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: I heard you say that tai chi practice improves interpersonal relationships. Please explain.

ANSWER: Tai chi is based on the philosophy of Taoism. It is about yielding rather than meeting force with force. It is a practice of going with the flow. This does not mean allowing others to take advantage of your good nature. It is about resilience—the ability to bounce back. When others push against you physically or verbally, you are more likely to have a satisfying and productive exchange when you yield rather than resist. Yielding could simply mean listening and reflecting back what the other person said, as opposed to getting defensive. Once you yield in this way, the other person will be considerably more open to hearing your side of the argument.

Through tai chi, you learn to hold yourself in a more relaxed and open posture—both physically and mentally. This results in others feeling safe around you. Holding yourself in this relaxed stance helps you to feel more open to others.

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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