Newsletter 46 – November 2011

Number 46

November 2011

(For a printer friendly version of this newsletter, click here)


November Special:

Dr Lam and his team have revised the Yang 24 Forms and the Tai Chi for Beginners DVDs. The revised versions incorporate improved technology, close ups and diagrammed instructions as well as information on tai chi principles. These revised DVDs will enhance your learning experience and teachers will find them useful in improving their own presentation.  Many people who have used the original versions have found the new ones useful. Buy both “Tai Chi for Beginners” and the “Yang 24 Forms” and the postage is FREE!  Package price $78. Not to be used with any other discount or offer, one set per person.  Offer expires 30 November 2011.  As Dr Lam’s New Zealand Agent, I do have his entire range in stock, which you can view at the Products link on this site.


“Keeping Tai Chi Active in New Zealand”

Inaugural Scholarship Award

The winner of our first scholarship to Dr Lam’s January 2012 One Week Workshop in Sydney is Aileen Moxon, from Auckland.  Many congratulations to Aileen, and we look forward to hearing all about her experience next year.


Tai Chi for Arthritis II workshop
This is for progression of TCA and can be attended for re-certification in TCA instruction qualification
DATE 19th 20th November 2011
PLACE Palmerston North
INVESTMENT  $290.00 inc GST (TCA 2 Course handbook and morning/afternoon teas included)
Or: members of TCHC NZ $268.00 inc GST
~ Limited places. Priority to people applying for instructor certification.
~ Certification as an instructor is valid for 2 years.
~ Current first aid certification is required
RSVP Chris Hattle, Move Ability Ltd
t/a CHRIS HATTLE Physiotherapy
Dip Phty, NZRP, MPNZ. Master Trainer, Tai Chi for Health Programs
phone- 06 356 4332
fax - 06 354 4433
e-mail -

Tai Chi for Health Practice Sessions coming up …

Sunday 27th November 2011

Saturday 25 February 2012


Venue: Leicester Hall, corner Findlay & Ramsgate Streets, Ellerslie

(Very close to the motorway, behind the Ellerslie shops, private council parking lot next to hall)

Same Introductory special price of $35 (reduced from $40) for the 3 hour practice session. Or the special TCHCNZ member price of $30, if you are a current financial member of TCHC NZ.

If you are not a member yet, please visit , you will find information and an application form on the TCHC NZ section of this Tai Chi Productions NZ website.

  • Payment by internet: Tamara Bennett – Westpac #03 0406 0739577 00 (please use your name as reference)
  • Payment by Post: Tamara Bennett, 996 Waiuku Road, RD1 Pukeoware, Waiuku 2681
  • *Please email me to confirm you have made a payment
  • The Tai Chi for Health practice sessions will run for 3 hours with a tea/biscuit break (provided).
  • There will be time to ask questions regarding the form, tai chi principles and teaching methods.

Tai Chi for Health Forms we can practice: (determined by the group)

TCA – Tai Chi for Arthritis

TCA part 2 – Dr Lam’s revised arrangement with 41 moves, knowledge of which is required for the TCA part 2 certification course.

TCD – Tai Chi for Diabetes

TCK – Tai Chi for Kidz

Sun Style 73

Tai Chi for Health Community NZ (TCHC NZ), was developed last year, in hopes to unite and offer NZ TCHI instructors support and to further the spread of Tai Chi for Health programmes within the NZ communities. Our aim is to encourage all NZ TCHI instructors to join as members. Members are eligible for discounts to workshops and merchandise, invitation to the AGM/Workshops, plus the opportunity to apply for scholarships to the Sydney One-Week, Dr Lam’s NZ workshops and our AGM Workshops. Visit our website for more details:

A Message from Dr Lam:

“I have discovered that the combination of the Depth workshop followed by Tai Chi for Energy works perfectly.  At the Depth workshop, we focus on how to grow the qi (internal energy) and use it to drive the jing (internal force), then using the jing to generate more qi. The Tai Chi for Energy workshop enhances these into a more sophisticated, powerful way of expressing your jing through spiral force.  Both stronger qi and spiral force are applicable to any other tai chi styles and forms.  I hope to see you at some of these workshops. All the Tai Chi for Energy workshops this year were over-subscribed, I promise to organize more for next year.”

2012 Workshop to mark in your diary!

The Depth of Tai Chi for Arthritis                              2-3 August 2012

Tai Chi for Energy                                                          4-5 August 2012

Venue           Queen Elizabeth College, Rangitikei Street, Palmerston North, New Zealand

Further details to be advised

For registration of interest    e-mail Chris Hattle

Chris will send you the information as it becomes available


This article originally appeared in Dr Lam’s October 2005 newsletter but remains valid today.  The breathing techniques can be successfully applied for many different problems, including stress and pain control.

Tai Chi Breathing and Hot Flashes

(by Sue Smith-Heavenrich TCA and TCBP Instructor, New York)

One winter night as I was walking home with my sons, they asked if I knew of a way to get feet warm.  They were wearing sneakers and it was nearly nine below.  I taught them a qigong exercise that combined visualization with breathing.

“This works, mom,” said my youngest. “My feet really are warm.” About a year later I began to get …. not quite hot flashes, but rolling power surges. I began playing around with my breathing and imagery and discovered that I could reduce the severity of the hot flashes.

A hundred years ago women living in the U.S. could expect to live to the ripe old age of 48. Now we’re likely to reach the age of 80 or beyond. Many women spend one third of their lives after menopause, so getting through the “hot flash” stage, with its associated memory loss and decrease in bone density, has become more topical.

The 1997 Massachusetts Women’s Health Study surveyed 2500 women. About 75 percent of them reported experienced hot flashes. The use of estrogen dramatically lowers the rate of hot flashes. But the use of the hormone also raises the risk of heart disease and stroke – a risk many women would rather not take.

One thing that might help reduce the frequency of hot flashes is paced breathing – long, slow breathing that is similar to the relaxed breathing that is integral to the practice of tai chi and yoga.  Dr. Robert Freedman, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience at the School of Medicine at Wayne State University, has been investigating breathing and hot flashes for the past twenty years.

In studies he has compared the number of hot flashes in women who used paced breathing, brainwave biofeedback or muscle relaxation. The number of hot flashes fell by 50 percent in the group using breathing techniques, but not in the other groups. Other researchers have shown that relaxed breathing can ease the intensity as well as the frequency of hot flashes. Women who exercise daily also have fewer severe hot flashes

By training the body to slow breathing down to 6 to 8 breaths per minute (inhaling and exhaling) rather than the usual 15-16 breaths, something happens in the body’s temperature regulation system. Freedman is not sure exactly what is happening yet, but it doesn’t seem to involve internal biochemical changes.

Try it yourself

To make the breathing work you first need to learn how to breathe deeply, using abdominal breathing – the same sort of breathing you do for tai chi. Women trained to use this technique as soon as they feel a flash (or surge) come on are often able to abort it or reduce its severity significantly, notes Freedman. The technique may also be used by anyone to relax, he adds.

1. Sit quietly and focus on your breath. Wear comfortable, loose clothes or at least unbuckle your belt and loosen your waistband. (Don’t lie down – you might fall asleep.)

2. Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose for about five seconds, and then exhale slowly for about five seconds. Focus on the air going in and out of your lungs.  Imagine that your lungs and belly are like a tall glass. When you pour water into a glass, it fills the bottom first, and on up. So, too, when you breathe in imagine the air filling your belly first, making it bulge gently outward. When you exhale, the belly contracts and you imagine pushing the air outwards – just like pouring water from a glass.

3. When your mind wanders, let the distracting thoughts pass and return your focus to your breath. If you wish, you may count as you breathe in (1000, 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000) and out. This will give you 6 to 8 breaths per minute. Practice deep breathing a couple of times a day. It helps relax you and reduces stress. Then, whenever you feel a hot flash coming on, begin to breathe deeply. As you breathe out visualize the heat flowing down your legs, leaving your body and returning to earth.


  1. Avis, NE et al. 1997. Psychosocial, behavioural and health factors related to menopause symptomatology. Women’s Health 3: 103-120.
  2. Freedman, RR and S. Woodward 1992. Behavioural treatment of menopausal hot flushes: Evaluation by ambulatory monitoring. Am J Obstet Gynecol 167 (2): 436-439.
  3. Freedman, RR et al. 1995. Biochemical and thermoregulatory effects of behavioural treatment for menopausal hot flashes. Menopause 2 (4): 211-218

Finally, Christmas is creeping up on us!  Don’t forget that tai chi DVDs and books make a thoughtful (and easy to wrap!) present for your relatives.  Have a look at the product range – you will find something for everyone!