Competitive Archery – Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (Pain)(Strain)(Injuries)(Posture)(Psychology)(Alexander Technique)(Albuquerque)

by ethankind on May 4, 2012

This ebook, An Alexander Technique Approach to Competitive Archery, is published on this website in a PDF format. It is very detailed and practical, and it will give you the physical tools you need to take the limits off of your ability to create an extraordinarily accurate archery technique.
This ebook is also for sale on all AMAZON websites in a KINDLE format.
Located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.A.

When I was practicing six hours a day, seven days a week, to become a concert guitarist at the Royal College of Music in London in the early seventies, I developed carpal tunnel syndrome in my left wrist. I went to an Alexander Technique teacher, and within few months I was able to practice as much as I wanted without pain, and I’ve never suffered from carpal tunnel syndrome since.

What was it that the Alexander Technique teacher taught me that got me out of physical trouble permanently? I was taught how to press the strings with the minimum strength necessary, to find the most mechanically advantageous hand position in relationship to the string and guitar neck, and to press the strings without immobilizing my wrist, elbow, and shoulder.

I’ve applied the above principles in my ebook on archery. If the hands are in a mechanically advantageous relationship to the bow, and you draw the bow with released dynamic wrists and grip, then you will be on your way to healing your carpal tunnel syndrome.

As an archer, you want to support your wrists with powerful decompressed forearms, upper arms, and shoulders. Then you can draw the bow with arms, hands, and fingers that are not hurting from the pressure. Then, when you release the bow, with mobile dynamic wrists, you aren’t damaging the bones of the wrist and causing carpal tunnel syndrome.

Let me explain. If you’ve learned to hold/squeeze the bow and draw string with a static held body and arm positions, then as you continuously change the relationship of the hands to the forearms with held immobilized tension, you’re forcing the bones of the wrists to grind against each other.

Simply, tense muscles force bones together and cause 100% unnecessary wear and tear throughout the whole body.

Why do archers use too much muscle to shoot the arrow? It is to prevent mistakes. It is using physical negative reinforcement to shoot the arrow with accuracy. So, when you are competing, you may become fairly accurate by using excessive tension to minimize the number of mistakes you make, but you are damaging your body.

Then, you seek out an Alexander Technique teacher who shows you that you can be extraordinarily accurate, if you release all of your excess tension, use balanced posture, and trust your hands and fingers wrapped/lengthening around the bow to place the arrow.

I want to say something here about injuries being inevitable in repetitive activities that require precision. They are not, but by the time a archer comes to an Alexander Technique teacher with carpal tunnel syndrome from archery, the archer has lived with a powerful belief system that says injuries are inevitable in the sport.

I show archers how to get out of physical trouble, and I also ask them to simultaneously question all of the negative beliefs they have about archery causing harm to the body. I then ask them to consider giving up all of the beliefs that guarantee they will eventually get injured in archery.

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