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I am sad to share that I have not been playing shakuhachi regularly for nearly two years now. A lot had to do with being a new father and simply feeling pressed for time ... but the main reason was that I had developed pains in my hands. Everytime I picked up a shakuhachi within about 3 or 4 minutes I would get various pains in my fingers of my right hand. I had attributed this to playing too long on too many occasions while gripping the shakuhachi with too much force.
Of course I would have liked to pursue Singer's prescription for alleviating this pain (swimming) but that was just not a realistic option due to time constraints... so I had made peace with the fact that my shakuhachi career was sadly coming to a pre-mature close.
About a month ago I felt my hand pains getting worse when doing other tasks like computer typing and even simple work around the house. And I also, though I did not draw any connection, experienced becoming more forgetful and also more lethargic. It got to the point a few weeks ago where I felt I couldn't leave the house on a really hot day as I was getting tired too quickly.
So I went to a doctor and found out that I am suffering from a severe b12 deficiency that is obviously a result of my vegan diet. And after a week of B12 shots I can report a lot more energy, a lot more clarity and, a lot less pain in my hands. In fact, actually, there is almost no pain in my hands anymore.
I know there are a lot of vegan / veggie types out there in the shaku community - so a quick tip: If you are experiencing hand pain or other neurological problems, you might want to make sure you are taking adequate b12 supplements. If your problem gets serious most likely a doc will diagnose and solve the it, but I suspect there are many people with a borderline deficiency who never get diagnosed at all and as a result just plain suffer.
and also more lethargic. It got to the point a few weeks ago where I felt I couldn't leave the house on a really hot day as I was getting tired too quickly.
I am also subject to bouts of lethargy and tiredness - doing anything in hot weather can completely zonk me. Do you think this might possibly be related? My Vit B level from blood tests showed up fine.
Do you consume Tempei or any other fermented stuff? I mean live fermented, not fermented and then soaked in vinegar, pastuerized, or some other "purification" or pickling. These foods can help to maintain the bacteria necessary for b12 creation and absorption. Also, your liver stores up to three or four years worth of b12 normally, and most of the b12 that your body uses should be recycled by your body, belive it or not. Even if you don't show any liver damage in blood work, something as innocent as a couple of beers a day or several over a week can deplete this ability to store and recycled b12 over a longer period of time, so be careful with those habits that tax the liver. Considering that most dosages of b12 are mega-huge, if you take care of your liver really carefully, you should get over this really quickly and build your stores back up. Of course, supplementation can be a long term remedy without any real harm. This is precisely why beer and sausage go hand in hand, along with a healthy dose of saurkraut.
Last edited by lowonthetotem (2010-08-04 15:52:03)