Who am I?
My name is Sam Langley. I am a Tai Chi teacher,
a passionate cook and a qualified hypnotherapist.
At some point, it struck me that combining these
skills might be really helpful for people. Looking
around me I see bad health everywhere. People
eating badly, standing badly and breathing badly.
Everyone's stressed and tired and I'd like to help.
I've been practicing Tai Chi for eleven years and
teaching for 6. It has become my single biggest
interest and continues to amaze me in terms of
its depth and its wide-ranging benefits. I know
people that have recovered from strokes, chronic
fatigue, broken backs and even epilepsy by
practicing Tai Chi.
Having not had any disastrous injuries myself (touch wood) I would say Tai Chi has made me calmer. I am more physically relaxed and my posture has improved dramatically. I also think that Tai Chi has made me stronger both physically and emotionally.
The changes one experiences through regular practice are gradual and I find it sometimes easier to see them in my students, especially those starting with serious problems. It really is amazing to see someone's mobility improve as quickly as it sometimes does.
Relaxation is the most important aspect and almost everyone I teach does become more relaxed. A new student came up to me at the end of his first session the other day and told me that he'd never felt so relaxed in his life! I'd like to think that's down to my superb teaching but it's not. It's the power of Tai Chi!
I have worked as a Chef for many years and as a home cook and a father have become more and more interested in the nutritional side of things. When I say interested.... my wife would probably say obsessed!
Although health has become a large factor in the way I cook I am still a gastronome. Much of what passes for healthy gastronomy is not what I would consider delicious or satisfying and so I am now trying to create recipes that are very good for you but also actually taste nice!
It seems that everyone has a different idea of what constitutes a healthy diet these days.
From my own research, I have concluded that animal products are detrimental to health. There's just such a weight of evidence showing that animal protein causes all manner of diseases and it cannot be ignored (by me). I used to love eating meat and cheese. No ribeye steak? No parmesan on my pasta? I couldn't conceive of a life without animal products. Then I was given a copy of 'How not to die' by Dr Michael Greger and things slowly started to change. In it, Dr Greger sites all the available scientific evidence showing what causes and also helps prevent the diseases most likely to kill you (Fun stuff!). A year or so later I read another book called 'The China Study' by T. Colin Campbell and became deeply convinced.
If someone shows you one study or even ten studies suggesting that meat is bad for you it might get your attention. If they show you hundreds you'll probably take notice. Most of what I cook now is free from animal products although I still eat fish once a week and occasionally some game.
I trained as a hypnotherapist at The Clifton Practice in Bristol and worked as one for around 8 years. Tai Chi has taken over now but in the time I spent with clients I learnt a few things about the mind. The biggest lessons were that people have to help themselves and that they have the power to do so!
Being a bit of a non-conformist I now have my own take on what works but the foundations of that are what I was taught at The Clifton Practice. I think Tai Chi has influenced how I view therapy in that I don't like the idea of anything being forced. In the world of self-help, it often seems that people are wearing rictus smiles.
No one is upbeat all the time and that's fine. The important thing is to have certain tools that can help you maintain a sense of balance. In the first few years of working as a hypnotherapist I think I felt that, as someone who is helping people, I should be perfectly happy. That's quite a lot to live up to and now I'll settle for being pretty relaxed and content most of the time.