Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Visit to Hand Therapist

Went to visit a hand therapist over at the Hand Center to figure out what my next steps should be with regard to fine motor skills and came up with some interesting observations:
  • My problems really aren't problems that are addressed by traditional hand therapy but fall into the realm of sensory integration therapy.  My problems are in motor planning, sequencing and coordination and not really in hand function per se.  Although we both are open to the possibility that after sensory integration therapy, I may find that there are a few problems that specifically relate to the hand.
  • I wonder how accurate my self assessment is on the Sensory Integration Test Violin and bow.Image via Wikipedia(SIPT).  I am ranking myself to be "low registration" and a little "sensory seeking".  During a test on stimulating the fingers, Janice, my therapist, had me close my eyes as she touched my fingers with a hair.  I had a very tingling sensation in my fingers afterwards.  She is wondering whether I am more hypersensitive to touch than what I report on the SIPT.   Hard to say.  I find I do really enjoy well made fabrics.  I do take my outside clothes off as soon as I get home and put on my robe.   I am not sensitive to tags on clothes, or hems in socks or the sort of things commonly asked on the SIPT.
  • She started to address me squeezing everything too tightly.  I am a "Crusher" and clamp down hard on everything.  I squeeze my pens, musical instruments, scissors, paint brushes, etc. So she gave me a piece of rubber tubing with velcro  pins wrapped around it.  Immediately my grip relaxed and I could hold the pencil loosely.  
    • I am going to put the velcro on my violin and flute. Man, I really get hand strain when practicing for an hour.  I did violin  as a kid and had to practice.  No question about it.   I wonder if this will help my vibrato on the violin.  Vibrato is the shaking of the left hand that you see on TV.  I have a hard time with it because my left hand is clamping down so hard.  Also, it might be easier to bow with my right.  You are supposed balance the bow gently.  Well, I am anything but gentle.
    • I will also try this on the flute.  I have problems holding the flute and playing scales as I can't get the flute balanced and move my fingers at the same time.
    • She thinks that getting into ceramics and pottery will be a good thing for me.  Pushing and pinching the clay will provide feedback for my fingers and train them to recognize how strong my grip is. 
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