Effect Of Sugar On Piano Finger Muscles
The effect of sugar on piano finger muscles is weakness, and it is almost instantaneous. Recently I made a chance discovery that improved the physical strength of my “piano fingers” by what felt like a factor of 10. That's a lot in an art in which the steps of achievement can usually be measured in psychological mini-billimeters. I had been eating a lot of cherries, it being summer and finding the fruit plentiful, so I indulged. And I ate a lot of cherries. Every day.
And slowly I noticed that my fingers were getting weaker, even though I am always consistent about doing finger exercises. Here I am doing 45 minutes of Hanon, and I’m getting worse! I couldn’t figure out why I was getting weaker. And I kept eating those cherries. They were so good.
You Are What You Eat
Now, I’m something of an amateur nutritionist and health food addict, so I was breaking a rule of my diet by eating so many cherries. And I mean a lot of cherries. Finally, I decided enough was enough and cut out the cherries. Guess what? The next day, my fingers were like pistons of steel, a tremendous feeling of power. It was as if all the strength I would have had, had I not eaten the cherries, was stored up and finally released when I got the sugar out of my system.
Kinesthesiology And Piano
This is, of course, in line with what I already knew about kinesthesiology (the medical study of the movement of muscles and joints.) I have consulted several famous practitioners with my previous physical maladies related to piano playing. I then remembered a session with a young kinesthesiologist, who I was consulting based on his reputation for helping Aaron Copland with arm pain, I believe.
In this session, I was having trouble with my right arm, and the doctor had me hold out the arm at shoulder height, and he pressed on it, downwards. It is a way of measuring the strength of muscles by gauging their strength through the resistance they make to the force of the doctor’s arm.
An Experiment With Sugar
My arm resisted well, but then the doctor asked. “How much sugar do you eat?” I confessed I ate a lot (this was long ago.) The doctor took out a sugar bowl and took a plastic spoon and said, “Have a little.” I took a half, barely, of the teaspoon and ate it. The doctor said, “Put out your arm again,” and I did so.
He pushed on it, downward, in the same way as before. But my arm sank as if I had no control of the limb. “Don’t eat sugar,” winked the doctor. The cherries are my final lesson in the destructive force of processed sugar and even excessive natural fruit sugar. Neither are good, or as the old saying goes, “Anything in moderation.” Yes, my friends, it was a lot of cherries.