Voice Repair - Get Excited! We Have the Tools
Written by Diana Yampolsky
In this article, I would like to talk about how to deal with voice problems. As much as I wish it wasn't the case, most untrained singers put unnecessary strain on their vocal chords; and as a result, could easily damage their voices. This is especially true for rock'n roll singers who often strain straining their voices trying to hit high or even low notes to cut through the sound of distorted guitars and heavy drums. I don't know how many times I've heard amateur singers say that their throats are sore for quite a few days after practice. And the problem is actually worse for professional but untrained singers; they go on long tours and have to sing every night and (quite often) in smoky environments. Those are the singers that you hear about having to cancel tour dates because their voices are giving out and hurting to the degree that they are simply unable to perform. This also concerns professional actors, who act for many hours on an everyday basis and thus have to use their voices excessively. Very often they require the same services as professional singers because, after all, professional speaking requires the same technique as professional singing, and safety measures are a must!
The fact of the matter is that your voice should never feel sore the day after a performance or any time due to the act of singing or speaking.
You should be able to sing or speak for at least 7-8 hours every day or night seven days a week and never feel even a slight discomfort in your throat. God forbid you have damaged your voice, but if that's the case, the first thing you need to be aware of is that in most instances your voice condition can be treated alternatively (and quite possibly, could even be cured) via our special speech and singing exercises and the use of specific herbal and homeopathic remedies. Only in the most serious situations should surgery even be considered!
In the case of practically any voice/vocal disorders, along with my unique voice/vocal instruction, I recommend the use of natural herbs to counter the damage that has already been done to a singer's or speaker's vocal anatomy. There are herbs available that could greatly aid in strengthening your vocal anatomy: larynx, vocal chords, vocal box etc. Some of them will coat the voice and soften the vocal box tissues. Another is a herb that is widely used by many cultures around the world; it works to restore the voice and helps balance an individual's emotional state, as it works on the adrenal glands which are responsible for the emotional make-up of a human being.
This is a very important point. Most people assume that vocal problems are the result of straining the voice to the point of physical damage and they often are, but, vocal problems can also be related to emotions (being out of balance) as well. As I mentioned in my first book, Vocal Science - Flight to the Universe, when I work with my students, quite a lot of my time is spent dealing with repressed emotions and hurts which inhibit the voice and prevent the singer from reaching their full potential. For this reason, I often offer my clients special herbal remedies which (by helping them put their emotions in balance) will allow them to free their voices. I also recommend herbs that nurture the thyroid (which plays a major role in voice delivery). Furthermore, as I have said time and time again, your voice is your instrument. Therefore, I also often recommend herbs which will also boost and strengthen the immune system. Nevertheless, as I mentioned before, diet is very important to the recovery and general performance of your voice. For this reason, I suggest to my clientele that they try not to eat any of the following types of food: spicy, sour, salty, acidic and consume as little dairy as possible.
The other main part of the vocal repair equation are special voice repair exercises. I usually start out with speech exercises. After the client has mastered them, we move on to low pitch singing exercises, which I have found to be very therapeutic and healing. Once the voice has been repaired the next step is to teach the speaker or singer the correct voice/vocal technique to prevent damage from reoccurring again in the future. After all, "you would not get a tire patched up and then go park on the same broken glass that caused the hole in the first place would you...?"
Total Voice Repair
Most people always assume that voice repair is only about removing nodes and fixing the vocal chords, but what I call 'Total Voice Repair' means repairing your entire anatomy. Essentially, many of the things that the modern world presents us with - fast food, pollution, lack of physical exercise - have a detrimental effect on our bodies and thus on our voices. For example, recently a client contacted me about my voice repair services. When I first met her three things were obvious to me - she had done serious damage to her vocal box, her body was extremely "polluted" and, at least in part, the latter was responsible for the former. When I talk about someone being "polluted" what I am saying is that their body is essentially "full of garbage", in a manner of speaking. There was no doubt that her colon was full of waste. Her sinus cavity was clogged with mucus. The above aforementioned person was also extremely overweight. The result of all this "pollution" is that the person's immune system was weak and her energy level was low; which resulted in her vocal anatomy being even more susceptable to damage also due to the use of incorrect vocal technique. Therefore, (in the case of this client), voice repair did not begin with her voice, but began with her mind and body. A complete holistic body repair was required before we could even start working on her voice. Again, the first thing I did, I recommended her plenty of herbs; but not only the herbs related to the voice, but also quite a few herbs that would cleanse her body of the toxins in her system. As I have mentioned in other publications, great and safe speaking and singing is the result of an integration and synergy between an overall healthy mind, healthy body, healthy vocal box and the correct voice/vocal technique.
In conclusion, I would like to express my hope that you would never require any voice repair and will learn to speak and or sing correctly. And as for singers in particular, I hope that you would be fully aware of how to use your voice efficiantly, promptly and safely before even attempting to make it through that long, nasty tour.
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