Mindfulness-Based Self-Compassion
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Q & A with Dr. B.

Dr. Larry Berkelhammer and his teacher, Grandmaster William C.C. Chen in May 2015

Dr. Larry Berkelhammer and his teacher, Grandmaster William C.C. Chen in May 2015

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 or other life challenges.

Every Tuesday I post a new, very brief video from my presentations or interviews. Every Friday this Q&A column appears.

Here is this week’s question:

THIS WEEK’S QUESTION: Is tai chi more than a martial art?

ANSWER: Tai chi is often referred to as a form of meditation in movement. It greatly enhances concentration and mindfulness. In addition, it leads to mastery of body mechanics. In other words, it teaches you how to use your body in optimal ways. For example, tai chi teaches you how to open a heavy door and lift and lower a heavy object without injury. Mastery of body mechanics will allow you to use your body very efficiently. As you gradually gain experience in tai chi, you will find yourself automatically using good body mechanics in everything you do, whether opening a heavy door or gardening. Mastery of body mechanics will allow you to avoid many injuries and falls that normally become increasingly common with aging. You will begin to discover the joy in moving the entire body every time you move any part of it. In fact, doing menial, routine tasks becomes stimulating as you become skilled in using tai chi movements to perform those otherwise boring tasks.


  • Whenever I pick up a small object from the floor, I use my body as in the movements called Needle at Sea Bottom or Snake Creeps Down.
  • Whenever I open or close one of our glass sliders leading to our patio, I use my body as in the movements called Single Whip or Spread Hands Like Fan.
  • To put something away on a high shelf, I use my body as in the movement called Fair Lady at the Shuttles.
  • To drag a chair to a slightly different location, I have used Roll Back.

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 mindfulness-based mastery or about the relationship between the mind and health or wellbeing?

Just scroll down and type your question in the comment box below. An answer to 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 attending my presentations asked most of the questions appearing in this column, and I repeat them here so you may benefit.


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