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Having vocal nodules is something that can frighten most singers, especially the ones who are experiencing them. Today I want to talk about how to get rid of vocal nodules using a therapy that you might not have heard of yet.
Last year I went through some unfortunate experiences that led me to suffer a vocal injury, which was enhanced by a strong laryngitis episode that left me voiceless for a good while.
These experiences came with a lot of pain and frustration because, well, I am a singer, and after two decades of singing I assumed I was immune to them. In general, if you are a singer that has experienced any kind of vocal injury, you know the fear associated with that – will my voice ever get back to the way it was?
Fortunately, I found voice therapist Cecilia, who is not only a speech therapist but also did a specialization in the Functional Voice method (Rabine Method). She also trained in Germany to be a CRT (Certified Rabine Teacher).
Cecilia has been kind enough to agree to collaborate with me today to tell you a bit about one of the most controversial topics for singers: how to get rid of vocal nodules.
The Rabine method is not your conventional voice therapy. Cecilia works in a very holistic way, which provides the patient with sustainable vocal health as it deals with the bad habits that caused the problem in the first place.
You can see what she has to say about the treatment of vocal nodules from a holistic perspective below:
When I was introduced to a different voice work method, I was surprised and curious about it. Internally, I knew that what I knew so far wasn’t enough and that I didn’t have too many answers to my doubts.
Even though my knowledge about the Functional Method (Rabine Method) was gradual, it was very transformative for me. It gave me the possibility to research, think, analyze, debate, share, and reflect on how the Functional point of view affected me, to comprehend the vocal instrument as a whole, and at the same time, to understand that every piece is unique, To understand the body as ‘the vocal instrument’, to gain knowledge about the theory of the vocal function and about sensory perception training. Experiencing that in the body gave me the opportunity to understand that it is a scientific method that can offer clear transformation in the voice. My interest in the method started then, and it has grown day every day ever since.
So if we take those concepts and understand the foundations of the Rabine Method for the functional voice, it is possible to have a grasp of the circumstances that generate a particular vocal pathology. For example, when we talk about vocal nodules, as well as other vocal pathologies, it is necessary to know, firstly, what habits generated that diagnosis and also, to understand what happened with the physiology and the different functions that build the voice. For example, how did they start de-organizing themselves and how the efficacy and quality of them changed. In general, a part of those habits is often the improper use and the overuse of the voice. Forcing the vocal instrument into certain vocal activities, such as singing, yelling, or speaking, without proper training, starts generating a force increase in the vocal system, and increases the likelihood in which a huge overpressure builds, causing the vocal folds to work inefficiently.
In the Functional Method for vocal training (Rabine Method), the student/patient, has to be able to know and recognize the functions within their own instrument (their body). That is to say how to identify these functions and to understand how they can be modified to work more efficiently. Flexibility is needed, as well as curiosity and willingness to learn. The knowledge of the vocal function in this way meets the need to gain awareness and feeling of what is happening within the vocal function.
The treatment of vocal nodules is about being able to identify what habits contributed to their appearance and considering these factors through vocal training, start modifying those habits. It is a continuous process and, of course, it is not a process that can be resolved in a short period of time. It takes time to be able to modify those habits, as well as reorganize the different functions.
Each person has internal and individual timings. There are many variables that allow a pathology to revert or improve in a given period of time. When the person understands what they are and trains with these in mind, they will find improvement in their voice, and maybe faster than they imagined. It is a matter of taking care of your voice, instead of being worried about it, and a matter of being open to the feelings of curiosity and enjoyment.
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