Amy Mantis


Preventative Practice / Guitar Training

I am in the throws of a lifelong commitment to improve, well, everything.  But right now I'm focusing on my body.

Sometimes I get mad that I have to roll and mobilize before I play guitar.  For a solid eight years (13 to 21), I could just pick up and play with no fear of pain in my wrists, forearms, elbows, or shoulders.  Then I injured myself doing yoga (I know), and my right wrist/shoulder has never been the same.  I went to physical therapy, occupational therapy, took matters into my own hands via Kelly Starrett and Jill Miller, I've had countless massages, gone to several acupuncturists, had some dry-needling, and some bio-puncture, and the problem still prevails.  Not only does it prevail, it's gotten worse due to a skiing accident last winter.

My left wrist was great up until this past April when I felt my nerves react (I felt tingly) while I was doing basic warmups on my guitar.  It was likely a combination of practicing in a poor position, strain on my shoulder (I was standing), and nearly 13 years of guitar-playing that zapped my wrist.  So I went to my guy, and then my other guy, and then back to my first guy, and then back to my books and videos to help alleviate (and eventually say goodbye) to all that I've been experiencing.

Most recently, I developed what I think is upper-cross syndrome, and I just started a program to help with that (and restarted some others).

I do believe that with help from others (doctors, massage therapists, etc) and my own practices, I can become pain-free once again.  Or if not pain-free, then very close to being pain-free.  I know that I have to maintain a daily practice on my own, as hard as it can be.  I know that I won't be perfect all of the time, but there are things that I can do to help no matter what state I'm in or how I'm feeling that day.

Sometimes I get upset at my situation, but that doesn't do me any good.  It can be annoying when ten minutes into a practice session, I have to stop so I can mobilize, but if that's what it takes to play, I'll do it.

We all have our own form of training so we can do what we want to do when we want to do it.  If my training is this right now (and for as long as I live), then I will accept my challenge and do what I need to do, so I can do what I need to do.

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