Chinese medicine, comprised of acupuncture, herbs, and cupping, is a holistic medical system equipped to address problems like Bassist Shoulder. Central to the concept of Chinese medicine is flow, primarily the flow of blood and oxygen throughout the body. “When flow is impaired pain arises,” is a truism from the Chinese medical classics. This is evident in the instance of Bassist Shoulder: the weight of the bass along with narrow strap width combine to impair the flow of blood and oxygen through the tissues and fascia that connect the neck and shoulder. Hip, lower back and even knee pain arise from the stress of compensation.
There are many ways that an acupuncturist may approach Bassist Shoulder, but they boil down to local and distal applications. Some acupuncturists favour strictly one approach over the other, but mainly it depends upon the patient’s response. Local applications are not restricted to just needles. Finger acupuncture (needle-less acupuncture) , Chinese massage, and cupping are commonly used to increase the flow of blood and oxygen in the local tissue to speed tissue repair and relieve pain. Cupping is very effective for releasing the stress held by the big muscles of the neck and shoulder.
In a previous article, String Musicians Fret Over Carpal Tunnel, I discuss some common postural issues related to the playing of neck instruments. Some attention is drawn toward a personal preference for distal needling in dealing with pain, particularly regarding pain in nerve rich areas like the wrists. Distal techniques can be equally effective in releasing large muscle groups like the sternocleidomastoid and trapezius muscles of the neck. Possibly, this is in part due to the neuro-muscular retraining that occurs as the affected area is free to clear pain and relearn postural awareness, while another neural impulse from the needles is being initiated from a distal site.
There is a holism that is also contained within certain distal approaches. This is because these approaches place the body within a matrix, where imbalance anywhere produces corresponding imbalances. Often working on something that appears unrelated is precisely the linchpin for correcting a slew of imbalances. It is not unusual for needle impulses from the knee to release the shoulder and the hip, because this is the place within the matrix that balances the whole.
By addressing Bassist Shoulder with cupping and acupuncture, chronic neck and should problems can be greatly ameliorated and in many instances complete function and mobility can be restored. A proper holistic approach must include more than just treating the symptoms. This means learning movements and postural awareness that will prevent relapse and make playing the bass more enjoyable than it already its.
If your work as a bassist here in Los Angeles is producing adverse physical results, why not contact the center at 323.936.5152?