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Valentina Carlile Osteopata
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  • Writer's pictureValentina Carlile DO

Osteopathy, voice and singing: feet and voice

Feet and voice

Singers are generally projected towards diaphragmatic perception, the muscular element to which they pay the greatest attention, and for this reason they worry about the chest, shoulders and spine. However, there is another bodily element, as fundamental as it is widely ignored, which enormously influences the diaphragmatic functionality and the health of the vocal cords through its functional chains and the core link: the foot.

There are those who love to sing barefoot, those with heels. Some footwear is imposed by production, others are sought after because they are more suitable for the show and the situation, but have we ever wondered, apart from the choice of sizes, models and colours, what our feet think of them?

When asked for advice on a pillow or mattress my usual response is that when we are young, we don't worry about where we sleep or how we sleep, we even sleep on hay. Then when we grow up, the "forces" of life exert changes on our stability and accommodability and then we have to resort to what is "best" for us, which means that changes have occurred in our body and that we are no longer adaptable to All.

Same goes for shoes.

The most important thing, however, is: what condition are our feet in? What is best for them and what are they saying and/or imposing on our bodies?

As we all know, the diaphragm is a very important respiratory muscle in the singing and acting voice, because its elasticity helps us not to overload the vocal cords and its stability, to have a fuller voice. There are many techniques to release and strengthen it.

But when it becomes dysfunctional, problems arise.

What is almost never considered is that very often this dysfunction is related to an ascending pattern rather than a descending one.

In the first case, the protagonists are very often the feet.

It is important to know that the diaphragm shares the fascia with two other muscles that are very important for the voice: psoas and quadratus lumborum, and this sharing means that the dysfunction of one of the three influences the functionality of the other two.

Our feet are the first contact with the world, the ground, and support and direct our stability.

Their joint misalignment can affect the tone of the psoas and quadratus lumborum, with a negative cascade effect on the diaphragm.

I often bring to my patients and in seminars the example of one of my Artist patients, who after a sprained ankle, could no longer sing unless sitting on a stool. Here, this patient had triggered precisely this dysfunctional pattern and by sitting, he took stress off the feet and the dysfunctional chains, allowing the diaphragm to work more freely.

And you, have you ever considered the health of your feet? Have you ever considered how difficult it can be to adapt to any shoe and optimize performance if your feet are not functional?

Contact your trusted Osteopath for a biomechanical evaluation and possibly undergo a treatment plan to correct the functional chain. You will also be given self-management and maintenance advice!


Valentina Carlile - Osteopath expert in Osteopathy applied to voice and speech disorders since 2002. For information and reservations visit the page Contacts

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