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Get A Grip On 'GERD'!
Reflux Solutions for the Voice 

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Beth Lawrence - Singer, Songwriter, Educator

Get A Grip on GERD!
Reflux solutions for the Voice



It seems that more and more clients are coming to me with nodules, inflamed vocal cords, or chronic hoarseness.  Although most vocal damage is caused by misuse of the voice, there can also be a silent culprit which contributes to vocal damage, and creates many of the above vocal issues.  So, one of the first things I ask a client who is experiencing vocal issues is 'do you have acid reflux?'.  Many times they say 'yes', but don't feel that the reflux has an affect on their voice.  Most of the time, however, the answer is 'no', and surprisingly, GERD - Gastroesophageal reflux disease, goes undiagnosed, and untreated as the root cause of chronic vocal damage.


GERD affects the voice when acid travels up the esophagus and spills over into the larynx.  (Some people have no burning sensation when this happens, so don't know that they have GERD!)  This irritates the vocal cords, causing them to swell.  When the cords can't press together enough to vibrate due to this inflammation, a rough, hoarse, skippy voice results.  People often think they have nodules, which present similar vocal symptoms, when GERD is actually the underlying cause of their problem!  


When the inflamed vocal cords can't vibrate in a healthy manner because of chronic throat clearing; post-nasal drip; excessive mucous and sore throat as a result of GERD, the singer or speaker may begin to compensate for the lack of vocal control, which creates even more problems!  The singer may change the way they are using the voice in order to 'get their sound back', or to gain some degree of control over a raspy, pitchy voice.  Over time, this creates bad vocal habits which further damage the voice.  Pushing too hard; passing too much air through the cords; clenching with the jaw; or jamming up the larynx to get more volume spell disaster for the voice, and can eventually cause nodules, polyps, inflamed vocal cords or ruptured vocal cords.  This is why it's really important to have the throat scoped by an ENT to determine whether the cords are simply inflamed or if  there are more serious issues like vocal nodules to deal with.  


I believe in natural remedies where possible, so I have a few suggestions that I always give my clients.  Health care is totally personal, but I feel that trying alternative methods before you reach for the Over-the-counter drug or chemical prescription is a wise first move.  A few things that have worked really well for me are Bentonite Clay, Slippery Elm Bark, Cayenne Pepper and Cider Vinegar and certain Essential Oils which aid digestion and neutralize stomach acid.  Of course, take a look at your diet, stress levels, exercise routine and overall lifestyle to see indicators of where you can help your body enjoy greater health!



Bentonite Clay can be found in health food stores, either as a powder or already mixed in water.  Yes, you can ingest clay!  It is great for pulling toxins out of the intestinal tract and quelling excess acid.  


Organic, Unfiltered Cider Vinegar   - Aids digestion; restores stomach PH; calms reflux


Cayenne Pepper - Yes!  heals the stomach; balances stomach acid/alkalinity


Slippery Elm Bark - Soothes the intestinal tract; nourishes the body.  Use in tea or capsule form 


Essential Oils:  (I use only doTerra Essential Oils -- they are of the highest quality I've found anywhere)


doTerra Lemon - detoxes the system and cuts phlegm


doTerra's DigestZen Blend  - Helps with reflux; restores flow of bile and HCI; detox 


doTerra Lavender - Calms and relaxes the mind and body, as stress also contributes to GERD


My Viva La Voice Tonic - cuts phlegm; soothes the throat; calms inflammation.  Especially good for singers/speakers and for the coldl/flu season

  Please email me for the Tonic Recipe


These are just a few simple solutions to reducing the effects of GERD on the voice and body. 

If you would like to know more about how to use these supplements and Essential Oils, please contact me.



If you are experiencing problems with your voice, and wonder why, you might investigate GERD as a possible cause.  When the vocal cords are inflamed you will have similar symptoms to those of more serious conditions like vocal nodules.  If you are experiencing hoarseness, sore throat, a feeling that you have to clear your throat often, or have a 'skip' in the voice, check with an ENT to see what's causing your vocal issues.  


Please remember - you can get rid of nodules without surgery! 

Over 30 years ago I kept getting nodes, until I finally found a great mentor who taught me Bel Canto singing.  I never got nodes again, and have had a healthy voice ever since!  I specialize in vocal rehabilitation, and love to see the joy when clients get their voice back and get a healthy voice for life!!



A healthy voice comes from a healthy body, and a calm, happy mind.  Treat yourself well and your voice will reflect your healthy lifestyle!





 �2013 Beth Lawrence         

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What people are Saying!

"The Viva La Voice Tonic is great! It works like a charm and tastes wonderful. Thanks for the great tip. I find I drink it a few times a day and the benefit is awesome."  - F. Montana, WI


Thanks Fred Montana - CEO of the Montana Group and Crooner extraordinaire!