Tai Chi for Diabetes
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Physician and tai chi expert Paul Lam has created a 77-minute tai chi workout with movements specifically chosen for those with both Type I and Type II diabetes. In the seven-minute introduction, Australian medical experts explain the disease and endorse tai chi, with its gentle combination of muscle-strengthening and relaxation exercises, as ideal for diabetic patients. Then Lam and his assistants begin a program of warm-ups, stretches, and qigong movements designed to improve energy along the meridians affected by diabetes. (Lam explains meridians as part of the Chinese concept of Qi--"life energy"--and how they affect the body.) They follow with both basic and advanced dance-like movements, which have such delightful monikers as "fair lady working at the shuttle" and "waving hands in the cloud." Lam includes a separate demonstration without instruction for those who master the movements and want a fluid routine to follow. --Kimberly Heinrichs
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Top Customer Reviews
It might seem strange from a Western perspective that ancient flowing movements can regulate high blood sugar and other factors associated with Diabetes. Diet and pills are not always a panacea for what ails us. Our bodies were designed to move which keeps us in better shape regardless of our health status.
Warm-Up and Cooling Down Exercises
You are shown several warm-up and cooling down exercises from students themselves to prepare your mind and body for the Tai Chi movements.
Detailed Qi Gong Introduction
Dr. Lam discusses the concept of "Qi Gong" which cultivates the movement of "Qi," or the life force, in the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perspective. What I liked was that he shows actual bodily meridians involved in Diabetes and how the Qi Gong movements cultivate proper energy flow.
Part I: Structured Lessons with 11 Basic Movements
I began to study Dr. Lam's "Tai Chi for Arthritis - 12 Lessons with Dr. Paul Lam," a few years ago. I was a new student of Tai Chi; however, due to Dr. Lam's expertise and calm teaching method, my interest level increased immediately. One of the reasons that I enjoyed these lessons was due to Dr. Lam's instructional style. He explains each movement in detail and then provides a unique lens into his own formal training sessions. You can watch a variety of students and teaching assistants learning, and subsequently, practicing the movements from different angles. Then Dr. Lam completes all 11 movements. I liked this type of organization since you can mirror an expert, such as Dr. Lam, but also watch fellow students as they practice, fine-tune and master the movements. These perspectives enable you to monitor your own mastery of the techniques and teach patience along your Tai Chi journey.
Part II: The Eight Advanced Movements
This series may take you more time to master as gracefully as Dr. Lam, but the advanced movements will enhance your study of Tai Chi. Similar to the 11 basic movements, these forms incorporate the same type of learning environment. First, Dr. Lam demonstrates a movement with one assistant. Then you watch as the whole group practices the move. Lastly, Dr. Lam performs the entire sequence from the front and the back. These two views are helpful since you have the opportunity to model the movements from your own preferred vantage point.
An Alternative and/or Complementary Therapy
Tai Chi is not a one day, one week or one month solution compared to a traditional Western medical drug therapy protocol. It is a daily process of mind and body healing that requires a change in mentality and diligent practice. You may not experience immediate benefits; however, from my own personal experience, Tai Chi is a worthy practice to maintain good health at any age. Fortunately for us, Dr. Lam shares his expertise with illness-specific learning modules such as this one targeted for Diabetes.
I received a complimentary copy of this DVD program from the publisher. I was not monetarily compensated by any party who would benefit from a positive review.