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Posts Tagged ‘vocal problem’

 

 

Once, I had a request from a serious voice problem sufferer who was residing in the UK. He was a throat cancer survivor; and with all of the chemotherapy and radiation therapy, he ended up having both vocal cords damaged. One of his vocal cords was paralyzed and the other one was simply non-functional. He approached me with all kinds of questions and when his question came around the price of my nonsurgical voice repair services and treatment sessions, he exclaimed: “Oh my God, it is too much!”

When I asked him what he would do with the same amount of money if he would not end up paying for my services? He said: “I would go on vacation…” Then I asked him if he would enjoy that vacation, being afraid to open his mouth and constantly be conscious on how he would be received and perceived by other people? On that note, I’ve heard the tears in his voice. He had obviously gotten my drift… so to speak. After this emotional moment, our deal had been finalized; and shortly after, I flew to London to attend to him and a couple of other people.

You, my reader, may ask: Did you fix his voice? My answer would be yes, but to a degree. Could I un-paralyze his vocal cord or make the other one functional? The answer is no. But, applying the Vocal Science ™ Method, I was able to create some base underneath of his very soprano-sounding voice; so he started to sound quite a bit more manly. His diction (enunciation and pronunciation) became much clearer and he started to sound, by far, more coherent. Needless to say, his confidence (after lots of tears and spent emotions) became more apparent; and thus his long-ago gone zest for life was actually coming back, and (at least to a degree) his life was reclaimed!

Had he become perfectly healthy and fully regained his voice? The answer is – not quite. But he gained a lot of knowledge, awareness and understanding with respect of what was happening to him in general and his vocal anatomy in particular. He now was able to bring the best of his voice upon his wish and command which, (we both agreed) by itself, is priceless. Having a clear map in his head with respect to how the physical sound travels, he was able to get hold of the best of his voice (pretty much) at any given moment. In other words, we both did the best we could!

Leaving back for Canada, I left this (previously) very emotionally, physically and vocally disturbed man with an intellectual understanding and kinesthetic feeling of how to power the sound of his voice to its best capacity; and, most importantly, how to save and protect to what he had been left with. As far as him and I were concerned, both of our missions had been accomplished!

I clearly was able to show him that there is LIFE that is worth living, especially after the completion of our voice, body and soul repair journey!

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Given that we live in a digital era, more and more we have been asked if we provide Non-Surgical Voice Repair Services remotely, i.e., via Skype, FaceTime, WeChat and etc.

This trend started a few years ago and, at that time, I thought that people were simply joking…! I thought “they could not be serious”, as any vocal disorder could represent a serious internal problem.

facetime

In fact, I just came back from my travels in the Middle East and unfortunately ended up (due to one of my relatives’ serious medical problem) in an ICU section of the hospital. In fact, they did not call it ICU (like in North America). They call it the “Internal Medicine Department”.

It confused me at first, but after thoroughly thinking about it, I understood the total meaning of the name “Internal Medicine”, which totally matched the description. All of those people in that wing were cared for 24/7 and all of the monitors (which they were connected to) were also supervised 24/7.

Respectively, I treat all voice disorders as any complicated internal health problem would be treated, as a lot of the time, the loss of voice (for example) could represent a very serious internal dysfunction, such as (even) cancer.

damaged-voice

So given the complexity of the above, do some people really think that it could be addressed remotely?? If they do, they themselves (nevertheless) need to have their head examined. (in fact and sadly, with that comment, I’m not even joking!)

Let me give you one example, which occurred a couple of years ago, but, to this day, I still cannot get over of that phone call. My caller was a “distraught” mother of a 15 years old teenager, as she identified as a pop star. Her pop star daughter had seen 5 ENT specialists who had granted her with 5 very serious diagnoses. You name it, she’s got it!

My heart immediately opened up to the child with serious vocal problems, which were not only impeding on her vocal performance, but also on her social life and teenage life in general. I began my presentation with respect to how I can approach treating all of those serious vocal disorders, obviously presuming that we are talking about the mother and the daughter taking the trip to Toronto Canada and “landing” straight in my studio.

After the extensive conversation with whole bunch of very valuable explanations from my side, her last question to me was, “Can we do a FaceTime please?” That question left me “speechless”. I could not believe my ears…

Instead of asking me how soon I would be able to accept and embrace her daughter in order to literally save her life, she was asking if I could deal with all FIVE MAJOR vocal problems (possessed by her daughter) via phone or computer! Go figure!

Nowadays, people think that any problems could be solved from the distance and not in person. Please think again! Will you ask a masseuse, chiropractor or hair dresser to attend to your body or to your hair via computer? I’m afraid that some people are already thinking about it. LOL! Maybe we should also have all the hospitals closed and conduct all the surgeries, CAT scans and MRI’s remotely? Wouldn’t that be something?

For those people who think so, we suggest to purchase something along the lines of a Gear VR, or even better, an Oculus Rift!

Those gadgets would give these people a perfect illusion of the virtual world, but eventually, they will have to come back to earth and “smell the coffee” (so to speak); i.e., have a hard-core check with reality, which will allow them, finally, to get off of their couches and start dealing with the real world and the real problems, one or two of which, in fact, could be enhanced voice or vocal problems.

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One day, you wake up and you notice that suddenly, your voice is not the same as it normally is. You think to yourself that ‘maybe its just morning raspiness and it will go away later in the day.  Five (or more) days pass and you realize that your voice is not getting any better. It’s actually getting worse with every word you try to convey. On top of that, your throat feels like it is on fire and it has been burning severely.

So, by now, you have come to the realization that something is definitely wrong there… The voice feels weak, and on top of it, it sounds raspy and hoarse.

“What could I do to make it better” you ask yourself in desperation?

Of course, right away, you turn to the “all reliable” internet for answers to your vocal dilemma, and find out that all of their “answers” are just generic explanation websites which, at most times, do not lead you to the best diagnosis and/or treatments.

Throat Problem 9

Now, you are lost completely and totally unaware of what to do to conquer your newly discovered vocal problem…

My advise would be that, first and foremost, do not panic; but instead, find a good medical professional and get an accurate diagnosis. If you get a clean bill of health, then seek a holistic practitioner (voice/vocal specialist) who specializes in voice problems. Acquiring appropriate voice/vocal techniques and the application of natural herbal and homeopathic remedies, should do the trick, so to speak.

If you, (God forbid) are diagnosed with some kind of growths on your vocal cords; such as polyps, nodules, cysts, lesions and etc., you should still look for a non-surgical alternative before committing yourself to surgical interference.

For example: The Vocal Science™ Technique advocates the minimal (if at all) use of the vocal cords.

Some of you are probably aware that you have only so many ‘strums’ per vocal cords, for the length of your life. Naturally the less you use your vocal cords; the more you preserve its health and length.

But what if you need to use your voice quite excessively? For example: What if your job requires you to speak on the phone all day, or you happen to be a professional speaker or singer?

I think that I have the answer for you:

I found the way to decrease the pressure of the sound on the vocal anatomy via my specially designed speech and singing exercises, coupled with special body movements.

Those exercises will allow your voice to be lifted off of the vocal box and off of the vocal cords by the way of restructuring the sound into the set of the facial muscles, which will, in turn, begin to work in full conjunction and coordination with your abdominal muscles (for greater support of the lift); thus minimizing the use of your throat, larynx and your vocal cords.

However, if the above took place; and, after awhile, your previously diagnosed growth is not, at least, shrinking in size, you should return to the ENT surgeon and ask for a reassessment.

In this case, it might be wise to undergo a surgical procedure and then come back to the non-surgical post-operative care and thus assure that your voice disorder will not reoccur ever again.

We wish you all a healthy and pleasant voice!

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All you have to lose is your stress and fear; All you have to gain is your voice and overall health.

When a regular person suddenly begins to experience some voice problems, it becomes very devastating and, nevertheless, very scary.

When a singer begins to experience a loss of range, and hoarseness of voice, not only does it cause stress and extreme fear of losing their career, but it becomes completely unbearable and extremely stressful for that individual; and of course, all of it effects his/hers overall health. The musicians in general are usually extremely emotional and quite passionate, which is not always beneficial to their physical well being.

It is a well-known fact that a lot of diseases are emotionally induced and then they manifest in the physical body. The stress alone can cause quite a change in the chemical composition and thus, can cause a complete imbalance in the body. If brought to the absolute boiling point, it will most likely attack the weakest organ in this individual’s body. Those people who use their throat and their vocal anatomy quite excessively (due to their occupation) most likely will experience a vocal issue.

Those who are already experiencing vocal problems, no doubts, will be stressed to the max (speaking or singing), and that, in turn, will create some other physical body problems, such it could be, for example, their liver…

The holistic teaching indicates that those individuals who do experience liver problems, usually posses suppressed anger within themselves. When, for example, the thyroid is attacked, it usually represents that the sufferer is experiencing suppressed emotions and hurts. Very often, when doctors order to remove the thyroid, they also, quite often “butcher” the vocal box and almost 9 out of 10 patients are waking up with a paralyzed vocal cord(s).

So all of it, as you can see, is, nevertheless, a vicious circle. In other words, if you already have a vocal problem, the stress and fear will make it worse and might even affect the other vital organs of your body. If you have stress and fears caused by other factors, you may acquire vocal issues (speaking and/or singing). However, the singers who don’t know how to save and protect their voice for life, and who don’t own the proper vocal technique, most likely, sooner or later, will acquire various vocal disorders.

If you understand correctly the content, you will draw a conclusion that all of our organs (brain included) are completely interconnected; thus the approach to any physical imbalance (voice included) MUST be approached holistically and NEVER by itself. Once the physical body is in balance and intact, the spirit in such body will be also happy and healthy.

The voice IS your spirit.

It is also a reflection of the state of your whole being and it is, nevertheless, an Identification of who you truly are!

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We often hear the saying, “ you are what you eat”. I can also, with absolute certainty, say that you are what you speak and sing. How so, you may ask?

Holistically speaking, the voice is an expression of who you are, and identification of the state of your being. The voice is a very important tool for communication. When you speak with the person, by his/her voice tone, you can determine the person’s mood and even the state of the person’s health; especially if you are, at least, somewhat, familiar with the person.

On that note, I could say that when I work with the Voice Repair client and get their voice out of their throat by restructuring it to the facial and abdominal muscles, the person starts to sound completely different, i.e., the voice starts to sound much healthier, more vibrant, more colorful and more reflective of the actual person’s make-up.

The sound becomes much clearer and the words are more announced and pronounced. The hoarseness disappears and the tone of the voice changes. When we are talking about the voice disorder, the voice often sounds quite ‘soprano’ish’. It is especially pronounced with the male gender, the condition of which causes a lot of discomfort and insecurities.

These peoples’ lives become literally handicapped, as they are afraid to communicate in person and terrified by phone conversations, by simply not ever picking up the phone and/or initiating any phone conversations. It does affect their social lives and their professional lives.

Needless to say, most of them are depressed and some of them are even suicidal.

Once the voice is improving and they are gradually getting their lives back, they are also gaining back their zest for life. Their mood becomes exponentially happier, their spirit is rejuvenated and their soul is now singing, even though that some of them have never sung in their lives. Those, however, who are singers, or I should say, ‘have had been singers before they damaged their voices’, experiencing the double whammy. They need to restore their speaking voice first, and then, and only then, their singing voice. However, the good news is that after the speaking voice falls in place, it is much easier to fix the singing voice, as ultimately, the voice mechanics are virtually the same.

With the singers, however, I have to restore their tone and, mainly, pitch, which in some cases, becomes very challenging. Usually, in these cases, the confidence is really damaged, as the singer is scared to reach the high notes and to project his/her voice. Therefore, on the background, there is a lot of psychological counseling that is required for those cases. “I have to say it has been the making of me meeting you Diana in more than just the voice,” wrote to me one of my former Voice Repair clients, now Opera singer, Evie Bonella of Essex UK.

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More and more, my practice consists of non-surgical voice repair cases.

The speakers, the singers and the wannabe singers, are pouring into my studio in Toronto and my alternative location in UK from all the continents known to humanity.

People always had problems with their voices and perhaps not necessarily less than today.

However, the food and the air, i.e. environment overall, was much cleaner and more pure than today, no doubts.

Outside of the environment, people in the past were more conscious of the education in general and vocal training in particular.

In the past, they appreciated the knowledge, which was giving them confidence and nevertheless, the safety of the use of their voice.

In the past, people had dignity and integrity and a lot of them were coming to me, with or without any indicative vocal problem and were saying, “I want to sing in a better and more respectable venue and not in a toilet bar.”

Today, they don’t care how and where they sing, as long as they can squeak some sound out of themselves and get through the night, keeping their fingers crossed, having their prayers and hoping that they will come out of that, still at least with the speaking voice (singing voice is optional) and preferably not injured, however not always.

They push and push and push their sound to the max, until, like my former client from Boston said exactly that, “Diana, in my last performance, I pushed and pushed and pushed my voice until I could not push any more. At that moment I knew this was the last time I could push it at all.”

Back to nowadays, nobody cares for the quality of the sound, of the venue where they perform, as long as they get their “fix” and preferably make a “dollar or two” while at it (lol).

Today, they come because they “can not push anymore” and now, they scream or even whisper with their raspy voices “HELP!”.

The good news is, that once I non-surgically repair their voices, as a side effect, I teach them how to comply with the standards of professional singing, while concurrently work smart and not hard and with the minimum effort, achieve the maximum vocal result and performance.

Needless to say that the consequence of the sentences above is the safety and protection of the voice for life.

Isn’t that the “name of the game”, while your whole life depends on your voice – speaking or singing?

Often, I ask my voice repair clients after a very short period of time being under my care, “What price could you put on this?”

The usual answer is, “IT’S PRICELESS.”

And that, I hear from people whose first reaction to my tuition fees to restore their voice, to save their voice and realize their dreams, is “OH MY GOD! It’s very expensive!”

Needless to say that in a lot of cases, especially where I spot the real need, I give them a break.

20 somewhat years ago, I had a remote voice problem myself and nobody can sympathize with my clients more than myself. However, my problem was purely emotional and not physical, thus it had nothing to do with the mechanics of my voice.

But it is very rewarding when during and after the voice repair course and treatment, the authentic e-mails from my now former clients expressing their true gratitude and happiness that all of their vocal problems are behind them now.

For those who are still wondering, please visit our website’s section Post Course Letters and please read the recent e-mails from the clients who nearly lost everything that was always dear to them -THEIR VOCAL ABILITY TO PERFORM (singing or speaking for that matter)!

Needless to say, it got restored with mine and their hard work and with the magic of the natural herbs and remedies, which are perfect partners to my holistic approach to voice mechanics, as in partnership, they as well as the Vocal Science(TM) technique, assure the proper and non-surgical laryngological care.

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More and more, I am getting the phone calls and e-mails about the voice problems from speakers and singers.

Almost all of them are prescribed the medication to conquer their acid reflux (not in every case it is even present), but the doctors do it just in case…?

And almost all of the doctors prescribed a vocal rest.

Vocal rest – how useful could it be?

In fact, in the majority of cases, it is, as after all, if you break your leg, you should not be hopping on it and running marathons.

However, the patient with the broken leg at least is offered a cast, or corrective surgery and then the cast.

The ENT doctors evidently think that if the person would stop singing, or even speaking, the problems will correct themselves.

And granted, sometimes, since the pressure from the vocal box is removed, due to the extensive, so called “vocal rest”, the symptoms seem to be not as pronounced, at least at the beginning of the vocal journey after the vocal rest.

But there is no doubts that all of those symptoms will come back and very soon and in a full bloom.

So, after the same problem persists, what are you going to do? To take another vocal rest for 2-3 months before the next show?

On this note, I don’t think you will prosper your career fast enough, definitely not before you turn 70.

However, by that time, somebody probably will organize a vocal idol for senior citizens (lol).

You never know…!

On a serious note, the vocal rest was only an illusion that all the problems are conquered now.

In a real sense, no alterations of anything have been done.

The application of the voice never has been changed.

Nothing has been treated, neither non-surgically, nor surgically or otherwise.

It’s only as a matter of time before there will be a deja vu.

All of the false hopes will fail and the person involved will unfortunately have to “face the music”, so to speak.

I am a person of action.

If something is wrong or broken, let’s fix it.

Have a check with reality.

If it’s broken, it’s not going to get fixed by itself, as there is no real change without change.

Please address the cause and attend to it, rather than allowing the doctors to feed you with wishful thinking that the problems will correct themselves and will go away at the snap of the fingers or – for that matter – the vocal rest…

Go figure!

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