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Vocal rest and acid reflex

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scttham
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I have acid reflex and I am taking Nexium once a day. My question is now that I have to take a break from singing. How much progress will I lose and how long will it take to get it back. I have made very good progress with my range and tone, but have to take a week or two off. Has anyone had acid reflux and cured it without surgery. Is it possible I caused myself to get hiatal hernia from doing my breathing exercises? Someone out there who has had this problem please give me some hope. I have gave up all my vices nicotine,caffine, and alcohol. Eating before bed this sucks but really love singing and playing my guitar, so I am doing whatever it takes.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I am surprised no one has responded. I can only speak from experience. I have acid reflux and have had it for 4 years now. It seems to be under control. I take meds twice a day for it. I developed nodes on my vocal chords around the same time I was diagnosed with acid reflux. I stopped singing for 6 months, after that I studied with a voice therapist for about 4 months (by skype, she was in hawaii, and I am in BC, Canada). I have been a professional singer for 30 years so was quite surprised to have nodes but the acid reflux was part of the issue. So get on the meds, quit coffee, alcohol, smoking, forcing your voice, speaking too loudly.

What I have also experienced is inflamed scalene muscles from too much use, speaking too loudly, and a mix of the acid reflux. It is a bad combination. This manifested itself as inflamed intercostal muscle (felt like a heart attack, literally) and serious mid torso/abdomen pain-doctors thought hernia or ulcer. All very strange but deep massage, rest and lots of research led me to those neck muscles that were sending the pain elsewhere -deferred pain. It also creates a horse voice.

We have to become aware of our instrument and take care of it.

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I'm surprised that the recommendation for your acid reflux was to stop singing. More important is to revise technique, rest voice some of the time, learn not to strain etc ... but only if really bad would my medical-voice friends recommend totally giving it up. Especially if it feeds the soul, as is important for many of us ...

Singers are thought to be at risk for reflux because stomach gets pumped/jostled generally from our breath manipulations. But as to whether breathing exercises cause hiatal hernia -- not likely. In H hernia, digestive system is the more active one, interfering with full breath. My understanding is that HH comes from a tension within the esophagus, tube shortens & pulls up into a "traffic jam" with diaphragm. Relaxed breathing can help both conditions. Also try some massage along upper-and mid-spine, where stomach & diaphragm nerves can get subtly jammed.

Stompach & esophagus are also VERY tuned to emotional state. So I would widen your frame of reference from just gut/throat/breath: what ELSE has been going in in the last 6-12 months in terms of life stress/ Family or money problems, relationship crisis, betrayals or grief/fear situations? --and how can you calm yourself, manage problems in a fresh way so the stress doesnt go quite so deep into your body?

That kind of adjustment, plus continued diligence with normal healthy singing technique and your nexium or other meds, will resolve this over time.

cheers & be well,

Joanna

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