Born Strong: From Surviving the Great Famine to Teaching Tai Chi to Millions Book
In 1948, Dr Paul Lam's mother left him in the care of his grandmother in China. Ten months old at the time, Dr Lam - whose given Chinese name is Bon Trong, meaning "born to be strong" - grew up under the cruel Communist regime of Mao Zedong and nearly perished during the Great Famine. After escaping from China, studying in Hong Kong, and finally settling in Australia, Dr Lam won a scholarship to study medicine.
Malnutrition left Dr. Lam with severe osteoarthritis. He found that tai chi not only helped him manage the condition, the ancient practice improved every aspect of his life. Dr Lam's burning passion to help others led him to create the Tai Chi for Health programs, where he combined his Western and Chinese medical knowledge with modern teaching methods. More than five million people worldwide practice his Tai Chi for Health programs.
"An inspiring and engaging personal story of healing and Tai Chi, written by a physician and Tai Chi master leading the integration of Tai Chi into healthcare worldwide" - Peter Wayne, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and author of "The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi"
"This is the story of a man who has to rise above the chasm of death and impossible odds to turn the centuries-old, esoteric Oriental art of Tai Chi into a Western-science-and-medicine-based system of healthcare that has deeply touched the lives of millions. It is a fable of humility, struggle, and heartbreak, but above all, of selfless sacrifice, unconditional love, staunch courage, and unwavering tenacity. An inspirational read...." - Andy Choo, PhD, FAA. Professor of biomedical genetics, University of Melbourne and Murdoch Childrens Research Institute; Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science; Tai Chi teacher and researcher.
The cover photo is Dr Lam performing the Sun style tai chi form "Leisurely Tying Coat". The movement means Dr Lam is offering to share the secret to health and wellness through his own experience.
The logo on his shirt is the official logo of the Tai Chi for Health Institute - the green colour denotes trees, while brown is earth. The illustration is based on Dr Lam performing "Single Whip" another Sun style form meaning balance and inner strength. The logo implies that we, the people involved with the Tai Chi for Health vision, are tree farmers sowing seeds of health and wellness wherever we go. The color blue of the shirt represents the sky.
This is also why brown and green are the theme colours used on the cover.
Dr Lam's surname means "forest" in Chinese. One can imagine he was 'born strong' to create forests around the world; all his challenges have strengthened him to do the job.
Posted by Pixie Wescott on 1st Feb 2017
After a family tragedy.....I spent a whole year drifting thru life.....on the anniversary of my sisters death.....I picked myself up and enrolled in a Tai Chi for health course. It not only changed my life in ways that words can not adequately convey.....but I am poised at 16 months of practice to certify as an instructor with complete backing and support from my instructor. I never in my wildest dreams envisioned this old PE teacher/coach at this junction in my life during my 63 year on this planet. When I was compelled to purchase and read this book.....this ole hippie sincerely felt "lead". The devouring of this book and digesting it's contents and Dr Lam's life story.....has moved my life philosophies and Tai Chi new involvement in same to a whole new level. I can not thank Dr Lam, my instructor, Alex, nor this entire concept enough for this life altering experience, up to and including this book.In May I take the training, and I can't wait. There arrived with my book tons of peripheral materials including a huge gathering in Ashville NC later this year. While funding and transportation issues will not permit me to attend ......it has provided me a long term plan for a subsequent year. I have not made long term plans in quite awhile......and was not certain I was entitled to long term plans at this stage of my life. Phenomenal- 10 stars, and thank you.
Posted by Mary Ronge on 30th Jul 2016
Having met Dr. Lam over a decade ago, been a student of a number of weekend seminars with him, I have always been inspired by his dedication to Tai Chi and to teaching, his incredible energy and the humility of his demeanor. I didn't know what reading his book could do to increase my respect, so I didn't order it the moment it came out. I wish I had. The book reveals so much of where his incredible life journey has taken him, that now I have even greater respect for him, and am more inspired in both my teaching and practice. Born Strong is a very interesting read, I encourage all of my students to read it.
Posted by Cheryl Kirk on 29th Feb 2016
This book is absolutely magical! It is so very inspiring and interesting. We could not be luckier than Dr. Lam has decided to devote his life to teaching and spreading the word about Tai Chi.
Posted by Janice Girouard on 19th Feb 2016
I really enjoyed this book . I read it in 2 days. I think it's really well written and tells an amazing story. I have been learning Tai Chi with Dr. Lam's DVDs for the last 6 months or so. Now I feel I really know him and love him even more. Thank you for writing this book.
Posted by John A Jones St on 23rd Nov 2015
Help me relax and learn at the same tome