Glenda Hesseltine, M.A.,  entered the world of Tai Chi through the “back-door” of her own health breakdown.  

Unmanaged chronic stress levels finally resulted in adrenal dysfunction to the point of what is now termed “the near death experience”.   At one point in her life, Glenda weighed less than 100 pounds and was unable to keep any food down.   One day, her breathing mysteriously stopped, completely, and she experienced what is now commonly referred to as an “out of body experience.”  She eventually recovered from this strange and startling experience,   but with no help from tradition Western medicine.   

In fact, Western medicine had had no explanation nor remedy for her steady decline.    Experiencing the chronic pain of severe fibromyalgia, hypoglycemia, Epstein-Barr, CFS, insomnia, IBS, chronic edema, insomnia,   and migraine headaches,   Glenda was soon removed from her formerly very active life, and was mostly reduced to being  bedridden until examined by a visiting Chinese physician named Dr. Sau-Wa Chan. 

The unorthodox methods of traditional Chinese medicine practiced by Dr. Chan produced an immediate, almost miraculous, result and Glenda recovered enough to begin her 7 year training in Tai Chi Chuan with Dr. Chan, who was at that time a 40-year Tai Chi practioner and teaching physician from China.  In the beginning of the training,  Dr. Chan spoke almost no English.   Glenda learned anyway.  She had to.   Her life depended upon it.

Ultimately Glenda became symptom free and began to teach other westerners the unique healing techniques she had learned from Dr. Chan, resulting in a 19 year career as a Tai Chi teacher that culminated recently in seven years as a health educator, stress-reduction teacher, as a core teacher for the Chronic Pain and Fibromyalgia classes for Kaiser Permanente  in the central valley of California.

There is some irony in the fact that the  woman who was once bed-ridden with chronic pain and weakness of the “yuppie” diseases,  became the teacher of those who suffered with the very same condition.

Eventually, with the help of Dr. Paul Lam, who certified Glenda in Tai Chi for Arthritis, “Tai Chi as a Prescription” became a reality in her community.    Over 5000 students went through Glenda’s  stress-reduction  training program in a 12 year period, learning to lower their blood pressure naturally, without drugs, regain their balance, strengthen their muscles, protect their joints, lower their pain level, improve their sleeping habits, better their breathing, calm their minds,  and reduce their stress levels overall.  Glenda currently continues this training in the community  in northern California where she currently resides.
Consequently, Glenda has worked with all ages and all kinds of people,  all kinds of conditions and health challenges.

One student, Geri Bagby, made the Kaiser newsletter headlines with her ability to use Tai Chi breathing and relaxation techniques instead of anesthetic when having three different surgeries.   Geri’s allergic reaction to traditional anesthetics had previously prevented her from having the necessary surgeries.  With her Tai Chi breathing she was able to handle the pain without anesthetic and successfully complete the surgical processes.

Several other students in the Tai Chi classes with Glenda learned how to lower their blood pressure, often as much as 40 points in five minutes.  One student was successful in increasing his breathing capacity, despite Lou Gerhigs’ disease.   There are no guarantees with Tai Chi, as far as what results will be produced, because each individual is so unique, but there is one common claim….all who practice Tai Chi faithfully each day will eventually benefit in some way.    That is the promise of Tai Chi.

In Glenda’s classes, that  promise,  combined with her expertise and experience, results in  a healing modality that is eclectic in nature.

With a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology, specializing in the guided imagery of Psychosynthesis, she often includes visualization and “gold light meditation” in her teaching and practice.    

Certified by Dr. Paul Lam in 2 levels of Tai Chi for Arthritis, as well as Tai Chi for Diabetes, and  recognized as a teacher of Tai Chi for Arthritis by the American Arthritis Foundation,   she addresses the management of chronic pain with various acupressure techniques as well as strengthening of the joints and muscles.

She worked for 3 years as the Tai Chi teacher for an innovative drug rehab program that used acupuncture, Tai chi and herbs in helping addicts get drug and alcohol free.   She also worked for 3 years in a pioneer program called “Wellness Works”, which encouraged participants to get off of welfare and back to work, with Tai Chi and Yoga as strong components of the stress-reduction training.    Both programs were highly successful in the County system.

In addition to the traditional Yang Style and Sun Style of Tai Chi, she is also trained in Shibashi Chi Kung, Swimming Dragon Tai Chi, various breathing techniques, body scanning, visualization, “gold-light meditation”,  T.M., Centering Prayer,  and acupressure massage.

Although she is traditionally educated with a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology  and trained and certified in her Tai Chi/Chi Gong healing work, Glenda says that her best credentials are her life experience and her own recovery from a condition that was both humiliating and debilitating and considered, at that time, quite hopeless as far as recovery was concerned.

Learning to activate the “healer within” restored her full health and vitality and she has dedicated her life to passing that knowledge along to others.   The practice and teaching of Tai Chi and sharing the limitless possibilities it holds for human growth and potential continues to be the passion of her life.  One of her favorite Tai Chi quotes is “I intend to die as young as possible, as late as possible” and she is fond of saying “are you ready to disengage from degeneration” and “what if we got more flexible as we got older?”

She now lives in northern California near her grandchildren and is currently engaged Life Coaching (Prime Force Life Coaching),  teaching Tai Chi for Kids, as well as her standard schedule  of stress reduction training and  healing classes for adults.

She is available for private lessons, individual coaching sessions, and public speaking engagements.