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Valentina Carlile Osteopata
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  • Writer's pictureValentina Carlile DO

Voice and Singing Osteopathy: Let me hear how you speak and I'll tell you how your health is

Man as such, has the ability to communicate even complex messages containing knowledge, intentions and emotions using the voice.

This, plus other factors, has made it the dominant species on Earth. On the other hand, a 'flaw' in this communication system certainly does not go unnoticed by the interlocutors.

It cannot be denied that we can all get an idea of ​​a person even just by listening to a few sentences: gender, age, emotional state, physical health. We can also guess their nationality, extraction, education, and other elements. Unfortunately, having a 'strange voice', like other disabilities, can lead to difficulties in obtaining a job or maintaining social relationships. Various voice disorders lead to isolation, such as stuttering. For a voice professional, an alteration can mean the end of their career.

As is well known, many ailments have multiple symptoms. Dysphonia, a symptom, can have multiple causes and therefore, not all patients with this particular symptom of dysphonia will have the same predisposing or causative factors.

A patient may have a hoarse or otherwise 'different' voice for a cause that may be related to his or her job, overload (vocal abuse), gastro-oesophageal (GERD) or laryngeal-pharyngeal (LPR) reflux, cyst chordal or to a bad use of the vocal tract, which can be habitual or assimilated. About 60% of all the hoarseness that is seen are due to an inefficient vocal function or better to a failure of the vocal tract functionality. This type of dysphonia is often described as 'functional dysphonia' in common clinical practice, and the cause, not being organic in nature, is almost always associated with something psychological. However, it should be noted that of this 60% of patients who arrive in the office, the number of hysterical dysphonies has been quantified to be about 0.4%! It is precisely for this 60% (as well as for other vocal disorders) that the contribution of the osteopath is useful. The role of the osteopath is precisely to restore functionality where this is no longer present. There are specific mobilities in the vocal tract, mechanisms that should occur so that the sound produced is a 'correct' sound in the absence of organic damage. And these mechanisms have a boomerang effect on the human body because where the function is altered we can over time find damage, anomalies to other systems, and it is precisely at this point that conditions can manifest themselves, this time in a secondary role, which in turn can affect the vocal tract has a continuous rebound effect, thus causing inconveniences that last even for years, as in the case of the aforementioned GERD and / or LPR. Dysphonies present even for years are treated in the most disparate ways depending on the related symptoms that drag on or trigger. Sometimes it 'just enough' to restore a correct function of the vowel tract to bring back all the dysfunctional pictures and with great amazement it often doesn't even take a long time to get the change.

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