Retired doctor practises ancient art of tai chi for mobility and health

Tai chi practitioner and retired doctor Lam Chin Chyou

By Wilfred Pilo

KUCHING, April 3: As a medical practitioner, Dr Lam Chin Chyou dedicated his life to seeing sick patients and helping to make them better, usually by prescribing medicine or sending them for further treatments.

However, upon retiring a few years back, Dr Lam now cultivates good health by practising the ancient Chinese martial art of tai chi as a form of exercise.

According to him, tai chi is practised by millions around the world as a modern exercise for health.

“Tai chi consists of a series of slow, fluid, gentle movements, coupled with slow rhythmic breathing,” he shared with DayakDaily.

Dr Lam said that numerous scientific studies on the ancient martial arts have shown that this gentle mind-body exercise improves balance, strength, and flexibility and induces relaxation.

“Thus, it is recommended as another form of therapy for certain medical conditions and prevention of others.”

Dr Lam revealed that his interest in tai chi started in 1971 when his father wanted him to learn this ancient martial art that originated in China.

“My late father who was born on mainland China insisted I learn so that I do not lose some of the Chinese culture and my roots.”

“However, I quit after a few years as I found it was very physically demanding, and my body could not take it. At that time, I was focusing on my secondary education and was in Form 6. I did well and went to study medicine in Singapore.”

Dr Lam who is also the National Cancer Society of Malaysia Sarawak Branch chairman further shared that while operating his general practice as a medical doctor, he started tai chi again in 1997 up til 2006.

“After time away from tai chi for five years, in 2012, I started again and this time I took up the challenge to know more about this traditional form of martial arts and its philosophy.”

In 2013, he joined a week-long tai chi lecture and workshop conducted by Dr Paul Lam (no blood relation), who is a Sydney-based family physician and tai chi teacher of more than 40 years in Australia.

“That spurred further my interest in tai chi as Dr Paul Lam and his medical and tai chi expert went on to design a teaching programme to help arthritis patients,” he said.

Dr Lam believed that traditional tai chi practices could complement modern science and studies have also shown that it helps prevent falls in older adults besides improving mobility.

He recommended such exercises to everyone irrespective of age as he believes anyone can learn tai chi.

“No one is too old, too young or even too uncoordinated to take up tai chi,” he said.

For those interested in learning tai chi exercises, contact Taichi Academy at 019 848 3338. — DayakDaily