The role of osteopathy in the singing voice
Part I : The power of the tongue
For a professional singer, their voice is their instrument. Understanding how the human voice works, a profound knowledge of the anatomy of the vocal apparatus and understanding musculoskeletal physiology is very important, even indispensable, for both singer and singing teacher. This lecture will include a brief review of the anatomy and neurology of the vocal apparatus. When understanding anatomy, we will better understand function ; when understanding function we will better understand vocal optimization and thereby prevent damage to the voice.
Specific attention will be given to the tongue and its role in speech and singing.
Incorrect mouth habits and incorrect use of the tongue will obstruct the free movement of the larynx, will cause hyperfunction of the laryngeal musculature and may result in voice pathology. The tongue also plays an important role in the development of the jaw and face, the throat, the skull and its cavities (resonance!).
One frequently discussed topic in singing / teaching is the correct positioning of the tongue. Unfortunately, there are still a lot of wrong ideas and misconceptions concerning this topic, which can alter and thereby negatively affect the singers’ voice.
Based on anatomy and physiology, we will take a closer look at the most flexible organ in the human body.
Part II : The role of osteopathy in the world of voice
Professional singers (opera, pop, classical, rock, etc) are elite vocal performers, who require a large demand of their entire physical as well as emotional and mental state. In sports, athletes have a team of professionals behind them. Singers will benefit from a multidisciplinary approach as well, starting from the early basics as being a student during their singing education and through their entire career.
Osteopathic medicine considers the body as a unit and as a complex integrated system. Osteopathy is aimed at facilitating the body’s self-healing mechanism by the use of a manual (hands-on) therapy, based on anatomy, neurology, physiology and biomechanics. Over the last few years, osteopathic clinical reasoning towards vocal pathology has gained more and more interest by voice clinics to assist in the multidisciplinary approach of voice problems. The role of the osteopath is to examine and treat the complex relationship of posture, breathing mechanics and laryngeal function in relation to voice production.
Nico Lambrechts MSc PT, D.O., registered Belgian osteopath, expertise in osteopathic vocal treatment. Trained by Alain Piron DO and Jacob Lieberman DO, he is continuously researching the effects of OMT (Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment) and laryngeal OMT on voice pathology and vocal optimization.
Private clinic in Antwerp, multidisciplinary approach of voice disorders. Guest lecturer and frequently asked speaker regarding the role of osteopathy on the human voice.