Tuesday, August 24, 2010


And T'ai-Chi

Since I teach T'ai-Chi, people are always sending me links to articles showing that T'ai-Chi helps people with arthritis, or depression, or high blood pressure, or poor balance or some other chronic health problem. The latest is a new study which shows that T'ai-Chi helps people with fibromyalgia.

It's good for so many things like this, because, I think, it spreads the pressure of gravity and other forces going in, and physical work and other forces going out, more evenly throughout the body's stress points, mainly the joints. It also increases circulation too which is nearly always a good and healing thing. Not to mention calming the mind and body down so the focus is not obsessively on the pain. It can also lower blood pressure, improve digestion and it's a fantastic way to gently increase fitness with attention to alignment and posture which is so important.

Many, many out of shape people have bad posture and alignment. When they take up running or some other vigorous exercise to lose weight and get in shape, they just end up hurting themselves because of their posture. If a person is seriously out of shape, I always recommend a serious posture discipline like T'ai-Chi or Yoga for a full year before more vigorous exercise. But of course for your average American a full year seems like 20. They want it now!

And, this is the big one: It's not "T'ai-Chi" which gives these benefits, but a good T'ai-Chi PRACTICE. You have to practice, and practice well, to get these benefits. It's not a pill, it's work, and that is why these articles come and go every year or two and by and large we continue to get less and less healthy as a nation.

For anyone interested in turning this around in their life or the life of someone they know, I recommend my book
"T'ai-Chi For Geniuses-A Practice Companion For The Genius In Everyone". Click on this link and once there you can buy it if you want, but there's also a link to read the Introduction to the book free.

I also feel particularly qualified to work with people with chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia for the following reasons:

1. The primary way I teach is private lessons. I can tailor the pace and T'ai-Chi curriculum to the student's needs and condition. I teach outdoors all year 'round and fresh air is good for almost any condition.

2. The style of T'ai-Chi that I do emphasizes above all good posture and alignment.

3. The style of T'ai-Chi that I do also emphasizes finding the most relaxed and efficient way to move at all times. It is not a forceful or hard disciplined approach. Our motto is "Flow More~Force Less".

4. I have extensive experience working with senior citizens and others who require a gentler slower approach. I taught very successful T'ai-Chi classes for seniors in Seattle for over 10 years.

5. I am an extremely patient person who is happy to stand by and support any student at whatever level they need to work on. No one learns too slowly for me.

6. I support a serious but casual atmosphere to learning this art. I am very good at establishing rapport with a wide range of personality types.

7. I've studied this art since 1984 and started with very good teachers. I also have a background in Iyengar yoga, Aikido, Contact Improvisation and I was a massage therapist for several years.

So, if you know of anyone in Ashland, OR or the Rogue Valley area who you feel could benefit from studying T'ai-Chi with me, please forward this post and the linked article to them. I will do my very best to help them "Flow More~Force Less" and live with more ease and less pain.


  1. Gene, one other aspect of your style that's beneficial for people with fibromyalgia or limited strength: there are very few low postures that can place stress on the knees.

  2. One thing that people suffering from fibromyalgia can do is quit drinking soda pop ! Begin juicing organic vegetables and fruits daily ."they" (the ancient religion new age freaks ) arn't looking out for you . Take responsibility for your own life ! Im gona learn more about foraging wild foods .

  3. Jump you fucking new age rich fuckers who thing your gonna be gods !

  4. I hope you don't mean me my friend. I am anything but rich. I am always just barely making it financially. And if you knew me you'd never call me New Age either. I'm not selling some woo-woo bullshit here. I am selling work. Self-responsible work. I am not close to being a guru. I'm talking about learning how to maintain good posture, alignment and balance. I teach on a sliding scale that almost anyone can afford. And I agree, soda is not good for people with conditions like this or anyone really. And fresh organic juices, which I like and which I recommend, are pretty New Agey too! Be well. GB

  5. No No No I did not mean that for you.look up bill cooper -mystery babylon on you tube then you will know what im talking about . Im not realy upset about all that either(Not much we can do ) just venting a bit in my stages of grief.