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Born Strong: From Surviving the Great Famine To Teaching Tai Chi to Millions Book


Product Description

Born Strong: From Surviving the Great Famine to Teaching Tai Chi to Millions Book

318 Pages

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.

  • Watch Dr Lam's introductory video clip
  • Discover the message hidden in the cover design

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.

Product Videos

  • Dr Paul Lam | ...
    Born in Vietnam, Bon Trong—meaning “born strong”—was only ten ...

Product Reviews

Product Reviews

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Showing reviews 1-10 of 12 | Next

  1. "Born Strong" excellent autobiography 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 14th Dec 2020

    Autobiographies help us to understand those we admire, or those we sometimes criticize. They can be enlightening, inspiring, or boring or even off putting.
    I had seen Dr. Lam's video chapters, but they are nothing to me like reading what is in this book. And, unlike a video, you can lay the book down, get a cup of tea, or meet your group for a Tai Ji or Qigong routine, then come back and pick up where you left off.
    Dr. Lam tells an inspiring story, not only of his personal life, but also of the world he lived in, both at the time of his youth and how it has progressed.
    I find much to admire in this book, and recommend it to my students who have heard of Dr. Lam or are curious.

  2. Inspiring and Beautiful 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 16th Nov 2020

    Dr. Lam was given the perfect name at birth. He is indeed "Born Strong". His dedication and love of people and tai chi is so inspiring. A great read and a beautiful life.

  3. Born Strong 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 6th Aug 2020

    What an incredible and inspiring book. Couldn't put it down.

  4. Born Strong 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 23rd Mar 2020

    Born Strong is a powerful, emotional, inspirational, and motivational book. It captivates the reader from the first page and keeps the reader's attention until the last page.
    As I read this book it brought back painful and unpleasant childhood memories I had long suppressed. Although there are numerous similarities in our childhoods, my pain and suffering pales in comparison to what Dr. Lam endured.
    However, as I read his story, I was also reminded of important life lessons my parents worked very hard to make sure my siblings and I learned and Dr. Lam reaffirmed. Those lessons are: Respect your elders; Treat others as you want to be treated; Hard work and determination pay off; When you fall, get up, dust yourself off, and move on; When you think life is at its worst, remember there are people worse off than you. Most important- stay true to yourself and follow your dreams.
    Thank you Dr. Lam for sharing your incredible story and reminding me to stay positive and enjoy the journey.

  5. Return to Tai chi 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 17th Jan 2019

    I have previously taught Tai Chi (trained in Denver with Merle Thompson), and loved it. Then we moved to WI and I have not been able to get back into it. Reading the book has urged me to do so. I will be teaching at our local senior center---Tai Chi for Arthritis and Balance. Thanks, Paul!

  6. inspriational 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 10th Nov 2018

    Excellent read! Very inspirational book! Also has very good information about Tai Chi for Health. It will make you laugh, cry, and keep you entertained until the last page. I didn't want it to end!

  7. Very inspiring book! 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 11th Oct 2017

    I have been practicing Dr. Lam's Tai Chi for arthritis for 7 years through my local YMCA & my awesome teacher, Kimberly. To read about Dr. Lam's life and the development of his Tai Chi health programs was awesome. He is an inspiration to us all! I highly recommend this book!

  8. 10 stars review from my humbly little life 5 Star Review

    Posted by 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 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.

  9. Inspiring book 5 Star Review

    Posted by 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.

  10. Another 10 Stars for this Super Book! 5 Star Review

    Posted by 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.

Showing reviews 1-10 of 12 | Next