If you ever have physical pain or discomfort when you play your instrument, you’re familiar with the fear and frustration that can cause. ?
It’s really hard to enjoy your playing when your body is uncomfortable, and it’s easy to worry about your career when the pain won’t go away. Your playing suffers, too, as you’re constantly creating work-arounds that hamper your technique and musical freedom.
❌ But ignoring the pain or pushing through it just makes the problem worse, and taking a break just delays the resurgence of the problem.
Sooner or later, you’ll probably find yourself seeking out a health specialist for solutions. ?
If you’re lucky, you’ll get some temporary relief.
But dealing with pain on the physical level alone, without addressing your whole person (thoughts, emotions, and how you actually play your instrument), rarely – if ever – gets to the root of the problem to resolve it for the long term.
I’ve met countless musicians who rely on regular visits to a chiropractor or massage therapist to help them feel better. They usually feel great for a day or two. But, after a few days back to practicing and rehearsing, the pain comes back and they need another treatment. Many musicians are dependent on this kind of quick fix for the duration of their careers.
Maybe you’re one of them. ?
The main problem with depending on a health specialist in this way is that they are trained to see you as a physical body with purely physical problems that need to be fixed – and they don’t take the rest of your life into account.
They miss the big picture and completely ignore the connection between your general mental outlook, life balance (or lack thereof), stress levels, and – very importantly – the unique ways that YOU think and move when you play your instrument. ?
That’s why a health specialist will very rarely succeed in permanently resolving your pain and preventing recurrences of the same or related pain.
I’ve been a violinist for my whole life… so ask me how I know…!
? From the time I can remember, I had chronic neck, shoulder, and back pain (which runs in my family). My grandfather, my dad, and both his siblings all had major back surgery to correct a spinal anomaly, and I’m pretty sure I have that anomaly in my spine, too, as I endured similar pain well into my thirties.
? I would be forced to stop playing completely due to an alarming shooting pain in my left pinky. Things got progressively worse over the years until one day I couldn’t turn my head at all towards the right.
?For years, I meditated, rested, did yoga stretches, sought out doctors, tried chiropractic care and massage…but nothing really helped. I got more and more depressed until I finally contacted a third (!) Alexander Technique teacher as a last resort who I hoped could help me.
Suddenly, things started working. Everything in my life changed radically for the better and it seemed like I’d finally been granted a miracle.
? Within just a few weeks, my neck pain had disappeared, everything else was improving, and my whole outlook on life was shifting to joy and loving enthusiasm. Even my violin playing started improving on its own! ?
Nearly twenty years later, I no longer have any of the physical symptoms I had. I have plenty of energy to play double 3-hour rehearsals pain-free (yes, really!), sit at a computer, or travel for an entire day without any pain.
I am now passionate about sharing my experience with other musicians, to save them the endless merry-go-round of anxiety, hope and disappointment of trying one thing and then another…without ever finding a real, lasting solution that goes beyond the surface physical symptoms.
? Unfortunately, too many musicians in pain will try everything else first, and they won’t come to me until after they’ve wasted many months or even years trying to solve their problem with approaches that – although accepted as “solutions” by the mainstream – ultimately won’t work for them because of their limited physical perspective.
After many years of studying the mind-body-spirit-artistry connection, I’ve come to understand that a holistic and practical approach is the only one that really allows us to get at the root of a problem and solve it for good.
I also feel very strongly that a hands-off approach that empowers students to explore and make changes for themselves on a daily basis is often the best approach for musicians who want to feel better when they play their instruments. That’s why I’ve been able to share my work and help musicians exclusively online since 2018.
? My Art of Freedom® Method is the synthesis of my experience as a professional musician and a double-certified Alexander Technique teacher, and as a human being inspired to overcome the inevitable challenges of being human.
? In The Musician’s Advantage™ private coaching program, I teach musicians who are tired of pain and discomfort how to shift their perspective and stimulate their own natural healing mechanisms, beginning with simple observations of how they think, move, and play their instruments.
? I give them a powerfully simple, step-by-step process that helps them heal and easily make fundamental and long-lasting changes from the inside out. This allows them to feel much more relaxed and in control of their own minds and bodies, tension and anxiety melts away, and pain gradually dissolves on its own.
✅ There’s a real solution to every problem, and the root of any problem lies within us.
The Musician’s Advantage coaching will teach you how to access your innate wisdom and healing resources, and lets you activate them in a way that makes your whole life and every aspect of your artistry better.
❌ Specialists who focus primarily on the physical pain in your body simply cannot do that for you.
If you’re in pain now, and/or you want to prevent pain in the future and feel great when you play your instrument, message me. I’d be happy to chat with you about your unique situation and ways I can help you problem-solve. Send me a message here or email me at Jennifer@ArtofFreedom.me ?
With Love & Enthusiasm,
p.s. I’d love to hear your thoughts regarding this post, and look forward to reading your comments! 🙂