June 2013 Spasmodic Dysphonia Treatment Clinic
MM: AD/SD diagnosed in December 2009 by Dr. Barbara Schultz, two months of voice therapy, one botox injection (“after one month of whisper voice, I could speak but not sing and I could not speak loud or with resonance”) Self managed after reading Connie’s book and saving for a clinic for two years.
M reported 70% improvement in her voice at the clinic, as well as acquiring correct diaphragmatic breathing.
“The clinic teaches you how to overcome insecurities you can have with your voice. There are tricks that can cause your voice to come out; it is just about learning how to lock in that good voice that can be tricky. I believe the clinic helped me learn the tricks that work for my voice and what I need to get my voice back.”
Navnita: AD/SD diagnosed by Dr. Nupar Nerulkar in September 2011, voice therapy, and using the exercises in Connie’s book.
Reported improved breathing and voice.
“It is a must for anyone with SD to attend this clinic. You owe it to yourself to find out how you can change your life through simple adjustments, which once learned, can go a long way to keep you healthy and self-reliant. Only by changing small things and some bad habits can we bring about a complete change in our condition.
Connie’s guidance is invaluable and Dennis’ tips on breathing and mind-body mechanics are life-changing. Consider it a 5 day break for yourself to learn some basics about life which we have forgotten somewhere along the way in this mad life. You are no more groping in the dark, but leave fully motivated to work on yourself with the wonderful tools of practice that are offered here.”
Jen: AD/SD with tremor diagnosed in 2002 with symptoms starting in 1999, voice therapy and homeopathy, massage and chiropractic.
Jen reported that she found her easy voice and how that felt. Her breathing significantly improved with a looser diaphragm and correction of reversed breathing.
“When I found Connie’s website I was cautiously optimistic. I read everyone’s stories over and over. Then I went to Youtube and saw people’s improvements. I cried then.
For more than 10 years, I have tried to ignore my SD. Two ENTs, a neurologist and two speech therapists said there was nothing holistic I could do. I became the effect of SD as I realized by listening to Dennis. I had hope again and could and would not live one more day with it.
I came to Florida and had the opportunity to bond with 5 amazing ladies from around the world. Instantly, when Dennis, Connie, and Christine shared their knowledge and guidance, I felt empowered. I had tried Mike White’s breathing program and Roger Love’s CD. I had read Morton Cooper’s books, but never felt I was doing the exercises right so I stopped.
I needed “Free to Speak” one on one attention to show me how to progress the right way. A huge break-through for me was breathing from the diaphragm. I had not done that since I could remember. Also finding my confidential voice was another break-through. I know that with much practice, I can recover my voice. Realizing it is possible through neuroplasticity to regroove my voice, I will. It is a life changing experience. I know it will take a lot of hard work but I am up for the challenge. When you get to the clinic, practice every spare moment you have to get the retraining going! You owe it to yourself to commit and change your life.”
Sandi: ABSD with tremor; diagnosed in the spring 2010, treated with antacids, botox injection helped the voice but dyspnea was debilitating.
Sandi came to the clinic with a very usable, improved voice. Her one and only botox injection was in November last year, and the breathing problems had diminished yet she felt her voice did not return to its prior (ABSD) state. She wanted to learn tools to use to keep her voice healthy and usable, and with the understanding that regression can sometimes occur.
“I came to educate myself all at once on the tactics to improve and keep my voice. It certainly met my expectations and more, balanced with group and individual instruction.
The leaders were filled with energy and very positive and offered us a multisensory approach.
I have everything I need now to do whatever is possible to keep a better voice”.
SW: AB/SD, onset in 1997 and diagnosed by ENTs and SLPs; Tried voice therapy with several therapists, acupuncture, Chinese medicine, consult with Morton Cooper, one botox injection with some inconsistent improvement in voicing resulting for 2-3 months.
SW reported 30% improvement at the clinic, with more to come, stating that her voice was stronger and more solid, with less effort. She felt her breathing move from the upper chest to lower in the belly.
“After 16 years, more treatments than I can count, not to mention the amount of wasted money, this is finally a method that is working. Every area/possible approach is looked at and tried as a tool – something I can take along and add to my reserve and use on my journey. No longer is it in the hands of someone else – I have control.
Thank you Connie, Dennis, and Christine for giving us so much of yourselves – you have made a big difference and its only just begun!”
Lynn: AD/SD, diagnosed in 2006, originally mis-diagnosed as laryngitis, allergies and reflux by three different ENT doctors over 3 years. A 4th ENT doctor diagnosed SD and started botox treatment in 2006. Her last 3 injections did not work.
Lynn felt that finding and using a confidential voice was very helpful. She rated overall improvement at the clinic at 30%, and that she needed more time to work the program to gain further benefit.
“The clinic is very organized. Connie does an excellent job pulling different tools out of her box. Dennis is good at explaining things one does not understand. He taught me good breathing techniques. What can I say about Christine! She is the best massage therapist, and prepared healthy lunches for us everyday.
The staff is kind and very patient. It was so nice meeting all of the ladies that attended. I would like to say a special thank you to Connie for sharing her home with us for 5 days. It was a good experience with a wealth of information!”