Can THE ORIGINAL COWLING SYSTEM© be used as hand therapy exercises? Is it effective in that regard?
Before we read the below testimonials on the effects of the Cowling System on injuries of the hand, let me offer a perspective:
The Cowling System was devised and first published circa 1904. At that time there was no existing knowledge of any number of things which are NOW known about the body, it's operation and care.
And as far as we know, The Cowling System was not originally devised as a system of hand therapy exercises, for hand injuries. And I am not certified in any professional field having to do with the physiology and care and treatment of the hands. So I'm not personally recommending it for such purposes.
That having been said, I'd like you to read the following, an email which came to us unsolicited [note: all e-mails are on file for proof]:
"Just clearing through old emails, and thought I would send you some feedback on my experiences so far: I purchased the e-book of THE ORIGINAL COWLING SYSTEM at the beginning of November, having searched on line for additional hand therapy exercises to help me recover from tendon damage. I've been doing the exercises (with far less repetitions than suggested) assiduously two times a day, and working through the book in sequence.
"This has worked wonders for me with helping to rehabilitate my hand after I broke a finger and extensively damaged the palmar tendons last May. I have progressed from being able to draw for only 4 minutes before pain set in, to being able to do more than an hour and a half, so I am delighted. I'll hopeful that I will also soon be able to rebuild my guitar-playing stamina! This week is week 11 for me, and I intend to go back to week 1 next week, and work through again, increasing the number of repetitions I do."
Clare T. , United Kingdom
And here's another testimonial about the System's effect on hand injuries - from a violinist:
"My husband had a copy of the Cowling System and he was doing the exercises to improve his ability to play music. I watched him do the exercises but never thought of doing them myself.
"However - My wrist had been bothering me due to some repetitive work that was a part of my day job. As it was getting more and more sore, I became concerned that it might be carpal tunnel syndrome or something like that. I had not yet gotten around to having it checked out.
"My wrist would, at times, really "burn" inside in a very peculiar way and that was beginning to scare me. I then thought 'Why not first give these exercises a try?' So I did.
"After doing the first exercise for just two days, the pain in my wrist reduced considerably. I continued doing the first exercise, at a reduced intensity, for about two weeks. Then I did the second exercise for a week.
"The pain has disappeared completely!
"I read the disclaimer in the book which states The Cowling System is not to be considered as hand therapy exercises. But I'd say that if you did them at a reduced intensity, gently, as I did, they could possibly help you just as they helped me.
"Bottom line - The way it was going, I most likely would have ended up "in need of an operation". But thanks to the Cowling System that did NOT happen."
OK - If I'm not recommending the Original Cowling System as a "therapy", why did I post these letters?
Well, this would definitely be valuable and vital data for someone who'd been advised to have more drastic treatment - such as surgery - than merely a recommendation to do certain exercises. The Cowling System could possibly save someone a LOT of trouble, pain and heartbreak.
Therefore it would be remiss of me to sit on this info and deny someone the chance to investigate the possibility of it working for them.
And here's another interesting thing for you to consider: If the Cowling System works so positively on INJURED or DEFICIENT hands, what would it do for UNDAMAGED, HEALTHY ones?
And the accolades continue: David Grisman [above] uses "The Original" Cowling System:
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And still more [actual and unsolicited] rave reviews for "The Original" Cowling System:
FROM A VIOLINIST:
"The Cowling System © is a set of 12 exercises designed to increase the flexibility and strength of the hand, wrist, and fingers.
"I bought the course in 1978 and have found them to be invaluable.
"I've kept them all these years and still use them to warm up with before playing."
~ Richard Barton posted on VIOLINIST.COM
FROM A BASS PLAYER:
?"My fingers actually DO what my brain tells them to do, WITHOUT getting confused."
~ Anthony Jerome Smith, 35-year veteran bass player.
FROM A PIANIST:
"In 1976, my teacher gave me his copy of all the exercises, whereupon I made xeroxed pages to put in a binder.
"My teacher was amazed at my progress that in a year I could play, for example, the prelude #17 of Chopin!
~ "RPN58" (from a pianists' discussion board in England, 2006)
FROM A GUITARIST:
"I was introduced to the Cowling System © in the 1980's by a violinist in his seventies, who had amazing dexterity on his instrument for HIS age.
"Through the use of the COWLING SYSTEM ©, I went from "amateur" to an "A" level in music in a very short number of years.
"I have been using the exercises continuously since my friend gave them to me and believe me - THEY WORK."
~ Don Wills Guitarist, Great Britain
FROM A VIOLINIST:
"I must say I am highly delighted with the way my fingering has improved since I commenced your hand strengthening exercises.
"Recently, I became very depressed about my playing and almost decided to give it up, but now I feel it's a pleasure, thanks to the Cowling System. ©"
~ "THE VIOLINIST" Magazine, December, 1924
I'd love to see YOUR testimonial on this list! If you really do "THE ORIGINAL" COWLING SYSTEM © of Hand Strengthening Exercises", you CAN master and truly enjoy your music!