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How to deal with not only reflux but also ulcerative colitis.

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I unfortunately suffer from both of the conditions and wonder if others do also. It is becoming so that it feels like I have a continuous sore throat. The biggest problem though is the ulcerative colitis. This condition causes ulcers throughout the colon. And it causes severe pain in the abdominal region. Often the pain radiates from the low part of the abdomin upto to under the rib cage and also wraps around the back. The best way to describe the pain is that it feels like someone beat me with a baseball bat. And since it effects the diaphragm area it severally effects my breathing which is important to all singers. Any ideas of help with these two items would be greatly appreciated. I have to make one confession though I smoke but I'm currently trying to get that demon off of my back.

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Very sorry to hear of your trouble. I have seen several voice therapy patients with this unfortunate combination.

It is SOOO hard not to manage (avoid) the abdominal pain by making breath shallow, but if you can learn any type of breathing meditation, it might help interrupt that tendency. Check out Dr. Andrew Weil's audio CD "Breathing" and his programs on Mindfulness with Jon Kabat-Zinn.

The other problem that I see in terms of technique is that the chronic pain leads to extra tension in the neck muscles. This tension can increase sensations of "sore throat".

And of course with the inflammations and discomforts, vocal technique itself is at risk; it is very tempting to squeeze and push the vocal cords to get some kind of satisfying sound.

Traditional Chinese Medicine can sometimes be helpful; basically your whole digestive tract is overactive/fiery. Western medicine treats the cells, but not the bigger pattern.

PLEASE yes find a way to not smoke. Burning & chemically inflaming your vocal cords, on top of everything else, is too much. And it makes your whole body more fiery, not less! Since this is one thing you CAN control (with support groups, medication, whatever it takes), quitting might help on psychological level too. And breathing meditations can substitute in terms of calming and giving you mental relief.

I will ask a singer I know who has dealt this combo & send on any further advice.


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Joanna Thank you so very much for your advise. I will look into Dr. Well's and Jon Kabat-Zinn's information. Chinese medicines have always been on my mind but I had never acted on it. Fortunately here in Boise, ID there are numerous places that use Chinese Medical Techniques.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Dear Boiseman62, I am also sorry to hear of your troubles. I may be able to help you in a small way at least for now. Acid reflux is always due to diet and eating before one goes to sleep at night. Your body is full of acid and the food you are eating is not getting enough gastric acid being created. So your food is not able to go down because it is not being broken and sent on it's way. That is a very light and non complicated way of describing you condition. You need to change you diet to alkaline youself more. This is a huge issue with singers and it really needds to be taken care of or you can literally "burn" your cords into non usable tissue. If you go to my blog at Superiorvocalhealth.blogspot.com, I have a post about alkaline foods and the importance of this for the singer. The advise Joanna gave you is excellent as well. You may also try a program entitled "Great Taste no Pain" it is a drug free way to completely knock out acid reflux for good. Aloe Vera juice is also excellent for taking care of your issue. Stay away from the drugs. The doctor will always go there first but it will only make you dependent on them and never ever help your condition.

Hang in there, and if you need any help you may email me at anytime at superiorvocalhealth@gmail.com.

David Aaron Katz

Superior Vocal Health


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