At 50 years old, I was starting to develop some pain in my arms which was preventing me from bringing them behind my back. As soon as my hand was behind my lower back, it would start hurting badly in my upper arm. The problem started in the right arm, expended to the left and was getting worse! I exercise regularly but no stretch nor strength building did anything to it. I guess one can live a happy life without ever putting one’s arm behind one’s back but I could feel some stiffness coming in because of this lack of mobility. Plus if I was not careful to avoid this movement, it would bring sharp pains!

David taught me some chi kung movements which took care of the problem. As I was practicing them, my pain started to lessen. Then I stopped doing the movements on a regular basis, and the pain came back! So I decided to really be serious about it. I have been doing this quick two minutes practice for a year now, every morning and night along with my regular stretch and exercise. It worked amazingly. I now have no problem getting my hand on my shoulder blade, and most importantly it doesn’t hurt any more!

Not only that but, I suppose like a lot of people, my neck would get stiff and eventually get blocked once in a while. This is something which has happened to me since very young, at different intervals. Now my neck still gets stiff, but the exercise prevents it from getting blocked. I can feel the neck and back getting back to normal while doing the exercise.

I’m very grateful for David’s help!

-Michel D., Vermont USA

After studying Shao Lin Do and Win Chun at different schools on and off for eight years, I became weary of training only for fighting and self-defense. What little I knew about Tai Chi inspired my interest as a martial art for meditation and relaxation. To my surprise, I found that it provides not only those benefits, but many others. After training for a few weeks I came to understand that Tai Chi is a strengthening physical workout with all the fighting applications that underlie the forms of Kung Fu I studied in the past.

Before class, we discuss principals of Tai Chi regarding balance, body awareness, and Chi. My skepticism toward “Chi” stemmed from lack of knowledge on the subject. After beginning Tai Chi training, I sustained a knee injury from another sport. I had to take the elevator at work to go one flight of stairs. My doctor recommended an MRI which revealed torn ligaments. She recommended me to a specialist for surgery. Always hesitant to go “under the knife”, I decided to stop other high-impact sports activities, but continue with Tai Chi.

During class, we begin with a stretching routine, Chi Kung exercises, and practice the Tai Chi form. During the first few classes after the injury, I took care go easy on any exercise that put strain on my bad knee. A week later I found myself taking the stairs again. When my doctor called with the surgeon’s info, I was relieved to inform her that my knee pain was gone. That was over six months ago and the pain has not returned.

The more I practice Tai Chi, I’m reminded of it in everyday life. My posture has improved. I find myself using the breathing techniques during stressful situations. I even catch myself “sinking” into central equilibrium stance in the grocery checkout line.

I feel I’ve only scratched the surface of what will be a life long pursuit of balance and health, both physical and mental, through Tai Chi.

-R.

I felt physical changes during the first month of practicing Tai Chi. I became stronger. My leg strength improved. Then I found that I had more wind. I could breathe much more easily sprinting around the Ultimate frisbee field in Taiwan. A relaxed muscle uses less oxygen and Tai Chi practice is very healthy for your heart and lungs.

The next thing I noticed that my body started feeling better. Those little aches and pains that troubled me from time to time as I approached thirty years old started fading away. The sports injuries, sprains, strains and back pains bothered me less and less.

Tai chi has also taught me to use my power. For example, my punches have more power now because of Tai Chi. Many people don’t realize that “real” Tai Chi teaches you how to use your power..

-D.

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