Focal Dystonia in musicians
Focal Dystonia is complex and it is not clear what triggers it. The main causes are believed to be:
Focal dystonia can be seen as a type of phobia, or defence system, that the mind has created in reaction to heightened anxiety, or stress.
The musician is no longer thinking about the sound they want to create, but focus on perfecting a technique. The more they notice errors the more they try to control it
The spasms of focal dystonia are a direct consequence of the body rebelling against the control.
If the musician can learn to stop fighting the dystonia, and relinquish control to the body, allowing the dystonia to happen, he will begin to make progress towards rehabilitation.
Fear of Failure
Most musicians experience performance anxiety or stage fright at some time in their career. Usually it passes, but for some people it it can become a major problem. It can even stop people from performing at all!
John - Musician (classical)
John was finding increasing levels of anxiety when called on to play certain solo pieces in the orchestra. He would practice repeatedly but his worry and anxiety worsened. He was terrified he would freeze up on stage. This was leading to more errors in his playing.
He came for help and through the program he was able to master his performance anxiety. He learnt effective techniques to reduce his anxiety and how to control his thinking. He learnt how to improve his concentration to level where the performance anxiety was no longer an issue.