Bracelets!

September 6, 2009 at 06:24 AM ·

Does anyone find that wearing magnetic, copper, or titanium bracelets help you play the violin better by reducing pain and soreness in the hands? Do you wear only on the left hand or right hand too?

Replies (23)

September 6, 2009 at 08:09 AM ·

I don't use bracelets, because I have no pain in the hands.

But since I found out that bowing is much easier when orientated by the earth radiation lines, I always use my dowsing rod to detect the orientation of the energies before sitting down.

Orientating the bow by the curry lines is especially beneficial when playing world music, and getting in harmony with the hartmann lines helps when playing european classical music, esp. Schubert.

Practising up bows and upwards shifts helps during waxing moon, and down bows is fine at waning moon. But most important is to keep the case closed at new moon.

September 6, 2009 at 10:00 AM ·

enlightening!

September 6, 2009 at 10:15 AM ·

Greetings,

crystal balls are helpful in orchestra because you can see what@s coming.

Cheers,

Buri 

September 6, 2009 at 05:55 PM ·

Bracelets (as jewelry) or medical "support" type bracelts???   As for jewelry ones, never... they annoy me so much while playing. My arm is very light, maybe I should put a "few pounds" bracelet on : ) Thanks for the idea lol  

I don't know if any type of bracelets could help???  Those I saw were always for esthetic means. I only saw Soyoung yoon (a Queen Elizabeth finalist and award winner of this year) wearing a big white bandage clearly for some sort of medical reason on her left forarm. (see this on her youtube vids) It was the first time I saw this and it made me realize how rough violin can be on people (outch!)

Anne-Marie

September 6, 2009 at 06:57 PM ·

Tempted as I am to pass on the secret of my aluminium-foil hat liner, which does little for my hands but does block the ability of various govt agencies to tap my thoughts, in a spirit of friendly concern I will mention something that may sound similar, but is in actuality more effective.

If your hand pain is due to arthritis, it has been shown that dipping them in melted paraffin (not too hot, of course) and peeling it off when cool can in fact give significant though temporary relief.

Additionally I've found that ocasional wrist pain can be aided by wrapping said wrist with an elastic bandage, especially at night when it might get bent into an awkward position without one's awareness.

By the way, there is no danger involved in bowing across magnetic lines of force inless you're using a steel bow, or one with a high iron content; that will indeed produce a visible discharge, similar to, though on a far lesser scale than, the so-called Northern Lights. You must play rapidly in a darkened room to apprehend the sight.

September 6, 2009 at 08:23 PM ·

 Greetings,

Bob, carbon fibre can be a problem with the magnetic lines.  Some orchestras with too many cf  bows have to move their second violin section opposite the firsts to create the necessary attraction.

Cheers,

Buri

September 6, 2009 at 08:41 PM ·

Good observation, Buri; I'd forgotten about CF.

Things have gotten a lot more exciting in the orchestra pits since steel strings replaced gut, as I'm sure you'll agree. I suspect there's material for a physics thesis in all this, somewhere.

September 6, 2009 at 08:44 PM ·

 hahahahahhaa! What entertainment! 

September 6, 2009 at 11:59 PM ·

A chiropractor who was playing violin in a quartet I celloized last year suggested a magnetic and copper bracelet for pain from my left wrist arthritis. I tried one of the $8 drug store variety and I can't say it did not help, but it did not help enough. A couple of cortisone shots helped more (especially the second one) and getting off statins medication for lowering choresterol helped even more.

If the static magnetic field of a small magnet helps control pain, I can only surmise it must do so by interacting with the flow of charged molecules in the blood or with moving iron in the hemoglobin. But what do I know?

What I do know, is that it hurts less to play the cello than the violin, so that's how I start every day.

Andy

September 7, 2009 at 02:09 AM ·

I think that the best response to any pain that may arise while playing is to regard it as a sign that something is being done incorrectly. Don't ignore pain - It is a valuable educational tool. As the first response to pain, change the playing, rather than continuing to play in the manner that caused the pain, while taking an analgesic or wearing a copper bracelet. When some change in the playing causes the pain to go away, one is generally doing something which also ultimately benefits the performance.  

Violinists with huge sores on their necks usually need to learn to hold the violin more gently (and keep their necks and chinrests clean). Instead of wearing a copper necklace, change the way you hold the violin! Holding the violin more gently, though it may have at first been done to eliminate the pain, benefits the violinist's entire facility with the instrument.

The person who, through awareness, moderates his finger pressure may initially do so to mitigate some pain, but then finds that the more moderate finger pressure frees his shifting and vibrato.

A lot of this goes back to self image. If a violinist, when he daydreams about playing the violin, sees himself struggling, and making awkward, lurching movements, he will, when he gets a violin in his hands, tend to fulfill the unfortunate movie that he rehearsed in his head so many times. On the other hand, if one has an expectation that everything in violin playing is *supposed* to feel graceful, easy, playful and nearly without effort, he will be shocked by any movement which doesn't fit this expectation. He will immediately *respond*, searching for a modification of the movement which does feel easy and graceful, rather than grit his teeth and bear the awkwardness which, when permitted to continue may ultimately lead to pain.

Buri has contributed may posts about Alexander study which go in depth into this subject.

September 7, 2009 at 03:08 AM ·

I bought a copper chain bracelet once because I liked the way it looked, not for any therapeutic reason, and could only wear it for a few months before I developed a wrist problem. I'm not sure what that was about, but the problem went away when I got rid of the bracelet. It also turned my wrist green. Someone commented to me along the way that copper is a poison (that's why copper cooking pots are lined with tin) and that having that green copper on my skin, soaking in all of the time couldn't have been a good thing. It's a reasonable thought.

September 7, 2009 at 07:36 AM ·

 For a period, I experienced a difficult pain in the bowing arm (elbow) which was diagnosed as arthritic gout. It is chronic in my feet and legs, but would only act up if I "over did it" with my bowing. It is brought about by too much uric acid in the blood, and one can have steroid shots if the pain becomes too intensive. Steroid shots are only a last resort for me, as they can be dangerous for the heart and sometimes do not even work in some cases. Many doctors don't want to take the risk in certain cases. There is also the increased danger of aggressive behavior in some individuals who have certain mental conditions such as depression or anxiety (of which I suffer from greatly).

 Now for another consideration on homeopathic remedies. The power of suggestion is great when it comes to such treatments is well documented. From my own experiences, it would seem that I couldn’t really come up with an explanation as to why the bracelet seems to work. I have not removed the bracelet since I put it on over a year ago. I would simply have to experiment and see what the results of removing the bracelet would be and then make a judgement. Only your witch doctor knows for sure.

 Of course in the situation of gouty arthritis, a careful diet is always to be considered ( I cannot eat tomatoes or anything that contains tomatoes or leafy greens and it is pure Hell, I assure you). I dream of Italian food often only to awaken to the reality that alfredo sauce is my only option.  

 This is where the magick of the copper bracelet ends. 

There is not enough copper (or magick) in the universe to alleviate the pain that I experience if I were to eat even one slice of tomato or even a tablespoon of spinach.

 

September 7, 2009 at 07:18 AM ·

Just to make sure, magnetic (or copper, or what else) bracelets belong to the bs department, just like magic potions, fortune-telling and tachyonic EMR-shields. This does not say that magnetic therapy is principally useless, but if not it's not as simple as wearing a bracelet. We don't tie a tiny bit of rosin to our bow either, instead of applying a substantial quantity to the bow hair.

See http://www.csicop.org/si/show/magnetic_therapy_plausible_attraction/

September 7, 2009 at 08:37 PM ·

I have a problem with uric acid metabolism, and when the uric acid exceeds ablout 9.8 mg/dl I have an attack of gout. Those who've experienced it know there is no more exquisite pain; childbirth is nothing in comparison.

Rather than consider steroid injections, I suggest you consult a physician regarding taking allopurinol. One tablet per day with no noticeable side effects has kept my uric acid levels down in the high normal range for several years, much to my relief.

September 10, 2009 at 01:03 PM ·

"By the way, there is no danger involved in bowing across magnetic lines of force inless you're using a steel bow, or one with a high iron content; that will indeed produce a visible discharge, similar to, though on a far lesser scale than, the so-called Northern Lights. You must play rapidly in a darkened room to apprehend the sight.?"

So Bob -- then playing an ironwood bow would be out of the question then?

September 10, 2009 at 02:59 PM ·

I wear a necklace of Prunes!  It smells better than Garlic!

OK, seriously, there are people who sware by the things Sean has mentioned and the only way to know is to try them out and if they have some theraputic value and it in no way is going to be detrimental to your or others health by all means do it.  Heck, people in Northern California can get a prescription to smoke marijuana for medicinal purposes!

September 10, 2009 at 07:22 PM ·

Steven, this is a serious discussion, and levity seems somewhat out of place. I don't mean to scold, but it can only serve to bring ridicule on the heads of those of us seeking answers in an alternative fashion.

Speaking of heads (NOT those sickos in N Calif) my tinfoil hat has served me well in fending off ridicule. It effectively silences the unbelievers, although I confess I do not understand the reason why.

September 10, 2009 at 07:44 PM ·

Steven?????? or Stephen?

September 10, 2009 at 08:27 PM ·

 Greetings,

>Steven, this is a serious discussion, and levity seems somewhat out of place.

It`s Buri.

I`m glad you mentioned levitation.  This can be an inadvertent side effect of comingled magnetic force lines and worry lines.  The claim that bracelets are valueless is snide claptrap.  In this example alone,  if one were wearing twenty or thirty of them the extra weight would keep one anchored to the ground were the  unfortunate case of general levitation to occur.  

Cheers

Buri

September 10, 2009 at 10:08 PM ·

Sean, any doctor who prescribes a cure, without first examining the patient and then making a diagnosis, is clearly not going to last long in their profession. Of course it is impossible to say what is happening to you specifically (if it's you you're asking about). However, I have found that it is often incredibly simple to cure a wide variety of aches and pains in the hands and wrist. Not all, but most.

Here's how it works, in the most basic terms. There are no muscles in the fingers, only tendons that are pulled from muscles in the hand and further up the arm. So if you want to consider the movement of the fingers, you need to look at the 'next higher area', i.e. the hand.

If you want to move the hand, the muscles involved are in the forearm (the next higher area). If you want to move the forearm, the main muscles involved are in the upper arm. If you want to move the upper arm, the main muscles involved are in the back and shoulders.

So if you have aches and pains in your hand or wrist, the first place to consider is the forearm. In most cases that I come across, although the pain is in the wrist there is nothing wrong with the wrist. It's simply the muscles higher up, in the forearm, that need sorting out.

Without the violin, put your left arm into playing position. Wrap the fingers of your right hand around your forearm just below the elbow. Make fingering movements with your left hand. You can feel under your right hand the muscles that are involved in moving the fingers.

You can move somebody else's fingers for them by squeezing or pressing on these muscles in their forearm. And you can do this to yourself. Children are always fascinated by this - when you squeeze the muscles in their forearm and the fingers move on their own. (The hand must be relaxed or it won't work.)

There are two chief answers to the question of what to do if you have pains in your wrist or hand. To me the best answer lies in stretching, just because it is entirely natural and such a non-interfering sort of thing to do.

Muscles can only contract: they can pull, but not push. Most problems of muscle-use come down to over-contraction, and remaining over-contracted in a fixed state until it begins to seem normal. You don't even realise the rubbery springiness has gone. So anything that lengthens the muscle is always helpful. A lot of focus in Alexander Technique is in constant 'lengthening and widening' for the same reason. This is essential, but any stretching exercises you can find can have great results in regaining freedom (or not losing it).

The second answer is deep-tissue massage (not the light and gentle sort). Quite-heavy kneeding of the muscles in the forearm, just below the elbow, always has a fantastic effect on the workings of the hand and fingers. It won't cure arthritis, or anything like that. But I have known many, many cases of players with sometimes long histories of sharp pains in their wrists when playing the violin with energy (e.g. professional players who have suffered for years with no remedies seeming to work), curing themselves almost instantly by doing this.

I discovered this for myself when I over-did it some years ago, and started getting a sharp pain in my right wrist whenever I played fortissimo tremolo at the point, or if I played very strong attacks in the upper half. I immediately thought my playing days were over (as you do), but fortunately almost immediately discovered that the muscles just below the elbow in my right forearm were incredibly sore and sensitive to the slightest pressure. It seemed obvious that this, and the sharp pain in the wrist, must be related. Heavy-duty, rather painful massage (I call it 'good pain', but others do often disagree with that) in the upper forearm instantly got rid of the problem.

When I say 'instantly', what I mean is: immediately, there-and-then - the pain in the wrist did not ever reappear. I did carry on massaging the forearm muscles for a few days, though, until they stopped hurting when I did it. If it hurts, do it more, not less, I always think, but of course such advice is too simple and general, and I would need to know somebody in person before I would recommend that.

If you have discomfort or lack of easy, free movement in your fingers, you can find the related muscles in the palm of the hand. Find the muscles that hurt and massage them deeply but gently, gently but deeply. Of course common sense is involved. Of course you must not over-do it. Don't hurt yourself. Standard advice is that the massage should always be in direction of the heart. Personally I ignore that.

It goes without saying, that if muscular problems are the result of mis-use or poor posture, until you sort those things out the problems will always come back, no matter how much stretching you do or massage you receive. In the case of the left hand on the violin, if the basic set-up of the hand is profoundly wrong in some way, my cure-all treatment will unfortunately probably cure nothing.

I would like to descibe other examples of instant-cure, but I am afraid that my posts are too long, so I'll leave it there.

Hope that's helpful.

SF

September 10, 2009 at 10:58 PM ·

Greetings,

since Simon has so cavalierly written soemthing useful and informative I will continue in the same vein as best I can....

When one is working on oneself the language you use is very significant.   In AT (see Alacantra`s classic book for example) a great deal of stress is laid on understanding the actual nature of habits and what to do with them.  Typically for example,   one tells oneself to `relax` a particular bodypart.  Counterintuitive though this may seem it is actually an inefficient means of resolving an issue.  What it actually does is set up conflict by pitting an old habit against a new one.  hildremn on the othe rhand, simply ignore the original habit and cut a completely new channel.   The trick then is to use mental language that is unrelated to the original misuse at a deep level.   Again,  an established effect from NLP among other fileds,  one cannot tell the area `do not ternse up` since the mind can only inittiate a negative by crossing out a condition that they have created.  Try `not thinking of a blue cat` for a minute.

One of the safest and most efficatious commands I am aware of isd the directive `do less` sent to a specific area of the body.   It anwers all the necessary criteria so have some fun with it.

Cheers,

Buri

September 10, 2009 at 11:29 PM ·

I think Buri might approve of this, then:

(Excerpt copied-and-pasted from future publication)

Understanding the effect your mind has on your body

One key aspect of Mental Rehearsal is the powerful effect the conscious mind has on the body.

Your conscious mind can assess, reason and make decisions; your subconscious mind, or your autonomic nervous system, cannot. The subconscious can say only ‘yes’ to anything held in the conscious mind.

Your subconscious mind cannot tell the difference between something that you vividly imagine – such as a goal, a hope or a dream – and a real experience.

Imagine you are in the kitchen. You take a fresh lemon from the fruit bowl. It is cool in your hand. The yellow, dimpled skin feels smooth and waxy. It comes to a small, green, conical point at either end. The lemon is firm and quite heavy for its size as you look at it in the palm of your hand.

You raise the lemon to your nose. It gives off such a characteristic, unmistakable citrus smell, doesn’t it?

You take a sharp knife and cut the lemon in half. The two halves fall apart, the white pulpy outer skin contrasting with the drops of pale, lemon-coloured juice that gently ooze out. You raise the lemon towards your mouth. The lemon smell is now slightly stronger.

Now you bite deeply into the lemon and let the juice swirl around your mouth. That sharp, sour lemon flavour is unmistakable.

Stop a minute! Is your mouth watering? Almost everyone’s does. And yet the extraordinary thing is that if we had simply instructed you to “make your mouth water,” you couldn’t have done it.

1 Colin Rose: Accelerated learning (Topaz Publishing Ltd., 1985), 75.

The “imagery” worked because your emotional middle brain does not distinguish between experiences that actually occur out there in the “real” world, and experiences you imagine vividly in your head.

You can use this fact to “program” your emotional brain to believe very strongly in your success. It is important to do this programming – because it is frightening how quickly and unnecessarily we create self-doubts and self-limits.1

 

Present tense, personal, positive

Because the unconscious can say only ‘yes’ to whatever pictures are held (with belief) in the conscious mind, the only ‘language’ that the unconscious can understand is made of phrases couched in the present tense, in the personal, and in the positive.

If you say to yourself, ‘I must relax,’ or ‘I must not be tense,’ it has little or no effect on your state. If instead you say to yourself, ‘I am relaxed, I feel terrific, I find everything easy’ – and if you hold these thoughts in your mind clearly, and with emotion and belief – the results come almost immediately.

It makes no difference if, when your left hand feels as though it could be softer, freer and more relaxed, you say to yourself, ‘It should be relaxed.’

Instead, if you picture your hand being in its most perfect state and proceed as if it is already true, you will find that the change happens by itself and your hand immediately feels better.

The same applies to improving almost anything. Suppose you want to improve your focus and concentration. If you say to yourself, ‘I must try harder to concentrate,’ it does not help. If instead you say, ‘I am very good at concentrating, I concentrate well,’ the concentration immediately comes.

This is part of the be-all-and-end-all of how to understand ourselves, in my experience. Not the whole story, but actually quite a lot of it.

SF

September 11, 2009 at 12:03 AM ·

Public Service Announcement from a v.com lurker :-P

"Tendonitis/carpal tunnel to misaligned bones + inflammation = food allergy, my strange but true story"

Perhaps this sounds weird in this discussion, but I was once desperate enough to try all sorts of things in the effort to "make my hands better"  (massage, paraffin hand dips, chiropractor, AT, those tennis-style wrist things -- which I wore for years, they were so helpful in general for staying warmed up, I should really keep wearing them).  Because this is a violinist site, I should probably preclude this with noting that I was consulting with teachers and various professionals who all checked my playing and didn't see anything that might cause the specific symptoms I had occurring.  

After visiting about 15 specialists, I finally found a osteopathic doctor who listened to my complaints (pain INSIDE my wrists, in the middle), took a small MRI image of one of my wrists and discovered that I had massive amounts of swelling, that the little bones had moved out of place (either causing or because of the swelling, not sure), and those bones were tearing my cartilage, causing all of the pain.  After resetting my wrists, and giving me gentle exercises (repeat several times) I slowly but surely weaned myself off of needing the doctor to fix it and learned things that helped. 

However, by about 5 years later, I was a 23-year-old who needed to sleep 12-16 hours a day because I was so nutrient-deprived, with family members having allergies and immune diseases, and I kept thinking that I didn't need to see a doctor now...  that it was just 'in my head' that I related to senior citizens' comments on what it felt like to be 'old' and to feel like your body is betraying you. 

Then, after promising my fiance that I would seek the help of specialists, I found out my REAL problem.  I was allergic to a LOT of things.  So many that I couldn't figure it out on my own.  (wheat, corn, barley, and rice, for example. Whenever you don't eat one in a meal, you're usually eating another.) 

How?  I discovered that one tiny thing had escaped my notice.  When I was a freshman in college, we found out that celiac ran in the family and I tried going off wheat products and discovered it greatly helped me (mental clarity, alertness, energy).  However, I replaced the wheat in my diet with loads of corn and rice products.  About a month later I began noticing pain in my wrists, three months later it was bad enough to talk with my teacher, and by 6 months, I took my aforementioned break from playing.  I never connected one with the other because I felt so many positive effects of being 'off wheat'. 

The feeling -- Rice, for me, causes my wrists and joints unbelievable amounts of pain. I was doing separate food tests and after a tiny injection of rice protein, felt like I had the flu in 5 minutes flat.  I couldn't believe the pain I was in!  After that memorable moment,  I stopped eating anything with it and I'm back down to "I tore up my wrists a bunch 7 years ago" twinges every once in a blue moon instead of "I don't like to cut anything when I cook because my wrists are so sore." 

Iif you're having problems, KEEP LOOKING.  Don't just medicate -- find out answers.

Allergies, celiac -- these things are on the rise and they cause inflammation.  If it is long-term pain/roughness/inflammation and nothing is stopping it, consider more options.  Try and find WHY. 

(Afterstory:  Currently, I feel the best I have since high school and had no idea that normal people had this much energy.  Apparently the trick for us allergy-impaired people is to eat a VARIETY of foods but not all on the same day. Hugely helpful.)

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