26. October 2017

Power Sources from the Far East

Printing plant manager Mike Richter swears by Chinese relaxation techniques

He sees himself as a bubbly person. It’s in his nature, says Mike Richter, who admits calling him “very bubbly” would also be true. On the other hand, he is also somebody that can “quickly unwind”: “I don’t need any help falling asleep.” This is an invaluable asset for someone in his situation. Richter is the “owner of a company with a programme that changes daily” and responsible for three employees. More often, “intense 60-hour work weeks” are his everyday life. “Anybody, who has a lot on his plate, knows those sleepless nights.” But this hasn’t been an issue for him recently. Richter welcomes us amid half unpacked boxes in his company’s new domicile. The chuff-chuff-chuff of the offset printing machines on the other side of the floor fills the air. Next door, the digital printers are whirring. “Kopie und Druck Adlershof” moved its headquarters from the Am Studio street to Segelfliegerdamm. The company’s product portfolio ranges from business cards to large-scale banners printed on textile, paper and foil. About 80 percent is digital. This has rapidly accelerated the process. Richter remembers a customer, who ordered 50 business cards from a plane in Samarkand, picked them up during his lay-over in Schönefeld and continued flying to Moscow. The company’s roots lie in the former in-house printing shop of East Germany’s state television, where Richter’s father-in-law became managing director in 1972 and took over after reunification. A bedrock of Adlershof. Richter got on board in 1992 and took over management eight years later. Half a decade ago, the now 51-year-old couldn’t shake off the feeling that he was “in a bad state health-wise. I knew I had to do something that does my body some good.” He got some helpful tips from his mother-in-law, who had delved into the secrets of traditional Chinese medicine as a physiotherapist and introduced Richter to the relaxation techniques qigong and tai chi. He stuck with the calm, Chinese gymnastics and has been practicing them twice a week ever since with 20 other people at a local sports club in Köpenick: “The slower you move, the more you relax.” That’s what it’s about. Not only does he sleep better, he can effortlessly drive out every headache. The effect of the exercises remains a mystery to him: “I can feel that my blood circulation changes,” says Richter. “There are some things that cannot be explained.” Cupping one’s hands and forming a sphere, as if holding a ball, produces a type of “energy field”. “My hands get warm.” Looking back after five years: “I have a much more relaxed outlook on life,” says Richter. “Have I become calmer? You will have to ask my co-workers.” By Winfried Dolderer for Adlershof Journal