KOSAI Acupuncture Clinic【Since 1905】Tokyo,Minato-ku,azabu,hiroo,roppong
Consultation Hours10:00-13:00, 15:00-18:00
Closed on Thursday

Acupuncture treatment for musician 

Muscle movement of musicians and that of athletes are often compared, since, in order for them to perform their best, both of them have similarity in the following that they have to do fast and complicated muscle coordinated motions. Athletes tend to understand appropriate movement that will not harm their body through coaching by their trainer, and tend to be more interested in their own body. On the other hand, musicians tend to lack basic knowledge about their body, hence they often do not realize their bad posture during performance or limitation of their body, and therefore it is often observed that they suffer from muscle or nerve symptoms afterwards.

The following symptoms are often observed among musicians

    • Focal Dystonia
    • Allodynia
    • Peritendinitis
    • Overuse syndrome
    • Entrapment syndrome

Focal Dystonia (musician's cramp)

In focal hand dystonia, abnormal muscle movements are initiated during musical performance, and it is a major obstacle for musicians. Characteristic symptoms for pianists are that they find difficulties in striking notes fast, or lack of strength in fingers, that will cause difficulties in striking note vertically. It is reported that 165 cases of focal dystonia in 1320 were musicians between 1992 and 1999.
In majority of cases, symptoms are not shown in daily activities. In order to perform music, skilled hand movements along with speed and accuracy are required, therefore its motion stress is huge. 


Over-trained on particular finger movements (seen in pianist) with the result that they developed focal hand dystonia.
Excessive particular finger movement training will become heavy load to neurotransmitter functions. The misfiring of neurons in the sensorimotor cortex, a thin layer of neural tissue covering the brain is thought to cause contractions. The sensorimotor cortex contains "maps" of the human body. In dystonia these maps cease to be so distinct. The lack of cross-connectivity between areas that are normally segregatedin sensory cortex may prevent normal sensorimotor feedback and so contribute to co-contractions of antagonist muscle groups, and inappropriately timed and sequenced movements that underlie the symptoms of focal dystonia of the hand.

Unlike practicing sports that uses full-body, reprising intensive practices, in order to gearing up for concerts or contests, will not give you the feeling of fatigue. Hence, nerves get worn out, without realizing its tiredness.
Sometimes there is a precipitating factor, such as a relative death and a major or minor traumatic event. (There is a report that 8 % of musicians are suffering from focal dystonia.)

Treatment for Focal dystonia in western medicine

Treatments for abnormal muscle contraction are the following. However, most of the cases, the cause of neural disease are unknown and medical correspondence is difficult. In addition, it is said that the following treatments are effective for blepharospasm, but not for focal dystonia of the hand that musicians suffer who require skilled hand movements. Hence, there is no definite beneficial treatment for treating focal dystonia.

  • botulinum toxin injections,
  • MAB (muscle afferent block): Injecting lidocaine together with ethanol, the mixture work to block muscle sensory nerve.
  • brain neurosurgical procedures
  • Repetitive magnetic stimulation O

Treatment for focal dystonia by acupuncture

Not only in focal dystonia, but in all neurological disease, acupuncture treatment are claimed to be more effective than treatment by western medicine. In our clinic, we achieve satisfactory result in treating pianists, guitarists, and other musicians who suffered from focal dystonia. In our clinic, we use the instrument to measure hyperexcited points of muscles and nerves, and give acupuncture treatment to the exact points. In addiction, as a premorbid factor, there are history of trauma and extreme stress toward both body and mental, hence we also pay attention to the whole body from eastern medicine point of view when we give treatment.

"GOOD POSTURE" - for musician to have their career long -

In most of performances, arms are used mainly, but chest and spinal skeletal muscle are important to stabilize the movement of arms. Skeletal and muscular system have an influence to each other, and excessive tension and load to its movement are the cause of disorder.
The mechanism are similar to athletic injury. "Keep good posture!" it is often told, yet what is "good posture"? "Good posture" for musicians are to minimize the stress to skeletal muscle and not to burden recurrence motion in performance.
However, bad posture that becomes habitual is difficult to remedy. Every musicians probably experience that they tend to be insensible when you drag fabulous performance. Hence, it is important to keep good posture daily. Otherwise, your brain acknowledge your bad posture as default posture, and continuous performing music with bad posture would be a cause for suffering from disorder that would have harmful effect to your performance. It is important for you to perform good and have your career long that your posture when you perform music is checked regularly by others. Our clinic introduce the method as well.