|World Tai Chi & Qigong Day's
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Issue #66 - Apr 12, 2009
|Media interest in World Tai Chi & Qigong Day is growing, as groups are being contacted by media, and we have had three interview requests this week at the WTCQD International Organizing Center.
Also, a personal note about how World Tai Chi & Qigong Day all began, from WTCQD founder, Bill Douglas.
" Necessity is the mother of Invention."
Why was World Tai Chi & Qigong Day invented? Because it was necessary.
Read on to learn why . . .
Dear World Tai Chi & Qigong Day Supporters,
Below see a few examples of the growing media interest in WTCQD 2009 (Saturday, April 25th, 10 am worldwide), and also some national media comments of the past.
A Personal Note on How It All Began:
I always feel a bit uncomfortable using the title "founder of World Tai Chi & Qigong Day" because, ultimately this global human happening was a mass creation by visionaries all over the world who saw a need for a health education, and human healing event like this one. Tai Chi & Qigong teachers, associations, and enthusiasts all over the world embraced this idea and made this historic event become a reality.
But, today I had a conversation with a wonderful woman named Margaret, who lived in a retirement community in Washington, and who is a Tai Chi teacher there.
As Margaret began to speak about what the global healing event World Tai Chi & Qigong Day has become, she got choked up with emotion about what it meant to her to be a part of this day of global connection.
Although Margaret is likely younger than my Mother would be if she were alive, Margaret and her emotions reminded me of my Mom, and the part that she played in sparking this global health & healing event.
See the article immediately below, to learn the part my Mother played in all of this. I hope you are inspired and moved by it.
Bill Douglas, World Tai Chi & Qigong Day, www.worldtaichiday.org
IN THIS ISSUE
How My Mom Sparked a Global Healing Event . . .
MEDIA INTEREST GROWS...
YOU CAN STILL GET OFFICIAL T-SHIRTS IN TIME!...
How a Mother Sparked a Global Healing Event
Above is a photo of my mother (left) not long after she left high school to begin raising the family you see around her on the right. The photo on the right was taken the day before my Mother passed from this world from stress disease.
It would be later that night, that my Mom would write a note that would eventually spark a global health & healing event, and most of what I've dedicated my life to in the spreading of information about Tai Chi & Qigong.
The next day my Mom was to have a simple safe procedure called an angioplasty. The Dr. wasn't concerned about her having it, but for some reason my Mom had called each of us, her children, asking us to all join her at the hospital. So, we all left our busy lives, scattered all over the country, and flew into Wichita, Kansas to see our Mom. What was strange, was that she'd actually had a very dangerous heart surgery a few months before, and hadn't asked any of us to come for it. I only learned of it after it was over and she'd been recovering for a few days.
But, this time she wanted us all there. I remember the night before her surgery she looked alone and bored in her hospital room, so I loaned her a book I had brought for myself to read, it was the "Tao Te Ching," by the great Taoist philosopher and poet, Lao Tzu. I had tried to interest both my parents in Tai Chi & Qigong for many years, because both suffered high blood pressure and heart or stress disease. But, they couldn't stick with it. It was too odd, to foriegn, their doctor hadn't recommended it, and Reader's Digest hadn't written about it. Even though it would have been very good for both of them, they had no support system to help them embrace it.
The next day, me and my Dad, brother, and sisters (above/right), were chatting in the waiting room waiting to get the thumbs up from the doctor, so we could all go out and have lunch together, while Mom slept off the anesthesia.
The doctor walked in with troubled eyes, and pulled his mask down, saying, "I'm sorry, she didn't make it." He quickly left the room as it erupted in bursts of sorrow and tears around the circle of family gathered there.
After a while, my sisters went into Mom's room to collect her things, and found the copy of the "Tao te Ching" I'd loaned Mom the night before. Apparently Mom had had a premonition of her death, because in that book she'd left me a note, a note that read, "I wish I could go back a couple of years and learn the arts of relaxation Jr. had tried to teach me. I so would have loved to see my grandchildren grow up."
At that time I was just a Tai Chi & Qigong enthusiast who'd tried to show it to a few loved ones. But, a few years later after I had begun teaching a few private classes in my backyard, I came across Mom's note, and it affected me deeply.
It was about that time that I got my first hospital Tai Chi class opportunity, and the benefits people including a surgeon, and pharmacologist and other health professionals were getting from only a few weeks of Tai Chi, not only stunned them, but stunned me.
One physician in my class did a hospital scan of "Tai Chi Medical Research" and what he found stopped me in my tracks. Early research had shown that Tai Chi lowered high blood pressure in practitioners. The surgeon in my class and her husband had experienced a profound reduction in their high blood pressure after 8 weeks of my Tai Chi class, and had actually forced their general practitioner to write them a prescription for Tai Chi for hypertension, so they could submit it to their insurance company.
The more I learned of Tai Chi & Qigong's medical research, the more concerned I became that there were hundreds of millions of people like my Mother, who could benefit from this, but were simply not being informed about it.
I rembember I had once called a major international newspaper (I won't mention the name, but you've all read it) to talk to a health reporter there, to inform her about a new study on Tai Chi benefits I'd been sent. Her response was, "Oh, we just did a Tai Chi article a few weeks ago, we couldn't possibly do another now."
I asked her if that article was about the same health issue being benefitted by Tai Chi. When she replied no it wasn't, but that that didn't matter, stunned by this, I inquired, "So, if you hear of a study about a surgery or pharmaceutical that helps with one illness, will you say that you can't possibly do another drug or surgery article because you did one a few weeks ago?"
She hung up on me.
The very first event that preceeded the formation of World Tai Chi & Qigong Day, was a mass gathering of what we dubbed the "Kansas City Tai Chi Club." We wanted to gather a mass exhibition that was so visually spectacular that it would command the media's attention, and then we could share the medical research that could benefit so many of their readers or viewers.
We assembled about 200 people to do Tai Chi on the lawn of the stunningly beautiful Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in mid-town Kansas City. It was a spectacular visual image, and the media ate it up, several TV stations, a half dozen newspapers, and we even got a couple of radio interviews from the event. CNN picked it up, and we began getting contacted by other Tai Chi & Qigong enthusiasts and teachers in other cities and even other countries who said, "We want to be part of this?"
However, creating a global event was not that easy. Yes, many worldwide share this vision and that is why it was born into being because of a collective enthusiasm. But, to actually make it truly a global event required grunt work, rejection, and enormous investment.
When I began spending thousands of dollars on media work, and web work to create a global hub for events to be created from and listed on worldwide, my wife looked a bit like the wife of Richard Dreyfus's character in the Steven Spielberg film, "Close Encounters." Remember when Dreyfus's character began spending all his time trying to recreate that vision of that mountain, pulling in mud from the yard, and basically going obsessive?
But, Angie's Mom had done Tai Chi, and she believed in the vision and despite her fears of financial ruin, she stuck with the idea and jumped in to help me build it. I called Tai Chi & Qigong groups worldwide, running up a $2,000 phone bill one month, urging them to embrace this vision of a global day of health & healing, we'd refer to as World Tai Chi & Qigong Day, with the motto of "One World . . . One Breath."
In the beginning I met beautiful inspiring people, but I also got alot of "who the heck are you, and why should we do this crazy thing with you?" It was hard spending funds I didn't have, on a vision I couldn't touch, and getting regular and constant rejection, and sometimes very angry accusations as well.
It was hard for many to understand why someone would do something like this. But, my Mom's note had woven something into my heart and mind. As the medical research on Tai Chi & Qigong grew, Mom's words grew louder. They steeled me to face all that would come, and persevere through challenges we'd face.
Mom, wherever you are, I am dedicating my part in this to you.
I know other enthusiasts and organizers have other stories, and your dedications will be for others who've influenced you. But, this year, I had to acknowledge my Mom's crucial role in what has become a global health & healing event we are all creating together each year.
What we have created together has been covered by media worldwide, educating millions about Tai Chi & Qigong's benefitis including coverage by The New York Times, CNN, Fox News, BBC Radio, The South China Morning Post, USA Weekend, Parade Magazine, and have contributed Tai Chi & Qigong research information to media worldwide including my Mom's favorite, "Reader's Digest."
I hope everyone has a wonderful World Tai Chi & Qigong Day, and please rembember what a good friend named Jay once told me. He said that despite all the profound health benefits Tai Chi & Qigong provide, the most important reason to do it . . . is because its FUN.
Bill Douglas, Founder of World Tai Chi & Qigong Day, www.worldtaichiday.org
MEDIA INTEREST GROWS
In addition to reports from groups and organizers worldwide who are being contacted by local media, after doing media releases ...
This week we were contacted here at the International WTCQD Organizing Center at www.worldtaichiday.org by a reporter from the Ft. Worth Star Telegram of Dallas, Texas about a WTCQD article, and by the China Daily about a related Tai Chi issue, and by a freelance reporter writing for Master Card to do a Tai Chi article, and will do a national radio interview next week.
If you are contacted by media, please encourage them to talk to you about the local angle, but to contact us for the international perspective, as we can supply them with beautiful photos from events worldwide, etc.
Some Past Media Comments on WTCQD:
"World Tai Chi and Qigong Day, takes place [last Saturday of April] . . . To learn more, find instruction on the basics or discover a class in your area, go online to worldtaichiday.org."
-- USA Weekend
"Maybe we should have World Tai Chi and Qigong Day every week."
-- International Herald Tribune
YOU CAN STILL GET OFFICIAL T-SHIRTS IN TIME!
In our last order for T-Shirts, we ORDERED EXTRAS, so you can still get them in time for WTCQD, if you order before April 15th.
So, please order now if you want to have Official World Tai Chi & Qigong Day T-Shirts for WTCQD 2009.
Official T-Shirts are STILL Available
Because we didn't want any individuals or groups to be disappointed about not being able to get Official WTCQD T-Shirts in time for their 2009 April 25th events . . . we ordered extras in small, medium, large, XL, and XXL sizes.
We ordered extra in the last print run, so YOU CAN STILL GET THEM IN TIME FOR WTCQD (domestic US only at this time), if you order by April 15th!!