Newsletter #106 - June 2010
--Is Tai Chi Effective for Health? Rhayun Song
--Eastern or Western Medicine: to where do we turn? Annemarie Groth-Juncker
--Healing with Tai Chi, Perseverance in 2010, Judy Stone-Herbert
--The Power of your Mind, Caroline Demoise
--Humour, Laughter and Radiant Health, Bob McBrien
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- For Professor Rhayun Song, it is not enough just knowing and accepting that tai chi is effective for health; it is essential to provide solid evidence for the health benefits of tai chi through medical research studies.
- Dr. Annemarie Groth-Juncker shares her knowledge of how Eastern and Western medicine complement one another in the healing process. However the key to healing is the determination to get well.
- Judy Stone-Herbert demonstrates how tai chi has the physical and mental healing power to help overcome her injuries from an accident. In her reflecting words,” Enjoy your tai chi and do as much as you are able for you never know what tomorrow brings”.
- Caroline Demoise gives a clear and insightful message. “When you use awareness and intention to articulate your tai chi goals and visualize them being a reality, you are using the power of your mind to improve your tai chi”.
- Tai Chi for Health – Instructional DVD
- Qigong for Health - Instructional DVD
Buy Tai Chi for Health DVD and receive Qigong for Health DVD at 50% discount, worth USD $12.50 or AUD $15.00
Limit to one order per person. Click here for more information or to place your order.
June 5 - June 6, 2010. Tacoma, WA, United States
Seated Tai Chi for Arthritis and Tai Chi @ Work Instructor Training
July 15 - July 16, 2010. Ponsonby, Auckland, New Zealand
Tai Chi 4 Kidz Instructor Training
July 17 - July 18, 2010. Ponsonby, Auckland, New Zealand
Exploring the Depth of Tai Chi for Arthritis
July 24 - July 25, 2010. Sydney, NSW, Australia
Tai Chi for Arthritis Instructor Training
July 24 - July 25, 2010. Sydney, NSW, Australia
Tai Chi for Diabetes Instructor Training
Tai Chi for Arthritis Part ll & Update
August 14 - August 15, 2010. Sydney, NSW, Australia
Exploring the Depth of Tai Chi for Arthritis
Many other workshops conducted by my authorised master trainers are listed in the Workshop Calendar.
Yours in Tai Chi,
Is Tai Chi Effective for Health?
Rhayun Song, Master Trainer, Associate Professor of Nursing, Chungnam National University, Korea.
This article is taken from Rhayun’s morning talk at the Sydney 2010 January Workshop.
Tai Chi, known as a Chinese martial art, is getting recognized among health professional as well as general population for its health benefits. How do you know if tai chi is working for the health promotion?
The other day, I was talking to the director of primary health care centre, where I was planning to open a 3-month tai chi class for those with hypertension. The director was a doctor, and he was very curious about how tai chi can work for hypertension. Why tai chi is good for it? How is it different from other types of exercise?
Well, as a tai chi practitioner, we need to be able to answer to those questions. Tai Chi is effective to control hypertension, because “the research says so”.
Since 2000, hundreds of research has been conducted to explore the effectiveness of tai chi in variety of population. Unfortunately, although some studies show the positive effects of tai chi, others failed to show any effects. What is wrong? The good news is we can see a trend in this research. More and more research is leading towards the similar conclusion about the potential benefits of tai chi, however, to be able to say it clear and loud, we definitely need more “good research”.
Dr. Roberts just introduced how we can utilize policy into research activities. It also leads us to the good research. OK, what is the good research? There are two points we need to think about before opening the tai chi class to lead the sure effects on health… maybe I should make it three points, because that is what people can remember as a take home message.
“Who is the target population?”, “what is the outcome?”, and finally “how to keep them motivated?”
Who are the subjects? Are you teaching beginners? Is it an institutional for the elderly? A class of healthy young people? Do they have any chronic diseases? Arthritis, diabetes, or cardiac disease? This will determine what program you will be implementing. You may want to use the TCA program, a tai chi program designed specifically for those with arthritis, because it is supposed to be the safest form of the exercise to apply. Or you may want to use the TCD program for those with diabetes or heart problem to improve their cardiovascular health.
Secondly, what are you measuring? What outcome are you looking at?
If we are talking about elderly people with arthritis, we want to consider their symptoms, muscle strengths, balance, flexibility, and fall episode, I will use the Tai Chi for Arthritis program, at least for 12 weeks, and twice a week (minimum). Research shows that we need at least 8 weeks for symptom management such as pain and stiffness. If you are looking for muscle strength and fitness measures such as balance and flexibility, you want to continue for 12 weeks. For example, if you are looking at fall prevention, you need at least 3 months to improve the balance and muscle strengths, and at least 6 months to see any changes in fall prevention. One more factor relating to fall prevention is bone mineral density for osteoporosis. If you are looking at how bone density is improving…you need to apply tai chi for more than 6 months. That is why the general study period of fall prevention research goes for usually more than a year.
If you are applying tai chi to diabetics for glucose control, it also requires more than 3 months. HBA1C, and glucosylated haemoglobin, we usually measure to see the glucose control, since it’s the average glucose level over the past 3 months. Therefore, we need at least a 3 month period.
When you are listening to me now, you may think – OK! The longer the better! It is probably true, except the longer your tai chi class goes, the harder you keep them in your class. We all know exercise is good for our health. But most exercise classes have the 50% of dropout within 6 months. Tai Chi class cannot be the exception. How are you going to make the class enjoyable enough to have your participants be motivated? This is the final take home message. It’s up to the instructor. Dr. Lam’s Tai Chi for Health program is known to be enjoyable, because we are emphasizing “positive feedback and easy access, progressive learning to teach tai chi” which was never the case for the traditional tai chi learning environment. But because of its slow movements and slow music, some people may think it’s boring. How can you make the participants feel interested? This kind of motivation strategy is very important to reach the desired outcome.
We are the tai chi practitioners, and from the experience, we all agree that tai chi works for health promotion. However, if you want to promote tai chi class to broader population, we need to be aware of these three messages to provide enough evidence for the health benefits of tai chi.
Annemarie Groth-Juncker M.D., Rochester NY, USA
Ambroise Pare, French surgeon to three kings, 16th century
Western medicine has perfected the external aspect in a remarkable way, mostly through surgical and chemical intervention. It has become the leader in the treatment of acute conditions such as infections. But despite 100 years of progress this remarkable success has not come to include many chronic conditions such as most ailments of the aging population.
But western medicine is inquisitive! Within it have arisen a number of research efforts trying to understand the body’s self-healing. A new field has formed called “psychoneuroimmunology”. It asserts that mind and emotion have an effect on the body’s immune system, on its ability to protect and heal us.
Unfortunately today’s typical medical practice is under time constraint and tends to treat patients quickly according to pre-determined guidelines. Most western medicine treats diseases, often according to an algorithm, the same for every patient. But many of our problems are related to our own emotional states and our environment and respond poorly to a uniform set of rules.
Anything that can awaken in us the will and the determination to get well and be well is precious, for without it neither eastern nor western medicine can heal.
Seneca, Roman philosopher
Judy Stone-Herbert, Tai Chi Instructor, Crows Nest, NSW, Australia
“Sometimes we hit rough patches in life and become distracted from practice."
The fact is, no matter what challenges life brings; tai chi will help us find inner peace and better health, which will help us overcome these obstacles more efficiently. I hope this is your year of perseverance for a better quality life.”
And secondly, I decided not to focus on what I can’t do, but to focus on what I can do. When doing the exercises, I decided not to be hard on myself because I could not do them well enough or extend far enough, I paid more attention to the fact that I was making progress in tiny ways, stretching that little bit further each time and being happy with those small steps. Like everyone else, I have a busy, varied life and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It was very easy to get on with other things and realize at the end of the day that I hadn’t done any exercise at all. That has changed now as exercise has become my top priority – after all, if I don’t do it, I will never regain full movement and that would be a disaster for me not to be able to do the thing I enjoy most. The outcome is well worth the effort!
Firstly, taking Paul’s advice and persevering with my exercise and practice!
- I will be able to do and teach the modified forms of Tai Chi @ Work and Tai Chi for Arthritis before too long, but no Yang style for a while.
- Combining my business experience and personal success in using tai chi as a stress management tool over many years, I have been promoting Dr Paul Lam’s Tai Chi @ Work through my business, Refocus Tai Chi and will continue to do so with the assistance of other instructors.
- I will be starting new classes on the Lower North Shore (not sure when).
- As a challenge to myself, I am aiming to attend the next workshop – the question will be whether I can make it to Washington in June or Sydney in January? Let’s see what my surgeon has to say!
Caroline Demoise, Master Trainer, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
Dr Bob McBrien, Salisbury, MD, USA
Following are answers a career science teacher saved after reading hundreds of school children's exams. The innocence of children helps adults learn to use non-offensive, healthy forms of humor. In the examples, at least the teacher had a good laugh.
Children's' Science Exam Answers
Q: Name the four seasons.
A: Salt, pepper, mustard and vinegar.
Q: Explain one of the processes by which water can be made safe to drink.
A: Flirtation makes water safe to drink because it removes large pollutants like grit, sand, dead sheep and canoeists.
Q: How can you delay milk turning sour?
A: Keep it in the cow.
Q: What happens to your body as you age?
A: When you get old, so do your bowels and you get intercontinental.
Q: What happens to a boy when he reaches puberty?
A: He says good-bye to his boyhood and looks forward to his adultery.
A: The body is consisted into three parts - the brainium, the borax and the abdominal cavity. The brainium contains the brain; the borax contains the heart and lungs, and the abdominal cavity contains the five bowels, A, E, I, O, and U.
Q: What does the word 'benign' mean?'
A: Benign is what you will be after you be eight.
- When you breath, you inspire. When you do not breath, you expire
- Germinate: To become a naturalized German.
- Rhubarb: A kind of celery gone bloodshot.
- Litter: A nest of young puppies.
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.