Newsletter #80 - April 2008
I will be leaving for my run of workshops, lectures in
The 3rd International Congress of Complementary Medicine has concluded with great success. During the Congress I felt encouraged that there is increasing interest for complementary medicine around the world. This is evident by a significant increase in government funding for research in this field. Tai Chi is almost medicinal in the sense that its creation was based partly on Chinese traditional medicine. Tai Chi for health has a suitable home as part of the complementary medical stream, this was confirmed by the large amount of interest shown in the Congress. I had the opportunity of meeting the director Dr Josephine Brigg, of the USA National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, who came to the Ta Chi breakfast meeting I chaired. In her talk, she listed Tai Chi research as one of the top subjects being funded.
The second Tai Chi for Health International Conference will be held in
Do consider coming to this noteworthy conference where different Tai Chi interest group will meet and share information.
In this month there are several reports and stories about Tai Chi for health.
There are some amazing photos of
In this newsletter
- Judy Stone-Herbert shares with us her enthusiasm and approach to bring TC@W to the business community as part of a wellness program.
- To honour Dr Lam’s first visit to
, an article was written to introduce his Tai Chi for Health programs. Roberto Crea kindly translated this for us to share. Italy
- From TCA to Health and Wellbeing Day in Buckinghamshire, Jenny Burton reports on how successful and rewarding the day was and it all started from TCA.
- Jeanne Anderson discovers how Tai Chi together with an integrated program of medicine and exercise can help prevent her progression to osteoporosis.
Tony Garcia has taken Tai Chi to the skies! Tony believes Tai Chi has given him the relaxation and focus needed to accomplish his skydiving feat.
Dr Bob is back again this month with a healthy treat to go with coffee….his jokes! What a way to start the day. It actually rhymes.
May’s special offer
May 15-16, Adelaide, Australia
Tai Chi 4 Kidz Instructors training workshop
Tai Chi for Arthritis Instructors training workshop
Tai Chi for Arthritis Instructors training workshop
Pre-conference: Tai Chi @ Work Instructors training workshop
One week Tai Chi Workshop with Ten Courses
Exploring the Depth of Tai Chi for Arthritis workshop
Therapeutic Tai Chi for physiotherapists and occupational therapists
Tai Chi for Diabetes, Instructors Training workshop
- Tai Chi for Arthritis Instructors training workshop
- Tai Chi for Osteoporosis Instructors training workshop
For more information about these and other workshops conducted by me or my authorised master trainers, go to the Workshop Calendar
Paul Lam, M.D.
In March I did the Tai Chi @ Work training in
Over 20 years ago, when successfully self-employed, I needed a break from the stresses and took up Tai Chi. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, found it calming and physically, mentally and spiritually rewarding. I found it invaluable in assisting me in all aspects of life, but particularly in showing me that I had the ability to vary my pace according to the need. Business and life’s stresses demand at times concentrated focus, high speed and peak performance, but at other times, quiet, calm observation is required. It’s a matter of balance.
It occurred to me that I’m like my car….. ‘What’s she on about?’ you’re thinking…. Think about your car for a minute…. Sometimes it’s essential that it speeds along to keep up with others or lead the way. At other times it needs to take it slowly to cope with obstacles and delays. We fuel, service and tune our cars for best performance. If we push them too hard without care, they won’t last as long, perform as well or bring us as much pleasure. Tai Chi was my ‘service’, my ‘tune-up’.
Tai Chi worked so well for me, that I kept doing it. I qualified as an instructor with the
I qualified to instruct Tai Chi for Arthritis in 2006 and was one of the first to qualify to instruct Dr Lam’s latest program, Tai Chi @ Work. I look forward to being part of the invaluable network of other instructors qualified in this program. Combining my business experience and personal success in using Tai Chi as a stress management tool over many years, I am aiming to promote Dr Paul Lam’s Tai Chi @ Work through my business, Refocus Tai Chi.
I am excited at the prospect of bringing Tai Chi to the business community as part of a wellness program, sharing the benefits that I have enjoyed for years.
Written by Sara Ficocelli
Translated by Roberto Crea,
Roberto Crea is one of our Master Trainers who resides in
Within a few weeks, in more than 60 countries on the last Saturday of April each year, is world Tai Chi Chuan day. An alternative therapy practiced a lot in
With the patronage of the Faculty of Science of Movement by the
The Bologna Medical Association of Applied Kinesiology, is one of the most qualified in the field, as well as a centre which promote cooperation with Dr Lam. The school came with the intention to promote and spread the knowledge and the practice of Tai Chi for Health (info: http://www.taichiforbetterhealth.it/). As says Mauro Stegagno, president of the Association, family doctor and cardiologist "if we learn correctly and practice steadily the techniques, then we will really be able to contribute to maintaining and creating a state good health".
Tai Chi Chuan (or Taiji Quan) is an ancient Chinese Martial Art, suitable for all ages. It is based on internal energies controlled by the mind, rather than the muscular strength. At the same time it is considered a discipline useful to cultivate health and longevity. Nowadays the beneficial effects on health have been supported by many scientific studies. Studies published on Proceeding of the National Academy of Science, have been conducted also in
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By Jenny Burton,
The impetus for the Buckinghamshire Health & Wellbeing Day came about from wanting to promote a new course of Tai Chi for Arthritis. Once we had started planning we realised how many differing services were available to the people of Buckinghamshire so thought what better than to sample as many as possible under one roof. My 3 colleagues Gill Morgan, Chris Poole, Linda Turner and I were promoting the Tai Chi for Balance programme, we currently operate classes in 2 other Leisure Centres, although originally started using the form in the National Health Service for people with Balance / Dizzy difficulties, it has now expanded to incorporate anyone who wishes to attend although many have a variety of chronic conditions.
The venue of Stoke Mandeville Stadium was originally call the Guttmann Sports Centre and was the site for the first Olympics Games for Disabled People so with that historic background we wanted to ensure the day was a success. In collaboration with Aston Hearing Services, a local private hearing aid dispenser’s who refer clients onto the Tai Chi courses, we advertised and promoted the day throughout Buckinghamshire and were thrilled with the results. There was free entry for the exhibition and workshops; there were also taster sessions on offer all day. We were honoured that the Mayor of Aylesbury opened the event with media coverage from local papers and TV. I was particularly delighted that both Tai Chi workshops were in fact over subscribed, and the 2 TC demonstrations we did with some of our students were extremely well received with the whole exhibition hall noticeably quietening as all those present watched. It was a wonderful experience for our students and we were extremely proud of their contribution.
With over 34 exhibitors ranging from Complimentary Therapists to Adult Education, Nordic Walking to Travel and Personal Finance. There were cycling, walking, disability equipment organisations as well as charities promoting support groups for Osteoporosis, Stop Smoking, Tinnitus, Arthritis information and Hearing Screening. It was a very busy but rewarding day.
An internet link to a short video: Bucks TV - click onto Health then – Bucks H & W Day
Having been a music major in college, married to a jazz musician, mother of two sons now grown, academic counselor in the veterinary college at
My first bone density test in 2000 yielded a diagnosis of osteopenia, an indicator of some degree of bone loss and risk for osteoporosis. My doctor prescribed weekly medication, recommended calcium supplements, and gave me a booklet of information that included weight-bearing exercises, which I began doing.
I retired from
A yearly physical, subsequent bone density test, and X-ray have revealed evidence of the beginnings of thoracic kyphosis, a curvature of the upper spine common in osteoporosis, what used to be called a dowager’s hump. I was alarmed at that prospect, so I consulted with my osteopathic physician who is a specialist in biomechanics and osteopathic manipulative therapy, and a physical therapist. They provided me with a home exercise program that develops core strength and upper back extension. I learned that core strength and correct form create stability and balance that help prevent falls that can be so devastating to those with osteoporosis and, when combined with upper back strengthening exercises, can minimize the progression and effects of thoracic kyphosis. I also learned that spinal flexion exercises such as sit-ups, any movements that hunch or roll the spine forward, are damaging for this condition, can actually contribute to the risk of vertebral fractures, and are therefore to be avoided. To acquire this knowledge, I had to be proactive, asking questions, finding information on the Internet, and requesting referrals. I think there is a message in this that we all have to be our own advocates and responsible for our own optimum health.
The result of these efforts is that I now feel I have a total, integrated program of medicine, exercise, and Tai Chi that will help me prevent the progression from osteopenia to osteoporosis and that dreaded dowager’s hump, as well as significantly contribute to my overall health. I was able to do a demonstration of Tai Chi principles and forms for my osteopathic physician and physical therapist. They were pleased to learn more about Tai Chi and very impressed not only with the consistency of its principles with healthy posture and the biomechanics of movement, but also its beauty.
By Tony Garcia,
I wanted to share this with you my brother. In a previous newsletter (January 2008) I talked about the ocean and dolphins (earth). Now I am going just a bit higher allowing the winds (heaven) to hold me up. The Tai Chi practice I have been teaching on a daily basis ranging from Tai Chi for arthritis, diabetes, osteoporosis and 24 form has given me the relaxation and focus needed to assist in accomplishing this skydiving feat. Taking Tai Chi to the sky gives it a whole new meaning. Parts of Tai Chi can also be done in the clouds. As I jumped out of the plane, I felt the wind carry my body and whisper against my face. I was flying at 14,000 Ft and falling at a speed of 125 mph with a free fall of about 1 minute before the parachute opened at 4000 feet as I floated down. I am sending you a video clip and some pictures to share this experience with you. Thanks for sharing your practice as I experience Tai Chi in everyday living.
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.