December 2, 2009

Harping Healthy for the Holidays

Well, as much as I would rather be in Scotland, playing some incredible music with friends established or newly minted, I'm home listening to the rain pelt the window whilst the wind howls. It is well and truly winter (even if it is only "meteorological winter" and we haven't yet reached the solstice). 

As we move toward the "Bleak Midwinter" it is natural that we'll be playing more: people to the house will want to hear you, holiday gigs are piling up (this is my wish for each of you who are gigging), or your just practicing more because your inside more, staying cozy.

If you are playing more (practicing, preparing, or simply playing) it is essential that you care for your hands.  On the outside, be sure to keep your skin nourished with an appropriate lotion or balm.  Caring for your skin not only feels better but also helps keep you healthy.  You'll feel better because you prevent chapping or drying, Skin breaks or cracks are fractures in your largest organ and leave you open to infection.

 It is equally essential that you care for the inside of your hands.  Be certain to warm up each time you play.  A few gentle scales and a go at your favorite exercises for just a few moments (2 - 5 minutes) will gently warm the small muscles of your hands.  Just as you wouldn't go out and run five miles without training or warming up, you shouldn't sit down and play without preparing. 

Avoid injury now and in the future by caring for your hands daily.

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