Newsletter 45 October 2011

Number 45

October 2011

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


October Special:

Buy Dr Lam’s revised book “Teaching Tai Chi Effectively” and get the Tai Chi for Arthritis Wallchart FREE.  Package price $31.50 inc p&p. Not to be used with any other discount or offer, one set per person.  Offer expires 31 October 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.


Tai Chi for Diabetes t-shirts, turquoise with white lettering and round neck.  Available in M and L only.  $30 inc p&p.


“Keeping Tai Chi Active in New Zealand”

New Product Available!

Tote Bag

A specially commissioned TCHCNZ tote bag, featuring our logo.  Great for carrying your tai chi shoes, water bottle, etc.

Measures 38cm x 42 cm

TCHCNZ Tote Bag:           TCHCNZ member price $5  (plus $2 P&P)   OR $6 non-member (plus $2 P&P)

TCHCNZ Lapel Badge:    TCHCNZ member price $4 member (plus $1 P&P)  OR $5 non-member (plus $1 P&P)

You can see photos of the bag and badge at this link.

Finally a friendly reminder from Ferne McKenzie, our Treasurer that invoices have been sent out for annual subscriptions.  If you haven’t sent your yet, please make sure you do so before the end of the week, so we can tidy up our accounts.  Members get discounts on products and workshops, and with Dr Lam coming to Palmerston North next year you subscription will pay you back with interest!

If you need to clarify your qualifications with Tamara Bennett, our Secretary,  please let her have copies of your most recent certificates, and First Aid qualifications.


Sometimes we are asked why teachers need a First Aid qualification in order to teach something as low risk as modified tai chi.  Please bear in mind that we often teach frail elderly, and whilst in twelve years none of my pupils have ever had an ACCIDENT in class, they have turned up with all sorts of problems.  Here are a few examples of why I have been very grateful that I had first aid training:

One lady broke two fingers by trapping them in a car door the day before class.  She casually showed me her swollen and discoloured hand and asked if  “What do you think I should do about this?”

Two incidences of angina attacks which started just before class, and required hospitalisation, with one leading to a quadruple bypass.

Several nasty cuts sustained before class, which required advice on cleaning, dressing etc.

Numerous incidences of minor diabetic and blood pressure problems sparked by significant aftershocks during class.

One elderly gentleman found collapsed on the pavement on the way to class (not my pupil) who required 15 minutes of CPR whilst waiting for the ambulance.

First Aid training has empowered me to deal with all the above plus all the minor (and not so minor) accidents my own family and friends have had over the years in a calm and reassuring manner.  I highly recommend it.


Tai Chi for Arthritis II workshop with Falls Prevention Module
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 30th October

Sunday 27th November


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 where 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:

2012 Workshop to mark in your diary!

Dr Paul Lam presents …

Tai Chi for Energy                               August 2-3 2012

The Depth of Tai Chi for Arthritis    August 4-5 2012

This double workshop is to be in the Manawatu region.

Contact person is Chris Hattle


The Festival will take place on Saturday, 12 November, at the Cashmere Club, Christchurch, from 9am to 1pm.  We have a packed programme full of exciting items.  Entry fee is $5 per person.


This article originally appeared in Dr Lam’s June newsletter, but it has proved so popular with my pupils that I am including it in our New Zealand newsletter.

Tai Chi gives me a Second Chance of a Full Life

Myung Ja Park, Master Trainer of Tai Chi for Health, Seoul, Korea

Looking back at my life, I realize I have a very long list in my resume. I will be 80 years old in a couple of month, but there are still so many things I still want to do for the rest of my life.

I am a retired nurse, a retired principal in a high school, and a retired researcher at the Korean National Open University. I was leading a full life when I was unexpectedly diagnosed with brain cancer in 1997. I didn’t have a real symptom at that time, only a little of dizziness. But I fell into a coma after brain surgery and became bed ridden for a long time. I realized I suddenly became a useless person. Since the surgery, both my left eye and ear was not functioning properly, and I felt dizzy, tending to fall down all the time.

In 2002, my dear friend, Professor Lee from Seoul National University, asked me to come to the tai chi workshop. She said it would be good for me. But I didn’t believe I could go no matter how beneficial it would be. Thanks to my friend’s persistent plea, however, I ended up at the workshop in a wheelchair. This was the first workshop Dr. Lam held in Korea. I was one of the 50 participants at the workshop, and that was the beginning for my second life.

I was very impressed by the workshop and Dr. Lam who convinced me that I could do these strange movements.

The following day after I managed to complete the workshop, I began to practice the forms using the video. After a month, I was able to stand on my feet for a short time and practice the forms. It was fun in a way and I was excited to see myself doing movements standing alone. I decided to share my experience with others, so I went to a nursing home where elderly homeless were living. I volunteered to teach tai chi to them for one year. That was the beginning of my second career as a tai chi instructor.

In 2005, Iwas assisting one of TCA instructors’ workshops in Seoul, and Haeryun, a nurse from the primary health centre in Yangju City, asked if I could start a tai chi class in her centre. I was still using crutches at that time, and when I met the chief doctor (Dr. Soon-Nam Lee) in the centre, I could see she was suspicious of my ability to lead the class. I was an old lady with crutches, and I kept making her to talk only to my right ear. Surprisingly even to myself, the class was successful. I had a full class with older people who liked to do tai chi, and they liked me for their instructor. Dr. Lee was very impressed, and she suggested that I continue teaching the class as long as she is the chief doctor at the centre. I am always grateful to Dr. Lee for her inspiration and willingness to give me a chance to share tai chi to more people.

I am still teaching tai chi at the health centre in Yangju City, and I no longer need to use crutches. Those who don’t know me before have no idea I had brain surgery and became bed-ridden for a long time. At the centre, I have trained about 12 tai chi instructors from the series of tai chi classes, and they are working at the various elderly centres all over the city. Since 2007, Yangju City has held an annual “Silver Exercise” contest. In Korea, the concept of silver refers to the elderly because of their silvery hair. Our tai chi group with the mean age of 70 won the grand prize this year with standing ovation.  I was sitting in front watching my long-term class members, now almost a family to me, moving gracefully with full of confidence, looking very much younger and healthier than their age. I was crying, but I don’t feel ashamed. No one, not even myself, believe I can stand up and live a full life again like this. I am always thankful to tai chi, and to those who introduced tai chi to me 10 years ago. I will be a tai chi missionary, as long as I manage to stand, for the rest of my life.


The American College of Sports Medicine, in their 2011 Position Statement, Quantity and Quality of Exercise for Developing and Maintaining Cardiorespiratory, Musculoskeletal, and Neuromotor Fitness in Apparently Healthy Adults: Guidance for Prescribing Exercise, recommends people perform 20-30 minutes of neuromotor (functional fitness) training 2 – 3 times a week.

ACSM states that tai chi is the most widely studied functional fitness program and that it has been shown to be effective in improving balance, agility, motor control, proprioception, and quality of life. Although limited by the number of tai chi studies on younger populations, evidence suggests that exercises, such as tai chi, which involve balance and agility, may reduce anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries and reduce recurrent ankle injuries in men and women athletes. Tai chi really does have something to offer just about anyone.

The position statement also states that a program of regular exercise that includes cardiorespiratory, resistance, flexibility, and neuromotor exercise training beyond activities of daily living to improve and maintain physical fitness and health is essential for most adults.

Multifaceted physical activities such as tai chi involve varying combinations of neuromotor exercise, resistance exercise, and flexibility exercise.

Neuromotor exercise training is beneficial as part of a comprehensive exercise program for older persons, especially to improve balance, agility, muscle strength, and reduce the risk of falls.

(with thanks to Jim Starshak, Master Trainer and Chair of the Tai Chi for Health Institute)

Have a Happy Halloween!