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What do you mean by the above, you may ask?

What I mean is that the person in question, immediately after recovering their speech (or their singing voice for that matter), goes on the binge marathon. It’s like a person who has been on a diet for sometime, after loosing the desirable weight, goes right back to their bad eating habits and binges on everything they were deprived of. No doubts that their lost weight will come back really fast and often double their original weight.
Sad?
Indeed!
 
But that’s haw the human body works. Similarly, it happens with voice repairclients. They acquire virtually a “verbal diarrhea” And in spite of all my warnings and pleadings, they cannot stop talking until they again become raspy and hoarse! Now they are, so to speak, in their “comfort zone” but upset and frustrated that they have lost their ability to communicate with no pain or strain on their vocal anatomy, like they did during the instruction.
Whose fault is that? Obviously their own.
They obviously have not followed the recovery protocol, which was thoroughly and strongly advised to them. Who could they blame now? Obviously themselves.
However, all of us are human and it is understandable that when we become deprived of something, we want to regain it back real fast and that’s where the problem begins. We do not have patience, at least the majority of us.
And those who do, we applaud!
Nobody would imagine the athlete with an injured leg, (with only a few treatments behind his belt) suddenly start running a marathon! To regain the normal function of any organ, especially the limbs, spine and yes, voice, requires time and a strict regimen. In the case of the voice repair, the person requires to speak much less then before (at least for some time).
They have to continuously consume the natural herbs and remedies that were suggested to them. The absolute minimum amount of hours to start the rehab to concur the voice issue would be 30 consecutive hours of unique instruction and natural treatment. For some people that is enough, and they can carry on from there on their own. For others, it requires 2 or even 3 times of repetition of the same and then maintenance – In other words, “tightening the screws” should prevail.
It also depends on the severity of the vocal disorder However, the strong and determined people require less repletion and less maintenance. The more healthy and fit people usually have much less struggle with the instruction, treatment and aftermath. Those (with psychological problems and poor diet) require more attention on both parts – instruction and treatment.
 
And, as a rule, they have many more problems during and after the process.  Very often, the voice repair clients suffer from many physical and emotional problems, which also contribute to their voice loss and their voice dysfunction. So the voice problem could be a very complicated and deep matter, as the voice loss might be just a symptom of something much more serious going on with the person.
Therefore, the voice issue cannot be taken lightly and should be addressed immediately, as it could be an indication of something serious yet to come, for example, a stroke or heart attack.

I want my readers to understand the seriousness of any voice disorder and address it, if not medically, then alternatively, as soon as possible.

I have more and more inquiries from people who used to sing for the longest time in the past; and suddenly, (or at least so they thought), lost their singing range and some of them even lost their

singing voice altogether

Now they are older and in their 40s (and counting), and they still cannot get a grip with the notion that their love and joy of singing might never be present again.

20 or 30 years later after the occurrence, they are still upset and even depressed about it.  Of course, they have been through numerous doctors and speech therapists appointments; but in the majority of cases, it did not add up to any expected results.

Needless to say, since they had lost their love and joy being able to sing, their lives were never the same. Their passion and desire for expressing themselves, (telling their stories through singing), had been deeply buried.

  1. What would it take to recover one’s singing voice? Is it even possible?
  2. If it were possible, how would it impact the long-term sufferer’s life?

I, fortunately, could give the answers to all of the above:

To answer the first question, luckily, in majority of cases,

it is absolutely possible

How does it happen that the singing voice, “all of a sudden, disappears”, (so to speak), you may ask?

Some people are born with natural singing talent and once they discover it, they obviously begin to use it, and rightfully so. However, enjoying their newly found voice, they use it excessively and thus, not being aware of the proper

voice application and vocal technique.

they end up abusing it to the “point of no return”, at least in the conventional sense.

For some reason, neither them nor their mentors realize that the singers’

vocal cords are not made from steel.

In fact, they are very fragile and have to be treated with special care. Like any instrument, it requires a frequent tune-up and, of course, proper maintenance.

Usually, the young and talented artists who get discovered via their talents and looks have no idea how to power their voice without any pain or strain on their vocal anatomy. So they pull and push their voices full force. And one day, sooner or later, the voice “pops”, as one of my voice repair clients described it.

The musicians often use the expression, “No gig lasts forever”.

Indeed! Nobody should take his or her voice, (or other anatomy for that mater), for granted. If you are entering any high tasking field, (singing performance included), please research, (and act accordingly), how not to kill your voice, but rather the opposite; how to preserve and nurture your internal, fragile instrument – Your Voice!

As to recover it and restore it to its original state would take a great effort on the part of the singer and a very experienced voice specialist.

To answer the second question, the

voice recovery and restoration

is a huge deal and when it is complete, some people begin to rethink the purpose of their lives.  It is a little difficult to turn the clock back and now leave their present lives and come back to something what was very precious in the past.

As we all know, there is no change without change, even if it is positive. However, in any case, the benefits of a newly found voice are countless:

The confidence, the self-esteem and self-worth, the dignity and integrity, the pride of accomplishment… and just simply recovered joy and passion.

What price tag could you put on that?!

Attention all Speakers and Singers!

If you have noticed that your speaking or singing voice is not performing as per usual and rather sounds lower and somewhat hoarse, PLEASE STOP!!!

If you continue speaking in your usual manor and disregard the fact that your voice is feeling scratchy and your throat is feeling itchy, you might lose your voice completely and for some time ahead.

Singers: please do not continue singing if you have noticed that it is much harder now to reach your high notes, which normally would not be a problem and if you have to push and pull your voice out of your inflamed, sore throat.

At that time, you may also notice that your voice has deepened and has begun to sound scratchy and hoarse. If you don’t stop in time and look into your voice and vocal anatomy problem, that could be very much the end of your singing career.

Coaching and repairing voices for over 40 years, I had a lot of cases where the performer did not stop on time to address the vocal problem he had and, as a result, got his vocal cord paralyzed, or just damaged beyond repair.

One case comes to mind where I received a client from Atlanta Georgia who happened to be a Pastor, who was appointed to travel the world to preach and sing prayers. He got laryngitis, (my guess would be that it came from the wrong way of singing and some stress associated with it).

So instead of stopping and looking into the problem, either medically or alternatively, he continued his engagements until he could not do it at all.

And then there was the moment of truth.

As a result of not taking proper care of the laryngitis and not using the rightvocal technique (speaking and singing), his right vocal cord got paralyzed. Vocal paralysis is very hard to reverse and not always possible. However, I have had a very good success with it, especially if only one vocal cord was affected.

Although, the complete cure of the vocal paralysis may not occur, using the actual Vocal Science™ technique, coupled with the (designed by me), special speech and singing exercises, will make the person much more articulate and clear, so the individual’s speaking voice will begin sounding almost as per normal.

With respect of the singing voice, it’s not that easy and with the damage like this, it is definitely not always possible to restore it.

As much as I could try to go around the effected vocal cord (via my method), if it doesn’t start moving at least remotely, the effort could easily become obsolete.

  • Producers: Have an easier role with the well-trained artist who will not lose their voice during the production.

  • Managers: Save time, money and aggravation by your artists not cancelling their performances, tours and other appearances.

Let’s look at the recent related events:

Singer, Mariah Carey, who has recently been on tour in Japan, was embarrassing herself while literally losing her voice on stage singing off key and not reaching any of the high notes. Obviously, she needs some sort of voice repair before it will become irreparable.

Also, people who loved and cherished her before are now deeply disappointed and even some of them are quite annoyed, as she definitely has not lived up to their expectations.

So this is the question.

Why, neither her or more so, her manager, do nothing about it? Are they waiting for the time where a vocal operation will be inevitable? Why bring it to that drastic point? Who knows? I do not have an answer.

Let’s look at the situation of Chad Kroeger of Nickelback. He was recently diagnosed with an operable cyst on his vocal box.

I, personally being a voice specialist, knew for quite some time that there is something wrong with his voice, let alone his singing overall, which is definitely not up-to-par, (at least from where I sit). I knew that sooner rather than later, that he will not be able to push his voice around much longer.

As all musicians know, “no gig lasts forever”. Obviously, the refund for the purchased concert tickets has been already offered.

My question is still the same…

WHY have him and his manager had to bring it to this extent? Obviously, in this instance, everybody took a loss: The singer, the manager (management), concert promoters and the audience.

However, from the point of view of the audience, rather then to listen to the not-very-adequate singing, (to put it mildly), the audience should look forward to the new and recovered voice of Chad Kroeger, and hopefully attend some of his concerts in the not-very-distant future.

And lastly, Roger Daltrey: The lead singer of The Who.

He was ordered a vocal rest for his vocal cords, and thus rescheduled his Toronto tour and pushed it to December (to the great disappointment of my son-in-law, who happened to be a huge fan of the artist and the band).

The only problem I have with the doctors order to go on a vocal rest, in my opinion, will only help momentarily, but will never solve the actual vocal problem caused by wear and tear of the vocal cords and by not-quite-proper application of the voice which, in turn, drowned that voice in a much lower position which naturally prompts the artists to pull and push their voice out on the surface, while concurrently promoting the strain of the vocal cords.

So the problem has to be rectified by going to the source, addressing the cause and then by taking the appropriate measures to recover and heal that voice so it could last for, lets say, the next 50 years.

So the moral of it all is:

  • Artists: when you notice the change in your voice in the quality and range, don’t continue singing and performing, pretending that nothing has changed. It will only bring you to a deeper vocal trouble, which will be that much harder to repair and restore back to normal.
  •  Producers: When you notice that your artist is not performing as per standards, please stop the role and address it to the artist. Please make him aware that he has to look into his voice and make sure that it is healthy enough to continue the recording production.
  • Managers: If you want to have your artist perform and tour and not cancel his engagements, please start managing the artist’s very instrument (the voice), and if you spot a problem, please address it right away, as in the long run, the artist and you will lose more in the future then you would gain momentarily.

Lately, we are hearing more and more about people’s vocal tragedies.

Some of them have been suffering for years with the loss of their regular voice, speaking and/or singing. Majority of them went to all kinds of doctors and specialists and have been diagnosed with all kinds of health problems related or, most of the times, not related to their vocal performance. The loss of their original speaking and/or singing voice had been blamed on all kinds of the person’s internal health.

Yes, granted some of the internal health problems may be related to the quality of the voice.

For example: If the person practicing an unhealthy diet i.e. consumes a lot of dairy products, that person most likely will possess a lot of mucus everywhere in the body, vocal anatomy included. If the person eats a lot of acidic products like tomatoes, oranges, red meats and others, no doubts this person will suffer from acid reflux.

That said, if they do have a problem with their range and projection of their voice, naturally, their voice is drawn to the lower position, thus it is prone to meet the gastric acid which, in turn, will begin to burn the vocal cords. That said, the inner health and outer fitness would definitely help with whichever vocal problems and/or issues the person may experience.

The cleaner and more fit the physical body is, the stronger and more vibrant the persons’ mind will be also.

The Vocal Science ™ method requires the lift of the voice to the set of the facial muscles/cavities to release the pressure of the sound from the vocal box and vocal cords, per say. If you visualize a ballerina trying to jump taking off of a thick carpet, you can imagine that not only she, most likely, will injure her ankle or knee, but also would never acquire a needed height to accomplish the pas de deux.

That said, if the vocal cords are covered with mucus and the bottom of the throat is full of gastric acid, to lift the sound off of “that ground” could become quite difficult. For that, I am using natural herbs and remedies to clean up the surface of the vocal box to be able to achieve the lift of the voice with the support by the abdominal muscles. So the flora of the throat becomes clean and begins its healing.

The doctors usually “bombard” their clients with a whole bunch of scary sounding definitions and diagnosis. The clients usually tell me that they have no idea how to read, let alone understand their medical transcriptions/reports. It is usually extremely over-exaggerated and, for the longest time, I could not understand why.

One of my new clients reports suggesting that he has had preoperative and postoperative care. In reality, the person never had undergone any vocal surgery whatsoever.

In the not so very distant past, I had a person who worked as a medical assistant and she advised me that every move the doctor makes has a special code.

For example: If the doctor checks your blood pressure, he charges the insurance, (here in Canada), $200.00. I am, sure the ENT specialists are charging for all of their checkups, scopes, and etc..

So my assumption is that the more the doctor writes, the more he is able to charge either the insurance or the person individually.

This is just my general subjective opinion. Take it for what it is.

Sometimes, in fact, “they are right on the money” and they produce the right diagnosis, but they still do not offer, or even suggest, any meaningful help to the sufferer. In majority of cases, the problem is mechanical, but very often coupled with the physical and emotional state of the individual.

So my duty is to dissect the problem into pieces and work on each piece individually and collectively.

That’s what I call forensic analysis and expertise, and yes, it is very applicable to any voice issues.

We all know that whichever health problems we have, the best way to conquer them is, first of all, to prevent it. However, if it already happened, the second best way to deal with it is non-surgically, if possible.

The third apparent way is to embark on a surgical procedure. However, the latter is much more dangerous than the other two options.

Look at the case of Julie Andrews; after undergoing a botched vocal surgery in 1997, she lost her ability to sing forever and never regained her real singing voice ever since.

Joan Rivers, not too long ago, went to a prestigious New York hospital to the outpatient ward to remove a simple polyp and, as a result, she never came out of the operation room.

And lastly, there is Sam Smith, who luckily came out of the O.R, but with no ability to speak for quite a few weeks. The rest remains to be seen. 

I wish him all the best and a full recovery of his vocal injury. However, with the best scenario, what is going to change after the vocal surgery? Hopefully, the vocal cords will be repaired and the bleeding will stop, but for how long though?

In other words, the “instrument” is going to be fixed, but what about the “player”? Let’s suppose that the most famous pianist, Liberace, would try to extract the sound from his pink Grand Piano, hammering at it. What would happen to that famous Grand Piano he was transporting, along with him, everywhere he was touring? Let’s presume that it happened and the famous pianist found a famous piano repair specialist. Liberace paid him enough money to fix his favorite Grand Piano.

Now what?

Poor Liberace is still continually hammering the aforementioned Grand Piano.

So take a wild guess… What happens next? It is very easy to guess: His famous pink Grand Piano will be ruined one more time again.

If you are still wondering why, this is the answer…

Because NOTHING had changed! The instrument was fixed, but the player is still hammering… So, if any singer who has undergone a vocal surgery will still continue singing in the same manner (as he did before), no doubts, the problem will reoccur and might get even worse the second time around.

Look at John Mayer. He removed one polyp, than regained two. Then removed two and regained more.

And lastly, look at Adele’s case. After bleeding polyp surgery and five month of silence after the fact, she luckily regained most of her voice.

But when (right before embarking on the performance at the Grammy Awards in 2012) she was asked by the interviewer, who happened to be CNN’s newscaster Anderson Cooper, “Do you think that it could happen to you ever again? “ Without any hesitation, Adele replied, ABSOLUTELY!

Naturally, the interviewer asked, “why”?

Adele replied, with absolute certainty  “If I decide to go on a 200-date world tour, it would happen again.”

That said, being smart and aware that nothing had changed with respect of her vocal technique whatsoever, she then totally knew that the initial voice problem would occur over and over again.

We all know that she never went on any tour after her vocal surgery.

As a matter of fact, I know that she wanted to take a five-year break right after that occurrence. The whole ordeal scared her out of her wits, understandably so.

Since she had the understanding that her vocal application and technique of doing it before the vocal injury has not been altered in any shape or form, she clearly was aware that the new vocal injury most likely will still occur, and possibly multiple times.

The moral of it is: there is no change, without change.

If the vocal application and vocal technique are not modified in such a way that the vocal cords and the whole vocal anatomy becomes released from the pressure of the sound, the vocal injury will, no doubt, take place.

If you are interested to find out more details on Non-Surgical voice repair and post operative care, please give Diana Yampolsky a call for a free consultation on any of the voice issues or vocal problems you, or your loved one(s) might have.

416-857-8741

www.vocalscience.com

www.repairyourvoice.com

Indeed, should you give up, or rather do something, which will (at least) improve the quality of your life?

What are those untreatable, nasty voice disorders?

It definitely is vocal paralysis (paresis) or both vocal cords, the severe forms of spasmodic dysphonia, the severe forms of muscle tension dysphonia, scar tissue on the vocal cords, damaged vocal box and it’s anatomy due to/or during the surgical procedure and many more others .

Once, not too long ago, in my office/studio walked in a middle-aged, pretty handsome Asian man with his wife. It was very sad to try to speak with the man, as there was nothing else coming out of his mouth but mooing. I could not understand one word he was trying to say. Then his wife took over the “conversation”.

She told us a story that her husband had a cancer of thyroid. Then the doctors first were trying to get rid of the cancer, they conducted a surgical procedure, which had paralyzed one of his vocal cords (vocal paresis). Then he was suggested to undergo chemotherapy and radiation treatments, which, naturally, worsened his voice condition.

He became even more raspy and hoarse and then became hardly understood.Then doctors decided to proceed with the second operation to remove the remaining cancer from his thyroid. After he came out of the second surgery, his second vocal cord was also completely paralyzed. How horrible it might be for the man in his mid-40’s to have communication difficulties, to the point that he could not form any sensible words!

He came with the hope that I will offer him a magic pill and a magic cure…? On one hand, of course, you cannot blame him that he was looking for a miracle. On the other hand, how realistic is that?

I have explained to him that his condition cannot be cured, either by me or anybody else for that matter. But what I could have done for him is improve the quality of his speaking; to improve clarity, annunciation and pronunciation, if not for all words, but for the majority of the words.

How would I do this, you may ask?

With the great difficulty, a lot of patience, huge intensity on both of our parts, employing the tedious Vocal Science ™ method and all of my 40 years experience, dealing with the health related (and other kinds) of voice/vocal disorders. I would teach him how to speak, employing facial muscles, the use of which would make his voice at least 4 times more resonant and amplified.

Also, employing along with facial muscles, the abdominal muscles, would allow him to have a greater support of the sound, the proper lift of the sound off of the vocal box and thus he would become more understood, which means his confidence would be improved by far and the quality of life would be more enhanced and escalated. Unfortunately, my prospective client could not understand how he could use the different muscles (facial muscles working in full conjunction and coordination with the abdominal muscles) and not the vocal cords.

Too bad for him because, as far as I am concerned, this tedious and intense, syllable-on-syllable, word-on-word Vocal Science™ technique is the only hope he had.

Evidently, not all vocal severe damages are curable, but almost all of them are treatable to some degree. It requires the understanding, willingness and ‘lovingness’, an open heart & soul and true belief in the improvement of one’s condition.

Without the above, there is no point for any of the parties involved, to embark on such, not very easy at all, endeavor.

If you find this content informative and helpful, please refer to our websites for more detailed information, or give Diana Yampolsky a call for a free consultation on any of the vocal problems you, or your loved one(s) might have.

416-857-8741

www.vocalscience.com

www.repairyourvoice.com

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