A little note on recent observations because people have been coming to this blog have been Googling “IMS” and such.
Practice Endurance vs. Performance
I’m at the point now, where I can practice (alone) for about 2 hour “straight”. Seeing as I’m just about ready to record a short 4-movement baroque sonata, I figured I should be able to play all movements from beginning to end. Uuuuhhhh, no! No such luck. I can do the 2nd movement, though loosing the musical character, and my face just blows out half way through the 3rd.
More endurance is definitely required for a performance than practice, when we stop and retake and rest in between. I suppose, then, that Cooper Wright’s advice was well given (see comment from here). Also, I’ve noticed that:
- when the mouth gets tired, the shoulders and hands tense up;
- when the arms gets tired, the face tenses up.
I don’t know if this is just me (because of fibromyalgia) or if it’s a general rule for everyone, but I think young musicians should pay attention to this.
IMS treatment, one month later
I am now seeing my physiotherapist every month instead of every 2 weeks. The last few times (still bi-weekly) the needles did not hurt anymore, hardly felt any twinges at all. But this time, the reaction was similar to approximately the 6th treatments… that is, not too much pain, but still a lot of reaction (sweats, soreness, fatigue). My physiotherapist was pleased to explain that it wasn’t because of more time between treatments, but because I had begun swimming and training: I am challenging my body and it is reacting to it. This is good because pushing the limits and treating the symptoms will help improve.
She did emphasize that blips between the notes when playing is bad news: it means I am not taking enough care of nerve mobility. My nerves are still constricted, so I need to do her exercises more. The exercises I presented in a previous post are far, far, far too advanced for me. She said, if I can comfortably do those, I don’t need physio anymore! However, the roller foam exercises for myofascial release are excellent and important. Now, I do those with a rolling pin where the huge roller can’t easily reach, and I have noticed more relaxation and control of the pedals when driving!
She fully agreed with the trainer at my gym that I should not work on building the body quite yet, rather, I should stretch muscle groups that are almost always problematic in people who sit at a computer (or reed making table). Once I have gained enough flexibility in the legs and nerve mobility in the arms, then my body will be able to build muscle mass without risking anything.