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Valentina Carlile Osteopata
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  • Writer's pictureValentina Carlile DO

Health: treating the voice with your hands, the osteopath of the stars is Italian

Valentina Carlile, from Milan, pioneer of a discipline that has conquered the Olympus of music

Milan, Jan 24 (AdnKronos Health)

Milan, 23 May 2008. The phone rings in the office of Valentina Carlile, a young Italian osteopath who treats the voice with her hands. At the other end of the line the vocal coach of an artist with hundreds of millions of records sold all over the world. One of those for touring that touches the 100 stages, so the promise of anonymity is a commitment that cannot be broken. "When I found out who he was I risked a heart attack." Thus began Valentina's career in the Olympus of music. Protagonist of word of mouth at the 'upper levels' of the international star system, which has procured consulting contracts with singers, actors, radio speakers and professional speakers, the pioneer of phoniatric osteopathy talks about herself at Adnkronos Salute.

Forty years old, born in Sesto San Giovanni in the hinterland of the Lombard capital, Valentina owes to the intuition of a moment the singular adventure that led her from the 'Stalingrad of Italy' to cross the threshold of more than one house in Beverly Hills: "In 2002 - he recalls - I collaborated on a research project on the dysfunctions of dancers at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, the American Ballet and the Juilliard in New York. I went to pick them up in the rehearsal room and often, while I waited for them, I attended the rehearsals. One day I realized that if they followed the singing lessons while standing still, or while practicing in the musical, the voice changed. Immediately a light bulb came on in my head ": the cardinal principle on which Osteopathy is based, that is, that "every single part of the body is able to interact with the whole organism through movement", also applies to the structures that control the voice, and therefore also the singing.

A shock that changed Valentina's life. For reasons of the contract she asks for silence on her names, but in the list of her patients there are real icons: "I can only say that 15-20 are very famous. Seven Italians and all the other Americans". Among others, the Milanese osteopath also boasts collaborations with tours organized by 'stars' of the caliber of Madonna, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and Lady Gaga. Just click on her site to get an idea of ​​the reach of the contacts.

"After studying Pharmacy at the State University of Milan and the title of osteopath - explains Valentina - I left for San Diego to meet Viola Frymann, an osteopathic institution that anyone who does my job must meet at least once in their life. . She is 93 years old and worked up to three years ago. I met her, I got passionate about the way of doing osteopathy in the US and I decided to come back to look for collaborations. That's how I started to get interested in the voice phenomenon ". . Not a new field for osteopathy: "Many approach vocal problems, but they work on breathing and diaphragm". The Italian expert has instead paved the way for an unprecedented teamwork with speech therapists, sound surgeons, speech therapists and physiotherapists.

"Osteopathy was the missing link in the range of therapeutic options", and both in clinical research trials and 'in the field' "it soon proved to be a great strength in the framework of possible interventions". From stuttering to pronunciation errors (dyslalias), from hoarseness, drooping or alterations in the voice (dysphonies) to aphonia, there is a long list of disorders that phoniatric osteopathy can help treat. By intervening on these problems regardless of their origin: conformation defects, surgical or psychogenic trauma, various diseases, periods of life, incorrect habits, excessive efforts. In the case of women, even menopause, and even PMS, can threaten the voice causing loss of strength, extension, brilliance.

It all starts with a 'vip voice' who contacted Valentina in 2008. A phone call that cannot be forgotten: "A vocal coach called me in the studio - says the osteopath - telling me that she was following an artist who was to start a tour and had some difficulties for which she had decided to contact me, to find out if I could help her. She wanted to do three interviews when she came to Milan. She never mentioned names, she spoke of 'my Artist' or 'the Artist', and I imagined it was a lyrical because usually they are the most attentive to certain details. Then at the third meeting he gave me a CD with the artist's audio tracks so that I could listen to the extent of the disturbances. Only then did I understand ".

The work done by Valentina with 'the Artist' is one of those that really make a difference in the curriculum. And so, continues the Milanese osteopath, "after having structured and defined this type of approach to the problems of the 'artistic voice' in the United States, I tried to import it into Italy. I contacted record companies and vocal coaches, also of various artists who I was already following because they had come to me. I explained my activity and the contribution it could make in the overall picture of the interventions against certain ailments. At first all the doors I knocked on remained closed, but word of mouth among the artists did not stop "and the list of Valentina's 'illustrious' patients continued to grow.

But how do the hands heal the voice? "Ostepathy - replies the expert - is an unconventional medicine which, through the manipulation of tissues, can trigger the self-healing processes that the organism is endowed with by nature. And since every single part of the body interacts with the body. together through movement, manual techniques capable of correcting imbalances and restoring the physiological conditions of movement can produce benefits on health. Also on that of the voice, often compromised by poor joint and tissue relationships of the structures that are 'around' the system laryngeal or interacting with it 'from a distance' ".

Furthermore, the sessions can give "good results in the rehabilitation and post-surgical phase in case of cervical hernias, thyroid operations, vocal cord nodules or Reinke's edema". Situations, at least the latter two, for which several artists had to interrupt tours or stay 'in silence' for months.

But to test the voice of those who work with the 'uvula' can also simply be "the continuous use of the instrument in a fine way and very often in difficult conditions. Let's think for example - continues Valentina - of a tour world where you change city, temperature, time zone and climate every two days. These are all factors that can break down the resistance of artists. And for a professional of the voice, losing it even for a short period means jumping contracts, sliding ladders , important hitches ". In these cases, to put 'a patch' in quickly, "massive doses of cortisone are used, which however hardens and dries out the vocal cords in the long run, altering the quality of the voice". This "forces the artist to make greater efforts to obtain the same emissions", but can also lead him to hang up the microphone ahead of time.

Well, "in a world-wide tour, to be clear in the order of 96 stages - reports the osteopath - it turned out that an assistance every 15 days for three consecutive sessions allows the artist to halve the use of anti-inflammatory, cortisone A result that, in the long run, means the possibility of maintaining the same quality of voice for longer and therefore of having a longer career "in the spotlight, avoiding first taking the avenue of sunset.

Since 2014 Valentina has been on the board of directors of the Roi (Registry of Italian Osteopaths), which is fighting for the recognition of osteopathy in Italy as an autonomous and independent healthcare profession. "This milestone has not yet been reached and this represents a limit not only in relations with patients, but also from the point of view of research. The studies I carry out are all supported by private funding". Among the lines of investigation developed by the expert are, for example, the role of childbirth trauma in stuttering children, or the impact that anatomical-functional variations of the neck and throat can have on the emission of the voice.

"This year I managed to join the Voice Foundation based in Philadelphia, which puts me in contact with international scientists and associations and will open up new scientific paths for me. But Italian osteopathy - concludes Valentina - needs to be framed in a system of clear, transparent and shared rules ".


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