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Tai Chi for Health and Fall Prevention

Paul Lam, MD

Paul Lam, MD

Paul Lam, MD, family physician and tai chi master from Sydney, Australia, talked about the benefits of tai chi for health and fall prevention at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health in October. The well-attended lecture was offered free to friends of the university thanks to the non-profit Canyon Ranch Institute (CRI), a partner of the College of Public Health in advancing the health and well-being of Southern Arizona communities.

View Dr. Lam’s presentation:

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that falling is the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for people over age 65. The CDC also predicts that one-third of seniors will fall each year, leading to a direct annual cost of $34 billion. Falls can also lead to a fear of falling that may result in inactivity that can increase chronic disease and decrease quality of life.

Clinical trials have confirmed the efficacy of Dr. Lam’s Tai Chi for Fall Prevention approaches. In contrast to traditional styles of tai chi that focus on form and require deep knee bends and other movements that are challenging for some people, Dr. Lam’s approach emphasizes an upright stance and the safe transfer of weight. Participants can be seated, and positive outcomes can be seen in two months.

Dr. Lam as a CRI Visiting Scholar, a six-year-old program started by Richard H. Carmona, MD, MPH, 17th Surgeon General of the United States, CRI President and Distinguished Professor of Public Health at the UA College of Public Health. The CRI Visiting Scholar program recognizes people who are leading change in one or more of CRI’s focus areas: health literacy, prevention, cultural diversity, integrative health, and eliminating health disparities.

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