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#19 greenferry

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 06:55 AM

you can find out about as much as I can just by searching online...and, I think that the studio I once went to for classes is possibly closed now, though the teacher may be teaching at some other studio. As well as yoga, he held Feldenkrais classes. Feldenkrais is great, I think -- and is good for -people who may not want to actually take a 'yoga' class or have any connection with anything called yoga, for whatever reason.

Oh, there are classes in Hudson through Assabet After Dark -- assabetafterdark.com, though, there may be similar types, closer to you, don't know.

I took some yoga classes there, too, from the same teacher who ran the yoga center. Now, there is a new teacher (took 2 classes from her, too).

Assabet is good -- though, I prefer now to go to night Adult Ed classes in Harvard, MA -- they cost less, since it's a smaller bunch of people. (Cooking classes, for me, now. Getting fat, shall need more yoga....)

I do think that Assabet asks a bit much for their night courses, but -- yikes -- I've checked out some prices of local yoga studios, and they are absolutely over the top!!! They must get some very elite people, but, no thanks, I am not that stupid, won't pay that much! . . . Assabet is in Marlborough, actually. But, right near Hudson.

Wendy,

I was curious about the Feldenkrais class at Assabet After Dark in Marlborough, and discovered that they're still doing it, and they just started a six week course last Monday. Details are at (new website). The price is incredibly cheap -- $11 per class. I have a friend who's been doing Feldenkrais therapy in Cambridge for several years now, and she swears by it.

#20 bellowbelle

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 11:08 PM

Wendy,

I was curious about the Feldenkrais class at Assabet After Dark in Marlborough, and discovered that they're still doing it, and they just started a six week course last Monday. Details are at (new website). The price is incredibly cheap -- $11 per class. I have a friend who's been doing Feldenkrais therapy in Cambridge for several years now, and she swears by it.


Aha, so...THAT'S why I was thinking about my former yoga teacher a couple days ago....this thread!!! I didn't find this post until just now, about 2 days later. I don't always get an e-mail notice for some reason, probably one that makes sense, dunno.

Anyway, thanks....yes, I just may end up back at a class like that at Assabet. It's not that I really love to exercise, but, I'm just finding out (again) that if I don't do it, I'm very bad off.

I did almost start going to a different (yoga) place -- in Hudson, in fact -- but, this winter was just so absolutely cold that I couldn't stand to go out much. Really! Just about froze, around here. Difficult if you have any physical problems to begin with.

I looooove my 'edge trainer' or 'cross trainer' thing, and I have an exercise bike. Presently, I think I weigh more than I ever have in my life, so....I could stand to use those gadgets more often!!

Numbness in the hands (...and I hope you're better now, Mark?) could be caused by so many things. And, probably helped by a variety of treatments, too, regardless (to an extent) of the cause.

Hmm... had more to say, but I guess I'll end here...lost my thought train...derailed.. oh well.

Edited by bellowbelle, 15 March 2006 - 11:09 PM.


#21 bellowbelle

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 11:17 PM

Just an extra note, after posting my message above...

Whether or not I end up back at a class (Feldenkrais or other), I know I'm heading in the right direction and will make some improvements. I recently began talking to a psychotherapist, and so that will help remove mental 'debris' that wrecks my attempts at physical improvements.

I recently got good medical reports, otherwise...so, now, if you concertina players start noticing I'm posting extra weird or whatever, please make sure that if they've locked me up, they have NOT taken away my concertina!!!! Thanks.

#22 greenferry

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 04:27 AM

Just an extra note, after posting my message above...

Whether or not I end up back at a class (Feldenkrais or other), I know I'm heading in the right direction and will make some improvements. I recently began talking to a psychotherapist, and so that will help remove mental 'debris' that wrecks my attempts at physical improvements.

I recently got good medical reports, otherwise...so, now, if you concertina players start noticing I'm posting extra weird or whatever, please make sure that if they've locked me up, they have NOT taken away my concertina!!!! Thanks.

The warm weather last week was a real uplift after all this cold. I have been out raking, liming, and tidying up around the yard, and managed to get a very tiny thorn in my right forefinger, which has put a kink in practicing concertina. A week later, and it's still swollen! I can't wait for Spring. The Vernal Equinox is only four days away! Happy Ostara!

#23 Missing Song

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 08:44 PM

Wendy,

I was curious about the Feldenkrais class at Assabet After Dark in Marlborough, and discovered that they're still doing it, and they just started a six week course last Monday. Details are at (new website). The price is incredibly cheap -- $11 per class. I have a friend who's been doing Feldenkrais therapy in Cambridge for several years now, and she swears by it.


I realise this is an older thread but I thought I'd offer my twopenneth. I have CFS which developed after a nasty car accident and viral illness. Thankfully it's a huge amount better in the last year. I found Feldenkrais remarkable and worth considering for anyone who needs to be more in touch with their body's needs. My teacher was so calm and helpful it made me feel hopeful of a new kind of normality. You can do many of the exercises through visualisation. I also found a book by Fiona Agumbar called Beat Fatigue with Yoga very sympathetic to a variety of illnesses (notwithstanding advice from your doctor obviously). Her graded exercises ranging from stillness to a full yoga session for the good days are well thought out. As you know exercise is not a cure all but the right exercises done to the right degree can stave off degeneration in some circumstances.

I have also found that a TENs machine is very helpful. My doctor has been very supportive and a pain managment clinic plus regular support from a musclo-skeletal multi disciplinary team (1.30am spelling!) have made all the difference to me. You may or may not have a cure available to you but even if there isn't one it's possible to feel enabled to lead a relatively normal life. I think the worst thing about chronic illness is having to give up or limit the things you love. I wish you well Mark.

#24 Mark Evans

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 02:27 PM

I think the worst thing about chronic illness is having to give up or limit the things you love. I wish you well Mark.



Thank you very much. I have tried some massage therapy (hot stones, calling the spirits), the results have been on the whole positive....now if it could do something for the gout! <_< I've given up my red wine, ale, salmon, shell fish and the veggies on the do not eat list. Once in while I cheat and boy do I pay the piper.

The numbness in the hands dissapears when I do a performance or become very deeply engaged in my music. Seems like I'm doing more with less. It's when I do carpentry, gardening or tending the Koi pond I realize that things are not up to snuff.

#25 CaryK

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Posted 20 November 2006 - 04:02 PM

In the last few months my hands have been going numb while playing.

Went to the clinic and they ruled out Carpel-Tunnel (I have no idea how to spell that) and sent me down for an MRI (almost lost my mind in that steel tube). Verdict: I have three diseased disc in my neck that effects my lower back and hands. There is no operation only PT which has yielded no positive result as of yet.

Anybody else run into this? Any suggestions?


Mark, I have this same problem from time to time. I get the numbness in my hands due to a deteriorating disc in my neck, which has been imaged by catscan. When I raise my head I can actually cause the numbness in my hands to appear and spread. When I lower my head forward toward my chest I can relieve the numbness. If I'm reading music and lifting my head to look out of the bottom of my bifocals I can bring on the numbness while playing concertina. PT using a weighted neck halter and pulley mechanism really helps me. I do the PT for several days to several weeks and then I am good for a number of months before the numbness reappears. I call it "hanging myself." Playing tunes by ear and memory also works for me, because then I don't have to rely on a music stand to hold music and do not have to raise my head while playing. I don't know what kind of PT you are doing and I certainly don't recommend mine unless your doctor approves it. Good luck with your condition. It is certainly an annoyance.

#26 LAFidel

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Posted 26 November 2006 - 02:19 PM

In the last few months my hands have been going numb while playing.

Went to the clinic and they ruled out Carpel-Tunnel (I have no idea how to spell that) and sent me down for an MRI (almost lost my mind in that steel tube). Verdict: I have three diseased disc in my neck that effects my lower back and hands. There is no operation only PT which has yielded no positive result as of yet.

I am learning to live with this. The traditional seated playing position seems best as long as I elevate the leg I'm resting the instrument on and can play for an extended period before taking a break. That's great for the house or the weekly seisuin. However, I also play in a Whatzit band where we all stand. In that situation I have to be careful not to elevate the instrument to chest level for an extended period of time or the numbness comes on strong. I love to dance around with the instument in my hands and I have notice the natural flow of changing positions while dancing seems to help. Just have to dance more I guess!

Anybody else run into this? Any suggestions?


There are some surgical techniques in the pipeline that may revolutionize the treatment for degenerative disc disease. They will involve the injection of a gel material into the disc capsule, essentially restoring the disc's ability to cushion the vertebrae and relieving pressure on nerve roots exiting in the vicinity. It's my understanding that this approach is being tested now and is likely to win FDA approval in 2-3 years. Sounds like a long time when you're in discomfort, but if you can get some relief with conventional therapies and exercise, it might be worth the wait. Talk to your doc about that one, too.

#27 Mark Evans

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Posted 27 November 2006 - 06:02 AM

Thank you both CaryK and LAFidel. I cannot effect a change in the hands with a particular head position (would that I could). That gel injection sounds pretty good. I'll just have to wait the FDA out (God willin' an' the creek don't rise).

We just had a Thanksgiving Weekend Pickin' Party at our house and I played four hours without pause and felt fine. This morning those hands feel like Smithfield smoked hams :( .

Edited by Mark Evans, 28 November 2006 - 11:00 AM.


#28 Dana Johnson

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 08:06 PM

In reply to the initial post, Just another note, When I started playing the concertina years ago I had a similar problem with similar neck vertebra / disc problems. I switched to playing my fiddle with a high shoulder rest for a number of months and then slowly got back into the concertina. I found that the inherrent unbalance in playing with the left side anchored and moving the right side. (Left isometric exercise, right kinetic exercise ) made it so that all the left side shoulder / upper back / neck muscles were either pulling things out of whack and causing the pinching, or actually doing the pinching themselves. When I mixed my exeercise up and built my concertina playing muscles up more gradually, it al sorted itseslf out nicely, and I can play for hours now with no problem. Part of the process was in learning to relax whenever I didn't actually need to be applying bellows force. this happens hundreds of times in a tune and makes playing much less tiring, as well as making direction changes much quicker. This is related to Irish anglo playing, but may be applicable to other tinas and styles as well. My problem only started when I started the concertina, so I started looking at what there was about my playing that might have caused it. The discs and arthritis in the neck vertebra might have been able to do something they couldn't in my youth, but in my case it was the unbalanced exercise that tipped the scales.
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#29 bellowbelle

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 11:39 PM

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Thank you very much. I have tried some massage therapy (hot stones, calling the spirits), the results have been on the whole positive....now if it could do something for the gout! .......................................


Speaking of gout, which my grandfather had (and I wonder if I've inherited it) -- did you know there's at least one 'healthy' food is one to avoid? Cooked spinach. As I understand it, it is said to leave deposits of oxalic acid crystals in the .... uh, wherever it does....the extremities, maybe, like fingers....or maybe that was the joints. Raw spinach doesn't do the same, I guess (though, there's more risk for e coli, in that case, I guess!)

So, can you believe it...chocolate may be better for you than spinach! (Yay!)

We still do eat a dish that has cooked spinach, but, I've laid off the stuff since that recent e coli scare. Maybe the fact that I cooked it saved us, I don't know.

Off this particular topic, kinda....I got a huge tooth pulled today (in Framingham, Mark, and I've practiced my skills at actually finding the place... :D ). I finally found a really great dental office and I can't believe what a breeze the whole surgery was. Anyway, the point is, this may be a major victory for my face and jaw, and in fact for more parts of me!

I'm amazed at all that a bad tooth can do (even if it doesn't particularly 'ache'). It may have been the cause of most of my migraines, in fact. So, how nice if I won't need to have any more migraines! A root canal was suggested by the dentist, but not for me this time...prefer the thing gone.

#30 Mark Evans

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 06:40 AM

Speaking of gout, which my grandfather had (and I wonder if I've inherited it) -- did you know there's at least one 'healthy' food is one to avoid? Cooked spinach.

A root canal was suggested by the dentist, but not for me this time...prefer the thing gone.



Ah Wendy, you could well have the gene. I understand it is rare to manifest in women, but one of my colleagues at the job site suffers and she discribes it as worse than childbirth :huh: !

I have been warned off spinach.

I'm with you on the root canals. Pull er' out an' I'll gumb me chow!

#31 John D

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Posted 17 December 2006 - 10:25 PM

Anybody else run into this? Any suggestions?


Mark, I've had problems with my neck for years. My right hand went totally numb combined with upper arm pain back in '86, and I had a spinal fusion/discectomy (I think it was C6/7) with pretty much total relief. In the last year or so I'm experiencing similar symptoms on the left side, and I went for the entire workup with a neurologist a few months back. He said I have some calcification in the two discs above the fusion, but suggested waiting a bit to see how it developed before thinking about surgery. Sure enough, it went away after about 6 more weeks. I attribute part of the remission to changing my work chair (to an expensive Aeron). If I abuse it it act up again, but it's generally been OK lately.

Just starting with the concertina, so I don't know how that's going to affect it :)

john d

#32 John Sylte

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Posted 18 December 2006 - 12:43 PM

I am just reading this thread for the first time, so I'm a late comer here. I ruptured my C6-7 two years ago in a snowboarding accident. The result was total numbness in the tip of my left index finger. The fix was a microdiscectomy and a hemilaminotomy of my C6-7 vertebrae. Basically, they went in (thru the back of my neck) and removed a portion of my bulged disc, the portion that was cutting off the nerve to my left hand. No fusion. It was a miserable week of recovery, but after I got through the worst of it, I healed quickly. Feeling in my finger came back within 6 weeks, and I feel normal now. The gel treatment sounds interesting, I had not heard of that when I had my accident. They fixed me up using tried and tested technologies, and I have no complaints. An MRI and a good doctor to interpret it should explain whatever numbness is going on in your case. This is the 21st century now. We've come a long way in medicine. There's no sense in tolerating physical discomfort if you don't have to.

Best of Luck-

#33 Mark Evans

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Posted 19 December 2006 - 12:08 PM

I have recently started chiropractic treatments (my insurance will cover this and it doesn't scare the beejeezus outta me like this surgery talk does). Some suprising results. The first visit caused some shock-like pain to my left hand, then abaitment. The hands are still tingling on and off but not going numb. I've been able to stand and play with the bluegrass band with a much improved ease and the sitting and playing is going very well indeed. No panacea, but for now I'll take it.

This season brings a lot of gigs and whatever this is doing has made manipulating a 'tina, banjo or computer keyboard an alright experience.

One complaint though: The chiropractor has an odd taste in music. Gettin' me back and neck cracked ta' Elvis singin' Blue Christmas was too surreal. :blink: I had to ask for silence during subusequint sessions.

Edited by Mark Evans, 19 December 2006 - 12:09 PM.


#34 paperpunchr

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 11:12 AM

My problem seemed to be pressure on a nerve in the palm of my right hand, causing numbness in small areas like one part of the tip of my pinky.

I posted the following under another topic, Numb Fingertips, in this section:

Thanks all, I think I've found something that works for me...it reduces and distributes the pressure on the palms of the hands while playing anglo...There's a tubular foam insulation used to slip onto water pipes...a length of that cut to fit the handrest, and the straps let out to make enough room for my hands...the split foam tubing slips on over the handrests and is kept in place by friction.

It's sort of like riding a bike with padded handlebar grips, and it's greatly reduced the problem.

Your mileage may vary, but it works for me....though I have to let the straps out all the way to the last hole!

Thanks again!

Doug

#35 Mark Evans

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 01:02 PM

Doug, sounds like you have found a solution...for now.

After my recent check up, the doctor sent me to a hand specialist because the numbness in the hands is now accompanied with some intense pain. X-rays of my hands told the tale...arthritis in the thumbs and surrounding bones (actually quite advanced and the worst thing for an EC player). I had to laugh when I saw no space between the bones.

I'm taking steps that have yeilded results:

No more standing free style (have to get one of those neck straps)

Keeping my left hand stationary on the knee (for it is the worst)

Playing with a little less abandon (use me knoggin' not me hands)

The carpel tunnel is being managed with the splints and adjustments on the computer keyboard.

Just knowing is a bit of a relief. I still put in 3 hours a day practice and play with anyone who shows the slightest inclination as the clock in running.

Would really like to roll back time and stop my 31 year old self from selling that Wheatstone to help with grad school. I could have played for those 20 years I sat idle. Makin' up for it now and how ;) .

Edited by Mark Evans, 28 June 2007 - 01:03 PM.


#36 Dirge

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 02:43 PM

The other thing Doug's fix does is in effect instantly raise the height of the handrests; something I've been muttering about trying for ages, so I shall give it a go (even with comparatively healthy hands.)




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