Dr. Eric M. Nestler, Professor of Instrumental Studies and renowned saxophonist, has just published a new article in The Saxophone Symposium: Journal of the North American Saxophone Alliance. “The Nightmare of Musician’s Dystonia: A New Dawn of Hope for Treatment,” is a scholarly recounting of Dr. Nestler’s very personal journey of living with dystonia, the treatments available, and the stories of others on the same path. As he defines it in the paper, dystonia is a disorder affecting the nervous system, in which the brain sends the wrong signals to muscles, causing them to contract involuntarily.
After a rapid decline in his ability to play his saxophone, Dr. Nestler was diagnosed with dystonia in 2009 and has spent the past eight years seeking treatment in order to return to the performing career he once enjoyed. Luckily, some of that treatment was found in his own backyard with the Texas Center for Performing Arts Health co-director, Dr. Sajid Surve. Dr. Nestler highlights how his work with Dr. Surve at the Performing Arts Medicine Clinic of the University of North Texas Health Science Center helped him regain the necessary muscle control for proper saxophone embouchure. He was even able to return to performing in 2014, and continues to discover new ways to practice in order to help him overcome the difficulties of dystonia. The Texas Center for Performing Arts Health congratulates Dr. Nestler on the new publication and on his continuing recovery.