Voice treatment is extremely beneficial to those that use the voice professionally. By working on the muscles involved in voice production, it allows a balanced function for these muscles to work correctly. The emphasis is to activate correct breathing patterns and release tension around the larynx, improving the quality of the voice.
The majority of issues I see with singers fall into the broad category of Muscle Tension Dysphonia (MTD). This is where increased tension in the vocal musculature leads to a variety of symptoms which can include breathiness, hoarseness, pitch changes, breaks, weakness etc., and can manifest with or without pain or discomfort. Usually there is no frank damage to the cords themselves, although this can be a sequela in extreme cases. So what can lead to this muscle tension? If we look at where the vocal apparatus sits in the context of the whole body, then we can start to understand this better.
The vocal apparatus is made up of the larynx (housing the vocal cords), the thyroid and cricoid cartilages and the hyoid bone, which serves as an attachment point for many of the extrinsic muscles associated with phonation. The hyoid is a unique bone in the body in that it does not articulate (join with) any other bone – it is literally suspended in space by the sling of muscles that surrounds it.
by treatment once an optimal neutral posture is found and the muscle function is better understood, much of this strain disappears. Losing one’s voice is a loss of self,issues can often lead to the voice becoming dissociated from whole body.
By working from the feet up, we can reintegrate the voice into the body and allow for the freedom of expression, which serves as the inspiration for all singers.