• Singing Lessons, Vocal Coaching, Non-Surgical Voice Repair, Based out of Toronto
  • Singing Lessons, Vocal Coaching, Non-Surgical Voice Repair, Based out of Toronto
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Wenke L-G

German Langrage Teacher from the UK

Finding my voice again!

Two years ago, after recovering from an autumn cough virus, I noticed that despite feeling better in myself my voice remained hoarse. I first ignored it, thinking it would eventually get better. After 3 months, however, I thought it best to get it checked out. The camera they put down my throat showed a little nodule on one of my vocal cords, which the ENT specialist recommended to remove in order to analyse what it was: polyp, nodule, papilloma… I researched on the internet, but on all the German, Austrian, Swiss, UK and American sites I could read, I couldn’t find anything that offered an alternative to the operation that had been proposed. I spoke to a friend of mine, who is an ENT consultant in Berlin and had been head of the ENT unit at one of the best hospitals in Berlin; he also recommended the operation and confirmed that conventional medicine had no alternatives.

During my various searches, I also came across Diana Yampolsky and it sounded like she was what I had been looking for. I contacted Diana, who was convinced she could help and advised me not to have the operation under any circumstances. I wavered, but was put off by the cost of her course and got lulled in by the surgeon, who promised that it would only be a small operation; I would recover in no time and in most cases these growths would not return. As a young mum, an operation in a hospital 2 minutes from home, paid for by the health insurance was much easier than travelling to Toronto and paying a lot of money…

So I trusted the surgeon and had the operation, I was also scared I’d end up with cancer – according to the surgeon a rare possibility if nothing was done. Apparently the growth was a papilloma, a bit like a wart. After the operation, I had total voice rest for a couple of weeks followed by private speech therapy, which I had to finance myself. I blew bubbles, learned how to breathe properly, did inhalations three times a day, meditated, but my voice didn’t get much better. In fact, what had been a hoarse voice had now become a painful horse voice. Being a freelance Business German teacher, this was not good news.


Wenke Langhof Gold Linguist

I decided to just get on with my life until the next routine check-up with my ENT surgeon. The check-up a year later found that the growth was back, a second operation was scheduled. According to the surgeon, most cases were finally clear after the second operation. Again, I went for the easy option, again with the same result. Speech therapy for a second time… this time with a different therapist, but with the same result. My voice was getting worse, I had to reduce my teaching hours to almost nothing, as my voice just could not cope: it hurt and got tired very quickly. Singing lullabies to my little boy were a thing of the past and I now even struggled to read him a good night story. I was drifted further and further away from the person I had been and while saying I was depressed would probably be exaggerating things, I was far from happy with my life.

On top of all this, my surgeon told me that when he operated he actually found 3 growths, of which he had only been able to remove two, as it was not advisable to operate on both vocal cords at the same time. Having had 2 operations, I was now labelled a “chronic patient” and referred to a different ENT department, one that dealt with chronic conditions. My new consultant recommended a third operation, although he did admit that each operation would cause scar tissue and reoccurring growths would then regrow deeper in the tissue, making speech problems more likely in the future. A career change seemed almost inevitable.

In absolute despair I contacted Diana again, who had still been at the back of my mind, but the distance and cost meant I had “shelved her there” without taking further action. She told me she'd not be able to do anything about the growth and her treatment wouldn't heal them, but said she could lift my voice so that the area where the growth was would not be aggravated with each word I spoke. Together with a selection of herbs this might give the body a chance to heal itself. She made it quite clear though, that the only thing she could definitely do was to lift the voice and hopefully end the pain I was in when speaking.

I agreed, and Diana actually travelled to London in July 2015 to give me 20 hours of voice repair. I got introduced to her technique, understood the principals, but was far from being able to consistently produce the lifted sounds. I did believe, however, that I was on the right track and when I did manage to lift the voice, there was no pain whatsoever. I suddenly had hope and although I hadn’t reached my destination yet, there was certainly an improvement. I was able to project my voice much better during the few lessons I was still teaching and could even read my son bed-time stories again without being in agony. Diana offered to fly out to the UK in September 2015 again if I wanted another 20 hours.

Having just finished my second course in the UK with her, I can only say Diana is brilliant! I was treated by 2 supposedly brilliant ENT specialists and 2 different voice therapists before consulting her and have to say that Diana is the only one who made any difference whatsoever. I so regret that I wasn’t willing to spend the money for her course straight away.

Her course is certainly not for the faint-hearted, it’s hard work and it takes time, as you’re effectively retraining your brain to produce the voice in a different area. I would lie if I said I never had moments of doubt – after the first 20 hours I thought I’d never be able to get there unless Diana was in the room with me, guiding me. Despite being a very patient person, I also sometimes felt my progress was too slow. Living in our fast-paced world, I part expected to pay the money, press a button and be better! Unfortunately that’s not how it works… Erasing years of speaking habits from your brain and reinstalling a different way of speaking simply takes time and repetition. I was halfway through my second course with Diana (after approximately 30 hours of voice repair), when something suddenly clicked. By that point I had also read her book “Flight to the Universe” and suddenly it all made sense and I seemed to have reached a different level of understanding. The next day, I was much more consistent in finding the channel within my mouth where speech flowed easily with no pain.

Diana Yampolsky is definitely the “real deal”. She is a true Russian soul: loud, boisterous, opinionated, but also one of the warmest, most kind-hearted and honest people I ever met. Now that I know her personally, I know she would never lie about her ability or take on a client she didn’t believe she could treat. If she didn’t think she could help, she would tell you outright. Her holistic approach also means you have to be prepared to “open up”, as most physical problems can be traced back to psychological, emotional issues and unless you resolve them, your body cannot heal.

Diana knows the voice inside-out and when she is in “teaching mode” her years of experience are evident in every second. Working with her, I was amazed every day at how she can hear where exactly you produce a sound. Not only can she tell you if it’s the right or wrong place, but she’ll even tell you exactly where you produced the wrong sound and what you need to do to get it right. Her methods bypass your consciousness and guide you to the right place. I have to admit, that in the beginning it wasn't always evident to me, what she was trying to do and I just followed her instructions without asking too many questions. I'm so glad I did! After about 30 hours, I felt I had a real break-through and all the hard work was finally starting to pay off. Diana's professionalism, expertise and good humour have brought me to a point where I’m expecting to increase my teaching hours again and above all, I have hope!

Yes, it seems expensive, but I have to say that every penny for me has been worth it (and the money that I and my Health Insurance paid for my 2 operations and speech therapy before amounted to more or less the same with no results whatsoever). Yes, it is hard work and it does take time, but after nearly 40 hours I’m amazed by the difference in my voice, and in hindsight it doesn’t seem such a long time at all to achieve what we achieved. I can only recommend Diana to anyone with voice problems.

I wasted 2 years by choosing the easy option and wanting to save money; if this letter helps just one person not to make the same mistake I made, then the time writing it was well spent. Diana helped me to find my voice again. If you have a voice problem, then speak to Diana Yampolsky and if she says she can help, trust her! But always remember, that it’s YOU he will bring about the change in your life

– Diana can guide you along the way, but she can’t do the work for you.

Good luck to anyone reading this!

All the best,

Wenke L-G