Saturday, January 26, 2013

Voice Disorders - The symptoms and the causes - As it appears to be in some cases, the life coaching is definitely required

With respect of the voice disorders and voice problems, the symptoms are pretty much similar - the hoarseness, the difficulty to speak and/or to sing, raspy-ness, cracking and spasming voice, mucous-y and crackling voice and thus, unclear enunciation and pronunciation and sometimes a very muddy, deeply drowned, voice.

The causes of the above, however, are all different.

As I mentioned in my previous blog, that for example, the cause of spasmodic dysphonia is an emotional and neurological disorder.

But with respect of the growth on the vocal cords like nodes, nodules, polyps, is just simply an unawareness of the proper application of the voice, speaking or singing.

Peculiarly enough, after a singer, for example, acquires some growth on their vocal anatomy, he/she becomes emotionally disturbed and troubled.

Now he/she too needs life coaching, to restore the emotional balance besides the physical one.

So, as you see, the symptoms could be quite similar, but the causes definitely could be vastly different.

With a singer or a speaker, I have to work more on the vocal anatomy itself, nourishing it with natural herbs and homeopathic remedies and teaching those people how to speak and sing properly, using the facial muscles in conjunction and coordination with the abdominal muscles, so that the pressure on the vocal anatomy would be minimized and practically eliminated.

Where with spasmodic dysphonia clients, granted, I also have to work on the application of the voice, but in total conjunction with the past and present events in their lives, which exponentially affect their vocal condition.

The life coaching in those cases, is very much so in effect there.

In both cases, we need to strengthen the vocal box itself, while concurrently to cleanse the body from the excess of mucous and other impurities.

The holistic teaching suggests: CLEANSE AND BUILD!

The body still is the "instrument", which has to be strong, vibrant and nourished.

The "player" has to be aware of how to extract the maximum capacity of that "instrument", and with the minimum effort, accomplish the maximum result.

In other words, I suggest to my clients to work smart and not hard, but with absolute awareness of what is happening in their physical bodies and what is happening to them emotionally.

All of those factors are crucial with respect of their voice/vocal performance on every level, so to speak.

In other words, collectively with my client, we need to address the cause of their condition before we advocate the structure of how to conquer it.

We both will work upon design and therefore, the success of our collective venture is inevitable.

Spasmodic Dysphonia - The cause and... The cure? Is it possible?

Lately, more and more inquiries I get are from the people who suffer from a very nasty "voice disorder" called spasmodic dysphonia.

I a real sense, it is not even a voice disorder - it is more so a neurological disorder, the symptom of which is, the uncontrollably spasming voice.

The cause of it does not at all lie in the voice, as strange as it sounds.

The spastic voice is just a symptom.

My very recent US client, diagnosed with spasmodic dysphonia disorder, naturally thought that something just incidentally, happened to her voice.

She was diagnosed by her doctor, but was never advised what she could do about it.

When I got her and her husband on the phone, I naturally started to ask them questions with respect of how and when that happened and of course, if they could think of anything that could have triggered that condition.

They both replied that their lives were pretty much free of stress and they couldn't see or think of any possible cause of that disorder to take place.

I, of course, knew that that could not be the case.

The majority of the illness in our bodies are emotionally induced and then, all of that, manifests in our physical body.

So, definitely, there was some emotional trauma happening and quite possibly, starting quite a few years back.

Finally, my clients arrived and we began the sessions.

In about 15-20 minutes from the beginning of the first session, I found out about the events happening in that family, which emotionally, would be enough impact to kill a horse or two, never mind to cause a voice disorder.

They, somehow, could not think of the connection between some quite, nevertheless, tragic events in their lives and the actual consequences, which in this case resulted in spasmodic dysphonia.

Moreover, my client revealed that on top of everything else, she has a quite high blood pressure.

That alarmed me even more, as her condition could be a, so to speak, "rehearsal" before the actual stroke.

In other words, pre-stroke condition...

Very often people who get affected by a stroke, not only get paralyzed partially or fully, but they also very often lose their speech completely.

The stroke, obviously, in its nature, is also a neurological disorder.

So when there is a condition like this, you have to look very deeply into the roots of the cause, and yes, of course, to work on the voice, but mainly to work on everything else, i.e. emotions, central nervous system, high blood pressure, overall physical condition and many more physical and mental aspects, which could contribute not only to the spasmodic dysphonia, but to a much more severe condition.

I always said that the voice is the expression of who you are and the identification of the state of your being.

Indeed, in the case of spasmodic dysphonia, especially.

The doctors in this case, and in many other voice disorder cases, offer to shoot Botox into the vocal cords and other nasty treatments.

Needless to say, they are working on the "stove" when the "fridge" is broken.

I did everything I could holistically, and the couple left very satisfied and happy, and not only with the much better voice, but with much more understanding of their relationship between each other and their relationship with their three children...

If the voice is spasming, there is something else that is spasming in the person's body, mind and soul.

Think about it!!!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Vocally Speaking - No Matter What Anybody Says, Size Matters...

Sexually speaking, there is a myth suggesting that the size doesn't matter, it's what you do with it...?

I highly disagree with such notion. 

Size matters always and in all instances. 

Let's say your shoe size is 8, but you are offered a shoe of size 10 or size 5. Would you be able to wear it with comfort? 

I personally don't think so. 

We are all different sizes, weights and heights and respectively, our internal and external organs are different in sizes and appearances as well. 

The sound produced by the singer very much so depends on his height, weight, and the actual circumference of his/her body.

For example, if the person is tall and slender, usually that person would have longer and thinner vocal cords. 

Therefore, there is a myth that the opera singers with big and rich voices, are naturally big and fat. 

Big in sizes, maybe, but being fat, not necessarily, and actually can be counter productive. 

In any case, the human being has to be physically, emotionally and in our case, vocally fit. 

But yes, the body size and the size of its organs definitely matters. 

If you return back to the slender and tall person, we can pretty much assume that vertically, the sound will be soaring straight to the Universe, but that singer might be lacking the width and the body of his/her sound, simply because his/her body's rib cage is quite narrow an thus, does not produce the needed radius to make the sound proportionally rounded. 

Is there a solution to this problem? 

Yes there is. 

The person could exercise their upper diaphragm by opening it and closing it, while concurrently counting as long as they can. 

If you visualize an accordion, which works on air, that probably will resemble the same action. 

The singer also could consult the private fitness trainer to get a suggestion on certain exercises to enlarge the size of the ribcage and strengthen the upper diaphragm and the supporting back muscles overall. 

Let's look at the person who is wide enough, but not tall enough.

That person has a great diameter of his/her vocal cords, but most likely, does not have the length. 

How would we solve this problem?

It's much harder to work on the extension of the height from the physical point of view. 

But what the singer can work on is on the higher, so to speak, "bite", involving the strength and depth of the facial muscles. 

This type of singer also has to pay greater attention to the support coming from, not only his/her lower abdominal muscles, but also restructuring the whole weight, starting from the feet, to the calves, to the thighs, to the lower abdomen, to the upper diaphragm and shoot the sound on top of all of that. 

That will greatly increase the needed length and then in conjunction with naturally given width, the sound will be fully projected, aimed and delivered.

So that said, the size does matter and very much so in every instance of our lives!

Diana Yampolsky is the Master Vocal Coach, Studio Vocal Producerand Non-Surgical Voice Repair Specialist at The Royans Professional Vocal School in Toronto, Canada. She is also the creator of the Vocal Science (TM) method and Talent Scout and Director for the 4 A.M. Talent Development and Artist Management Group Inc.

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If you find yourself struggling with vocal performance or are in need of voice repair, you can reach Diana by email or phone, Toll Free in North America, at 1-888-229-TUNE (8863)