Mood Disorder: United Tai Chi digest 7/21/14

  • Just as there can be no light without darkness in our yin-yang principles, so too at times follows our spirit, mind and heart. Depression and anxiety affect more than half of us at some time or other in our lives. Grief, loss, trauma, anger, loneliness –be it temporary or chronic. Mental health professionals like Maryellen Copeland include in her ‘toolbox’ for the WRAP program (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) complimentary mind-body approaches like fitness, meditation and access to daylight.  Peter Wayne of the Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi cites the social support aspect of one if the ‘Eight Active Ingredients’ in the benefit modality of internal arts like Tai Chi. Sifu Anthony Korahais of has discussed depression here, including how Qigong provided him with solutions in his own recovery, removing obstacles that block the smooth flow of body energy.  Bruce Frantzis (Tai Chi Health For Life) reminds us that tai chi helps create “stronger internal organs that can better withstand powerful emotional outbursts…strengthening the kidneys may help depression to a limited degree”.  He also indicates you can “change or mask your true feelings with your breath…feeling depressed and shallow breathing, you’ll feel better to consciously start deep regular breathing” (Opening The Energy Gates of Your Body).  In a recent qigong-in-the-park session our own instructor talked again about the postures that “bring heaven to the earth, and bring the earth to the heavens”.  A posture to suggest we can achieve and enjoy the best of ourselves, the best of our daily lives, a heavenly place on earth. Depression is often a debilitating condition –to the spirit, mind and body; and as such may sometimes require the paired approaches of traditional counseling, Western medicine, and holistic or Eastern philosophies combined into a multi-dimensional approach.  Quick and easy ‘magic wand’ remedies don’t exist, nor would that be a lasting effect. Growing your support network, changing patterns, opening up blockages and cultivating energy can help to start us on the path of wellness.  A path that often is several miles long.  All the best to you in your discussions on mental health issues and internal arts. 




  • Wrap-up of recent classes: There must have been several events on 7/10, as Jose didn’t find any fellow students at the Y class in the afternoon.  Some of our students and friends worked on a sword form with Master Armstrong and Ted N at the Dragon Gym on the 13th. Afternoon drills on ward-off, kwa opening, and parry-redirect (with a nod to Thomas’s English Muffins). Welcome back Maria.  Thirteen postures. Turning versus twisting. Brush knee review. Keeping the shoulders dropped. Steve’s yin-yang socks. Thanks Ted for the poster/chart/infographic that I put on our FB page about Tai c hi benefits.  Working on metaphorically getting all of our tribes back in harmony, and the importance of continued practice outside of class. Weekend afternoon Blue Buddha class we ventured into some of our bagua animal qigong practice (Phoenix, Bear, Lion, Dragon, etc.), and reviewed more information about our kidney positions and how that impacts our tai chi practice.



  • Student News & Events: Master Wei Lun Huang will be in the Philadelphia area once again this year, so here is another chance to study with this tai chi master if you missed his Dragon Gym workshop in May.  He will be at the Masonic Lodge in Broomall PA starting the afternoon of Friday September 19, concluding late afternoon Sunday September 21. Liu Hi Ba Fa, Push Hands, Tai chi and Qigong. Stay tuned for updates on our social media sites, or I can send you a pricing sheet via email if you are interested. Also reach Sifu Tom Hardy for questions at 610-353-8609. Welcome back Claudia. I heard from Jaclyn who was practicing and teaching her tai chi at the beach earlier this month and says “Practicing at the ocean’s edge is inspiring and opening. Breathing and moving with the sound of the ocean is the best music to practice the 108 movements of the Yang style”. Hoping Marcia Z’s husband is doing better. Good to hear from Aruna who has been hosting some guests from India recently. Good to see a large class attendance on Wednesday morning. The National Qigong Association has their annual conference July 25 to 27 in King of Prussia PA, see info here.   Social Media Roundup: In the Twittersphere, welcome new followers @jinky_lion, @UnifiedMAAm @LCTDK and @D_awansetiawan. On Facebook, three-quarters of our followers are men, and we welcome a topic suggestion or guest quote for next month on health/wellness benefits you find with internal arts specific to your practice.  Thank you to fans in the United Kingdom for your readership support on our WordPress site and out Twitter page!



  • General Weekly Schedule:







  1. Lionville YMCA, 100 Devon Drive, Exton PA  


  1. Blue Buddha Studio,  1247 Pottstown Pike, Glenmoore PA



$15 drop-in

4.45 pm


7.15 pm


  1. Lionville Community YMCA, 100 Devon Drive, Exton PA




7.30 am



  1. Miller Park  220 Miller Way (off of Waterloo Blvd) Exton PA   Drop in whichever hour you can attend, it is $15 per hour


  1. Lionville YMCA, 100 Devon Drive, Exton PA  


  1. Lionville Holistic Health Center Natural Pharmacy, 309 Gordon Drive in Exton PA

$15 p/hour





$25 drop-in

(90 mins)

6.30am to 8.30a


4.45 pm


7.00 pm


  1. Student practice session/no instructor:  Lionville YMCA


  1. Daytime private lesson available pending schedule, by request



See instructor

7.30 am


See instructor


  1. Blue Buddha Studio, 1247 Pottstown Pike, Glenmoore PA

$25 drop-in

(90 min)

12:00 pm


  • Follow these links to our social media presence on the web:



WORDPRESSS weekly newsletter blog



Have a great week, and may all your armpits have tuna sandwiches.

Kathleen Rice    


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s