Thursday, December 18, 2014

Vocally Speaking: Inner Bomb Detonation, So to Speak… How Dangerous or how Beneficial could that be?

Vocal damage hurts, but you don’t have to.


It could be devastating when the vocal injury occurs for both speakers and singers. Interestingly enough, for speakers, it appears to be even more tragic, as they absolutely unaware about that occurrence.

While overusing and abusing their voice, they have no idea that one day, it can burst on them. They continue pushing and pulling until their voice literally “pops” (by description of one of my voice repair clients) and then becomes hardly usable. 

Clearly it does not happen at that moment; the, so to speak, ‘stage’ (the precedent) was pre-set for some time. They were ‘building a bomb’ in a manner of speaking, and it was only as a matter of time when the ‘bomb’ would eventually detonate.  Of course, those amateur, or even professional speakers, felt and sensed the change in the delivery of their voice. 

But the majority of them chose to ignore it and, sometimes, for prolonged periods of time. So they continued pushing it to the max until they could not push it anymore. The singers are evidently much more aware about the condition of their voices.

The symptoms of hoarseness, loss of tone and loss of range are much more obvious and pronounced then to people who use their voices just for speaking. Both categories, however, have that ‘vocal bomb’ set on ‘timer’, which, if not ‘detonated’ rather sooner than later, may just ‘explode’.

For speakers, it could turn to muscle tension dysphonia, or worst of all, spasmodic dysphonia which, is in a manner of speaking, resembles epilepsy.  I have a term for it and I call it, colloquially, vocal epilepsy. 

The voice begins to spasm involuntarily; and to treat this condition is extremely difficult, however not impossible, if it is still in the mild stage. Peculiar enough, the singers are more rarely succumbed to the dysphonia, especially the spasmodic kind. 

They are more susceptible to the growth on their vocal cords and throat. They very often acquire vocal cord lesions, vocal cord and throat cysts, polyps and nodules and of course the acid reflux.

The latter is caused by the singer’s voice to be drawn in the lower than normal position; and thus it easily meets the gastric acid, which begins to burn the one’s vocal cords, and sometimes quite severely. All of those conditions for speakers and singers must be addressed as soon as noticed.

Remember, the bomb on timer is ticking. 

And the longer you wait to “detonate” it, the more probable, when it finally explodes, the voice condition might become beyond repair – Surgical or Non-Surgical. 

However, the process of, so to speak, “detonation”, could be quite detrimental.

The surgical interference may leave scar tissue, just like in the case of Julie Andrews, who was never able to regain her singing career and who, for a while, after the surgery, also had difficulties even with speech for some time.

Not to mention Joan Rivers who just lost her life during a vocal operation. The Non-Surgical endeavor is also very tasking, as it involves a lot of effort on both ends – The recipient and the voice specialist. 

There are a lot of emotions – (frustrations and happiness) present during the Non-Surgical process.

I said many times that the voice is the identification and a reflection of the state of one’s being. Naturally, all the feelings like fear, frustration and overall depression, come on the surface during the restoration of the person’s voice.

So, while holistically approaching it, the voice specialist, like myself, has to take all of those feelings into consideration, and act accordingly and with absolute confidence. 

In fact, my recent US Voice Repair client said that my confidence in what I am doing is clearly unbeatable, and that helped him a great deal.

Therefore, as I also said many times before, the approach should be completely holistic, without which, the success of Non-Surgical voice restoration is virtually impossible and could be, the least to say harmful, if approached otherwise.

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