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Wrist pain
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Jon Kypros
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PostPosted: 2011-10-06, 15:26    Post subject: Wrist pain Reply with quote

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Hello,

I deal with arm, wrist and other RSI pains. I had to switch from righty to lefty a year into my studies in NYC due to RSI. I learned later on that it's key that the wrist be in a neutral position like Dean pointed out with the wrist devices. I prefer to not use any therapeutics but this is a personal choice. The wrist is neutral when you make a tight fist in which it is hard to move the wrist. Relax the fist and keep the wrist in the same position. Then try to just rest the fingers on the flute, grip enough to hold the flute and close the holes, and all the while watch the wrist to make sure it doesn't move from the neutral position. If the flute is such that you cannot hold it with neutral wrists than you have to limit playing of that flute. Unfortunately we haven't evolved to do the repetitive task in our modern world!

Posture, especially in the neck, is important. "Tingling" in the pinky and ring fingers signals impingement of the nerve in the neck that runs down the length of the arm past the elbow and through the wrist into the hand. This is called the Ulnar nerve http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulnar_nerve

As for posture, Esther Gokhale looked back in time and at cultures today that are largely unaffected by fashion and modern activities (http://egwellness.com/history#history). She observed that an anteverted pelvis and a "straight" spine-neck is the most natural human posture and one that is still seen in these unaffected cultures (it's also seen in babies/toddlers). Bad posture is an issue of modern society caused by fashion and our activities such as driving and sitting a lot, typing etc.

She did a video and class for people who work at google: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yYJ4hEYudE

Her site is http://egwellness.com/
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Last edited by Jon Kypros on 2011-10-06, 16:11; edited 1 time in total
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CharlesKoeppen
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PostPosted: 2011-10-06, 16:11    Post subject: Wrist pain Reply with quote

Jon Kypros wrote:
If the flute is such that you cannot hold it with neutral wrists than you have to limit playing of that flute.


I second this advice about limiting playing time on a flute if you are having difficulty finding hand positions to play it comfortably. It's not worth the damage you can do to yourself, and I find that with a just few minutes a day (and not necessarily every day) on a shakuhachi I'm having difficulty with I eventually find a hand position that works without giving much thought to the process. The original poster in this thread said the problem was with a 1.8, so limiting the playing time drastically may not be an option for him, but for longer flutes it's definitely a good idea.

The posture issue you bring up, Jon, is interesting, and I wouldn't be surprised if it is the problem the original poster has stumbled upon because a 1.8 shouldn't cause problems for most adult hands except maybe with excessive practice or overly tight gripping, the latter of which it sounds like the original poster ruled out.

I already posted a link once to silver flute player Gary Schocker's tips, including many relating to posture, but they are very good, and many are transferable to shakuhachi. Here they are one more time: http://www.garyschocker.com/lessons.html
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Jon Kypros
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PostPosted: 2011-10-06, 16:15    Post subject: Wrist pain Reply with quote

Hey Charles,

Posture may be the cause here. Horizontal chin rests without much beveling make it impossible for most people to play with good tone and posture. Most shakuhachi I've come across have a rather horizontal chin rest without much beveling at all which results in people bending their necks forward which impinges on the Ulnar Nerve. Less often people compensate for these chin rests by lifting the flute up high like a blow dart gun which fatigues the shoulders. You don't have to do either if you have a significant over-bite but for most people's jaws the common chin rest needs to be beveled down more.
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Jim Thompson
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PostPosted: 2011-10-06, 18:03    Post subject: Wrist pain Reply with quote

There are lengthy discussions about this on the old forum if someone knows how to reference them. Might be some interesting angles there.
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Nathan
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PostPosted: 2011-10-07, 01:01    Post subject: Wrist pain Reply with quote

Hey John and Charles! Thanks for weighing in on this! I described my posture a bit in a previous posting. As for how I sit...practice at home is usually done cross legged or seiza(less often) on a zabuton, shoulders back and relaxed chin parallel with the floor or just slightly kari. I would estimate that the flute rests at about a 67° angle to the floor. Lessons are usually done sitting upright in a chair feet flat on the ground. I'm a bit familiar with the Alexander Technique and am pretty posture conscious due to the martial arts practice but I will definitely look into Esther Gokhale and Gary Shocker...thanks for that! I have cut down on duration of practice a bit and replaced it with frequency. This seems to be helping a little bit...but it's sometimes quite difficult to put this piece of bamboo down once I get going!!

Jim...thanks for the reminder...the bbq is an incredible resource!
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GalinaSG
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PostPosted: 2011-10-09, 17:46    Post subject: Wrist pain Reply with quote

Nathan wrote:
Haven't seen the "powerball" before...how does it work exactly? Do you use that?

You roll the exerciser in your hand, and you need to adjust the grip, swing and speed to make gyroscope inside the exerciser shell to move smoothly, without jolts, with steady sound. If you do all correct at some moment you feel as if powerball tries to ehhmmm escape from your grip so you need to make extra efforts to control your muscles, your hand, wrist, fingers. Kind of refreshing action.
I am too lazy to use it regularly, but sometimes I do and I like it.
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PostPosted: 2011-11-05, 12:12    Post subject: Wrist pain Reply with quote

I hope these things work for you
in case not , for me worked Alexandertechnique

I work a lot with computers and had so much pain in arms , neck and wrist that I was already intending to sell my large kyotaku flutes because of the pain I had in playing them
even turning a key in a lock became a problem, as well as severe and long lasting back pains

the Alexandertechnique was the only thing that did anything for me
and I tried a lot

Mensendieck, Feldenkrais, Trager , Ostheopathie, Manual Theapie , Medical Taping, Yoga , Aikido ,wrist exercises , have 15 years of Tai chi experience etc ............. cannot even remember what I did
but I had to try everything or I would have to quit playing and my work was also becoming a real problem

the Alexandertechnique is a way of re-educating your use of your own body
so not a therapy
you get lessons to learn to re-educate your muscle memory
it also uses the body-mapping as in the book : Sandra Blakeslee's book - The Body Has a Mind of it's Own
it also improves your breathing

too much to explain here, but there is sufficient info on the web
one disadvantage is that it takes a lot of commitment, you can NOT do it without a teacher and it takes at least about 30 lessons for most people even to understand what they are doing

ut it gives you a whole new way of experiencing yourself
life becomes different
now I am rid of my backpains and playing the shakuhachi a whole lot and get feeling better and better

I know of several examples of people who were totally diabled and are alife and kicking now because of the Alexandertechnique

sounds too good to be true ??
it is known on some musical academies and dance schools, but you can find your teacher on the internet

good luck

Hans
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PostPosted: Today at 12:17    Post subject: Wrist pain

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