Tuesday, November 15, 2011

How to Help an Aging Brain

Courtesy of Seniors Directory.com
Doing Tai Chi satisfies many of these criteria

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

It's not too late!

You get viruses a lot, you think that is normal -isn't everyone sick? It's going around. Your colds and flu last for weeks sometimes months. You run to the doctor to get pills, even when they really can't help you. You eat poorly, you feel tired and worn out. You don't exercise and you may even overindulge in alcohol, tobacco or other drugs and like most of us you have emotional, financial and environmental stress.

Why won't you take care of your stress?
I don't care if it's exercise, meditation, listening or playing music, art, tai chi, reading, martial arts, deep breathing exercises, yoga or playing video games... if you don't find out what relieves your stress, your stress is going to make you ill - no, it's already making you ill, you just don't know it yet..

The small annoyances of repetitive colds and flu are the least of your problems, the constant stresses that affect your life will eventually cause some major problem with your health.

So....  take control of your health and do something to relieve your stress, it's a small investment for your future.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Getting back on track after an injury

Why not try something new to help you long before you can work out again?
Qigong is very versatile for injured and physically challenged folks.

"The only question is: What are you waiting for to make your goal become a reality? Your potential will never disappear, but if you wait too long, your health will."

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Using Silence in Classes

Using Silence in Yoga Classes

Although this article is about Yoga classes it is relevant in the practice of Tai Chi.
I still feel for early introduction for beginning students it is useful to play some soft music for relaxation and flow, I do agree with some points made in this article.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

What is Qi?

Excellent article and explanation of what Qi is.
"Chi, often written as Qi (pronounced “chee”) could be described as a type of bioelectricity and is the life force in and around us. It cannot normally be seen without the aid of Kirlian photography, but it can be felt and its effects can be seen. Numerous cultures describe a matrix of subtle energies that support and animate the physical body. This energy is called Chi in Chinese, Ki in Japanese, Prana in India and Tibet, and Nefesh in Israel. Sufis call it Baraka, Christian mystics call it the Holy Spirit and the ancient Greeks called it Pneuma. Hahnemann, father of homeopathy, referred to it as "vital force," and in chiropractic it is called the "innate intelligence." Our bodies are composed of a series of energy systems which are interwoven and superimposed. The correct functioning of these systems forms the basis of our health. Energetically charged fluids are pumped through the lymphatic system, the blood circulatory system, interstitially, through the bone marrow and spine, around the brain and so on. The Chi flows through a system of meridians which are like channels within the energy body. Chi is all around us in the environment and inside us; our body is dependant upon this Chi to continue functioning.
We obtain Chi from the air, food, water, the Sun, warm places, the moon, the Earth, stars, and several other places in the environment. When we are born we also have an abundant supply of Chi stored our abdomen, which will usually deplete gradually through the course of our lifetime if we do not replenish it by way of Chi Gung exercises!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Toronto Star Article on Tai Chi

Now you can read this article on my site.  To make it larger click on the + button and you can enlarge it to read it in real newspaper size!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Toronto Star Article on Tai Chi

Last September I had a call from Signe Langford, a Toronto Star writer who was writing an article on Tai Chi. I was delighted to chat with her about Tai Chi and Qigong: the arts that have brought me so much in the past 24 years.

It's not online yet, but when it is, I will put the link up!
In the meantime here's a picture of the article.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

If stress is bad, how can it still feel good at the time?

It's complicated.. but the end result is: stress is a killer - slow, sometimes elusive but killer none the less.  De-stressing your life is paramount according to studies.  Simple breathing techniques such as meditation, Qigong and types of Yoga can help to reverse the effects of stress.

"Stress (and drugs) have been shown to have the following side effects: increased heart rate and blood pressure, increase in blood sugar, breakdown of muscle tissue, decreased digestive functioning and discomfort, ulcers, blood clotting, migraines, skin problems, premature aging, loss of brain cells, not to mention social isolation and loneliness, anxiety, panic attacks, depression, substance abuse, relationship problems, lack of focus, multitasking and disengagement.  In fact a 20 year study by the University of London completed in the early 1990s found that unmanaged reactions to stress were a more dangerous risk factor for cancer and heart disease than either cigarette smoking or high-cholesterol foods.  And stress may even be as addictive as drugs.  In addition to the hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline, stress also releases dopamine, a “feel good” chemical.  Scientists believe that dopamine encourages repeat behaviors by activating this reward center and may be at the heart of many addictive behaviors and substance abuse issues. "
Read more here

Friday, April 22, 2011

If this 95 year old lady improved her health and vitality by doing Tai Chi for 3 years... what could it do for you?

"Her name is Marie, she does tai chi, and so do we.
She is moving and alive.
We're just trying to survive, but Marie is 95."

She has an eye condition called macular degeneration and is legally blind. She also has arthritis. When she started taking the class three years ago, some of the movements were painful.
But there was no stopping her.
"It's really remarkable to see her," Milner said. "We think if she can do it, we can keep going. It may help us keep our abilities longer."

"Tai chi helps with balance, strength and mobility," he said. "People feel better when they are done."
Students perform continuous fluid movements with their limbs and torso, and Lund "never sits down," Sheils said.
"She seems to have gotten stronger over the past few years."

Lund said she began taking Sheils' class during visits to Ponte Vedra Beach to see her daughter. She was having problems with her feet and heard that tai chi could help. It did. Three years ago, when Lund left her home in Philadelphia to move in with her daughter, she became a class regular.
"I have seven children, so I was always very active," she said. "The class has helped me immensely."
Including with improving her balance, she said. "For years, I could not sweep for a long time with a broom."
After taking tai chi, "one day I swept for one whole hour and it didn't bother me," she said. "I've been doing it every day since."
The ancient Chinese form of soft, coordinated body movements focuses on cultivating internal energy called "chi."
The movements are practiced in a continuous flow, and can be adapted for people with physical limitations.
Since the martial art "enhances balance and body awareness through slow, graceful and precise body movements," it can significantly reduce the risk of falls among older people, and may be beneficial in maintaining gains made by people age 70 and older who undergo other types of balance and strength training, according to a National Institute of Aging report.

Lund said that when she first did the shoulder movements, "the pain was terrific." Now she can do them pain-free.
She doesn't do everything. At one point, "you have to stand on one foot and I am always afraid I might fall," she said. "So I don't do that."

Read the full article here

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Monday, March 14, 2011

Tai Chi hits medical mainstream

I read the great news yesterday that doctors at one of our local hospital are offering Tai Chi to their patients for coping with chronic pain. This is good news. But don't be deceived by the term "medical Tai Chi".  Just because a doctor with some Tai Chi training is teaching a high quality of Tai Chi, doesn't mean that all other kinds are useless 'only exercise' done by people in the park.  That's a very broad and unfounded assumption. 
The truth is; that done properly, following all the principles of good Tai Chi:
proper alignment, breathing, mental focus, muscle relaxation, any Tai Chi has the potential to be so called 'medical Tai Chi".  In other words, if you do your moves properly - you will get the health benefits.
This is also the reason why I do not recommend Tai Chi DVD's - it is limited in the expert guidance a live teacher can impart.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Belief is a powerful drug

In his groundbreaking book, The Biology of Belief, Dr. Lipton states, "The notion that only physical molecules can impact cell physiology is outmoded.
"…genes are merely blueprints. They offer the building blocks to make a body, but how those genes are used to make that body is not controlled by the genes—it's actually controlled by our perception of the environment, or how we respond to the environment."
This could explain 'miracle healers' who harness people's strong belief that they can cure diseases.  Given the right physical and energetic conditions, a strong belief can create the environment to promote health. This also explains how some severely ill people who practice visualization can have 'miracle remissions' and return to health.

The effect of our genes or lack of is less of a concern due to the ability of the body to effect something called capacitance, meaning that the genetic network can actually overlap and interact in such a way that even if a gene drops out, it’s function can be covered by other genes in the system."

Change your belief, change your life, change your physiology~
Thanks to Master Chunyi Lin's great article on Attitude

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Some Good Qigong Free Lessons

Great explanations, and kept simple. Simple email sign up and start your free lessons.
There are so many great teachers out there and I learned something new right away... considering I have been studying over 26 years, I was impressed.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Tai Chi for your Company?

1. “Tie”-Chi can save companies big money.
2. Tai Chi can be done in work clothes in an office.
3. Tai Chi can help employees get along.

Tai Chi’s a Natural for the Office
One thing that makes Tai Chi uniquely ideal for the workplace is that it requires no special clothing or equipment. If you have 15 minutes and a quiet room, you are all set to experience some amazing stress reduction and energy boosting.
Since Tai Chi is so slow and gentle, you often need not work up a sweat when taking a Tai Chi break. By simply loosening your tie or kicking off your heels, you are all set. In fact, Sitting QiGong or simple Moving QiGong can be done right at your desk. As employees become more adept at these tools of breath and relaxation, they’ll use them throughout the day to reduce stress and boost performance.

Investing in Tai Chi ProgramsThere are several ways companies can invest in Tai Chi. Some companies passively promote Tai Chi, offering a space for employees to practice during lunch or after work. Others do much more.

The best Tai Chi and Stress Management seminars are optional. Provide employees with the option of working or attending the seminar, but do not make the seminar mandatory. Most people will opt for the seminar to get a break from work anyway, but the quality of the seminar is completely different if the employee has chosen to be there. This is the first step in an employee creating his own healthy lifestyle. If it’s someone else’s idea, we resist, but if we feel empowered to change ourselves, we have a vested interest in a positive outcome.

Some companies may reward Tai Chi practitioners with a 30-minute morning break, if instead of drinking coffee and sodas for 15 minutes, they use the 30-minute break to attend morning Tai Chi classes in the area provided. This could be done in conjunction with a weekly one-hour video or live Tai Chi class during lunch or after work.

For the daily Tai Chi breaks, sign-in sheets could be used to document employee participation. This information may be helpful to acquire rebates or subsidies from company health insurance providers to cover the cost of Tai Chi classes. Ask your carrier.

Investing in Creative Potential
If Tai Chi can help employees recover from illnesses and thereby reduce absenteeism that can also mean major savings. But what about creativity? Tai Chi’s meditative quality enables practitioners to become more creative as they let go of being locked into old patterns. A popular corporate expression is to “think outside the box,” which means to look beyond the established way of doing things, to try to find new and innovative approaches. It’s a useful concept, but how do you really think outside the box? You have to release the old ways of doing things. Again, Tai Chi is about letting go of everything, mentally, emotionally, and physically which requires releasing prejudices and preconceptions, making you clearer and more open to new possibilities and potential. If Tai Chi can help employees think outside the box, this will open them up to fresh innovative approaches and may boost profits more than anything you could begin to measure.

Call me today and let's chat about how I can customize a Tai Chi program for your company. It can vary from a one time presentation and training sessions including a Follow Me Tai Chi Video class, or a regularly scheduled class at your facility.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

More than just exercise

10 forms Yang Style Tai Chi to the Left

10 Forms Yang Style Tai Chi

Attention Stance   ( Wu Ji Stance)

01 Commencing Form

02 Grasp Bird’s Tail (Right)
(Ward Off, Pull Back, Press Forward and  Double Punch)

03  Wild Horse Ruffles Its Mane
 (3 Times L, R, L)

04  Wave Hands Like Clouds
 (3 Times  R, L, R)

05 Brush Knee, Twist Step and Punch
 (3 Times  L,R,L)
06  Play the Fiddle

07  Step Back and Whirl Arms (Repulse Monkey)
 (4 Times R,L,R,L )

08    Grasp Bird’s Tail (Left)
(Ward Off, Pull Back, Press Forward and Double Punch)

09  Cross Hands
10  Closing Form

Attention Stance ( Wu Ji Stance)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Beginners Tai Chi Movement & Qigong Course

4 Spaces left.
12 weeks Monday Jan 10th to March 28 6- 7:15pm  $120
held at Akasha Studios 351 Danforth Ave near Chester subway call for more info
416 278 2466