I am no Superman, no doctor, no expert… I own no scientifically precise machinery, but I do have quite a sophisticated tool at hand − my flute − and I want to share with you a couple of wonderful things I have learned from my faithful companion.
First of all, dedication really pays off. To learn to play an instrument you ought to repeat some quite tricky, fast, well coordinated and precise movements over and over and over.
The way I see it, this repetition creates connections in our brain and nervous system. If you ask your brain and body to accomplish an action often, the 'connection' for this action will get stronger and stronger (as for instance lacing your shoes: impossible as kids, but as adults we can do it with the eyes closed).
I believe it is through carefully practising the flute after my MS diagnosis that I was able to save my hands. Great news is that this can and should be applied to all other areas of physical recovery!
That good old habit of thoughtful, conscious repetition helps us regain mobility and strength not only in hands, but also in legs, arms and other parts of the body which may be affected by MS. But this 'rehearsal' needs to be done daily.
Not necessarily over long, exhausting lengths of time, but every day. Now for the best part: my flute helps me measure my hands' recovery, and let me tell you that, even five years into diagnosis, I still continue to recover!
I can feel the keys better and better under my fingers, and I can play trickier and trickier fast passage work! Isn’t that exciting? Little by little, day by day, recovery is happening. Doctors said if three months later I had not recovered this or that, the handicap was here to stay.
Not so! I see now that inner peace, inner belief and hard regular work really pay off, as my sensitivity and mobility continue to develop.
All you need is trust (in OMS but most importantly in yourself), regular conscious work, and the firm conviction that something can be improved − even just a little, every day!