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Valentina Carlile Osteopata
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Voice, obesity, breathing: the alteration of source and filter bellows

The alteration of source and filter bellows

Several studies have analyzed the impact of increased body mass, overweight or obesity on the spoken and artistic voice.

From these studies it emerged that the increase in BMI (Body Mass Index) not only leads, if gradual, to obesity but also considerably impacts the voice, making it both hoarse and more airy, and we will immediately see why.

The main cause of these vocal changes is the deposition of adipose tissue at the tissue level, with consequent occupation of greater volume, greater heaviness of the same and less elasticity. The most obvious consequences in the voice are the reduction of lung volume (the vocal bellows) and the deposition of fat on the vocal cords.

As is often pointed out to me, several professional artists in high careers are obese and have good vocal quality. This is achieved by optimal technique and constant and meticulous study, but it is also true that this is a result that not everyone succeeds in and can achieve. More generally, overweight and obesity cause a hoarse and harsher voice.

Furthermore, due to reduced lung capacity related to obesity, there is a reduction in pitch, which contributes to making the voice hoarse. Furthermore, a greater effort is required in emission with the risk of greater air leaks. Overweight and even more obese subjects require greater effort and have a reduced MPT (Maximum Phonation Time). The impact on respiratory function means that it takes longer to finish a sentence in one breath when a pause is made.

How much is a postural or diaphragmatic rebalancing treatment useful for an obese subject?

Nothing or it is useful only momentarily because the efforts necessary to perform will always exalt the dysfunctions! First of all, you need to follow a correct diet!


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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