Why write about Hypnosis?

So, I published a new book on Hypnosis titled “The Kid Hypnotist”. I have always been fascinated with hypnosis since I was a kid. I remember going to the library and trying to find books on hypnosis to read. At the time there were not very many of them.

My interest was sparked by ads I would see in the back of the comic books. Hypnotize your friends in 10 easy lessons. Give me one evening and I’ll show you how to hypnotize. Hypno-coin new pocket size invention helps you to hypnotize in minutes.

Many years later I was able to train and become a Master Hypnotist and people always ask me what the benefits are or how can hypnosis help me.

It can help you:

  • release excess weight
  • stop smoking
  • improve self-esteem
  • reduce stress and calm your nerves
  • sleep better
  • ease pain
  • ease symptoms of IBS
  • quell hot flashes
  • achieve life goals

Plus there are many more ways it can help. My intent in writing the book was to try and get young people interested in hypnosis the way I was when I was younger. Enjoy the book and let me know what you think of it. It is available at Amazon.

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Tai Chi tag!?

So I was asked to teach a 7 week after school program at a local middle school. A challenge indeed. Trying to teach 5th-7th grade kids who are more interested in going home than participating in a Tai Chi and Qigong class. The boys are generally very hyped up and just want to run and wrestle with each other.

Right before the third class one of the boys asked me what we were going to do and I responded that we were going to learn the Tai Chi 24 form. His response was “can we play Tai Chi tag?”. I asked him how would that work and he had no idea. He suggested that I come up with a way to play the game.

After spending a few days thinking of it I came up with this idea which they seemed to like. First they must spend at least half of the class learning the form and remembering what each form was called. The second half would be playing the game.

The person who is it will chase and tag someone. Within five seconds the person who is it must yell out one of the 24 forms and the person he/she tagged would have to perform the form within five seconds or then they become it. If the person who is it cannot think of a form in five seconds then he remains it. Each week more forms are added so that they have more forms to choose from. The game is played in a limited space so as not to prolong one person being it.

They enjoyed the game and now look forward to learning more of the Tai Chi form.

If you have any comments or thoughts I would love to hear from you.

Why I teach Qigong/Tai Chi

I am often asked how did I become a teacher of Qigong and Tai Chi? It stems from over 40 years of martial arts training (various styles). My first teacher I actually found at a health fair at Hiram College when I was an adjunct faculty member there. The soft style of Tai Chi and the Qigong were a good complementary form to the hard styles that I was learning. Since then I have learned from various teachers and various forms of Qigong and the Yang Style of Tai Chi.

But what I like most about teaching is when I hear how it affects the students that I teach. Some examples of what they have said follow.

Learning Tai Chi has had an impact on my arms and shoulders, they have gotten stronger and my balance has improved a great deal. Helen 80+years of age.

I took Tai Chi to help relieve the stress of going back to school and found that it also helped with my blood pressure. My visit at my doctor’s office had my blood pressure at 104/68 and my pulse was 70 after one month of taking class the subsequent visit my blood pressure was 92/58 and my pulse was 60. Robin 48 years of age.

After injuring my back several years ago I was still in pain and had bad reactions to pain medication. A year and half ago I began Tai Chi and Qigong training and the gentle movements relieve the arthritis pain in my joints and my balance has improved considerably. I have found that it also helps me to stay young and focused. Sara 70+ years of age.

This more than anything else is why I teach. By teaching I give back and help a great many people.

Smock, Pa.

I have been asked on several occasions as to how I came up with the name Smock for the town in my books where the story takes place. I love the reactions when I tell them that it really exists.

It is an old coal mining town about 60 miles south of Pittsburgh and was founded in 1869 by Samuel Smock. Smock’s development as a mining town was unusual. Typically, mining towns in Southwestern Pennsylvania after 1880 were developed and built by one coal company. The housing was architecturally uniform. Smock differs because it was developed into five architecturally distinct settlements by three coal companies and one individual.

My mom and dad were born there as well as my older brother and sister. I still have relatives who live there. It was my memories of visiting there in the summers that made it the perfect place for the story setting. The hills and country area where you could roam around and pick blackberries, go fishing or just hang around with cousins and play football or basketball. You could also find a spring coming out of a hill where you could get a drink of fresh cool water. Not sure if you could find that there today.

I have not been back for many years and I am told that it has changed but the memories that I have will not. If you ever pass through stop in at the historical society and take a look around.

smock fire dept.

A Martial Artist turns 60

Last month I transitioned from the realm of middle age to senior citizen. I still feel middle aged but society and numbers say differently. As I turned 60 I began to look back at my martial arts training and the journey that I am still on. I have met some wonderful people along the way and have learned quite a bit about life and myself.

I remember the first time I had seen anything about karate. I was in elementary school and my oldest brother had a magazine about karate and to this day I cannot remember the name of it. I do remember that it was all on the Japanese arts and I do remember some of the names as well one was Hidetaka Nishiyama. I saw pictures of, what to me was remarkable, of people doing these amazing kicks and breaking boards. I so wanted to learn karate at that time.

When I got to college I started to study Tae Kwon Do and my first instructor was master Sang Oh Moon at Cleveland State University. I loved every minute of my classes and training. I met so many people there and wish that I had stayed in touch with them. I also realized, at least for me, that no matter what style of martial art I study I always seem to drift back to the one I started with.

Having to leave school before finishing I studied with other teachers until finally obtaining my black belt and then going on to obtain my third degree through the World Martial Arts College founded by Grand Master Ibraham Ahmed.

I also studied various other arts such as Goshinjusu with Robert Peto and obtained the rank of yonkyu. I also studied Kajukenpo at the Karate Institute of Cleveand with Dennis Janes who studied under AlGene Caraulia winner of the first World Karate Championships in 1963. Of course there were the many videos and training manuals that I poured over. I did get to go to a Bill Wallace seminar held in Cleveland which was amazing.

I competed in several small local tournaments and did not do too bad. One of the big ones that I remember was the Canadian American open tournament held at Baldwin Wallace College. I remember watching Cynthia Rothrock compete in forms and if I had known she was going to be a popular movie actress I would have gotten her autograph.

The martial arts have taught me a great deal about dealing with adversity. It gave me confidence and taught me how to persevere. The martial arts have made me who I am today. Not perfect but continuing to strive to not only make myself better but those around me as well.

Now my passion is studying Tai Chi and Qigong. I teach and write but I still practice my Tae Kwon Do as it is in my blood. I hope that my teaching helps those who learn from me and I hope that my books are able to provide an interest for people to want to learn Tai Chi and Qigong and even perhaps start a journey much like the one that I am on.

 

What Style of Tai Chi to study?

I have been asked by several people what style of Tai Chi do I teach and what style should I study? I teach the Yang style of Tai Chi; the short form and an intermediate form. My teachers are no longer in the area where I live so I too will need to find another teacher. I try to practice my forms everyday but it is not always convenient to do so.

There are four major style of Tai Chi as it was explained to me. The Yang Style which is the most popular style taught. It has many variations even in China. Each variation has similarities but also distinct differences. Emphasizes large and medium type movements.

The Wu Style of Tai Chi is the second most popular and has three variations. There are strong differences between them derived from the founder, his son and grandchildren. It was created from the Yang style and emphasizes small compact movements.

The Chen Style is the original form of Tai Chi from which the Yang style was developed. The Chen style alternates between slow movements with short, fast, explosive ones. It is physically demanding is difficult for elderly people and those with injuries. It’s physical difficulty and athletic type moves are more appealing to younger people.

The Sun Style is the fourth major style taught and is noted for it’s smooth flowing movements. It has gentle postures and high stances which eliminates some of the deep stances and crouching of the other forms.

The advice I generally give to people is to go and watch a class. See if the style that is being taught resonates with you. Also talk to the instructor and see what kind of feeling you get from them. And lastly talk to the students and see how they like the class and the teacher. If you don’t feel good about it then that particular style and teacher may not be for you!

Do your research and when you find the style that fits you and your personality you will find all the joy and benefits that many others enjoy!

A student’s comments!

  1. What is the reason or reasons you chose to learn Qigong/Tai Chi?Originally, I was just exploring. I found that Qigong/Tai Chi had something to offer me that I had been seeking.
  2. How long have you been studying/practicing Qigong/Tai Chi?                   I will estimate that it has been four years since I audited my first Tai Chi class at Cuyahoga Community College.
  3. What changes have you noticed in yourself since you started?          Calm has come to prevail more than it had in the past.
  4. Does your family physician know that you are practicing Qigong/Tai Chi?Yes
  5. What is your age group?                                                                           70-80 years of age!
  6. How would you describe Qigong/Tai Chi to someone who has not heard of it?                                                                                                            It’s an alternate life style.
  7. What style of Tai Chi to you study/practice?                                               I believe it is the Yang style.
  8. How many times a week do you train/practice Qigong/Tai Chi?             Daily, if my body will allow it. Lately, not the case.

Announcement

There were times in my life where I wanted to give back but was unable to. And now because I can I would like to announce that for every paperback copy of my book series, “The Old Man From the Hill (Lessons in Qigong and Tai Chi)”, sold between July 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015; I will donate 25 cents from each sale to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Please help by letting family, friends and anyone you can think of know about purchasing the books. You can learn about Qigong and Tai Chi and help with a wonderful cause. The books are available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

3 books

Reiki Symbol Controversy!

My third book “The Old Man From the Hill (Qigong meets Reiki)” has caused a little bit of a controversy for some readers and reviewers. I included the 3 Reiki symbols in the book with no directions how to draw them but only what they represent and how they can be used in Reiki treatments. My intent was to get young people interested in Qigong and Reiki which is why the book is geared towards the ages of 12 and up. High school students and adults as well. I never intended to offend anyone and I apologize if I have but I will give my reasons for using the symbols based on what I have read before writing the book.

1. It is taught in Western Reiki that Mikao Usui had wanted the symbols kept secret but yet some of his surviving Japanese students claim that Usui never used the symbols in his teachings. It was said that he created them for the Naval officers who did not want to put in the time to learn the Ususi system. Each level the students were to spend 6-9 months acclimating to the energies of each level.

2. If the symbols are sacred and secret as taught in Western Reiki then why are they seen all over Japan on shrines and temples. The symbols are said to be from the ancient Shinto religion. So how are they a secret if they are visible to the public.

3. Mikao Usui used kotodamas in his teachings, which are sounds from the Shinto religion, as part of his teachings. The symbols eventually taught to the Naval officers were just representations for the sounds.

4. In Western Reiki, the Takata lineage, people are taught that Mikao Usui came to the University of Chicago to study Theology. Yet people who have researched this statement has found they he never enrolled and there is no record of him ever attending the University of Chicago.

5. It is said that after Hawayo Takata’s death that the students whom she taught had gotten together to compare notes on her teachings and the symbols. To their surprise the symbols had variations in how they were taught. If the symbols were so sacred and secretive would there be room for error of for someone to just change them?

Could it be that these ideas were taught by Hawayo Takata as a means of having Reiki accepted in the west. After all if was after World War II where a lot of people in the west detested anything Japanese.

I will conclude by saying these are my personal opinions and in my heart I feel that what I included in my book was the right thing for me to do!

Tai Chi in the Park

There is nothing like getting up early and going to the park and practicing Tai Chi! I find that when I am outside doing Tai Chi my movements seem to slow down more so than if I were inside. I am not sure why that is but I noticed that I get more relaxed and I tend to not think of the movements and they just flow as I go along. The cars are going by on their way to work and I seem to be oblivious to them but can hear the sounds of the birds in the trees. This is why Tai Chi is called meditation in motion.

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