Discussion thread 10

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JG: (In response to a comment about interdependence of mind and body)
In my opinion, the thinking that the mind and body are independent of each other really is a bit “middle–ages”.

If we are happy (a neurological state – happiness, an emotion), our body reflects this – we don’t think about what to do, our face just forms a smile. Our breathing is affected, and also our entire posture. Our general tension level in the body also changes.

On the contrary, if we are sad or depressed (a neurological state – sadness, an emotion), our face reflects this also – we don’t think about what to do. Our breathing changes, as does our general posture. Our general tension level in the body also changes.

If we are afraid or feel threatened (emotionally or physically), again, our body reflects this. Our breathing changes, and again, so does our general posture. Our general tension level in the body also changes.

So, if we have experienced a negative emotion such as anger, fear, frustration etc enough times in conjunction with playing, or thinking about playing, we develop a negative neuro–association to playing. (Remember Pavlov’s dogs? 🙂

Our entire behaviour (on a conscious and subconscious level) is driven by the need to gain pleasure, and avoid what? Pain! So, our brains say “Hey, if playing the instrument causes you so much negative emotions/pain then guess what? I’m going to stop you from doing it!”

In a nutshell though, I firmly believe, based on my own experience and in working with others, that the primary reason that Western medicine screams “NO CURE” is because the practitioners are approaching a mind/body condition from only one viewpoint. Both need to be addressed! With FD in musicians, again in my experience, there is an emotional component, there is a physical or mechanical component, and there is a direction/body use component.

Approach FD in terms of solving these 3 components simultaneously and you will see significant results and eventually recover. This has been my experience, and the experience of those people I’ve been lucky enough to work with.

I am not a medical doctor, I am not a neurologist, I am not a psychologist, I am not a psychiatrist. I am not a physiotherapist. So therefore I must state that the above is my opinion only and based upon my own experience. I do these days however endeavour to look at FD (and the body/mind in general) from a holistic standpoint – as many angles as possible – and I attribute my recovery from FD to this. I am also of the strong opinion that if I can recover, anyone can, with the right approach.

Forum Member:
500% yes! I tried to explain several times that in my opinion the muscle tension approach, the emotional approach and the neurological approach are not separated and contrary to each other, but all connect and make sense together. Language barrier kept me from expressing it correctly though. Awesome post, exactly what I believe.

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