Wednesday, November 22, 2017

What are the Symptoms of Muscle Tension Dysphonia and What Are The Treatments Available for That Voice Disorder?

The term Muscle Tension Dysphonia is a general term which could be associated with an imbalance in the muscle’s coordination and breathing patterns required to create a voice. Muscle Tension Dysphonia (often called MTD) may occur on its own, or as a result of a strained voice being pulled into the neck muscles. The reason behind this disorder is not always clear. It may be triggered by allergies, illness, acid reflux or whichever other means...

Symptoms -

The most common symptoms for this disorder is a change in voice quality, often associated with discomfort of the vocal cords (or voice box) while speaking or singing. Also, almost always, symptoms like hoarseness and rapines will be associated with an increased effort to talk or sing, coupled with subsequent fatigue during continuous voice use.

Treatment -

There is an alternative form of voice therapy which is the gold standard for the treatment of Muscle Tension Dysphonia. There are no other known treatments (outside of the Vocal Science™ Method and Technique) that can restore the muscle balance in the vocal mechanism. With that said, this unique form of therapy will help alleviate the above vocal symptoms.

If, by any chance, you suffer from any of the above voice disorders, you are welcome to contact us via our email: Or you can call us at: 416-857-8741

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Part 2, Neo-Singing…? Neo-Skating… Anything Else?

What do we mean by that?We mean… NO singing and NO skating… per say.

“It’s quality of skating, not quantity of jumps” - states Canadian figure skating champion, Patric Chan.

“Skating can be rewarded” -  said the figure skating commentator, Rod Black, after the U.S. well-known skater, James Brown’s ice performance.

James Brown himself said: “ Of course, I can land ripples and quads, but not in the expense of the artistry!”

Given all that, in this case, the skaters themselves are revolting against “ice acrobatics” and overall “ice circus”, so to speak. They actually have been missing the artistry of their craft, as well as poise and grace, which had always made figure skating field a very special place where they had an opportunity to show off their very special skills (and not just very dangerous and vigorous jumps which, in turn, could, at any time, become very detrimental to their body’s anatomy and physiology).

I just watched a pre-holiday movie where the top female figure skater had been badly injured; and thus was attending an out-of-town rehab trying to recuperate and overcome her injury. In the midst of that, she had met an also badly injured (in the past) used-to-be well known, hockey player.

They became friends and throughout this relationship, they both realized that there is more to life then vigorous competitions which literally put their lives in danger, and leave them with one and only option to take the pain killers to numb the pain in order to get through their tasks…

How sad is that?

It is sad indeed, as both sports require enormous human effort to reach the top and stay on top. The debatable question is… Is it really worth it? Evidently, both characters from the aforementioned movie came to the conclusion that it isn not; and, in my opinion, rightfully so.

Now, let’s look at singing, or the lack there of…

On the contrary, less and less effort to get on top of that game is required. 

As shows like American Idol, America’s Got Talent or even The Voice, suggest that no effort is required or no “dues” should be paid by the artist, trying to climb to the top.

The message those shows are conveying:
“Don’t worry, you can easily get discovered; and then you will become an “instant star" after which, however, you might lose your voice.… But don’t worry… 

It is a known fact that there is always another wannabe artist waiting in line.

So the organizers of those shows are not worrying too much…

However, if you get lucky and get on top, but still do not really know how to sing, no worries at all…

They will build you a forty million dollar stage.  
They will hand you a self-tuning microphone.
They will play for you a pre-recorded version of your song backstage and teach you which peddle to press to get the sound to match your recording… They can even suggest some lip-syncing for that matter.

How pathetic is that? I am personally lost for words…

It has become clear that any real training towards vocal technique is simply eliminated; and it almost looks like it is completely obsolete these days… However, there is always a price to pay for the above, like for everything else in life.

The vocal technique was not present, and now the voice is lost and thus became non-functional. What is the next step? 
The next step is a vocal operation.  
Some of those interventions were pretty successful, but did anything change? In fact, it did… to some degree.

Let’s examine Adele’s situation:

In 2012, the bleeding polyp was successfully removed from her vocal cord; and once the vocal anatomy healed (after she was ordered not to speak or sing for five months), she attempted to resume her singing career.

However, to her credit, she really did not want to do that, as being a very smart and down-to-Earth woman, she had the understanding that nothing (in reality) had changed.

The surgeons in Boston performed a very complicated vocal surgery and completed it with absolute excellence.

So Adele’s “instrument” got fixed; but what about the “player”?

Was she shown any different/new technique or application of her singing and/or speaking voice, for that matter? 

Evidently not!

So being forced to continue her journey, and then (5 years  later), she came to the same result. She could not complete her tour due to the new damage to her vocal anatomy.

On that note… should we be surprised?

In my opinion, we should not. In fact, I would be more surprised if it didn’t happen, because in that instance, it would be simply a miracle.

To conclude:

My take on the above is such.

I think that we should not try to adapt to the new standards and so called “progress” to today’s society. We should rather try to bring and implement the old, good, classic standards to the so-called “modern society”.

To see part one on the same topic (named “Neo” Classical Ballet…? What’s That..? Let’s Find Out… For Whatever It’s Worth!") please click on the title. 

"The Unique Application of an Alternative Speech/Singing Method may be the Best Approach for Post-Stroke & 'Various Accidents' Survivors."

Short but intense round of alternative speech therapy may be a better solution for restoring language skills lost to a stroke than any traditional methods. 

Specialists have found that stroke/post-stroke survivors who have difficulty in speaking or understanding speech, showed some good improvements in language and communication skills after a short term of intense speech therapy. 

Language impairment occurs in more than a third of people after a stroke; but up to 60% still have language impairments for more than six months after a stroke. This condition in medical terms is known as chronic aphasia. 

Sometimes speech may return all of a sudden on its own even without treatment. This condition happens generally after a minor stroke. If the stroke survivor’s speech returns, it often happens within a few days, although this happens quite rarely. Anyone who has suffered from a severe stroke, causing significant damage to one’s speech pattern, needs a specialized form of voice rehabilitation in order to regain their speech.

This form of voice rehabilitation (known as the Vocal Science™ Method) has been proven to help post stroke/accident survivors regain vocal skills lost by damage sustained during the stroke or accident. This method of voice/vocal rehabilitation will include physical body movements and specialized vocal instruction that will teach the voice disorder sufferer how to correctly and effectively use their speaking (and, if applicable, singing) voice.

This method of treatment will indeed teach the voice disorder sufferer how to use and improve their speaking skills; however, depending on the severity of the post-stroke/accident symptoms, the time of voice recovery may vary.

The process of the human voice recovering from a stroke is difficult and it takes a lot of motivation and patience. With that said, stick with the voice recovery process and your hard work will surely pay off. Also, be realistic about your recovery. While some people have minor brain damage and minor aphasia, others have more severe damage and may not be able to completely recover their voices after their initial stroke. Therefore, it is imperative that you come into this form of alternative speech therapy with realistic goals in mind and a realistic mindset with respect of the level of complete voice recovery. 

While no shortcut exists for hard work and time, this form of voice restoration can certainly make the recovery process more efficient. Having a program that tailors to your recovery needs, in combination with the latest discoveries of voice enhancement, can increase your chances of reaching your potential; and in a shorter time than you may have thought possible.
For more information on Voice Disorder Treatments for those who had their voices compromised due to a stroke or accident, contact The Royans Institute for Non-Surgical Voice Repair. | 416-857-8741

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

What Is Spasmodic Dysphonia & How is it Treated?

Spasmodic Dysphonia is a voice disorder caused by a neurological condition, affecting your speech. This disorder can affect all ages and can develop at any time.

With this voice-related problem, movement of the vocal cords if forced and strained resulting in a jerky, hoarse, tight or groaning voice. If you are affected with Spasmodic Dysphonia, the muscles inside your vocal cords may receive some abnormal nerve signals that cause to vibrate your vocal cords uncontrollably at a time. 

Symptoms of Spasmodic Dysphonia

At first, the symptoms may be mild and they may occur only occasionally. With the passing time, they may worsen and become more frequent before they even out.

The main symptom of spasmodic dysphonia is a forced movement of the muscles inside the vocal cords. This can cause a strained voice. Words you speak may be dragged out or broken while you talk. The symptoms may also include:

A hoarse voice
You have difficulty producing air when you speak
There is too much air behind your words (excessive breathy voice)
Difficulty swallowing liquids and food

A mild form of this vocal disorder (what is known as muscle tension dysphonia), could also compromise your speech making your words difficult to understand. Moreover, these symptoms may get worse when a person is fatigued and/or stressed, not to mention the intense speaking with an improper voice application or singing with an improper vocal technique.

What causes it and who is at risk?

This condition can develop at any age. During this time, you may assume that there is a structural problem with your voice box, vocal cords or some other part of your throat.

The main causes and risk factors for muscle tension dysphonia or spasmodic dysphonia can come from more than one source. Some people with the condition of spasmodic dysphonia appear to have an abnormality with their nervous system, which produces an organic tremor of the vocal cords. While others may have dystonia, another kind of neurological disorder that creates abnormal muscle tone.

What treatment options are available?

There is no known cure for spasmodic dysphonia, but there are treatments available that will help you significantly relieve its symptoms. 

There is a form of alternative speech therapy that can teach you to improve your muscle control and correct your breathing that can help you speak more clearly.

For more information about available treatments for muscle tension dysphonia or spasmodic dysphonia, please contact The Royans Institute for non-surgical voice repair – Specializing in alternative voice restoration, rehabilitation and enhancement | | 416-857-8741