I was skeptical and really a little scared that I would be uncomfortable speaking. Honestly, I really did not think there was anything for me to learn, but more importantly I did not believe that my voice could be helped-I was wrong on both counts. I wonder how many patients might feel as I did?
With just a few sessions under my belt I can tell you that this has been one of the most beneficial experiences in managing my voice health. Already I find that I am more confident in using my voice, and I am working to develop effective skills for speaking on the job.
Frankly, I never understood the mechanics of how my voice works and the principles behind training my voice to speak. (Unless you lose your voice, it’s possible to go on in life not fully appreciating it.) I also have a newfound appreciation for proper breathing technique, and the important role of the diaphragm in the speaking process. This training taught me that not using enough airflow to speak can strain and injure my voice and throat. In contrast, learning to breathe and exhale air correctly allows me to speak without straining. So I’m learning that I can develop more range for my voice- and I have more options than just speaking with a guarded voice or as we like to call it “using my inside voice.”
Jess’s instruction has been truly remarkable. She uses many techniques to help me to exercise my voice and truly makes me feel comfortable in the office. She is professional, and supportive. She offers positive feedback. We are working on the basics right now but will also be addressing inflection, better articulation and resonance. I look forward to continuing my training with her.
Working with Jessica was amazing from beginning to end! She really took her time getting to know me, what my needs were, and how to bring out the best in my voice. Every week Jessica came fully prepared with lessons and techniques that helped me to speak without any hoarseness or voice cracks. As a teacher, my voice is my number one tool and Jessica took time every week to go through exercises that would help me in my daily routine once I head back into the classroom in September. Because of Jessica, I can now sing again! (never very well, mind you--but Jessica has nothing to do with that!) I have already told all of my teacher friends about Jessica so that if they ever begin to develop voice issues, they have someone great to see and to help them. I highly recommend Jessica to anyone in need of vocal therapy as I could not have asked for a better experience.
For 3 years Jessica has cared for me for late side effects of chemo-radiation and surgery for throat cancer, diagnosed 20-years ago. A few months prior to my first visit I became 100% dependent on a feeding tube for nutrition, medication and hydration.
After an initial evaluation, Jessica developed a personal plan for me to minimize risk of recurring aspiration pneumonia. Other goals were to regain weight, swallow strength and improve my weak, slurred voice. She asks questions, listens and monitored my plan to achieve the best results.
She worked as part of the team of physicians that care for my conditions and collaborated with them often. Her therapy plan also reduces pain caused by my cancer treatments.
Jessica’s education and clinical experience caring for patients at major medical centers are impressive. But her success caring for me is based on her organized and personalized custom treatment plan. She’s well prepared for each visit. With each visit she builds on her plan, assigns homework and assesses progress.
Jessica is kind and professional. Each visit it is all about the patient and she ensures therapy is time well spent. My homework exercises increase over time and has become a daily habit. Most people do not realize that I have overcome speech challenges as my quality of life continues to improve with my life-long maintenance plan.
Thank you Jessica!
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