Riva Capellari

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Located in Brookside in the heart of Kansas City

Is Your Voice Telling on You?

According to Johann Sundberg, the official scientific definition of “voice” is “sounds that originate from an airstream from the lungs that is processed by the vocal folds and then modified by the pharynx, the mouth and perhaps also the nose cavities”.

For most of us, this is probably not what comes to mind when we think of our voice. Maybe the better question is, what does our voice tell about us?

For many professions a strong, healthy voice is essential: first responders, teachers, court lawyers, preachers, etc. But outside of work, our voices take on other important tasks.

Although we still use our voices to clarify and respond to basic needs, they have become an instrument for personal expression- sounding out our feelings of fear, anger, joy, sadness and dissatisfaction.  And because all humans share these emotions, we have developed a keen ear that enables us to hear the nuances in others’ voices, telling us what is being left unsaid.

Our voices can also reveal possible health issues. Tremors could hint at a neurological problem; persistent hoarseness might be reflux or vocal nodules; strained vocal production could be in response to stress or trauma. Survival techniques we adopt to get us through life-threatening occurrences or emotional upheaval can stay with us, affecting our ability to freely use our voices to express our deepest feelings. Even trying to “hold our tongue” can have dire consequences on our breathing and cause undue tension in the musculature of the voice. Vocal challenges often have roots in personal life challenges that might need to be addressed with the appropriate professional.

And something else to think about. The sounds we make are a little like unseen energy. Vocal vibrations connect our inner energy to our own personal electro-magnetic field that surrounds us. More and more we are tapping into these energy vortices (like chakras) through yoga, meditation and chanting to relieve stress, strengthen our immune system and bring peace to ourselves. And one way to maintain vocal health, is to balance our throat chakra (that governs verbal expression and communication), by freely speaking the truth.

The eyes may be the mirror into our souls, but the voice reflects our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being.


The Voice Boo. K. DeVore & S. Cookman. Chicago Review Press. 2009.                                                                Principles of Voice Production.  I. Titze. Prentice Hall. 1994     The Science of the Singing Voice.  J. Sundberg. Northern Illinois Press. 1987.

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