I was on the telephone today with a professional singer. He has a chronic complaint of problems with his vocal cords. Many things upset his ability to carry the pure notes that he needs as a singer. Singers, especially professional singers, are very preoccupied with the health of their vocal cords. This is completely understandable, since this is the basis of their livelihoods often.
What causes vocal cord problems?
So what causes the problems with the vocal cords for singers? There are many. Clearly, singing often involves a tremendous range of demand on the vocal cords, with the intensity of the sound produced, the pitch needed and the frequencies to be produced. This requires an incredible decision of a very sensitive apparatus, the vocal cords.
Vocal cords are very sensitive to inflammation and irritation. Inflammation can be caused by acid reflux, for example with hiatal hernias, allergies – with postnasal discharge, respiratory infections, such as colds, autoimmune problems, asthma, chronic bronchitis, toxic air – for example singing in a smoky environment, etc. The list of potential causes of vocal cord inflammation and irritation is very long.
It is not always possible to eliminate all of these causes. So, are there ways to prevent vocal cord damage and problems with vocal cord control?
One thing can lead to problems with the next
In the case of the person I consulted with, he had had surgery for his shoulder. As a consequence, he was placed on Celebrex, which suppressed his immune system, leading to a cold, which required various antibiotics. The antibiotics then messed with his gut which probably aggravated a previously dormant gastric reflux problem. All of these led to a significant problem with his vocal cord control. So, from the above example we can see that it doesn’t take a whole lot to upset the delicate balance of vocal cord control.
After dealing with the consequences of all of these issues, my bottom-line recommendation is that he needed to be on PEMF therapy for the vocal cords. We know from other research, that muscles, which are the delicate instruments to control vocal cords too, do much better with PEMF stimulation. PEMFs stimulate myosin phosphorylation. Myosin phosphorylation is what makes energy for muscles to be able to do their work. The Eastern Europeans discovered long ago that treating muscles with PEMFs before competition, in the case of the Olympics for example, allowed the muscles to be worked longer, to work harder and to recover faster. Vocal cord muscles are no different. However they are more subject to the need for precise control. The muscles of vision are similar.
Why did I recommend a PEMF system?
So, for my patient, I recommended treatment with a portable PEMF system, the SomaPulse, prior to any singing engagement, or even practice, and immediately afterwards. By doing this on a regular basis he would decrease the inflammation caused by the potential overwork situation of singing. Decreasing any swelling present prior to singing [and often this would not even be appreciated], would allow much more precision of the vocal cord apparatus. Treating the vocal cords after singing would decrease any inflammation and swelling of the vocal cords that would happen at that time. Daily use of the PEMFs would preserve the vocal cords over an extended period of time, often, nullifying any other potential causes of inflammation of the vocal cords.
So, regardless of the cause of inflammation of the vocal cords, including and not limited to actual singing, PEMFs can dramatically extend the life and function of the vocal cords, and therefore the vitality and career of the singer. Specifically, I recommend the SomaPulse system, although other PEMF systems may also be very helpful. The SomaPulse system offers the value of portability and flexibility, being battery-operated. Additionally, the SomaPulse signal has been proven in NASA research to stimulate stem cells and tissue regeneration factors. So it is impossible for fairly significantly damaged vocal cords to be able to recover a significant degree of function. No matter, I would recommend daily treatment of the vocal cord apparatus just to maintain the health of the vocal cords, regardless of damage or dysfunction. In addition, PEMFs can help the body in a lot of other ways. Since the vocal cords react to other health issues in the body, treating the whole body is also very beneficial in preserving vocal cord function.
Bottom line, I strongly recommend PEMF therapy for any singer, not only for whole body health, but also to preserve vocal cord function. Could we have saved Adele from a lot of grief with PEMF therapies?