I’ve had this love affair with the cello for longer than I can remember. It’s just deep and hypnotic and oh so wonderful. Easily the best instrument in the orchestra (sorry cymbal dude).

I have zero experience playing instruments. Until I started lessons a couple months ago, I had never read music, let alone played a note. But it just dawned on me around my birthday (which is when things tend to dawn on me – thank you mortality) that the next two years were gonna pass anyway, and I was gonna waste time on Netflix or Facebook or Pinterest all throughout the years, and how cool would it be if I spent just a little bit of that time practicing my favorite instrument instead? Basically, in two years, I could be well-versed in Mad Men or in cello, and only one of them would make me proud.

I spent the first 6 weeks not being that bad! The difference of course in how easily you learn something often comes down to how inspired you are, and every time I make a pretty sound come out of that thing (even if it’s just scales) I get re-inspired…because I made that sound!

Then I got to learning things like slurs, and traveling to teach classes all over the southeast, and my progressed slowed. Still it’s pretty amazing and I’m still in love. The downside? I have a history of tendon concerns, I’m double-jointed, and I have strangely long fingers, so I never anticipated the level of discomfort that comes from learning to wrap your fingers in an awkward C shape and forcing a basically defunct pinky to listen to me. By the end of a practice session, I’m left with something between the twisted hand of a 90 year old typist and a eagle’s talons. Exhibit A. The Cello Claw! Attractive, no? It doesn’t feel so hot either. My joints get sore, my tendons scream obscenities at me, my muscles are tight…all the way up to my elbow I’m feeling my body learn this new thing called the Death Grip. And as soon as I get used to it, I take off traveling for a week and have to reacclimatize my body to the cello when I return. Not helpful!

And then one day I remembered…. Oh, um, like, duh, I probably totes have an oil for that! I’ve actually been working with two oils for it. After each session, I break out these bad boys.  I tried to use Deep Blue, which contains Wintergreen and works like a champ for every other part of my body, but it didn’t work nearly as well as this combo. 

Lemongrass and Wintergreen both help to ease discomfort and lavish my unhappy tissues with sweet, tender butterfly kisses, and within a few minutes my claw relaxes into something softer and less tyrannosaurus in nature.

Because I’m bad at planning ahead, I just place a drop of each in my hand with a couple drops of fractionated coconut oil after every session and massage that up and around the hand, wrist, and forearm. If I were a little more organized, I’d actually make this into a roller bottle blend. I don’t have exact ratios for that, but I’d likely start off with 10 drops of each (per 10 ml), topped off with FCO, and experiment from there. I’m about 3 months into learning and hopefully by this time next year I’ll be brave enough and practiced enough to actually share a bit (as well as buff enough – at least in my left arm – to not whine like a baby about it). For now, not so much. And trust me, you’re welcome. 😉

Do you play an instrument?