On the first day of the international workshop currently being held at Bayswater I was privileged to receive individual instruction from Tony Kwong who is the workshop leader. I had arrived at the workshop after a recent back episode that had left me immobilized and bedridden for a few weeks. X-rays showed that an injury sustained 40 years ago had seriously degenerated, with lumbar 4 now significantly out of alignment and severe degeneration of facet joints and discs. Doctors spoke of imminent nerve impingement, loss of function in one or both legs. They said the word wheelchair! Overnight I had gone from having a fairly dodgy back to being a disaster. I received treatment from an osteopath and once I was back on my feet began my tai chi practice again. Working with Tony showed me how afraid I had become and how my body, in accommodating the injury, had, over the years, become uneven and distorted and my tai chi form reflected this.
As Tony began to work on the tor yu my body was stiff and unyielding. Gently, carefully, patiently Tony worked with my body and little by little I was able to stretch out the frozen defensive muscles and trust in myself and in the tai chi. Tony’s work with me was controlled and deliberate and inspired me to trust him and do what he asked me.
I received more help from Tony during the evening don yu session and by the end of that first day I felt I had been set free from the frozen place of fear I had created in my body. The next morning I woke feeling more stable and safe than I had for a long time. I feel my natural optimism has returned and I am confident I will be able, with practice, to regain movement and long-term spine health. I am so grateful to Tony for his lifetime of training that enables him to see what the body needs, and his willingness to take the time with me and adjust me over and over until I could open up and trust. I am grateful to the gentle effectiveness of the Taoist Tai Chi® arts.