How to become an instructor of Dr Lam Tai Chi for Health Institute’s program’s

By: Dr Paul Lam See also the FAQs for Board Certified Instructors
Now including virtual workshops

What are the Tai Chi for Health programs?

Dr Paul Lam and his team of medical and tai chi experts have created 12 Tai Chi for Health programs to empower people to improve their health and wellness. All programs are easy-to-learn, effective for health and safe. Dr Lam’s unique teaching method makes learning easy and enjoyable. Millions of people around the world have benefited from these programs. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Council on Ageing, Arthritis foundations and health departments around the world support one or more of these programs because they are proven by medical studies. More

Becoming a TCHI Board Certified Instructor

Brief STEPS:
1. Find an authorized instructor training workshop including the Stage 1 – a self-paced program.
2. Prepare and participate at the  workshop.
3. If you meet all the requirements, you will be invited to be certified by the Tai Chi for Health Institute‘s Board.
4. Work with masters, senior trainers and other instructors to update your skill.
5. Enjoy being a member of the Tai Chi for Health community around the world, gain better health for you and your participants (students).

Dr Lam and his authorized master trainers conduct instructors training workshops in person or by virtual workshops around the world. All Board certified instructors have attended the workshop, completed prior preparation and fulfilled requirements to be safe and effective instructors of the respective program, and registered with The Tai Chi for Health Institute. Our training is comprehensive and specific for our programs. All instructors are required to be updated every two years to maintain your skill and knowledge for the certification. By 2020 there were over 40,000 instructors/leaders certified, and millions of people around the world had learned one of the programs. Over 35 scientific studies have shown the programs being effective for many aspects of health. Teaching tai chi for health is one of the most fulfilling experiences; almost all qualified participants who prepare well would be certified at the end of the training.

The Certification Process:

Although almost anyone can participate in the instructors’ training workshop, only qualified participants will be certified to teach after they have successfully completed Steps 1 to 5 below (at either in person or virtual workshops by authorized master trainers). Please enquire with the master trainer who will be conducting the workshop for more information.

1. Enroll in a workshop: Find a workshop at Dr Paul’s workshops

or the Master Trainers’ workshop calender.

2. Prepare for your workshop: click here for details.

3. Attend the workshop. You will learn: tai chi skill, knowledge and the key principles, as well as how to teach the program effectively and safely. Also how to work with people with different conditions (such as arthritis and diabetes) and all ages safely.

Since 2020, due to the pandemic, the Institute is offering virtual training workshops including the Stage 1 – self-paced virtual package. Email us for more information. 

4. Register with the Tai Chi for Health Institute Board. You will be assessed on your performance of the tai chi forms, as well as completing a written test. Almost all qualified participants who have prepared prior to the workshop will meet the requirements at the completion of the workshop. After that you would be entitled to register  as an authorized instructor by the Tai Chi for Health Institute Board. Click here for more information.

Our training workshops are practical and safe, you will enjoy learning all required skill and knowledge in a friendly and interactive environment. NB: Dr Paul Lam Tai Chi for Health Institute lists all current authorized Master Trainers, Senior Trainers and instructors on this website. All levels of instructors must fulfill specific requirements and adhere to our code of ethics. We are proud of our high quality training, as well as our friendly, safe and effective instructors. We continually strive to improve our standards and care.

5. Update and Follow Up: Instructor/leaders are required to renew their certification every two years in order to update their skills and knowledge of the program. You can attend any update workshops by Dr Lam or one of his Master Trainers. Available update workshops are listed on this website at the workshop calendar. Many training workshops include updates provided it is arranged in advance and you need to complete a written assignment beforehand.

Updates are also available by correspondence for instructors who cannot not attend a workshop. As with all health and exercise professionals, updates are necessarily to maintain and improve skill and knowledge. There would be new studies, development and practice emerging to improve your teaching and tai chi skill. It is also an excellent time to share experience and connect with other members of the Tai Chi for Health vision.

We are proud that our programs are supported by many organizations worldwide, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Council on Aging and arthritis foundations and many others around world. The quality of our programs and instructors are the reason for this level of support. Updating is a necessary part to maintain our professional status. Our standards and educational programs are constantly monitored and improved.  Those instructors who allow the qualification to lapse are not authorized to use Dr Lam and the Institute’s name in their teaching and advertising.

Qualified participants include:

  • Tai Chi teachers or advanced students (at least one year of experience)
  • Physiotherapists or physical therapists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Allied health professionals
  • Nurses
  • Rheumatology professionals
  • Qualified exercise instructors/leaders
  • Other appropriate health professionals


All participants who attend the workshop will receive either an instructor/leader or attendance certificate. Different programs have different requirements for preparation, but they are similar to the Tai Chi for Arthritis program (described below). It will take from 20 hours to 200 hours to prepare depending on your experience in tai chi and health education. For example an experienced tai chi practitioner would not need as much time (about 15 to 30 hours) to learn the program from the instructional DVD.

Preparation for the Tai Chi for Arthritis program

Study the instructional Tai Chi for Arthritis DVD (it consists of twelve virtually real time lessons from Dr Lam), “Teaching Tai Chi Effectively” book by Dr Lam and handbook, and learn how to do the Warm up and Cool down exercises, the Basic Six movements and the Advanced Six movements.

Even if you attend the workshop to learn a program for your own health and wellness, Dr Lam strongly recommend you prepare the same way as instructor trainees, as it will enable you to gain more from the workshop. Read the handbook to understand what is tai chi, what is arthritis and how does it work. The “Teaching Tai Chi Effectively” book is the text book for instructors of the Tai Chi for Health programs and would be an useful reference book for any tai chi or exercise teacher. If you are especially interested in medical knowledge of arthritis, “Overcoming Arthritis'” written by Dr Lam and Judith Horstman is a valuable resource for both you and your participants.  

Guide for the training workshops: 

The key is to have the preparation done prior to the workshop and the ongoing training that follows afterwards. The overall training is comprehensive and practical; it consists of self-study and preparation, face to face learning, and ongoing support and resources with updates required every two years. It also incorporates your knowledge in health, fitness and tai chi to make your training easier and more rewarding.

Our focus is on training safe and effective tai chi for health program instructors for their community. The training is specific, enjoyable and practical. Almost all of our 40,000 plus trained instructors enjoy completing their training in minimum time. Once you have completed your training you will be entitled to registered as a TCHI Board certified instructor.

We encourage everyone, every level of instructors to keep developing and growing their tai chi and teaching skills. Over 35 medical studies have shown the Tai Chi for Health programs and our training to be effective and safe.

NB: Our syllabus includes much more than two face-to-face days of training, the entire training would be equivalent to around 100-300 hours pending on your prior qualification. 


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