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Forum Member (responding to a comment about acupuncture).
The problem with acupuncture is that there are a whole bunch of MDs that take a week long workshop and start sticking needles. Acupuncture is about allowing the chi (or qi) to move through the body. It’s not about stopping pain.
Agreed completely. Fortunately I had a real practitioner. It wasn’t about pain at all, though it’s certainly a valid treatment for pain. It was strictly about helping become more tranquil. That said, I eventually embraced meditation which works just as well or better but it took more discipline to get there than submitting to the needle. The point being; treating FD means treating the “whole” person. Whatever works is good.
Several years ago when I had just started figuring out how to solve FD, I received acupuncture from a Chinese doctor here in Sweden. He was over 50 but looked no older than 30 – 35, so that gave me a lot of faith in his knowledge straight away (I was very sceptical to everything ‘alternative’ prior to this meeting).
The treatment I received was for excess jaw tension – a symptom of excess and unnecessary muscular tension involved not only in trumpet playing, but in day to day activities. I would ‘hold’ a huge amount of tension in this area.
The acupuncture was by and large (although not completely) a symptomatic treatment. That is to say that it lessened the physical tension symptoms I was experiencing, but I needed to change other things in order to solve the condition completely.
I was also trained in medicinal qi–gong by the same doctor, and this helped me to further understand body use and mechanics, and thought direction, which helped me gain another insight into FD. It is, as the Forum Member rightly puts it, about treating the “whole” person.
So, solving FD comes down to a combination of 3 things:
a) Mechanics – making sure my playing setup (the relationship between different parts of my body and instrument) was as efficient as possible
b) Direction – directing my body efficiently with my mind. i.e. sending efficient signals to my body
c) Emotions/psychology – re–associating what trumpet playing meant to me – not only on an intellectual level, but much more importantly, on an emotional level.
Once I solved these 3 factors, I solved my own FD, and began to help others solve their FD and playing tension issues.
My own FD (which had been 5 years of torture) became a huge gift, as solving it was (and is) a huge and holistic self–development process.
I feel truly honoured and humbled to be able to meet with and help many other musicians around the world solve their tension/FD issues.