Not long ago I had occasion to work with an incredibly intuitive non-musician at his keyboard of choice – a computer. A veteran at a high-tech computer company, he was experiencing near-constant forearm pain – so much so that he wondered if he might have to consider leaving his job. As we talked, I learned that he had already consulted doctors and ergonomic specialists. Savvy enough to recognize that his repetitive strain problems were cumulative, he did what he could to limit the number of keystrokes he made on a daily basis and willingly experimented with the vast array of gadgetry designed to help the beleaguered modern techie.
We studied, then adjusted his ergonomic keyboard, tweaked the height and angles of his advanced office chair, and hashed through more mouse options than I ever knew existed. In the end, the actual changes we made were small, but the physical perception brought to the forefront by each of those changes was huge. In my opinion, being an avid T’ai Chi student for many years was one of the main reasons this man was able to quickly both feel and process the new sensations in his body. The physiological aspects of T’ai Chi practice – breathing, muscle usage, skeletal alignment and relaxation – allowed him to transfer his already heightened body awareness from larger to smaller muscle groups.
The body has an amazing capacity to heal itself – we just need to set it up for that recovery.