Archive for July, 2011

Voice gone – what now?

You can set your alarm clock to it. Whenever you have a recording, audition, or an important performance coming up, your body refuses to “work”. Your voice gets hoarse, your back gets tense, you get a cold or headaches, or pain – probably in the most important part of your body. Many violinists or pianists keep getting tendonitis just when they really don’t need it, or singers and actors fall silent with no chance of recovery before the big day. Some of you may know the repeated same symptoms, others may experience physical trouble when they are passing through a emotionally difficult time in their lives.

Sick on the day of an important performance? Maybe there is more to it than just physical reasons?

 

The quick fix

If you go to see a doctor, it’s most likely that you end up with a nice latin name for what’s going on, and with some packages of drugs that are meant to “cure” the symptoms. In many cases, what they really do is prevent the symptoms from happening, until your body has gone through the healing process. And it’s not rare that we hear from our doctor that what we have to do is wait. A cold for example needs its time to take its run, as my grandmother used to say, 3 days to come, 3 to stay, 3 to go… But most of the time you don’t have those 9 days, and it is very annoying, at least. Many of you will agree that a professional performer is characterized by stability and reliability, being able to perform well under all circumstances. So if your body fails you, it is not just a disease, but really gets to your value and self-worth as a singer, actor or musician.

What if there’s more to it?

If you keep getting the same physical problems repeatedly, or if they just don’t go away, even though all the medical reasoning is saying they should, you are faced with the question whether there is something more. Is it psycho-somatic? In other words, does the body express a problem that has its origin in the psyche? This question alone usually leaves us feeling powerless, exhausted and scared, because we really don’t know how to “repair” a psychic problem. Some may even try the same old way, find a pill to fix it. And most of us just don’t know how to handle it. In the traditional world-view, psychology is something odd, something for people with problems (and who likes to admit they have one!). It is a very scary and negative idea to even consider to get help from a psychologist. We don’t want the label “crazy”, “weak” or “lost”. On the other hand, you may have had experiences with a traditional psychological approach, and they may have made you believe that just talking about the emotions and all really doesn’t change the problem.

Body-mind-emotion

Some ancient and some more modern approaches do look at the whole – the connection between your body, mind and emotions. It is my experience that you can never work on one level without affecting the others. When you do sports, it makes you feel positive. When you have a positive day, you have more energy to do you running routine. And when you have a positive mindset and positive expectations, you are able to exceed both physically and mentally. That is why professional sportsmen work with mental trainers, why loosing weight is easier with a support group, and why most successful people have a positive view of themselves.

An approach to psychological-physical problems

So, if we take this for true, that body, mind and emotions are connected, what does this mean when the body is sick. Ex-psychiatrist and spiritual teacher David R. Hawkins writes in his book “Healing and Recovery”: “What we hold in mind, tends to manifest.” He explains, that any disease has two basic sources: A set of beliefs that we hold to be true that facilitate this physical manifestation, and the negative energy of guilt or other negative emotions that energize or nourish them and give them power. There are studies that people who don’t believe that a certain virus affects them, don’t get ill, even though they have the same likelihood of contracting it as people who are really scared of getting sick. Also, many people with serious diseases have a tendency to feel lots of negative emotions such as guilt, shame, hatred or powerlessness. We don’t have to answer the question, what was first, the negative emotion or the disease. At the very least, negative emotions and disease come together.

 

Find balance in your life - you health depends on your body, mind and emotions.

Discover negative beliefs and release negative emotions

So the answer to your physical problem may not be as immediate as a pill, but surely more thorough: You have to find and change all you negative beliefs that have to do with the symptom, and once you embark on a process and trust your instinct, you will be surprised what may come up! Here are just some examples or beliefs that may foster your physical problems.

  • I am not good enough.
  • I don’t deserve success.
  • People don’t like me.
  • I am prone to having a cold.
  • My voice always gets sick when I have important concerts.
  • When I’m sick, I get attention.
  • I’m scared that I may fail.
  • I cannot handle …
  • It is difficult to…

Needless to say, your personal beliefs can be very specific and seemingly completely unrelated with the physical problem. Sometimes it is about a conflict with a certain person. Or a conflict within yourself. Sometimes it is about being scared of being healthy, because then you don`t have an excuse. Sometimes it is about needing love from other people, and when you cannot get it and cannot give it to yourself, that disconnects you from your voice and your music.

Another approach is looking at the negative emotions that come up when you concentrate on the symptom. You just give it all your attention and see what you feel. Maybe anger, maybe frustration, maybe fear… So what you need to do is release and solve these emotions. And the easiest and most effective way to do that is with the body-energetic methods, Body Code or Emotional Freedom Technique. It is easier with some support, but EFT is fairly easy to learn, and a combination of both methods will bring you wellbeing much faster than you think. So, the least that you reach when doing this kind of work, is that you will feel good about yourself as a person and performer, and that you will handle your physical issue with more calmness and trust. But in many cases you will experience physical changes of your symptoms, faster healing processes, or a recovery where no medicine could make any change.

If you want to read about how this works, I recommend “The Emotion Code” by Bradley Nelson. It is easy to read, with many examples and illustrating this energetic work in a very interesting and mind-blowing way.

A first step today

Why am I writing about this? I just want to make you conscious that you are not a victim of your body’s function. If you get sick, there is always an issue to solve, sometimes several. So you basically have 2 choices: Feel bad, angry, guilty, shameful, powerless or despair, and wait, trying to fix your body, but with the risk of these problems coming up again or in a even more serious way. Or you can accept the responsibility of doing something to make yourself healthy. You can accept that your thinking and feeling effect your physical being.

If you are familiar with the Emotional Freedom Technique or would like to get an idea about it, here is a link to an audio about how to work with pain. Once you get the general idea, you can easily adapt it to different physical problems.

So what’s the first step if your voice is gone and you have to cancel an important performance? As it is all about moving into a more positive space, feeling more positive and thinking more positive, the first step is to let go of you anger, frustration or other emotional reactions about this happening – by accepting this situation as a great chance to grow and improve. Your body is telling you something, you get the chance to listen!

I would love to hear your thoughts and reflections about this. Please feel free to get in touch and discuss whatever is on your mind!