Posts Tagged ‘raspy voice’

Not only a great amount of people are losing voices these days, but also a lot of them are experiencing severe pain in their throats.

Before, we had complaints, primarily from singers; but more and more, just regular people (speakers) are complaining on extreme discomfort in their vocal box in general. 

The singers are usually ruining their vocal anatomy simply for the lack of education and simple knowledge; and thus, lack of the proper vocal technique. They very often end up with laryngitis, i.e., with the hoarse and raspy voice; not to mention an extreme pain in their throats. The singers (also very often) end up with the growth on their vocal cord(s); such as polyps, nodules, cysts and etc.

The regular people who do not take proper care of their voice and (in majority of times) their health in general, usually end up with muscle tension dysphonia or spasmodic dysphonia. Nevertheless, they (of course) are also susceptible to the growth on their vocal cords, but more like papilloma and polyps. They are also very susceptible to lesions in their throats, as well as burnt vocal cords due to the occurrence of acid reflux.

Unfortunately, both speakers and singers are also not exempt from vocal cord(s) paralysis/paresis.

Naturally, there is physical pain (to whichever degree for whichever vocal injury); but also, there is an emotional pain, as both speakers and singers realize that something out of the ordinary is happening to them and their voices. And, especially at the beginning of this ordeal, they feel quite lost, not knowing what to do and where to get help.

Our philosophy at The Royans Institute for Non-Surgical Voice Repair is “All Voice – No pain”!

Once we uncover and discover (in a manner of speaking) the injured voice, we (via special speech exercises, coupled with specially designed body motions) try, at all costs, to release the “trapped” voice from its vocal anatomy “prison”, (so to speak). Especially in the case of Muscle Tension Dysphonia (where neck muscles literally hold the voice in ‘contempt’), the voice, nevertheless, has to be “yanked” out of there, which is (no doubt) easier said then done.

The neck muscles are “truly in love” with the human voice and even when my client and I think that the voice is finally “flying” out of there, it is like a swamp, “calling” it and literally “pulling” it back in.

Sometimes, the recurrence of the above happens multiple times.

Once the voice is finally released from the lower throat and the neck muscles, the pain usually subsides and the sufferer feels a great release; and not only physically, but emotionally as well.

Now the human voice has to find a “new home”  – the facial muscles!

Those facial cavities will become a real saviour for anybody who had voice issues and everybody else who cares about their speaking/singing voice in general. Those (in a sense) sinus cavities will amplify the voice at least quadruple times over its volume; and naturally, will promote a proper articulation and enunciation. However, without the support of the abdominal muscles, the lift of the voice is not possible.

Therefore, the abdominal muscles have to be strengthened to be able to give a proper “launch” for the voice to “soar” to its aimed destination, provided that the sound lands within those facial muscles. At that point, the voice within the newly found facial muscles will be working in full conjunction and coordination with the abdominal muscles. The above (in turn) will minimize the use of the throat, larynx and the vocal cords.

To Conclude, there will be “All Gain and No Pain”, i.e., by osmosis, “All Voice and No Pain”, as (at that point) the vocal anatomy will be completely released from the pressure of the sound; and, in addition, nurtured with natural herbal and homeopathic remedies for its complete healing.


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The voice disorder such as a paralyzed vocal cord is definitely “not a picnic” to put it mildly. Usually, this condition occurs due to a related or non-related surgery. It occurs very often during the thyroid extraction or spine fusion, where the neck is involved. It actually could occur in any surgery where intubation takes place.

The fact is that majority of the hospitals here in Canada and in the United States are the teaching hospitals. What that means is that these kind of procedures are not necessarily conducted by the appointed specialist(s), but are being performed by medical interns or even by medical faculty University students. Those young doctors to be are obviously still learning and do not have experience how to insert those tubes correctly. Thus, the occurred mistakes, which could cause the patient a severe damage of their vocal box, could be crucial to one’s life.

So the patient who went in to the operating room with a perfectly good voice, woke up a few hours later and discovered that their once precious and absolutely normal sounding voice, was not performing the regular way as before the surgery. Some of the patients, though, were assured and reassured by their doctors that it is a natural consequence of their surgery and the voice will get restored on its own…?

Unfortunately, that is never the case. In most cases, the vocal cord(s) is damaged and, worst of all, paralyzed. So the patient’s speech becomes very raspy and hoarse, heavy and strained and it is sometimes very difficult to understand what that person is trying to say. Understandably, those patients are extremely upset and frustrated and some are severely depressed and even feel suicidal. Is there a cure? From the medical point of view, there is not.

Could it be treated in such a way that this type of patients will speak more clear and more pronounced, will be more understood and feel that their throat and neck are released from the pressure of the sound, and thus they will feel more at ease and feel much lighter and brighter? Absolutely!!!

From where I sit, with special speech exercises, coupled with the certain body movements, I would be able to lift their voice off of the vocal cords and restructure it in a different set of muscles (facial muscles), which will begin to work in full conjunction and coordination with the abdominal muscles and thus, the use of the throat, larynx and vocal cords will be minimized and practically eliminated. Also, via same, but more in depth exercises, in the less severe cases, I would be able to induce, if not the full movement of the vocal cord, but at least a partial movement of one. Moreover, the natural herbs and some homeopathic remedies will be administered onto the patients’ vocal box to lubricate, heal and strengthen it.

Needless to say, the impurities like mucus and gastric acids will be eliminated from one’s vocal anatomy. As far as I am concerned (and so are over 20,000 clients I have attended to), it is a Genius Approach that Definitely Does Work!

I am grateful to God everyday for the gift of healing I received from the above.

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More and more people are inquiring about the difficulty of using their voice, as per normal. There are different factors taking place to prevent people from communicating efficiently and with no difficulty, using their speaking voice.

When the voice, sometimes due to a lot of very loud and excessive talking, drops down to its very low position, it begins to sound hoarse and raspy and very low in volume.

The person who experiences the above described symptoms is trying to push and pull that voice to the surface and, of course, the more they try, the less results they get.

Sometime ago, my voice repair client from Boston who used to play in the Blue Grass band, (before her vocal injury) told me:

“Diana, I pushed and pushed my voice, trying to bring it to a normal volume and get rid of the hoarseness, and last August, I knew that I have pushed it for the last time”.

By pushing and pulling her voice, not only did she lose her volume almost completely, she also acquired a nodule on one of her vocal cords.

Now we have had a double whammy.

We had to recover the voice from the “deep swamp” and we had to dissolve the nodule by releasing the vocal box from the pressure of the sound and nurturing her vocal anatomy with natural herbs and remedies.

When she finally arrived to my studio, her both (speaking and singing voice), were almost completely shattered.

By working on her speech, I was able to recover her voice from “the deep end”, so to speak, and once her speaking voice started to sound normal, as a side effect, I had finally taught her how to sing professionally and with no pain or strain on her vocal anatomy.

I have to say that it is still easier to work with the vocally injured singers than with the regular people with just speech problems.

Every singer intuitively knows and feels that their voice is a very sensitive commodity and could seize on them at any given time; where’s regular people with acquired speech problems are, quite often, taken by surprise.

They are talking a lot, they are talking loud, they are screaming at their children’s’ baseball games, the talk on the phone all day, either at work and/or with friends at home, and then “suddenly”, their voice however, gradually, begins to go. Since it has never happened to them before, they do not agree with it, as their whole being is protesting and still desires to be loud and flamboyant. So they force and force their voices out and the more they force, the worse it gets.

Now, finally, they were forced to stop, and that’s where their trauma begun.

So, psychologically speaking, it is much harder to deal with these people rather than with the amateur or professional singers. Not only speech troubled people, physically, have trouble to communicate, but emotionally, usually, they are also very distraught and quite disturbed.

Restoring the voice, in general, could be quite a long, intense and tedious procedure. Therefore, at my work, all of my degrees of education, my extensive experience in teaching and fixing voices, are utilized to the max.

First of all, I have to be a total communicator, as well as psychologist and sometimes even a psychiatrist, as without those skills, I cannot even begin the voice repair of any kind.

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The Non-Surgicalvoice repair course is a very serious endeavor for both the voice sufferer and the voice repair specialist.

Needless to say, the voice repair clients come usually upset, frustrated and in a majority of cases, somewhat depressed. Quite a few of them literally lost they’re speaking and singing careers, or just simply their jobs.  So they do have a very good reason to be upset, and yes, depressed.

However, obviously those emotions are not helping the cause.

So I have to be a very good psychologist, and in some cases, even a psychiatrist to be able to attend to the vocally troubled person.

Obviously, the concept of my methodology is the same for everybody. However, the way I am solving their voice and vocal issues is almost every time different.

I compare it with a headache.

You can get rid of the headache applying different means, i.e., medical drugs, herbal remedies, deep tissue manipulation massage, or what have you.

It does not really matter what is applicable for a headache sufferer. It does matter that the headache will not exist anymore.

I use the same approach to solve any vocal disorder. I look and find out what is needed. Then I test several methods I have in my arsenal. And once I find the one that works, I provide the needed care.

My success of doing it is unlimited!

There are two stages involved in treating and educating the person with voice problem:

The first stage: I instill my message on the subconscious level.

It is in fact a very intellectual and intelligent method of visualization. It works on the principal of GPS, or as British people call it, Satellite Navigation, which is all good and well.

Let’s say that you need to get to an unknown place only once.

You don’t know where you are going and you are not planning to go there ever again. Then the GPS, (Or Sat Nav), will be very helpful.

You don’t need to think, as a pleasant (usually female) voice will guide you exactly to where you are going.

But if you want to learn the root and rely on your brain, you will consciously then know the exact directions to the aimed destination.

Stage two: is to educate the voice repair client “what button to press on their human computer” to achieve the right outcome or “printout” so to speak, they are looking for, first with my help and then on their own.

If that stage of the instruction does not “compute” so to speak, the person upon arriving back home, will have difficulties to replicate the newly found application of their speaking or singing voice.

The “automatic pilot instruction”, which they achieved while being with me in my studio, will shortly wear off and now will bring the voice repair client almost, back to the same stage where they originally began their journey. 

Some people need 20-30 hours of instruction and, so to speak, ‘tightening the screws’ of the new modality of their new vocal behavior, and some people need 50, or even 100 hours to achieve that.

All of it depends how balanced, mentally, physically and emotionally the person is at the beginning of the voice repair journey.

If they have an open heart and soul, the belief and commitment, the success of their vocal and overall human transformation will be, indeed, unlimited.

A lot of my clients come very closed in and very much in their head.

One time, I was working with a client, and there was a huge noise coming out from another side of the building. I, personally, was very disturbed by it and could not wait until it will stop.

I was really worried that it does disturb and distract my client from her exercises.  When I asked her if she’s disturbed by this enormous noise, she looked at me, puzzled, and asked me, “which noise…?”.

She, apparently, has not heard a thing!!!

That should tell you, my reader, that the person, instead of being connected with the instructor, was sitting very deeply in their own head and stewing in their own world.

That alerted me immediately and I did everything in my power to establish a balance between the person’s inner and outer world, thus establish the needed connection with me and learn (manually) the proper application, in this case, of speaking voice.

As I knew that when the former voice repair client comes back home, the automatic translation will wear out soon enough and the manual one was hardly established.

Moreover, especially the speakers, who ruined their voices by speaking a lot, very loud and intensely, now regaining their voice, (even on the automatic pilot), come back right to the same manor and quantity of speaking, as before and more.

I do warn those clients and try to bring to their level of understanding that they just left, in a manor of speaking, a rehab and they can not start running marathons immediately after.

By my experience, the speakers are the most guilty of this president.

They, in a manner of speaking, acquire what I call a “vocal incontinence”.

It is somewhat understandable, since they were deprived from the normal speech for some time before they met me, but they still do not have patience to bring it up gradually and “learn how to walk, before they start running”.

So my main challenge in voice repair endeavors is to get the vocal sufferer back in balance on every level and assure that they will remain to stay in total balance, with or without my presence.

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I must have given not million, but billion singing, speech and voice repair designated hours, serving at least 20,000 clients for over 31 years running a professional vocal school.

For the last three decades, I have been mostly specializing in Non-Surgical Voice Repair more so than the regular singing or speech lessons.

It appears to be that more and more people are ruining their speaking and singing voices, not knowing how to properly use their voices, let alone knowing how to take care of their voices.

Usually, their lifestyles are quite unhealthy – diet wise, fitness wise, and enormous stress wise.

They live a very strained life, so to speak.

Naturally, a lot of them, (speakers and singers), are pushing and pulling their voices while concurrently gripping their voices into their necks, thus paving their way to what’s called Muscle Tension Dysphonia.

While having these symptoms, naturally these people affected by them, are thinking of going to an ENT specialist. They are hoping to get their diagnosis, (unfortunately, most of the time, quite wrongful), and after that, also hoping to get some relief and also have a ‘quick fix’ of their vocal problem.

Quite often, the ENT specialists suggest the “standard labels” like: acid reflux on the vocal cords, vocal gap (sulcus vocalis), muscle tension dysphonia, etc.

If there is any growth on the vocal cords; (like nodules, polyps or cysts) they, no doubts, will suggest a surgery whether it is needed or not.

Meanwhile, the mind, body and voice have to be assessed separately and collectively.

In fact, I have heard numerous of times that the ENT specialists suggest to the vocally injured patients that it’s “all in their head”, while the person is literally having a vocal damage and thus, is devastated out of their wits!

I never could understand that and at first, it was really hard to believe that something like that is possible!

Naturally, the person with the vocal problem is very upset and frustrated, to put it mildly and, of course, they act a little erratically and are being very emotional, which is completely understandable.

Their body usually is very tensed, as almost any vocal injury results in muscle tension dysphonia, i.e., a very tight neck.

By virtue of the Vocal Science technique, I work on client’s posture and get the pressure out of their neck, shoulders and lower back, which a lot of times, they have a problem with, as they are standing and walking with their pelvis out, throwing their sound backwards instead of forward and thus, pushing and pulling their voice forward double force.

Naturally, the voice itself becomes really strained of constant pushing and pulling, the vocal cords become weak and sometimes to the point that the vocal folds are unable to come back close together.

That’s how the vocal gap, (sulcus vocalis) takes place.

Also, the vocal cords become dry and deprived of oxygen; thus such growths as vocal nodules, polyps and cysts will, no doubts, occur.

Also, one of the main components of the wholesome vocal mechanism is proper breathing.

If the person does not execute the proper breath intake and would not leave the air underneath of the sound to propel the voice forward to also separate the physical body from the sound, that person starts to hyperventilate and feel dizzy, not to mention drying up their throat even more so than before.

So one more time again, the Non-Surgical Voice Repair has to be approached holistically, as I can promise you, no other approach will ever work.

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The Non-Surgical Voice Repair has been my forte for well over 3 decades.

I’ve worked with both – regular people with speaking voiceproblems, ‘wannabes’ and, of course, professional singers. This blog is mostly about the professional singers who have done nothing but sang and performed most of their lives.

Understandably, the voice is their prime ‘instrument’ and, nevertheless, those artists’ livelihoods would very well depend on it. When, down the road, their voices would experience natural wear and tear, they would become alarmed and rightfully so.

Usually, it starts in the later stage of their professional lives, as their voice cannot withstand the same workability and sound pressure as it could in their younger years.

Not to mention that most of those artists are just simply talented, but they never had an exposure to the right vocal technique which would save and protect their voice for life.

So before they know, the symptoms of overworked voice begin to surface. Some of them are coming with per-nodule conditions or already with full-blown polyps or nodules on their vocal cords.

For many years, deep inside, they knew that something had dramatically changed with respect to their vocal performance. They realized it, but it usually takes some time to admit it, even to themselves.

As they go along, the condition keeps persisting and then they begin their internet search for a vocal cure. Some of them, out of desperation, jumping straight onto the operating table in hopes that when they will come out of the O.R., they will be as good as new and will sing as good as before and better.

The others are looking for a ‘magic pill’ and the conventional vocal instruction, not realizing that to deal with any vocal problem is a big task and it definitely requires a highly qualified voice specialist. It also requires them to be in cooperation with the instruction and treatment.

The majority of people are naturally very frustrated, extremely scared and totally obsessed with the sound of their voice. My recent US client, through the process of his per-nodule treatment, was literally coming on and off what I call a ‘vocal orgasm’.

When we have overcome his vocal injury and started the actual vocal instruction, not only was he flying off the handle from the excitement, but continuously kept listening to his own voice, forgetting that the next segment of the song was coming.

When I pointed it out, he said to me:

“But Diana, I am addicted; it is like a drug to me. I guess I am a vocal Junkie, as I am completely addicted to my voice now. I never herd my voice sounding this way for many years!”

With these words, he knelled down and touched my feet. That gesture suggests a great respect and admiration for a Teacher, Mentor or a Guru. I first had learned that from my former voice repair client, who came to me from India many years ago

He too did the same gesture to my enormous surprise then, and after I recovered from the shock of the unknown, he gave me the full blown explanation of that ritual.

Needless to say, to teach “an old dog new tricks” is not very easy.

We all know that bad habits die hard.

Due to that process, I have to free the artist from any ‘addictions’ he/she may possess:

  • Misalignment of the physical body
  • Poor connection between mental clarity and motor skills
  • “Dropped down the floor” jaw
  • Stuck out (as a pregnant ballerina), stomach (lol)
  • Fears and insecurities of accepting the new modality of the certain proper vocal and overall behavior
  • Elimination of what I call “vocal narcissism” behavior (me, myself and I, and…my voice)

The name of this game is to find a balance which has to be achieved by a performer on every level: mental, physical, emotional and vocal. Once the above is acquired, no addictions or bad behavior could take place, and not only vocally, but, as well, on an everyday basis.

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Recovering the voice is my passion!

I love what I do, and I do what I love!

When the singer (amateur or professional) comes to me with the damaged voice, my biggest desire is to uncover and recover their voice and put them back on stage as soon as possible.

The vocal injury could play a big impact on a singer’s psyche.

In the year 2006, I received a professional singer from Hawaii, who previously was very much involved in their live music performances. Then he got diagnosed with a nodule on the right vocal cord.

It was devastating for him, as he no longer could perform and sustain his role in the music scene. He had to quit his singing and he became a pool-boy. You can imagine how discouraged and depressed he was. Nevertheless, his livelihood was depending on his voice.

When he arrived, he showed me his picture, which was taken right before his voice issue occurred. He looked at least 40 lbs. less then, and 10 years younger. And that was only 8 months before his voice problem happened.

Needless to say, it was a very intense syllable-on-syllable, word-on-word instruction (speech and singing); but it was very rewarding when he got on the other side, avoided the surgery and learned altogether a new way of speaking and singing, which would assure the safety and longevity of his voice for life.

Luckily, 8 years ago, the Skype and FaceTime were not as popular.  Nobody, in their right mind, asked me to fix this very personal and intimate “instrument” via Skype, FaceTime, or telephone.

The voice is an internal instrument, opposed to guitar or piano, which you could learn (to a degree) on the surface, and yes, perhaps, via internet. You cannot access the voice by remote means of technology.

Close human contact is required, and is a must!

To recover the voice is very gratifying for both my client and myself; but the holistic and overall global work, on a very personal level, should be present.

Without it, it would be just a gimmick, and not the real deal.

After completing the actual voice repair, I have to conduct a major vocal tune up for the now recovering singer.

I could compare it with a person who had a stroke, and who has to learn how to walk and talk again.

The voice repair client also should understand that after any rehabilitation (including vocal) you cannot start running the marathon right after the discharge from rehab, and should have the patience to gradually introduce all the once known skills back again, while concurrently adding newly adopted skills for overall recovery and prosperity thereafter.

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