We are your healthy voice consultants. Psychological aspects of Voice Disorders.
I am lately receiving more and more clients which require non-surgical voice repair, possessing voice disorders like muscle tension dysphonia and/or spasmodic dysphonia. With our very hectic and stress-induced lives, a multitude of sufferers with the above mentioned voice disorders have their voice problems related to their highly stressed emotional conduct.
Some of the emotional stress is related to their business lives, but even more so common, it is related to their family lives. To give you an example, I have been presently working with two beautiful middle-aged women, (but still fairly young) who have their dysphonia disorders (one of them had been diagnosed with spasmodic dysphonia and the other, who has joined recently, had been diagnosed with muscle tension dysphonia). The former has ben suffering for 5 years prior being under my care.
She has been extremely stressed at work (working 3 jobs simultaneously) and mainly (and more so) at home - not getting any required and/or desired attention from the spouse. Also having 3 teenage children is understandably stressful on its own.
My business associate who is also a natural health practitioner, likes to ask her clients, especially those who also have voice or other health problems, “What do you think that you can not swallow?” I really like this question because all those emotions can greatly effect not just the voice itself, but also other related health issues.
Trying to bare all the duties and responsibilities at home and at work, these above-mentioned women (for almost 20 years) were trying to “hold on" to their work and family lives; no doubt, surpassing their emotions (like anguish, anger and just disappointment) which, eventually manifested in their physical body and became a cause of not only their voice disorders, but also the cause of other related and non-related health problems.
While ones’ emotions are suppressed, the thyroid is effected & the neck muscles, along with the thyroid, are holding on to the sound of the voice.
In the holistic teaching, the thyroid represents suppressed emotions, causing (due to limited expression of the voiced feelings) tightness in the thyroid and the neck muscles. If the voice drops down a level below the above-mentioned parameters, the Muscle Tension Dysphonia will most probably turn into Spasmodic Dysphonia.
The main part of my work is to identify and address the cause of those above-mentioned disorders. I have always said: “The voice is an expression of who you are and the reflection of the state of your being”. So once the emotional makeup of the person is disturbed (and not happy), the person may acquire all kinds of disorders and one of them is the voice. Interestingly enough, while my voice repair clients’ voices are getting stronger, their self-esteem, self worth, mind strength and body health are rising along with the voice-acquired health and strength.
Thought this, however not-very-easy, process, they began to feel better about themselves and those who had not been living a healthy lifestyle, changed their diet to a much healthier one, lost or gained weight (if it was needed), began newly-found physical activities and got rid of the bad habits like smoking, drinking and even the use of drugs.
In the interim, their spouses began to sense their newly found mental, physical and vocal strength; and thus began to act and behave accordingly, i.e., with more respect and newly found attention towards their partners.
A few years ago, I had a client from the UK with serious voice/vocal issues who I was attending to within a 2 and a half year span period of time. Especially since she had lost her singing voice and partially had a problem with her speaking voice, her love life was, the least to say, very unsuccessful and (to put it mildly) quite dramatic and traumatic. Over this 2 and a half year period of time, while she was travelling to me here in Toronto, Canada, and me also travelling to her to the U.K, I not only had been attending to her voice, but also to her emotions concerning (with her permission) her private life - boosting her confidence and self-worth to the point that she was able to finally find a (worthy of her standards and expectations) steady boyfriend and is still living with him now, happily ever after.
On this note, I will wish her, and you my dear readers, a Happy Valentine’s Day! Attending to the voice repair clients holistically, I work on the person as a whole. Besides the voice repair, the counselling for the physical and emotional fitness is definitely present practically within all of my sessions.
In Russia, we have a saying: “In a healthy body there is a healthy spirit.” And since I have always declared that the voice is your spirit which we have to discover, uncover and make it flown straight to the universe where the sky is the limit.