Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Become Healthy As A Horse Again With Innovative And Alternative Voice Therapy!

A lot of people, especially with speaking voice problems, who are coming to me for my services, are absolutely sure that the only problem they have is their voice problem.
Little do they know!

Evidently, they don’t perceive that the voice is the essential part of their anatomy and it is interconnected to their whole emotional, physical and mental being.

Sometimes, the problem with the speaking voice could be an indication of something else happening in the physical body and their voice problem actually has been emotionally induced. Let’s take, for example, spasmodic dysphonia.

This particular voice disorder has very little to do with the nasty symptoms like uncontrollable spasms of the voice and loss of control of the vocal box, as the problem, in this instance, is not in the voice. The problem has neurological nature which was most likely induced by highly emotional stress and then it manifested in the physical body. The symptoms of spasmodic dysphonia, coupled with high blood pressure and highly emotional stress, could be the warning symptoms of the future stroke.

If we are talking about muscle tension dysphonia, it mostly has to do with the improper conduct of one’s voice. However, these people who suffer from this nasty voice disorder are usually quite highly unbalanced, hyperactive, loud and controlling. While embarking on fixing their voice, these individuals should look closely at their behavior on an everyday bases.They should reassess their communication and habitation with the people they come into contact with regularly or otherwise.

These types of people are usually very opinionated and like to prove their point with everything they’ve got, so to speak. While doing that they sometimes become very loud. They actually are not noticing that they are pushing their voices to the absolute heights and limits, until they reach the point that they cannot push anymore. Now, their so called ‘power’ has been taken away from them and now they feel helpless.
So, as we see, the voice problem has very deep roots. The character of the person, the physical and emotional make-up of the person has a lot to do with why their voice injury occurs.

Maybe, in a way, it is a blessing for those people who were on the loud side all their lives and never thought that they could, perhaps, adjust their behavior and their lifestyle to the point of the absolute balance, so that neither the voice issue, nor any other health issues, would possess their being. And of course, there are “simple cases” which usually happen to singers and simply being induced by them not knowing how to conduct their speaking and singing voice. For them, once they recover their voice, the sky is the limit. Now, they acquire a proper vocal technique, which applies to speaking and singing and they are very well on their way to stardom.

Yes, of course, their vocal injury also, understandably, plays with their mind and their emotions, but the roots of their vocal injury, usually are not as deep, as for people who just injured their speaking voice. The psychology of the voice/vocal injury for both categories has completely different roots and has to be approached somewhat differently. The main thing for both categories, of course, is to regain the full health and full balance and realize that the voice loss is just a symptom of something bigger and greater which has been happening to them for some time.

Nevertheless, the innovative and alternative voice therapy suggests to treat the person as a whole, holistically and naturally.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

While Vocally Injured, Everything I Needed To Know I Learned From My Alternative Care Voice Specialist

When the vocal injury occurs it’s definitely not a “picnic” for every party involved.

If it happens to a regular person, who is not a singer at all, and not at all prepared that one day he/she wakes up and will sound with the hoarse raspy voice which is hardly resembling the voice which the sufferer originally possessed.

Not being in agreement with that, the person starts to push all surrounding muscles – like throat, neck, shoulders and chest,  trying to extract some sound familiar to them.

Unfortunately, the more they push, the less they accomplish.

Moreover, the sounds actually gets pushed more so down and may easily get stuck at the neck, which in a short while may become an indication of what’s called Muscle Tension Dysphonia.

Now, clearly, the real vocal injury has occurred.

Naturally, the first thought that comes to the sufferer is to get referred to ENT doctor.

They wait for months for the appointment and finally arrive to the ENT specialist’s office.

After being examined and being diagnosed, especially with something the doctor has nothing to operate on, they are being let go with the absolute confusion and no direction how to proceed further and conquer their voice injury.

So what is the alternative?

Some people are not at all open to that idea; others, with more understanding, are more than happy to embark on a proper voice/vocal technique supplemented with natural herbs and remedies.

Some people truly think that the only problem they have is that their vocal anatomy is not intact, but otherwise they are fine.

So if only they could get a hold of a “magic pill”, preferably prescribed by a medical doctor, they would be just fine and would continue their lifestyle – speaking/singing with a wrong technique/application of the voice, speaking excessively loud, singing with the strained voice and colds, and consuming a lot of dairy, sweets, and red meat.

Go figure!?

We all wish that it would be that easy, but unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it may seem.

By the time the person experiences the severe symptoms, the whole body, and sometimes, the soul is also out of whack.

So at this time the problem is quite deep and quite encompassing and thus has to be approached and treated holistically.

By the time the person with the voice disorder finally finds an alternative help, he/she usually suffers quite a bit psychologically and emotionally.

A lot of them are very tearful and feel like a failure; some of them are so depressed that they feel suicidal.

No wonder though, as the voice is a great tool for communication - speaking or singing.

Suddenly, these affected people are being deprived from their voice – in the global understanding of that word.

It actually could be quite devastating.

So now these people not only need the work on their voice, but first of all, they would need to work on their mental balance, and their physical body balance (diet and what not), and then on the actual proper mechanics of the voice, which once employed, will save and protect the voice for life, and thus prevent the occurrence of this ever happening again.

What price tag can you put on that?

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Singing Lessons: Do People Still Have Any Dreams To Become Professional Artists, Or Did Their Passion Die With The Recession And The World, Which Is Becoming Completely Digital?

Teaching here in Toronto for almost 3 and half decades, I cannot believe how the people changed with respect of their attitude, mentality, physicality and yes, dreams, which they used to have galore.
Since 1980, we’ve been through quite a few recessions, but it never affected people in the way which I am witnessing right now. They used to possess a lot of passion and love for music. The majority of even just ordinary people, (not necessarily musicians), had dreams to become professional artists, experience the professional recording and then experience the huge urge and excitement to be able to cut a record deal.

Almost on a weekly basis, the new groups, (bands) were formed.

The school kids were positively occupied with the rehearsals with their group; and then, to perfect their craft, with private vocal and instrument lessons on the side. Yesterday, I spoke with one of my young adult students and asked him what his friends of the same age, (18 to 20 years old), had been doing with their leisure time.

He responded that they have been searching through the websites day in and day out, trying to figure out how to make money, and then to engage, at best, in the electronic video games or, God forbid, in some negative activities. According to my student, none of his peers have any other ambitions outside of electronic engagement. The word ‘music’ or ‘singing’ was never even mentioned.
How sad is that?

I am truly missing those guys (age 16 to 25), who use to come with their guitars or base guitars with the excitement in their eyes and smile on their faces. Where did it all go and what is the problem?
My personal opinion would be that, not only now we are going through a general recession, but also the music business is going through a huge recession and reformat. In Toronto, there is virtually no music industry present.

Some of my clients, in the not very distant past, have gotten signed, but then were dropped off the roster of, for example, Sony, Capital and Universal records. As my clients reviled to me after the fact, that the record company let go of the majority of their staff and there were simply no music professionals left to complete my clients’ projects. The club owners here in Toronto have definitely lost their professional acumen and frankly, as it appears to be, their consciences as well. They never, per say, paid anything, (outside the door), to the bands for their performances, but they also never asked the bands to pay them for the “privilege” to play in their clubs.

When one of my former students, who I had mentored to a beautiful singing performer, revealed that to me, I could not believe my ears. Her and her band were working so hard on writing, playing and recording music, and now they got deprived of showcasing their musical skills, as they were unable to pay upon demand for their performances to the club owners.

It is pathetic, isn’t it?

How could people maintain their dreams and still possess their passion when they are not able to realize their desires and express their love for music and singing? So, our city, unfortunately, is becoming very commercial, very business oriented and, frankly, people in our city have become really skeptical and really cynical. All of these above described “qualities” are hardly corresponding with any artistic tendencies and inclinations. That explains why the city feels so grey, so depressed and with very low energy. I feel a great remorse and experience a great loss of fun, passion, and accomplishment, as in our times, those so called ‘qualities’ are, evidently, not tangible and thus, unfortunately, not being accountable for anything anymore.

What a shame!!!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Serious Voice Damage – Could the “magic pill” help solve the voice issues?

I believe, due to the recession, I get more and more phone calls and e-mails with the request to tell them all about the “magic pill” or send them the “magic pill” to fix their very serious voice disorder! 

Such nonsense started several years back when the recession really hit North America.
Before that people were much more sensible and had an understanding that if they had any kind of voice/vocal problem, they would have to come in person, wherever they resided, and fix to the best of their and my ability their voice. 

Then came the next phase – Skype!

They figured that now it’s all good; they don’t have to go anywhere, they don’t have to pay as much, let alone their travel, and they can fix their voice right from their couch and in front of their little screen with a questionable sound quality. 

Go figure! 

And lastly, let’s examine what’s going on now and in the present:

They don’t want to come in person, they don’t even want to do Skype any longer (not that I would offer anything like that) and now they just want me to give them free advice at best and maybe send them the natural herbal voice repair kit, hoping that it would be enough to fix all of their voice problems. 

I’d been explaining to them (till I’m blue in the face) that those herbs are very instrumental in the non-surgical voice repair ordeal, but they only aid the symptoms and provide little comfort, but never address the cause by themselves. 

Unless the voice box and the vocal anatomy as a whole is released from the pressure of the sound (via special speech and singing exercises), the herbs will not be able to work in the full capacity, healing the flora of the throat and strengthening the larynx and the vocal cords. 

So ultimately, the injured person has to learn a new application of speech and singing, using a “newly discovered” facial muscles and the abdominal muscles, coordination of which between each other would save their throat from the enormous pressure, pain, and strain. 

The latter is the very reason why the vocal damage has occurred in the first place.
Somehow, the voice damage victims believe that the problem they’ve got is only anatomical, therefore, the herbs or in the worst scenario heavy duty medications which the doctor prescribed, will fix their voice. 

In reality, the problem is global – mechanical, anatomical, physiological, and psychological, to say the least. 

Could one, or even multiple “magic pills” solve the voice issues?
The answer is obvious – the treatment has to be holistic and all of the above mentioned factors have to be addressed simultaneously. 

I hope those people with damaged voices will come to their senses and realize that now, since the injury had occurred, they will have to spend the time for the research to find the proper care, the energy which requires to go through the jungle of services being offered on the internet, the money which the proper service will require, possibly the travel which may be required, and lastly, the lovingness and willingness to conquer the voice/vocal injury and thus claim their lives back. 

The other day, after receiving one of the e-mails from the U.S., I did not know whether to cry or to laugh after I’ve read it. 

The person who happened to be a female teacher said that she was looking for some free advice on the internet, on how to shrink her multiple cysts on her throat, as she was afraid that the school year would start soon and she would have even more difficulty speaking than now while she’s on summer holidays. 

Since she obviously had no intention, of any sort, to travel to me to fix her voice or even to purchase the natural herbs to achieve at least some comfort, I had to  explain to her that, granted the internet is indeed a free informational source which directs people who are searching for the best service to the right place, but the actual service is, nevertheless, not free. 

It looks like the latter was beyond her level of understanding. 

How sad is that?

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