Newsletter 55 August 2012

For a printer-friendly version of this newsletter, please click here

Number 55

August 2012


TCHC NZ tuition Scholarship to Sydney One Week

9-14 January 2013 @ St Vincent College, Sydney, Australia

*One TCHC NZ member will be chosen from the completed applications received by the deadline date.

Deadline: 8 September 2012



August Special:

Spend over $50 on Tai Chi for Health products and the postage is free!   Not to be used with any other discount.  Offer expires 31 August.  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.


Dr Paul Lam in Palmerston North, New Zealand


Tai Chi for Arthritis in Depth Workshop 2 – 3 August

Tai Chi for Energy 4 – 5 August

Time is running out!  If you haven’t booked yet, see previous newsletters for details and contact Chris Hattle immediately!

If you have booked already – I will see you in Palmerston North tomorrow!!

For Sale:

2012 World Tai Chi & Qigong Day purple T-shirts available @$35 each plus P&P (various sizes first come, first served)  For more information contact Tamara

Tai Chi for Health Practice Sessionscoming up with Senior Trainer Tamara Bennett

Contact Tamara

Saturday 25th August 2012 1-4pm (General practice session of TCA, TCE, TCD or TCK)

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

Sunday 23 September 2012  1-4pm (Sun Style 73 practice session, forms 58-73)

Venue: Franklin: The Centre, 12 Massey Ave, Pukekohe (next to Town Hall, parking in the back)

Investment $35 for the 3 hour practice session.

Saturday 27th October 2012 1-4pm (General practice session of TCA, TCE, TCD or TCK)

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

Investment $35 for the 3 hour practice session.

TCHCNZ member price of $30 (if you are a current financial member of TCHCNZ)

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)

Or  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.


Date – Friday 3rd August

Time: 5:30-7:30pm

Venue: Palmerston North workshop venue

*All Full Members are eligible to Vote

** Please RSVP if you plan to attend – Tamara:


Tai Chi Enlarges Brains, Improves Memory, Thinking in Elderly Chinese

June 19, 2012 – Scientists from the University of South Florida in Tampa and Fudan University in Shanghai found increases in brain volume and improvements on tests of memory and thinking in Chinese seniors who practiced Tai Chi three times a week, reports an article published today in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Findings were based on an 8-month randomized controlled trial comparing those who practiced Tai Chi to a group who received no intervention.  The same trial showed increases in brain volume and more limited cognitive improvements in a group that participated in lively discussions three times per week over the same time period.  Previous trials have shown increases in brain volume in people who participated in aerobic exercise, and in one of these trials, an improvement in memory was seen.  This, however, was the first trial to show that a less aerobic form of exercise, Tai Chi, as well as stimulating discussion led to similar increases in brain volume and improvements on psychological tests of memory and thinking.

The group that did not participate in the interventions showed brain shrinkage over the same time period, consistent with what generally has been observed for persons in their 60s and 70s.  Numerous studies have shown that dementia and the syndrome of gradual cognitive deterioration that precedes it is associated with increasing shrinkage of the brain as nerve cells and their connections are gradually lost.

“The ability to reverse this trend with physical exercise and increased mental activity implies that it may be possible to delay the onset of dementia in older persons through interventions that have many physical and mental health benefits,” said lead author Dr James Mortimer, professor of epidemiology at the University of South Florida College of Public Health.

Research suggests that aerobic exercise is associated with increased production of brain growth factors. It remains to be determined whether forms of exercise like Tai Chi that include an important mental exercise component could lead to similar changes in the production of these factors.

“If this is shown, then it would provide strong support to the concept of “use it or lose it” and encourage seniors to stay actively involved both intellectually and physically,” Dr Mortimer said.

One question raised by the research is whether sustained physical and mental exercise can contribute to the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease, the most common dementing illness.

“Epidemiologic studies have shown repeatedly that individuals who engage in more physical exercise or are more socially active have a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease,” Dr Mortimer said.  “The current findings suggest that this may be a result of growth and preservation of critical regions of the brain affected by this illness.”

From The Telegraph, 28 June

Tai Chi named as perfect exercise for the elderly

Practising the ancient martial art of Tai Chi is so beneficial to elderly people’s health that it should be “the preferred mode of training”, according to scientists.

Researchers found that older people who regularly performed the traditional Chinese “mind and body” technique were less likely to suffer high blood pressure and were physically stronger.  They concluded that the improvement of heart function combined with increased muscular power meant that the martial art should be considered the preferred technique for elderly people to maintain good health.

Tai Chi, which has grown in popularity throughout the world, is typified by slow, deliberate repetitive movements and is based on co-ordination and relaxation rather than muscular tension. It is believed that focusing the mind solely on the movements helps to bring about a state of mental calm and clarity.

In the Hong Kong study, pulse measurements showed that Tai Chi specifically improved expansion and contraction of the arteries — known as arterial compliance, an important indicator of heart health — and increased knee muscle strength. A number of earlier studies have shown that strength training alone has been accompanied by a decline in arterial compliance.  The findings were published online in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

The study involved 65 elderly subjects from Hong Kong, 29 recruited from local Tai Chi clubs who had each practised the technique for at least 90 minutes a week for three years, and 36 controls with no such experience.  Initial results showed that the Tai Chi subjects were superior in almost all medical observations, including blood pressure, vascular resistance and pulse pressure. Measurements also showed that both large and small artery compliance was 40-44 per cent higher in the Tai Chi group.  Additional analysis showed that the Tai Chi subjects had greater average muscle strength.

The effect of Tai Chi training in lowering blood pressure has been documented previously. Dr William Tsang from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in Hong Kong, who led the research, said: “However this is the first study to investigate the possible effects of Tai Chi on arterial compliance by comparing older Tai Chi practitioners with non-practitioners similar in age and activity level”.  “The improvement in arterial compliance could have resulted from a combination of aerobic training, stretching, mental concentration and calm meditation during Tai Chi movement,” he said.

Dr Tsang said the added appeal of Tai Chi was that it could be practised anytime and anywhere without the constraints of equipment or a gymnasium.

That’s it for now.  Hope to see you in Palmerston North.