I love alternative medicine particularly Homeopathy. I have been using it regularly for the past two years and it has helped me considerably in my recovery from breast cancer. I was also interested to learn that it could also be helpful for stage fright and nerves. So over to Lorraine….
Homeopathy for Stage Fright and Performance Anxiety
One of my adult students, Berenice, is studying to be a homeopath. We were discussing performance nerves and anxiety in piano playing and she had the following suggestions for homeopathic treatments for children and adults. Berenice is also looking for case studies for her final year of study, so would be interested in meeting pianists (or any musicians) to treat for performance nerves. Leave a comment if you would like to take part!
Gelsemium sempervirens (yellow jessamine or jasmine) is a homeopathic remedy recommended for fear of public speaking. Gelsemium is one of the favorite remedies for people who become paralysed with fear prior to taking an exam. This remedy is recommended if you feel an acute anxiety which causes you to seize up both mentally and physically. People who need this remedy to perform better under various circumstances literally feel paralyzed, weak and dizzy. Their limbs become heavy. This is not a good bouquet of symptoms to have during performances or exams.
For exam anxiety, take three pellets of Gelsemium 200 C on the morning of the exam, spaced out in half-hour intervals. You can also dissolve one 200C pellet in a small bottle of spring water and then sip from it as needed.
Argentum Nitricum 200c
If your fear is different to the symptoms described above and instead you feel panic, nausea, your mind races with wild thoughts and/or you fear the worst happening, then the recommended remedy is Argentum Nitricum or Arg-Nit.
Used for years by musicians, my piano teacher used to dose us with this before we went on stage! Rescue Remedy is a Bach Flower extract. It is a mix of five different remedies (Cherry Plum, Clematis, Impatiens, Rock Rose and Star of Bethlehem) which together help deal with any emergency or stressful event. Taking a driving test, exam nerves, speaking in public, after an accident or an argument – there are countless uses for Rescue Remedy. In times of extreme stress use 4 drops neat straight onto your tongue as often as needed. For challenging days add 8- 12 drops to a bottle of mineral water and sip liberally all day – i.e. perhaps when driving.
It is not recommended to mix homeopathic treatments such as Gelsemium and Arg-Nit. Please consult with a homeopathic professional before taking any treatment.
For much more information about how to practice piano repertoire, take a look at my two-book piano course, Play it again: PIANO (Schott). Covering a huge array of styles and genres, 49 progressive pieces from approximately Grade 1 – 8 level are featured, with at least two pages of practice tips for every piece. A convenient and beneficial course for students of any age, with or without a teacher, and it can also be used alongside piano examination syllabuses too.
You can find out more about my other piano publications and compositions here.