Saturday, October 18, 2014
Vocal Rehab for Seniors and for Everybody Else for that Matter
When I work with people over 65 years old on their voiceproblems, I very often have to literally revive them back to life prior to working on their voice. When these people finally end up in my studio they most of the time look, feel and act quite beat up, so to speak.
Prior to getting to me, they have had a lot of health issues and other, aspects of life, turbulence and tribulations. Some of them have undergone various surgeries, and then, instead of getting better, they acquired some strange side effects, like for example (with one of my clients), uncontrollable cough, which has been lasting for the last 27 years!
Finally, several years ago, due to very disturbed upper and lower respiratory organs, as well as her throat and her vocal box in general, she began to lose her voice. The tone of her voice had deepened and sounded raspy and hoarse.
Needless to say, that her pronunciation and enunciation were severely compromised. Her posture was very slouched and her upper back was not straight while her pelvis was very much tilted forward. She has been distributing her weight right onto her lower back and thus, nevertheless, has been experiencing low back pains on top of everything else.
Her whole demeanor did not appear happy and upright.
Obviously, given the above, her spirit was very low, as her heart and soul (not to mention physical aspects of it) were hurting for nearly three decades. So I, no doubt, had to deal with her whole being while concurrently fixing her voice. Everybody who has read my publications before, may know that my theory is such that the voice is the expression of who you are and, no doubts, is the identification of the state of one’s being.
So, you my reader, could easily see and understand that all of those components -- mental, physical, emotional -- and yes, vocal arecompletely and totally interconnected. Once the voice started to sound brighter, more lifted, and much clearer, the person’s being became much more alive and rejuvenated in every aspect. She started to look younger and her skin on her face started glowing!
With all of the voice instructions, the posture became much straighter which helped the sound to be properly structured and thus projected.
If you visualize a violin player who holds his violin crooked, he would obviously play the wrong notes, as the proper position of the instrument plays a crucial role with respect of the production of the right sounds. Similarly, the speaking/singing sound has to be projectedup, above, and forward of the person’s body, and if the body is inclined backwards instead of forward, the sound would be drawn to the back of the throat and if delivered at all, it will be delivered to the wall, at best.
My previously doomed student went to the numerous doctors and specialists, naturopaths and homeopaths and never got any help for the last 27 years. She is 68 years old now and she missed almost half of her life dealing with her health and voice problems.
As the absolute latest news for her came (before seeing me)as a diagnosis by two ENT specialists, one of whom told her she might needsurgery (God knows for what?) and the other revealed to her that she has muscletension dysphonia (MTD)… ?
If she did, she would have never needed a surgery, as MTD cannot be fixed by surgical interference.
But in my opinion, she did not have such a thing. Her voice reflected all of her health problems from the past and as a consequence was damaged on its own due to her health problems.