Tai Chi — for Memory?

he doctors had no good news to offer their young patient. Paul Lam, a nineteen-year-old medical school student, had been experiencing extreme discomfort in his joints for several years, to the point he was no longer able to func- tion normally. The physicians who exam- ined him diagnosed well-advanced osteo-


arthritis throughout his entire bone struc- ture. “You will be practicing medicine from a wheelchair,” he was told. Though he was shocked and disheart- ened, Lam had a perfect understanding of the genesis of his grave condition. In 1948, when he was only ten-months-old, most of his family fled communist China where

Daniel Lackey, FNP-C Daniel Lackey, FNP-C

Daniel Lackey, FNP-C is a board certified Nurse Practitioner. His background is in Emergency Medi- cine, with 5 years of experience as an ER nurse. His nurse practitioner degree includes specialties in fami- ly practice and adult gerontological acute care. Following his true pas- sion, however, he also obtained a certification in functional medi- cine. He finds it is truly rewarding and efficacious to address the root cause of illness instead of viewing the body as separate systems.

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they had arbitrarily been named “enemies of the state.” They only left behind their baby and his grandmother. Though just a child, Lam inherited the “enemy” label. He was ostracized and persecuted. He became convinced he was stupid and inferior. Above all, he was so malnourished the tissue connecting his bones failed to develop properly. Eventually he was able to immigrate to be with his family, who had relocated to Australia. There he learned he was actually very bright. No longer a pariah in his new setting, Lam excelled academically and was accepted as a student to the medical school of New South Wales University in Sydney, Austra- lia. Then the mistreatment he suffered as a child caught up with him in the form of completely debilitating full-body arthritis. Paul Lam, however, had already tri- umphed against overwhelming challenges. He refused to take his “wheelchair diag- nosis” as the final word on his physical condition. Lam had heard of the practice of Tai Chi, also called “Chinese shadow boxing,” the ancient exercises that began as a type of martial arts. Tai Chi in its original styles was a secret practice of

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