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Chronic Illness Q&A with Dr. B.

Larrry Berkelhammer, PhD., is the author of "In Your Own Hands," a book that talks about mind training to improve health in instances of chronic illness. Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014 in San Rafael, Calif. (Robert Tong/Marin Independent Journal)

Larrry Berkelhammer, PhD., is the author of “In Your Own Hands,” a book that talks about mind training to improve health in instances of chronic illness. 

The purpose of this blog and the entire website is to provide evidence-based information on how to live a vibrant, meaningful life while living with chronic health challenges.

I post to this blog three times per week. Monday posts are mindfulness research articles, especially as they relate to health. Wednesday posts are videos of my presentations or interviews. Friday posts consist of Q&A related to living a meaningful, values-based life, regardless of the nature of your particular life challenges.

Here is this week’s question:
THIS WEEK’S QUESTION: Is there a physical form of mind training?

ANSWER: Yes, an outstanding form of mind training that is very physical is Tai Chi Chuan. This is an ancient martial art from China, which originated approximately a thousand years ago.

I teach it as one of the mind training components of my classes. I learned it as a martial art from Masters TT Liang and William CC Chen when I was young. Now, because I’m 67, arthritic, and teaching seniors, I teach it as a way to optimize body mechanics, which dramatically improves balance and agility—something important for seniors to prevent falls.

In doing the Tai Chi form, the mind is on doing each posture correctly, generating energy, and then directing that energy up from the floor, through the Tan T’ien in the lower abdomen, and out through the fingers, the mind is trained and disciplined.

This website is offered as a free public service, supplying information that has been found helpful to certain people living with chronic health challenges or issues related to wellbeing. No treatment is offered on this website. The advice is general, and may or may not apply to your individual situation, and is not a substitute for psychotherapy or medical treatment.

What questions do you have about living a life of mastery or about the relationship between the mind and health or wellbeing?
Just scroll down and type your question in the comment box below. Your specific question may not appear in this column. The reason for that is I wait until I get a certain number of related questions, then I pick one that covers them all and I answer that one. People in my classes and presentations asked most of the questions appearing in this column.

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