Philosophy

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Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth
as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.
- Albert Einstein

Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world. - Howard Zinn

COMPASSION

Affirmation of life is the spiritual act by which man ceases to live thoughtlessly and begins to devote himself to his life
with reverence in order to give it true value.
— Albert Schweitzer

6/20/2013

Everyone should read “The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi”

 Tai Chi is very graceful and good exercise but often too complicated for MS'ers to undertake.  For this reason some people prefer the simpler movements of Qui Gong.  Possibly the program outlined in this book would be suitable for a person with m.s.  It all depends on your balance and coordination at your current stage with m.s.  Ask your local library to order a copy of the book so that you can experiment with the program. 

Everyone should read “The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi”

The title of this article ‘Everyone should read “The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi: 12 Weeks to a Healthy Body, Strong Heart & Sharp Mind”’ seems bold, but there are compelling reasons.



Peter M. Wayne, Ph. D., Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School and the Director of Research for the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, jointly based at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, is one of the top scientists in the world on the biomedical research on Tai Chi (Taiji) and integrative medicine. He is also an advanced Tai Chi practitioner and senior Tai Chi instructor for 35 years.

In recent research, scientists have applied cutting edge technologies to test Tai Chi and verify study results with the gold standard of Randomized Control Trial (RCT). Nevertheless, it is important to have proper training protocol for people participating in experiment to make the studies meaningful.

Traditional Tai Chi forms are too complicated and too long for anyone to learn in 12 or 24 weeks during a study.

A good choice would be a simplified Tai Chi form without sacrificing any Tai Chi fundamentals. With his profound knowledge in the art, Dr. Wayne developed and designed a 12-week simplified Tai Chi program that consists of Tai Chi Warm-up exercises, five Tai Chi movements and Tai Chi cool-down exercises and totaling 45 – 60 minutes to be used in research. 

He included step-by-step instructions of this simplified Tai Chi program with 48 demonstration photos in the book.
 

But what makes this book extremely valuable is not just the simplified Tai Chi program that produced the amazing study results in improving people’s health in 12 weeks
. “The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi” provides a rare view of the traditional Tai Chi principles through the lens of modern medical science, an insight into the underlying physiological processes that explain how and why Tai Chi can improve health, objective summaries of the research literature that highlight the already proven Tai Chi health benefits and its potentials and the “Eight Active Ingredients of Tai Chi”. 

Dr. Wayne further integrates the Eight Active Ingredients into everyone’s personal and professional relationships and helps improve work productivity.

But why should everyone read this book?

For Tai Chi practitioners:
It does not matter which styles or forms you are learning, if you are not applying the “Eight Active Ingredients of Tai Chi” to your forms, you will not reap all the benefits of practicing the art. This book also offers an interesting overview of the rich history and philosophy of the art.

For Tai Chi instructors:

Students often pressure instructors to teach more movements and more forms because they perceive more is better. Now you can share evidence that more is not necessary better. 


Doing it right and paying attention to fundamentals are essential. You can also equip yourself with knowledge of the health benefits Tai Chi provides with confidence.
For Tai Chi masters and grandmasters:
This content rich book provides a solid affirmation of your knowledge that Tai Chi favorably impacts the heart, bone, nerves and muscles, immune system and the mind with a modern western medicine approach.
For health care professionals:

Many are already aware of Tai Chi’s health benefits and have prescribed Tai Chi as part of treatments for your patients. Now more physicians, psychologists, nurse practitioners and therapists can understand the holistic benefits of the art. 


This book spends 53 pages of its 336 pages for 409 bibliographic references. Pleasantly surprised, I was pleasantly surprised to find this well-documented fact-filled book written with award-winning co-author Mark L. Fuerst, unlike a research paper or a textbook.

The book reads well and flows like clouds. Dr. Ted Kaptchuk, a leading science researcher and author of “The Web That Has No Weaver” described, “Peter Wayne weaves these different perspectives into a single dance that is the essence of Tai Chi”. But Dr. Wayne gives the credit of the creative writing to Mark. He said Mark’s pen works like a Tai Chi sword, very smooth and effective.

For health care policy makers, health insurance companies and employers:


Tai Chi probably is one of the best interventions to curb the sky rocking health care cost, which already counts 18% of our Gross Domestic Product or GDP and continues to balloon. 


Dr. Wayne provides logical scientific reasons why Tai Chi is a suitable low-cost (or no cost) long-term solution for disease prevention and rehab/recovery.

For everyone else:

If you know someone who suffers from acute pains, chronic pains, Parkinson’s disease, heart problems, stress and other chronic diseases, you can recommend this book to him/her. Or read the book yourself, try the 12-week program and increase your wellness.


Andrew Weil, MD and Professor of Medicine at University of Arizona, commented, (this book is) “a significant milestone in the integration of Eastern and Western medicine”. 
Herbert Benson, MD and Professor at Harvard University, a pioneer of Mind-Body medicine in the western medicine and world-renowned author of the famous bestseller “The Relaxation Response”, praised “Dr. Wayne gives us a magnificent and useful contribution for the betterment of our health and well-being through the proper integration of Tai Chi into our lives”.
As a Tai Chi practitioner and instructor myself, I am grateful that this book just came out as we are celebrating at the eve of the World Tai Chi & Qigong Day. This is a monumental accomplishment for Tai Chi.

So what are you waiting for? Pick up a copy today!

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