At 16 Rich Morley was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, by 30 he was medically retired and living on benefits, today he is fully recovered and supporting others to turn their own lives around. How did he do it? Through the healing power of Tai chi.

This remarkable story is a lesson in never giving up, even when the medical profession has given up on you. It is about discovering what is possible beyond medical intervention. And it is about harnessing the power of belief to turn your life around.

You’re Disabled, Get Used To It!

We have all seen the effects of debilitating illness on friends and family. The thought of losing mobility or the ability to do simple tasks is right up there on the ‘I don’t want to go there’ list.

My guest Rich Morley was in that place at the height of his teenage years, he started having problems with coordination, pain and even falling over. After a lot of tests and exploration with doctors it was decided he had Fibromyalgia and there was nothing that could be done for him.

Fibromyalgia is an autoimmune fatigue syndrome that also causes pain in muscle ligaments and tendons. It has a range of different symptoms and Rich experienced most of them.

This meant that he got to university a bit later than his peers, had to drop out before his last year and return a year later to take exams. But on leaving his condition got even worse and by the time he was 30 he was on every drug possible from antidepressants to super strong painkillers. He was forced to give up work and face the rest of his life totally dependent on drugs and income support.

The turning point came when a friend suggested he try Tai chi. Without motivation it was very unlikely he would get to the classes, but somehow he found the will power to make the effort.

Divine Intervention?

If there was ever a divine push this was it. Not only did Rich find the motivation to attend the classes, but he also found the right teacher to give him the help he needed.

His first few classes were a struggle. He had to sit down a lot and the day after he would have to sleep to recover, but there was something in it for him that kept him going. After the class he felt better, just for 10 minutes or so at first, but it was the best he had felt for years. That feeling motivated him to keep returning.

Gradually this led to home practice, beginning with just 2 minutes a day and eventually building up to many hours. Within 2 years of starting Tai chi, Rich went from considering wheelchairs, to riding a mountain bike

“I went from thinking I was going to be a wheelchair, and 2 years after taking up Tai chi, shattering my collar bone because I was doing drop offs on a mountain bike in some wood”

Healing & Martial Arts

We have all seen films or images of people practising the slow movements of Tai chi, but the truth behind the discipline is very different. It is a fusion of Martial Arts and Daoist theology and is a fighting discipline as well as a meditation practice. Mastering the discipline has changed Rich Morley’s life and given him an interest that goes way beyond just getting healthy.

Today Rich is an International Tai chi Instructor and his training has taken him to a level beyond the capacities of his original teacher. He has also learnt advanced techniques that when applied, can give the impression of superhuman qualities. But his main drive is to help people with debilitating illness to overcome the limitations of modern diagnosis. However it is an uphill battle.

As our conversation unfold you will gain an insight into the history and power of Tai chi both as an aid to healing and as a martial art practice. If you would like more information about Rich Morley you will find access to his website and social links below.

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