How to take care of your body when you are a musician

Playing an instrument is very physically demanding and uses both large and small muscle groups, and sometimes it is hard to remember to stay relaxed and loose during long hours of repetitive practicing and performing. It’s easy to lose track of time when there is a lot of music to learn and perfect, and when that happens muscles can get tired and it is possible to become injured.

Most musicians spend a lot of time stretching and warming up their muscles the same way athletes do. I usually stretch and warm up away from my instrument first, and then when I finally sit down to play I always spend some time at the beginning of my practice session warming up on my instrument. It helps me relax and engage the muscles that I’m going to be using, and it also gets my mind engaged and ready for the practice session, rehearsal, or performance that is coming up.

When I have been practicing or performing a lot, or learning a lot of new music or music that is very physically demanding, my muscles can be extremely sore afterwards. I have experienced soreness in my fingers, hands, arms, neck, shoulders, and back at various times. I try to take frequent breaks and remember to keep stretching. I drink lots of water, get regular massages, and use a therapeutic percussive therapy massager at home. I also use homeopathic remedies such as arnica to help with muscle soreness. Since I spend so much time sitting at the harp, I try to be physically active when I’m not practicing or performing. I go running almost every day, and I also enjoy swimming and hot yoga. I recently experienced soreness in my left arm and elbow and in addition to getting therapeutic massages I also saw a great acupuncturist who really helped a lot.

Everyone can benefit from frequent stretching, but when you play an instrument for a living, it becomes even more important.

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