beneficial for health and mental relaxation. Qigong
is an integrated part of Tai Chi.

1. The Posture of Infinity – for posture awareness

According to ancient Chinese philosophy, the universe started
from a vast void, the infinity. It is called wu-ji in Chinese. The main focus
of this qigong exercise is for posture awareness.

Q1 Stand upright but relaxed, feet apart, knees relaxed, eyes looking forward, chin tucked in, shoulders relaxed.Q1
Stand upright but relaxed, feet apart, knees relaxed, eyes looking forward,
chin tucked in, shoulders relaxed.

Cleanse your mind and focus on the correct posture-upright without
being tense.

 


God Bless The Irish!

Charles Miller
Charles loves the Irish people, every year in the social dinner of the Sydney workshop, he tells us about his Irish friends.
God Bless The Irish!

charles, the author of this joke is on the rightSaddam
Hussein was sitting in his office wondering whom to invade next when his telephone
rang.

"Hallo, Mr. Hussein,"
a heavily-accented voice said. "This is Paddy down at the Harp Pub in County
Sligo, Ireland. I am ringing to inform ye that we are officially declaring war
on ye!"

"Well, Paddy,"
Saddam replied, "This is indeed important news! How big is your army?"

"Right now," said
Paddy, after a moment's calculation, "there is meself, me cousin Sean,
me next door neighbor Seamus, and the entire dart team from the pub. That makes
eight!"

Saddam paused. "I must
tell you, Paddy, that I have one million men in my army waiting to move on my
command."

"Begorra!", said
Paddy. "I'll have to ring ye back!"

now charles is on the leftSure
enough, the next day, Paddy called again. "Mr. Hussein, the war is still
on! We have managed to acquire some infantry equipment!"

"And what equipment
would that be, Paddy?" Saddam asked.

"Well, we have two
combines, a bulldozer, and Murphy's farm tractor."

Saddam sighed. "I must
tell you, Paddy, that I have 16,000 tanks and 14,000 armored personnel carriers.
Also, I've increased my army to 1-1/2 million since we last spoke."

"Saints presarve us!"
said Paddy. "I'll have to get back to ye."

Sure enough, Paddy rang
again the next day. "Mr. Hussein, the war is still on! We have managed
to get ourselves airborne! We've modified Harrigan's
ultra-light with a couple of shotguns in the cockpit, and four boys from the
Shamrock Pub have joined us as well!"

Saddam was silent for a
minute and then cleared his throat. "I must tell you, Paddy, that I have
10,000 bombers and 20,000 fighter planes. My military complex is surrounded
by laser-guided, surface-to-air missile sites. And since we last spoke, I've
increased my army to TWO MILLION!"

"BEGORRAGH!",
said Paddy, "I'll have to ring ye back."

Sure enough, Paddy called
again the next day. "Top o' the mornin', Mr. Hussein! I am sorry to tell
ye that we have had to call off the war."

"I'm sorry to hear
that," said Saddam. "Why the sudden change of heart?"

"Well," said Paddy,
"we've all had a long chat over a bunch of pints, and decided there's no
way we can feed two million prisoners."

God Bless the Irish!

By Charles Miller


Summary of the

Dr Paul Lam
This is the largest fall prevention study in the world has found Tai Chi significantly reduced the number of falls in older people."

Summary of the "Fall
Prevention Study in the Community"
by Sydney Central Area Health Promotion
Unit

Based on the Spring
2005 "Fall Prevention Newsletter" by Sydney South West Area Health Service.
tai chi for arthritis instructors' training workshop in Zurich, Switzerland, 2005

This is the largest fall
prevention study in the world involving approximately 700 people. After 16 weeks
of doing a Tai Chi program (80% of the participants did the Tai Chi for Arthritis
program – added by Dr Lam), "The results showed that Tai Chi significantly reduced
the number of falls by almost 35%. Tai Chi also significantly reduced the risk
of multiple falls by approximately 70%." The study concludes: "Compared with
other falls prevention interventions the trial showed that Tai Chi is one of
the most effective ways of preventing falls in older people."

Congratulations to the Central
Area Health Promotion Unit! This is one of the most effective works anyone can
do for health promotion. And it adds to the mounting evidence of the many tai
chi's health benefits.

If you wish to congratulate
them or find out more information please write to: Health Promotion Service,
Division of Population Health. Level 9 (North) KGV Building, Missenden Road,
Camperdown NSW 2050 Australia.

NB: For the other
published articles about how Tai Chi for Arthritis prevents falls:

"The
Effects of Sun-Style Tai Chi Exercise on Physical Fitness and Fall Prevention
in Fall-Prone Adults"
Published in the journal of Advanced Nursing 51(2), 150-157
by Dr Choi J.H., Moon J.S. and Song R. (2005)

Effects
of tai chi exercise on pain, balance, muscle strength, and physical functioning
in older women with osteoarthritis: A randomized clinical trial"
Published by the Journal of Rheumatology Sept 2004

by Rhayun Song, Eun-Ok Lee, Paul Lam, Sang-Cheol Bae