June 2012 Spasmodic Dysphonia Treatment Clinic
Harit: AD/SD diagnosed in November 2011; reflux medication, speech therapy. Reported 50% improvement in his voice at the clinic, with drastic reduction in “strangulation/choking” while speaking, improved breathing and better posture.
Just see Connie! If she could find the new groove then so can anyone who has determination. At the clinic you meet others who sound just like you, slightly better or worse.
The teamwork between Connie, Dennis and Christine is amazing. One of the key components is breathing. We take t his for granted, but Dennis shows me that I am at 50%, and opens us to the remaining 50%.
Connie, in her sessions, gives you 100% encouragement and evaluates you. She tries all the different tools to get you to find your pitch and a new groove for your voice. Once you understand that you need a new groove (and it is there), then it is practice you need. It is not an overnight transformation.
For myself, Connie realized that when I spoke in a confidential voice, I was indeed in a new groove. By the time I left, I could speak 50% of the time in the confidential voice. Thank you, Connie!
What can I say about Christine? She is a wonderful person who made my stay memorable. Her massages are out of this world – and I have had massages before!
My fellow participants were just great. They supported and assisted me throughout. They would correct me if I went too high in pitch. Thanks everyone.
Diann: AD/SD diagnosed February 2010, cervical dystonia diagnosed January 2012: Botox injections every 6-8 weeks, massage, chiropractic, voice therapy.
After researching this “voice thing” labeled as Spasmodic Dysphonia for two years, serendipitously I contacted a former participant who attended Connie’s clinic. He highly recommended that I pursue the journey from Texas to Florida to work with Connie in a group milieu setting that included others working to find their voice and free their voice.
If anyone has seen the movie, Eat, Love, and Pray – I would like to spin off of that title and express the big picture of what I learned from my journey of investigating and capturing moments during the five day clinic of finding my real voice, or the voice I loved before it was relegated into hiding. I would say that Connie’s clinic reminded/supported me of this: Pray continuously, Breathe deeply and with passion, Clean and cleanse the body, and Practice with love/”letting go” to find the beautiful voice.
From this initial sojourn, I believe in due time~ and fun work, my voice will emerge from hiding (or protective mode) to find its perfect purpose to help others and glorify God. True healing must address the whole person (heart/mind/soul/body). This is a truism and precept that Connie, Dennis, Christine and Robbie live (model) and support in the healing of every person who attends the clinic. They all have huge servant’s hearts.
It was uplifting to see how my cohorts progressed so quickly and seemed to be renewed and transformed by the five precious days we spent together. I have been truly blessed in many ways to be a part of the June 2012 clinic.
EP: AD/SD, symptoms began in 2004, initial diagnosis of reflux, then stress-related dysphonia, and SD diagnosis in 2005. Speech therapy, and 7 years of regular botox injections, requiring increased dosages and frequency. Acupuncture helped temporarily in 2008.
I would definitely recommend the clinic for many reasons. The breadth of techniques and tools used help me consciously and unconsciously open up my voice. I learned specific tools that work with my specific voice issues and get to the point where, within a few seconds of speaking, I could alter my airflow and muscle tension in order to change the quality of my voice production.
I learned how specific anatomical areas (neck, throat, shoulders, rib cage) and my particular breathing style while speaking were contributing to my voice difficulty. I was taught to address these with relaxation, stretching, visualizations, and feedback (hearing, feeling). When I used these strategies, I got positive feedback as my normal voice would appear, at first brief moments and then with increasing frequency and duration.
A huge advantage was the support we all gave each other when we chatted together. Encouraging each other with specifically focused directive statements was a very helpful component of the clinic.
We developed individual specific strategy plans to implement when we get back home, and know that we have our “group” to keep in touch with for continued support.
By my final session with Connie, I was able to record many consecutive sentences of conversation in a nearly normal voice! I know as I continue to use and change my daily tools as I need, I will develop my fully resonant, confident voice.
Tanya: AD/SD diagnosed in 1997 at the age of 19, but later she was told that she probably did not have SD, but rather reflux and muscle tension dysphonia. Symptoms had been episodic over the past 14 ½ years, with periods of severely impaired voice and periods of nearly normal voice. Speech therapy with various therapists, bio-feedback, acupuncture, chiropractic, reflux meds:
It has been an incredible journey, from the initial diagnosis of SD in 1997 until now. I literally tried everything to try to resolve this voice problem and make it go away, wanting to feel normal again. If it has taught me anything, it’s perseverance! This may not have been the easiest road, but it has made me the unique, individual that I am today. I learned to accept, build inner strength, feel at peace, and not allow this to hold my voice hostage. This is what the clinic taught me.
It has been a tremendous blessing to come here and have my wish come true in meeting others with this disorder, resulting in a bond that will last a life-time. This was more helpful than any other professional advice and instruction I’ve received in the past. I’m so thankful to Dennis, Christine, Robbie and the group. Connie, you’re the best!
Beth: AD/SD diagnosed in June 2011, but with voice loss several times a year in her job as a teacher dating back to 1983. Botox recommended but she declined and tried traditional voice therapy, yoga, massage, chiropractic, Reike, and herbs.
This clinic provided me with the tools and structure to find my healthy voice. It acknowledged me as a whole person in an atmosphere without judgment. I felt surrounded by love and support and I believe I encouraged my peers as well. Connie has created a clinic that is both practical and nurturing. Along with Dennis and Christine, we learned from Connie how our voice is a part of our being, physically, emotionally and spiritually. It is necessary to address all areas to manage our SD and our state of being.
I leave the clinic not only feeling confident that I will be successful in managing my SD, but as a person who has grown in wisdom. Thank you Connie, you have made a positive difference in the lives of many. With heartfelt gratitude to all the facilitators and participants for sharing their knowledge and the clinic experience with me.