Voicebox Part 2

by | Dec 7,15 | Speech, Technique, Voice Disorders

Professional voice users such as teachers, performers and singers can develop voice problems due to poor voice technique and vocal health. But how can this be resolved?

I spent an evening with voice specialist  and speech therapist Madeleine Ashton to find out more. We left Part 1 of this interview at a cliffhanger – what therapies can benefit those experiencing voice problems?

LMT – what is it?
Laryngeal Massage Therapy.  This is like physiotherapy for the larynx, it’s about stretching the muscles and releasing tension in the larynx. It’s said to be beneficial for any type of voice problem, but particularly for Muscle Tension Dysphonia (see part 1). It’s about knowing how to stretch the muscles to help achieve muscle relaxation. Then the client becomes aware of this sensation of relaxation and tries to replicate it themselves.How many sessions does it take?
In theory you can do this in one session, but really it depends. If the underlying issue isn’t dealt with then the problem can recur.

So, for example, if a teacher finds their throat is often tight and hoarse, is that something LMT could work for?

Yes, teachers often use their voices a lot without necessarily having much idea of what is happening with their voice, so you would need to find out what they were doing to cause the tension so that you can prevent it recurring.

And that’s something you do?
Yes, I try to do manual therapy with anyone I think it would be beneficial for. Some people hate having others touch their necks, so you need to build a relationship first. There are also exercises that you can do which can be just as effective, as people get into a routine of doing them.What is the most interesting part of your job?
The people, and the stories that they tell. Voice clients tend to be talkers! So you do get into some interesting conversations with people.

Thank you Madeleine!

When we speak and when we sing we use the same set of apparatus – what affects the speaking voice can affect the singing voice and vice versa. Want to know more about how singing lessons at Punch Vocals can complement speech targets? Drop me a message here.

If you want to know more about Voicebox or if you feel you would benefit from advice on one or more of the topics mentioned, please contact Madeleine through her website here.