Some months ago I mentioned one student who has something resembling cerebral palsy. There are at least 15 genes on 12 chromosomes implicated in syndromes that fall in the cerebral palsy spectrum. One challenge is that there are associated early onsets of different varieties of arthritis in many cases. If anyone out there has reasonably accurate epidemiology statistics I would be grateful – gene and specific arthritis type probabilities or tallies would be perfect. For the student in question when I first taught some tai chi ruler routines he was obsessed with the ruler so I let him take it home. I sent along a note to the parents giving a link to a set of web pages that showed some of the routines. I mentioned their reply in my speech at Las Vegas – clutching the ruler was the first time he had slept through the night in years. Although tai chi ruler exercises were not really designed to alleviate the pain of arthritis in the arms, wrists and hands there seems to be no point in arguing with success. There were some brief experiments with a very soft foam version and with wrapping the ruler in several different bags. The current status is back to the basic wood, but I mention the alternatives in case someone else might find them useful. The student was doing the ruler exercises after brushing teeth and right before actually getting into bed.
Under the heading of ‘do no long-term harm’ I had opened up an e-conversation with some doctors and martial artists in China. A reasonable estimate is 60,000 babies born per year in China with something Western medicine might classify in the cerebral palsy spectrum.