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.
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.
Posted by Carolyn Neenan on 7th Sep 2016
This book made me cry in many parts however you rose above the hardships and became what you are today.
Posted by Michèle on 10th Jun 2016
A moving first-hand account of,for Westerners, the unimaginable hardship and suffering endured by many Chinese during the Great Famine under Mao Zedong, a perilous and hazardous escape from Communist China, the ensuing inevitable confrontation with culture clash through to the physical and mental effort required to build up an ever-expanding Tai Chi for Health community. Dr Lam demonstrates impressively that despite being faced with seemingly insurmountable obstacles, life´s challenges can be mastered with positivity, perseverance, commitment, courage and unconditional love. A truly inspirational read.
Posted by Lori Hammerton on 23rd May 2016
I recently attended a workshop with Dr Lam at Batemans Bay ( NSW) as I am a volunteer leader teaching approx 50 people each week in my small regional area. I was so inspired by Dr Lam and his gentle manner and humility I just had to purchase "Born Strong" and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed reading his life story, even though at times it was quite moving.What an inspiring man to have risen above so many obstacles in his life to become a world leader of men. It goes to show that if we set our mind to something we should at least give it a go, and always seek to improve our own life and the lives of the ones around us. I truly believe that he should be nominated for Australian of the Year.
Posted by Norman Trubik on 25th Feb 2016
Wonderful book. Read it twice. A really inspirational story