Newsletter #125 - January 2012
- Apply Tai Chi Principles. An Extract from Teaching Tai Chi Effectively, Dr Paul Lam
- Evaluation Results from TCA Workshops in Dareton & Dubbo, NSW, Australia, NSW Population Health Services
- Structure of a 2-Day TCH Instructors’ Training Workshop, Fiona Black and Dr Paul Lam
- Harmonizing with Life, Caroline Demoise
- Why Tai Chi for Health, Ellen Reistma
- Feature Profile – Jenny Sheldon, Joyce Boon
- Humour, Laughter and Radiant Health, Bob McBrien
We were fortunate enough to be at the Opera House right in front of this year's fireworks. I would like to share the experience with you. Enjoy!
Apply tai chi principles, an extract from “Teaching Tai Chi Effectively”.
The NSW Population Health Services published a detail summary of evaluation results on two 2-day workshops held in June and July, 2011 in the far west NSW region of Dareton and Dubbo.
Fiona Black and Dr Paul Lam explain how instructors can be adequately trained in a 2-day TCH workshop to teach the TCH program safely and effectively.
Caroline Demoise describes tai chi’s remarkable ability to teach you how to harmonize with life.
Ellen Reistma’s goal is to teach qualified people to be safe and effective instructors of the Tai Chi for Health program.
Tai Chi for Arthritis DVD (2 Disc Set)
Tai Chi for Arthritis Part 2 DVD
Purchase the Tai Chi for Arthritis and Tai Chi for Arthritis Part 2 DVDs and receive $15.00 off. Please quote Coupon Code 0112JAN.
One Week Tai Chi Workshop
Yours in Tai Chi,
Tai chi was created based on the ancient philosophical understanding of nature. Sun Lu-tang (1861–1932), one of the greatest tai chi masters in history and creator of the Sun-style, said that the highest level of tai chi is understanding the Dao. The Dao, often referred to as the way of nature, is based on the ancient Chinese philosophical understanding of the universe. In nature, there is both yin and yang, with motion and stillness complementing each other, e.g., calm and stormy weather. The ultimate goal of tai chi is to achieve harmony with nature.
The essential principles of tai chi evolved to harmonise, or balance, the yin and the yang. These principles can be applied not only to improving your tai chi, but also your tai chi teaching. For example, one essential principle says tai chi movements should be well controlled, so the movements are slow, smooth and continuous. Thus, tai chi has a rhythm that is not rushed and flows smoothly. Applying this principle to teaching means that you should not rush your participants, nor shower them with too much information or explain too many techniques before they are ready. Instead, take time to teach everything smoothly and carefully, while maintaining the flow.
NSW Population Health Services (the former NSW Greater Western Area Health Services)
Four of the leaders were volunteers. The health workers were from a range of roles; Day Care Co-ordinator, Aged Care Worker, Aboriginal Health Worker, a range of nursing and assistant nursing roles, a Social Worker and a Health Promotion Officer.
This was the first time Health Promotion had been able to provide training directly to leaders in the Far West LHD. In the past, leaders have been funded to attend training offered by Arthritis Victoria in Swan Hill. Libby was assisted by Jenny Day, another Master Trainer, on Day One.
Evaluations were completed by 14 leaders (88%).
Read the full results here.
Leaders came from a wide range of backgrounds and organisations. Five were volunteers, some of whom also worked at a residential aged care facility. The 15 health workers had many different roles; nursing and assistant in nursing roles, physiotherapists (3), occupational therapists (2), mental health staff (2) and a Health Promotion Officer. Other leaders were a Buddhist nun, a private fitness leader and 2 staff from a mobile preschool service.
Two people who had registered withdrew at the last minute; one due to an injury and a GP who thought it was a One day workshop.
Read the full results here.
Fiona Black, Master Trainer, Narwee, NSW, Australia
Dr Paul Lam, Director, TCH Programs, Narwee, NSW Australia
From our point of view Chris’s most contentious statement was “(I am strictly against the teaching of Tai Chi Chuan by people who do not have a personal practice and gain certification to teach others after one weekend training.)”
“You need to attend multiple workshops and get the proper training to enable you to instruct your classes well.” A sentiment shared by many of our respondents.
To sum up, as a community we fully respect experienced traditional tai chi practitioners but we are convinced “that if instructors follow the (TCA) programme then they will be safe practitioners.” Patricia Lawson succinctly summed up the article when she stated, “The writer seems to agree with our own philosophy and methodology.”
Experience has shown that our weekend training workshops can achieve all of this and more and that “As long as the teaching is safe, supportive, continues to evolve, and guides participants to improved health, balance and strength” participants in our week end workshops will continue “Empowering people to improve their health and wellness.”
And very importantly, a body of published medical studies had proved our training method together with its safety and efficacy (references available on www.taichiforhealthinstitute.org or on request).
Dr Paul Lam writes:
Everyday we all have the opportunity to do mental push hands with people in interpersonal relationships; with people at work, people in our local community environment and globally with our thought forms, attitudes and intentions. When we pursue martial arts and tai chi training, we create a micro laboratory to practice these skill sets of turning our focus inward, sensing our energy body and cultivating these subtle skills in a practical learning environment.
My students are people with different kinds of medical conditions, seniors, younger people; they all come to class to improve their health and quality of life. The number of my students keeps growing. Why? In this busy, fast world of computers, cell phones, globalisation, competition, burnouts and stress more and more people want to do an exercise program that is not too complicated to learn, reduces stress, slows them down, make them feel better. Tai Chi for health programs offers that.
In Switzerland, it takes a little longer to convince people of something new and strange (Chinese!), but things are changing: People hear about tai chi and health; they hear about your classes, they look on your website and the Tai Chi for Health Institute website. They see what TCH is. That it is tai chi made accessible to everyone for health and wellness. That it means no stress, no competition, easy to learn and safe.
Organisations ask you to do talks or give classes.
In my TCA workshop in the Netherlands two weeks ago, the majority of participants were tai chi teachers and exercise/sport instructors. The minority were physical therapists and other health professionals.
So different countries, different workshop needs!
However, all participants have in common that they want to learn a safe, easy and effective body and mind exercise program to offer their patients, students, and clients.
Tai Chi for Health instructor training workshops offer that.And there is definitely a need for TCH instructor training workshops.
What is the goal of an instructor-training workshop?
Joyce Boon, TCH Instructor, Bend, OR, USA
Recently, Jenny and her children suffered the unfathomable loss of their husband and father, Dave; the tai chi community also lost one of its most ardent and beloved supporters. Now the practicing and teaching of tai chi is an especially profound experience for Jenny because its emphasis upon the internal is integral to her healing journey. Tai chi has enabled her to focus upon the moment and remain present to whatever comes next. Stated simply, Jenny’s contributions to her students’ quality of life reflect her tremendous integrity and grace.
One way to mentally prepare for performing tai chi with the goal of experiencing moving meditation is to begin with an "inner smile." I find I can smile inwardly by remembering something that brought on a smile. I might remember a favorite Peanuts cartoon, but I have more success by remembering a one-liner or a pun.
The pun is considered to be the highest and lowest form of humor. Why? Because it takes creativity to create the 'punch line' in the pun, and the result often produces a groan (that is why puns are also called 'groaners').
Here are a few puns to enjoy or perhaps bring on a groan:
Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too.
Did you hear about the meditation instructor who refused Novocain during a root canal? His goal: transcend dental medication.
If lawyers get disbarred and clergy are defrocked, why don't politicians get devoted, models deposed and organ donors delivered?
One-liners are often clever outlooks on life that bring on a smile. Add these to your humour file:
Do they sterilize the needles for lethal injections?
If you ate pasta and then antipasta would you end up hungry?
If corn oil comes from corn, where does baby oil come from?
Why is there an expiration date on sour cream?
If readers have other smile producing puns or one-liners, please send them to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.