experimenting

Since the holidays, I've been experimenting with different ways to make pots.  Before the holidays, I worked too hard and steadily cranking out egg cups.  I overused my arms and the tendonitis flared back up.  I've had it in both arms for several years, but since December, I've been attacking the problem in some new ways. 
One: acupuncture.  Works wonders.  Fabulous.  Until I start really throwing again.
Two: wrist braces.  They're fine for centering (and sleeping), not fine for throwing.
Three: Chinese Herbal Tincture (related to acupuncture).  I spray it on and rub it in several times a day, and it seems to help.
Four: limiting my throwing time.  Like to an hour or two, tops, a day.  This part I hate.
Five: throwing with really wet clay.  I know a baker who used to be a potter until his wrists gave out.  He suggested a) stop making pots (imagine my very sad face here).  b) learn how to center differently. c) use really wet clay to throw with.  
Six: homeopathic/herbal anti-inflammatories and glucosamine.  They also seem to help.  My favorite is a combo of several herbs with ginger and tumeric (called something like inflam-action).  I need more of these soon.
Seven: stop doing other things that hurt the arms- laptop, knitting, carrying heavy things, pilates, etc etc.

The suggestion to stop is one I first considered when the pain got bad.  Stopping to rest, yes.  Stopping and find a new profession?  I'm not ready yet.  I go to acupuncture every other week and am diligent about taking my meds- herbal and otherwise- that help.  Today I threw for a little over an hour and a quarter and so far I'm ok.  I tried throwing with super-wet clay.  Some forms worked well.  Some forms were disasterous.  I am centering differently and have a carpel tunnel brace that I wear on my left arm (my "centering arm").  I think that I'll be making less work this year until I figure out how to work without injuring myself.  This is one reason I haven't been blogging much here- I didn't want to whine about pain, I didn't have new work to show, and I haven't been doing anything else terribly interesting.  But oh- the house is clean.  That I can do.

I'm grateful that I have options, grateful that some of the less-invasive treatments work, grateful that I can still work in the studio at all.  Not a terrible way to begin the week.
Have a good one, y'all.