The worst part of living with focal dystonia is the helplessness, and the feeling of being impotent and powerless. The feeling that you have no control over the situation whatsoever, and the symptoms are playing a nasty game with you, ruining your life.
I don’t really have to tell you that this is not the most effective mindset to recover from focal dystonia.
So how do we resolve it? How do we not think of the “pink elephant”?
Firstly, there’s always something you can do to make progress, whether you realise it or not. Even if this means getting up and walking away from the instrument that day. Recovery is a process, and as such, it’s going to have it’s ups and downs.
When you’re down, just remember that there’s always a step which brings the recovery closer to you, you just have to find it. Is it a special kind of exercise on your instrument? Or is it getting a hug from your friend? Or reading a book? You have to find it out yourself. You can move forward even when you feel you’re stuck. Learn to understand your body’s signs, understand when it’s tired, and also ask yourself from time to time: what do you feel like doing?
Practising hard is not the answer to Musician’s Focal Dystonia. In fact, it was probably practising too hard that created your first symptoms, and practising harder that made the symptoms worse, right? Aim for easy, relaxed free movement even for a few seconds. In recovering from MFD, quality of practise is definitely better than quantity!