Restarting the Old Rusty Engine
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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Matsuura Aya - Down with Pain

"Matsuura Ay--yeOWW!!!"

That's probably what you will hear from Ayaya if she tries to introduce herself now. Injuries, cancellations, scandals,... all coming out one after another for Hello!Project now. Feels like the NBA.

Jokes aside, this is worrying. Reportedly, two of Matsuura Aya concerts have to be cancelled two days ago as she is diagnosed with "temporomandibular athrosis". Some say it can be also described as "temporomandibular joint disorder". It is a condition where there is an disorder or dysfunction of the joint at the part where the skull is connected with the jaw bone with ligament and muscle (the curve of your jaw right under your ears),

The doctors have advised for her to rest now, however it was also reported that this was not the first time this condition has caused problems in her work. I pray that she recovers soon. Sad to see her career taking off to a great turn and getting this problem in the middle of it.

There are many possiblities as to what caused this. But basically it is when you apply too much stress on the muscle at the joint by grinding or gritting your teeth too much, too long and too often. Being a musical artiste, part of your work is talking and singing, so your jaw may be exercising its use too much. When a muscle is put to too much stress, it causes spasms, and as a result causing acute pain. Think of it as a toothache right at the back of your mouth that won't go away. And given its close position to the ears it is also affected, which is like having a needle poking at your eardrums.

Work stress can also be a factor, since the muscle tenses under work pressure. Some people subconciously grind their teeth while working, especially under pressure. No doubt that she is a hard-working worker, but this really shows the competitiveness and harshness of the music biz in japan

In my personal observation of Ayaya singing habit, normally she will jut out her chin/jaw when she is hitting the high notes. (Actually most people do that). It's not proper, but quite common in Japan. She is in the music biz for 5 years now, this improper practice may have started since her debut and have culminated to this.

I know all about injuries and pain, and all other things that come with it. Had a share of a minor case like hers, so I know exactly how she feels. You will have problem eating, sleeping and even simple daily chores. The aftermath of this ain't pretty either, and in her case, I think that not only medical treatment is needed but psychological therapy too, because pain anywhere near the brain can wear your mental energy down. Sure, there's always painkillers, but too much drugs can kill your voice.

Ayaya, you're in my prayers. I pray for you speedy recovery and hope you feel better soon.

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