Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Focal Embouchure Dystonia: Christmas Carols!

Merry Christmas!!! Here are some Christmas carols! ⛄❄⛄❄⛄❄⛄ Recorded this 30 minutes before work, in a straight mute, and no warm-up! Proud of how I sound despite no time to release tension thru prep-work. I know it's not easy to love the sound when you have embouchure dystonia, but gotta love it more than anything no matter what comes out or doesn't! Only way to enjoy playing is taking pride in what you can matter how miniscule! Not focusing on what you can't do. đź’• Lots of love to the dystonian music community, and of course to my friends and family! 📯🎶🎉 #embouchuredystonia #musiciansdystonia #loveyoursound #beproud #playout

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Pride in Every Step

"Don't wait until you reach your goal to be proud of yourself. Be proud of every step you take." - Karen Salmansohn

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Focal Dystonia Recovery: Deviate from the Norm

Focal Embouchure Dystonia Rehabilitation BE LIKE: "Without Deviation from the normal, progress is not possible." - Frank Zappa

Musicians Dystonia: Speak Out

We need more people who are willing to say, "I've been there, and I'm here. You can talk to me without judgement."

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Focal Dystonia (Violin) Film About Kenny Wong by director Julian Stamboulieh

Congratulatoins Kenny Wong on Best Actor of the Alternative Film Festival - Winter 2019! Film: Dystonia by director Julian Stambouleigh.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Sensory Tricks with Dystonia

 A list of some sensory tricks (i.e. includes motor tricks/forced tricks/reverse tricks/imagery tricks) among various dystonias.

 If you know anyone that has Focal Embouchure Dystonia or thinks they might, the list of Oromandibular Dystonia (jaw dystonia) and Cervical Dystonia (neck dystonia) sensory tricks may give them temporary relief or lessen the overall strength of the symptoms.

 It's also a tell-tail sign you have dystonia if a sensory trick works. However, not all cases report sensory tricks, and some musicians don't even realize it until the neurologist finds they have one during evaluation.

 I come across a lot of brass players with FD where the symptoms and/or tension spreads to their tongue, jaw, neck, shoulders, and upper back. Some of these listed are already common tricks among brass and wind players with ED.

The most that I have come across and been reported to me consistently is: placing something between the teeth, some type of modified guard or splint, icing the face before playing (this worked for me but not the safest), touching the face or neck, drastic change in body movement/posture, focusing on a specific object or visual, change in size or back pressure of mouthpiece, and tongue depressor.

 The key is if you can find a way to incorporate it into rehabilitation or help the sensation of the sensory trick bleed over, it may aid throughout the recovery process. A few examples of this are: "geste" - visualizing the sensory trick, imagery that tricks the brain into avoiding playing mode (ex. I had to visualize blowing on hot cocoa to stop my embouchure from automatically setting). Using a modified guard or splint while playing. Incorporating a tongue depressor throughout retraining to override the damaged brain pathway.

It's not about suppressing the dystonic symptoms or avoiding them. It's about lessening them to a degree so that you have a chance to rebuild a new pathway that the brain recognizes. It's like distracting the messed up signal temporarily so you have a chance to rewire things. Sensory tricks can come in handy if you literally can't get a sound out or things are severe. However, not everyone has a sensory trick.

An actual highly successful method of treatment among musician hand dystonia patients is splinting. And there is only one study that was conducted in Japan on modified dental splinting on three patients with embouchure dystonia with all three returning to performance. It would be great if there was more research in this area of Musician's Dystonia.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Vibro-Tactile Stimulation as Treatment for Spasmodic Dysphonia

A look at one of the many current treatments for Spasmodic Dysphonia (vocal/laryngeal dystonia). I'm currently trying to figure out if this is the same or different than using a TENS unit, because TENS has helped me.