Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Vocal Science: Regain Your Voice - Reclaim Your Life!

For at least the last 25 years, we have been specializing in extreme voice disorders such as:
  • Muscle Tension Dysphonia
  • Spasmodic Dysphonia
  • Polyps & Nodules on the vocal cords
  • Cysts & Lesions on the vocal cords and the throat
  • Acid Reflux effecting the vocal box
  •  Laryngitis
  • Sulcus Vocalis (enlarged gap between the vocal folds)
  • Strained Vocal Cords
  • Vocal Cord Paresis
  • Partially Lost Voice

- And that’s just to name a few.

Both regular speaking people and or singers could possess the above-described vocal injuries.

As strange as it sounds, the regular speaking people are taking their injuries much harder then the actual singers.

In fact, in a lot of cases, singers may still have their speaking voices somewhat intact; and therefore, it is not that detrimental for them just to lose their singing voice capacity then for speakers to completely lose their tool for communication. Of course, no matter how you slice it, speakers and singers are both greatly effected by their voice/vocal injury.

The speakers, in a lot of times, feel that their lives are over, as it is difficult for them to communicate. They often begin to learn sign language and/or rely on writing on a white board in order to be heard and understood. Moreover, they are usually, for years, have been trying different speech therapists and vocal coaches; but nevertheless, evidently, always to no avail.

I would like to quote one of our recent Non-Surgical Voice Repair Clients who had said in her Post Course Letter to us:

“It’s such a relief to have someone to go to if I have issues with my voice, as before I felt so alone and had no idea what to do, so many thanks”.

This particular person had suffered with quite significant voice loss, severe pain in the throat, and had to live with the diagnosis of Muscle Tension Dysphonia for 5 years.

This young beautiful adult was suggested to stop speaking for good, go on disability and find a job which does not require any speaking. Before she came to us, she was ready to quit University, prior quitting the high school choir and the part-time job, which had required her to speak with the customers.

Her Mom and her flew to us for over 30 hours to obtain our unique instruction and natural holistic treatment.

By the end of her 50 hour ordeal, not only was she able to speak with clear announced and pronounced voice (as her mom qualified as a radio voice), but she was also able to embark upon my regular singing exercises (designed for singers with no vocal damage) and a piece of the song “Can’t help Falling In Love” by Elvis.

That was our Triumph!!

No doubts this beautiful girl regained her speaking and even (partially) her singing voice (partially only due to the lack of time), and has already begun to reclaim her life back and will continue to do so for days to come. As far as we are concerned, one more life had been salvaged and reclaimed with very hard work - but with a very high reward in the end.

“Although it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, and there were many obstacles along the way, I completed 50 hours with Diana because in the end it was worth it.“

On that note, we would say - Way to go Girl!

The Best is Yet to Come!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Causes & Treatments for Spasmodic Dysphonia Disorder.

There could be numerous causes for that nasty and serious disorder. 

Interestingly enough, the voice of the sufferer is greatly compromised; however, it is only a symptom and not the cause.  The causes could be induced by emotional, psychological and neurological traumas.

For example - a tragic event happens and a switch between automatous actions that are coordinated between the brain and the control function of the neck, thyroid and larynx become affected. As a result, the ‘voice user’ experiences uncontrollable spasms within the neck structure/muscles and other areas that may not have been documented if not searched for.

Of course, it could also be due to the misuse and abuse of ones’ voice, as well as via contacted viruses such as a severe cold, flu, strep throat and whatnot.

I personally compare this disorder to epilepsy and (in my books) I call it “Vocal Epilepsy”

The traumas also could be caused by negative environmental surroundings by means of air-born pollution. Chemicals that effect (and sometimes degrade) the cells within the brain which control autonomous motor functions within the body) can result to spasmodic dysphonia as well.

Also, chemical agents like industrial strength detergents, bleach, and dangerous drugs like meth amphetamines, non-professional man-made hallucinogens, etc, can play a role of causing a environmentally-induced versions of spasmodic dysphonia.

Now let’s find out about non-surgical treatments for this disorder.
Is it even possible?

My answer is yes, it is; but with great difficulty and only if it is not passed stage one. or maximum, two. I categorize this disorder within 4 stages, (just like cancer, God forbid). So, if it is in the light or medium stage (stage one or two), the speech of the sufferer can be greatly improved.

When it comes to stage 3 (and especially stage 4) when you hardly hear a straight (without grate “stuttering” in a manor of speaking) speech, it is nearly impossible to even remotely improve the ones’ condition.

Sometimes, spasmodic dysphonia disorder arises from the condition, which is known as Muscle Tension Dysphonia. In one of my previous blogs, I described the case where the person with muscle tension dysphonia disorder contacted me last year, but for whichever reason, she did not take me up on my offer to give her instruction and treatment (when it still was possible to account for some meaningful results). This year, she contacted me again and told me that now she has been diagnosed with Spasmodic Dysphonia. I asked her to give me a call before I would give her my commitment. She did and I could hardly understand a word she had been saying.

She sounded like her condition now would be between stage 3 and 4.

With all honesty, I told her that I would not be able to attend to her case with guarantee of any measurable results. Unfortunately, in that particular case, the Non-Surgical (and I believe, even Surgical) treatment of any kind will be obsolete now.

There is a saying: “The time is healing”; but sometimes the time passed when the repair could still be done, can also be ‘killing’, brining this serious condition to the point of no return.

Via special speech and breathing exercises, coupled with the certain body movements, I can knock down a good amount of spasms and teach the person how to speak above them.

By learning a new application for the use of the voice, the person learns how to lift the voice off of the vocal box and off of the vocal cords and use a different set of muscles such as the sinus cavities (facial muscles) which will begin to work in full conjunction and coordination of the abdominal muscles for the greater support of the ‘lift’ of the sound.

The sound will become much clearer, less spasmodic and more pronounced and announced. The special breathing exercises and humming special sounds will help immensely to reduce spasms. All of that could bring a person close to a definitive recovery; provided, of course, that the disorder is not too far advanced.

 So please, of you find something unusual going on with your voice and your health in general, please seek immediate consult and try to get to the bottom of your voice/vocal issue while time is still on your side.

Quality voice care is our mission.We cater to the sensitive and afraid.