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Famous people who lost the ability to do the thing that makes them famous

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Ego, Apr 26, 2021.

  1. Ego

    Ego New Member

    There is a peculiar phenomenon that probably has a name but I don't know what to call it. If you do, please respond here. It revolves around people who are famous or highly skilled at a particular thing, so much so that the thing becomes who they are. Sports player. Artist. Artisan. Orator. Whatever.

    One day they wake up and discover they are losing the sense or ability most critical to their skill. Beethoven became deaf. Cassatt, O'Keeffe, Monet, Degas, Da Vinci and Rembrandt all lost at least some of their sight. Pianists suffer wrist problems. There are a thousand examples.

    It reminds me of the stradivarius problem where professional musicians leave their Stradivariuses in a taxis https://www.classicfm.com/discover-music/stradivarius-left-in-taxis-and-trains/

    The subconscious mind finding a way to do what it wants or avoid doing what it doesn't.

    Do you know of other examples of this?
    Is there a name for it?

    Thank you!
  2. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I don't know the name for this condition you are describing, but there is a story of a famous pianist that hit very close to home for me, as I spent 2 years recovering from dystonia.

    Unfortunately, it is not a TMS success story because Leon Fleisher, a world-class pianist, did not heal from his focal dystonia in the right hand using Dr. Sarno's method; he got botox injections and it did the trick. After a pause of 40 years, he went on a tour titled "Two Hands". But the first thought that came to my mind when I received a diagnosis of dystonia was about him and his 40-year long battle against dystonia. However, I have no doubts in my mind that his dystonia was 100% TMS.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leon_Fleisher (Leon Fleisher - Wikipedia)

    For the record: unlike Maestro Fleisher, I don't play piano, so the loss of dexterity in both hands was more of a personal tragedy, while his was a loss for the thousands of music lovers.
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2021
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  3. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    Interesting post, Ego.

    This is the story of Chris Abraham of Toronto, Canada. He lost the ability to play the piano due to RSI. It took several years for him to discover TMS and get back to playing again.

    chris| rapidrecovery (fredamir.com)
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  4. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    I hadn't thought of this so consciously before - sort of subconsciously, yes, but you are right - too many examples for it to be mere coincidence.

    The ultimate mystery - the human brain - conscious AND unconscious.
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  5. hawaii_five0

    hawaii_five0 Well known member

    The name for it in baseball is "the Yips". (maybe other sports too?). There have been a couple of famous cases of excellent pitchers with great control who suddenly got the yips and completely lost it. No injury. Just a mental thing.

    Free throw shooting in basketball the same thing. The Wizards had a player some years back name Jan Vesely, who was pretty decent, who suddenly developed a mental block about shooting free throws. By the time they released him he was shooting about 25% (an average player in the NBA shoots about 75%, good ones 85 or 90%).

    There was a funny story about Wilt Chamberlain, who had kind of the same thing. He got worse and worse as his career went on. They hired a psychologist to work with him, but at the end of their time together Chamberlain said that the end result was that the psychologist became a better free throw shooter than him.
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  6. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Both :hilarious: and :(. Like so much of our personal experiences with this thing we call TMS...
  7. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    But is "the Yips" quite the scientific term that @Ego was asking about? :D
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  8. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes, same for golf!
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  9. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Steve Sax syndrome. (Rick Ankiel, Chuck Knoblauch). With Steve Sax it was obviously mental, because when he had a bang-bang play he was nails... it was only routine easy outs that made him throw it into the stands. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Sax (Steve Sax - Wikipedia)
    A lot of good baseball psychology stuff is about Sax's recovery from that ... he worked on techniques to NOT think. He got BETTER than he ever was.
    Beethoven deafness started after he got into a fight with someone...so there you go!

    A friend of mine in LA was in a band. He had an unexpected hit song and his band went from being one of us anonymo's to a National tour. He immediately came down with what they now call 'RSI'. I recorded with him and he was amazing, but it was low pressure, relaxed environment. I also learned he also looked after his Grandma (Guilt/anger/being on tour).... I had only just gotten the Sarno thing myself and people weren't diagnosing RSI as that yet, but I had a gut feeling he was one of us. Sad.

    I have an unpopular opinion. I think about 90% of sports injury is TMS. You got young men in their early twenties making enough money to provide for their great-grandchildren. They have Parents/family/spouses/remoter people all relying on them for their survival.(pressure) The unconscious anger about the responsibility and then you surround them with an army of doctors and therapists all schooled in what Sarno succinctly named "The Medieval Structural Mythology "
    Sign them up to 5-12 year mega-contracts, ban them from all fun activities that other young men are allowed (they can't ride motorcycles, go zip-lining and a lot of other foolish stuff in their contracts) Micro-inspect their personal lives, and the inevitable criticism and hyper micro-inspection of their every utterance... Gee, I wonder why he's out for the season again?

    Great topic
  10. Ego

    Ego New Member

    Great examples. Exactly the kind of self-sabotage I was thinking.

    It strikes me that they are similar to TMS in how the subconscious mind has a motive that is very different from the conscious motive of the person. It manufacture a failure in the most critical ability of the performer/player for a reason of its own. Maybe Wilt's subconscious mind wanted to end all of the pressures of being basketball star Wilt Chamberlain.

    Keep them coming!
  11. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I agree. I think subconsciously elite athletes and elite musicians are scared of losing their successful streak, so a minor injury quickly devolves into a CRPS-like condition when pain by far exceeds the extent of injury and takes on life of it's own even when the tissue damage has long been healed. High-stress professional environment does not help their healing either.
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  12. mbo

    mbo Well known member

    Weird phenomenon.
    Many athletes, sportmen, dancers, musicians,... (all of them exposed to ferocious criticism and self-pressure), have lives plagued by repetitive "injuries", attributed "logicaly" to the physical activity (RSI, back pain, arm pain, leg pain,...).

    Dancer Jessica Shahinian was one of such artists:

    The story of golfer Tigger Woods is paradigmatic
    http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/tiger-woods-pain-and-tms.2573/?fbclid=IwAR3p_i1djk4EDGTKnTHh03ItMnLlAuQpUzb-8kubdaCV2zbhXpD6KJ1TmKQ (Tiger Woods, Pain, and TMS)

    Music conductors James Levine (controversial, and recently deceased), Seiji Ozawa, Christoph Eschenbach and Herbert von Karajan suffered from severe back pain.
    Recently world-class violinist Chung Kyung-Wha has abruptly called off several concerts because of "injury" (one more "injury" in his long career).
    Famous German violinist Janine Jansen can exhibit a whole life full of repetitive "injuries".
    And so on.

    66.2% (n=490) out of 740 orchestral musicians who completed the questionnaire of an important study reported chronic pain.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5238713/ (The prevalence of chronic pain in orchestra musicians)
    The most frequently reported localizations of pain were the body parts which are mostly involved in instrumental playing such as back (70%), shoulders (67.8%), neck (64.1%), hands and wrists (39.8%). 27.4% of the investigated musicians suffered from pain with a high degree of impairment.

    The physical explanation of that "overuse injuries" (nothing to do with real, traumatic injuries) is sooooooo... powerful and "obvious" that almost nobody want to know the emotional origin of his/her pain.

    in 1901 the great and acclaimed catalan cellist Pablo Casals suffered a serious injury to his left hand while hiking in California. He had been climbing Mount Tamalpais, near San Francisco, when a large rock somehow become dislodged, and fell on his hand, crushing some fingers. Casals said that the first thought that came to his mind at the time was, "Thank God, I'll never have to play the cello again!"
    It may be helpful to amateur and/or young (and no so young!) professional musicians, to remember that even the truly great musicians of history have had to contend with self-doubt, stress and burn-out. Fortunalely for Casals -and also for the entire world- the real, traumatic injury in his hand was not used by his brain as trigger for some kind of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) !!!
    Casals, master of the cello that he was, still was always "nervous" before and during performances. Human condition !
    More opinions are welcome !
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  13. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    You hit that one out of the park! I have pointed out time and time again when discussing TMS with others, that the WHERE the symptom shows up ,is actually proof positive it's TMS. TMS has to be good and distracting. A cellist would not get a foot pain. A soccer player won't get carpal tunnel.

    ..and didn't Tigers back pain come right after all of that Drama with his first wife?
  14. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Right on money! Interesting that Casals was relieved that he would never have to play cello again. And he was the greatest cellist of his time!
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  15. mbo

    mbo Well known member

    "Dr. Sarno's work became the mainstay of my own recovery over 25 years ago when every healing modality that I tried (chiropractic, osteopathy, nutrition, rolfing, yoga for the back, allopathic medicine, acupuncture) failed to give me any lasting relief. What I learned from Dr. Sarno was that the mechanism causing my physical chronic pain was NOT physical or structural in origin. He explained that symptoms that are not acute but linger on and become chronic all originate in the emotional realm. He clinically proved that the cause of this pain can be attributed to one primary emotion: rage (or anger). And at the bottom of this anger is fear — the fear of rejection and abandonment that comes from not feeling we're good enough, unworthiness and separation from who we really are. Physical pain becomes a detraction from the inner conflict of anger vs. the need to maintain the persona of a people-pleasing, high-functioning, perfectly “normal” and happy person.
    The arts, in general, are a breeding ground for self-imposed pressures. The incessant need to sound good, look good, be accepted and gain approval go right along with the fear of rejection and abandonment.
    In many cases, merely making the connection between the pain and the emotions can lead to a rapid recovery, which was my personal case.

    Donn Rochlin, pianist and composer

    And have a look to the tragic, sorrowful story of renowned British cellist Jacqueline Du Pre:
    https://thedreambookblog.wordpress.com/2018/01/07/the-transition-from-hands-to-mouth-of-jacqueline-du-pre/ (The Transition from Hands To Mouth of Jacqueline Du Pre)
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  16. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    It's hidden in that little phrase. I don't think any of us like HAVING to do stuff. Sometimes maybe we confuse what we GET to do with what we HAVE to do.
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  17. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Interesting point. I would say it slightly differently. It is about us not enjoying what we are doing. When something is enjoyable, it does not matter whether we have to do it or not. Another famous musician, a genius pianist Glenn Gould, answered this question in an unorthodox way. After suffering severe anxiety and distress from having to go on the tours, he gave up concerts completely, and switched to recordings, right when he was at the peak of his fame. He thoroughly enjoyed doing that and continued playing. If he had to deal with travel and stress of performing in front of the audience, he may have ended up with a severe case of TMS.
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  18. Ego

    Ego New Member

  19. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    We have to be careful with that, because you know we will get called "victim blamers". That being said , I have never known of a case of cancer where the person WASN'T harboring long term resentment. Obviously that's anecdotal, and you hear of children getting cancer so it can't be true 100% BUT I think once we get cured of our pain which is very, very real , it always makes us wonder "what else out there is Mindbody created?"

    I just got over a cold. My son and my right hand man both had the same cold, so it seems viral and 'physical', right? And yet I still think it had more to do with feeling a lot of little irritants and wanting a break from them. 'Western Meditation' as Deepak Chopra calls it. Went to the Doc. Took the decongestant... but also reviewed why having that break from work would be necessary right now....emotionally, mentally, spiritually

    There seems to be very little dis-ease that doesn't have a psychological component.
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  20. mbo

    mbo Well known member

    TMS doctors are very cautious about connecting stress with cancer.... but for dr. Gabor Mate the emotional component of cancer is prominent and obvious.

    https://drgabormate.com/real-reason-women-smokers-greater-risk/ (Gabor Maté Cancer and Stress)

    https://drgabormate.com/preview/when-the-body-says-no-chapter-one/ (When The Body Says No - Chapter One - Dr. Gabor Maté)
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