Andy Mertens, T'ai Chi instructor
Andy Mertens is the director of the Oshkosh T'ai Chi Center. He became interested in T'ai Chi in order to address personal health issues in his late 20’s. While working as a professional string bassist, he began to experience numb hands and arms after 45 minutes of playing. Around the same time, he began to have difficulty keeping food down and other difficult digestive issues. Through a series of connections with occupational therapists, martial arts masters, chiropractors, massage therapists and Quantum Energetic healers, he was able to transform from a sick, toxic, poorly digesting, negative and depressed “old man” to a happy and vital, positive person, easily digesting life. He credits the change not just to his amazing teachers and therapists, but to the powerful principals behind the methods they use. T'ai Chi, with its emphasis on relaxation, body alignments, a clear mind and acting through non-action, helped exponentially so that 6 months after beginning the practice he was back to playing 8 hours a day.
Andy has a Bachelors of Music from Lawrence University and a Bachelors of Science from the New Physiology Institute. He is a member of the Association for the Advancement of Energy Medicine and a certified Quantum Energetics Structural Therapist. He is currently a student of the John F. Barnes method of Myofacial Release and recently studied with Barnes at Therapy on the Rocks, based in Sedona, Arizona. Andy continues to play music professionally and offers private consultations.
Michael Milewski, T'ai Chi instructor
In 1976, the The T'ai Chi Ch'uan Center of Milwaukee was incorporated as a non-profit, educational corporation. Michael Milewski, the current director of the school, was one of the original founders and one of only four teachers who received certifications to teach T'ai Chi at that time. He has continued his studies with masters from China, Taiwan, and the U.S. and is trained in several styles of T’ai Chi, as well as other internal martial arts and Shao Lin Kung fu. He brings the richness of his training to his students through T’ai Chi form instruction and push-hands practice. Mike also teaches special classes, including T’ai Chi sword and staff.
JUSTINE BECK, Yoga TeacheR,WriteR,Reiki Master
As someone who loves a little bit of everything, and who’s been challenged with anxiety and anger growing up, Justine finds her restorative practice on the mat and daily journaling to be a safe haven to reconnect with herself. Justine began her journey of connecting pen to paper in 2002. A year later, at the age of 14, Justine’s mother introduced her to the practice of yoga. Over time, Justine noticed how much more aware she was of her body, mind and overall energy. Her biggest take away from the practice of yoga and journaling, has been learning the skill of listening. In 2011, Justine received her Yoga Teacher Certification from Hope Yoga School in Hartford, Wis. A few years later, challenged by her mother’s cancer, Justine traveled to Duke Integrative Medicine in Durham, NC, where she completed a yoga teacher training; “Yoga of Awareness for Cancer." This taught her to “slow down” in her teaching.
Justine holds an Associate’s Degree of Arts & Science and is a certified Reiki Master. She is currently writing a book on the themes of death, forgiveness and beauty.