Wednesday, December 09, 2009
The LA musician’s life is one driven by a love for the
muse. As such, this calling requires
many lifestyle sacrifices that have deep implications for overall health. Accountants, engineers, hairdressers, and
teachers all face risks unique to their professions. Musicians, however, face work-related risks
that resemble those of swing-shift workers.
Some of these problems are insomnia, fatigue, and hypertension.
The body’s natural
rhythms are naturally governed by the sun. These rhythms are called
“circadian.” The circadian rhythms
control the release of hormones, regulating digestion, sleep, and metabolic
functions of the entire body.
Unpredictable schedules disrupt the circadian rhythms as any exposure to
light will disrupt melatonin production, the hormone that induces sleep and
night-related metabolic processes.
Interestingly enough, within the Chinese medicine system,
there exists a strong understanding of circadian rhythms. In fact, this understanding is integrated
into the system of “energy circuits,” called meridians or channels. There are 12 main channels which cover the
body, in addition to two channels forming the anterior and posterior “seams.” Each channel is dominant for two-hours during
the day, equaling 24 hours, the same number of hours in a day.
Acupuncturists are specialists in interpreting and treating
signs of circadian imbalance. Whether
the problem stems from jet lag, swing-shift work, or the jagged schedule of a
musician, acupuncture can make a big difference by doing two things: addressing
the branch expression of circadian imbalance and by providing tools to empower
individuals to prevent further occurrences—all without drugs.
Here’s once such tool that a person can try for himself to
see how it works. It involves massaging
the ears. Basically, two hours before
the gig and then every-two hours afterward, the ears should be massaged. Do a good job by massaging each ear for about
30 seconds, covering the whole ear.
There is absolutely no need to get inside the ear canal. Attention need only be directed to the easily
accessible aspects of the outer ear.
The ears have unique qualities relative other organs and
acupuncturists make good use of them.
Even though needling the ear may sometimes prove more effective, a
regular ear-massage routine is essentially akin to acupressure and can be
self-applied. This can make a world of
difference in terms of cost and convenience.
It is difficult to imagine that one’s musical expression
would not be affected by one’s physical and emotional state. The demands of a musician’s life mean that having
an established sleep routine that harmonizes with the cycles of the sun is
unrealistic. Fortunately, acupuncture
and the system of Chinese medicine provides a natural solution that can make a
real difference in terms of how you feel.
This difference occurs by stimulating points along the energy channels
of the body, channels that are already understood to be under the influence of
the sun. Ear massage is an easy and near
effortless way for the individual to balance the body to prevent some of the
effects of circadian imbalance.