Now is the right time to become an American Federation of Musicians member. From ragtime to rap, from the early phonograph to today's digital recordings, the AFM has been there for its members. And now there are more benefits available to AFM members than ever before, including a multi-million dollar pension fund, excellent contract protection, instrument and travelers insurance, work referral programs and access to licensed booking agents to keep you working.
As an AFM member, you are part of a membership of more than 80,000 musicians. Experience has proven that collective activity on behalf of individuals with similar interests is the most effective way to achieve a goal. The AFM can negotiate agreements and administer contracts, procure valuable benefits and achieve legislative goals. A single musician has no such power.
The AFM has a proud history of managing change rather than being victimized by it. We find strength in adversity, and when the going gets tough, we get creative - all on your behalf.
Like the industry, the AFM is also changing and evolving, and its policies and programs will move in new directions dictated by its members. As a member, you will determine these directions through your interest and involvement. Your membership card will be your key to participation in governing your union, keeping it responsive to your needs and enabling it to serve you better. To become a member now, visit www.afm.org/join.
July 28, 2017IM -
Vertigo is a tilting, spinning sensation of being off-balance. You may feel like the world is spinning around you even when you are standing perfectly still. Vertigo symptoms are caused by a disturbance to equilibrium, and may be accompanied by nausea and headache. More than 2 million people visit their doctors each year complaining of dizziness or vertigo, and while it’s generally a harmless symptom, you can imagine how it could be debilitating and stop a performer in her tracks.
To better understand the cause of vertigo you need to look at the anatomy and function of the ear. Sound waves travel through the outer ear canal until they reach the eardrum. There, sound is turned into vibrations, which are transmitted through the inner ear via three small bones (the incus, malleus, and stapes) to the cochlea, and finally to the vestibular nerve, which carries the signal to the brain. A collection of semicircular canals (canalis) positioned at right angles to each other inside the inner ear act like a gyroscope for the body. These canals, combined with sensitive hair cells within the canals, provide us feedback regarding our position in space. When there is a disturbance in this system, it can cause vertigo.
Less frequent causes of vertigo include head or neck injury, brain problems (stroke or tumor), certain medications, and migraine headaches. In many cases vertigo will go away with no treatment. When necessary, what treatment is used depends on the cause of the vertigo.
—Epley maneuver is the most common, and provides relief to 90% of BPPV sufferers.
1) Sit on the side of your bed. Turn your head 45 degrees to the side of the affected ear (not as far as your shoulder).
2) Quickly lie down on your back, with your head on the bed (still at a 45-degree angle). Place a pillow under you so it rests between your shoulders rather than under your head. Wait 30 seconds.
3) Turn your head halfway 90 degrees in the opposite direction without raising it. Wait 30 seconds.
4) Turn your head and body on its side in the same direction, so you are looking at the floor. Wait 30 seconds.
5) Sit up slowly but remain on the bed for a few minutes.
6) Repeat before going to bed each night until you’ve gone 24 hours without dizziness.
—Half somersault or Foster maneuver
1) Kneel down and look up at the ceiling for a few seconds.
2) Touch the floor with your head, tucking your chin so your head goes toward your knees. Wait about 30 seconds or until any vertigo stops.
3) Turn your head toward the affected ear. Wait 30 seconds.
4) Quickly raise your head so it’s level with your back while you’re on all fours. Keep your head at that 45-degree angle. Wait 30 seconds.
5) Quickly raise your head so its fully upright, but keep your head turned to the shoulder of the side you’re working on. Then slowly stand up.
6) Repeat this a few times for relief, resting for 15 minutes in between.
Occasionally vertigo can be a symptom of a more serious problem. It’s always advisable to visit your physician when you are experiencing any medical condition.