Spasmodic Dysphonia is a functional dysphonia (wrong voice use) and is curable by Direct Voice Rehabilitation

The medical profession, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), and the National Spasmodic Dysphonia Association (NSDA) guarantee that spasmodic dysphonia (SD) is incurable.

ASHA Leader featured an interview by Shelley Von Berg with Stephen C. McFarlane on November 20, 2001. This article states that “Adductor spasmodic dysphonia is a neurologic motor dysfunction known as a ‘focal dystonia,'” and “…SD involves a focal dystonia of the larynx.”

After using some direct and some indirect techniques, McFarlane and associates at University of Nevada, Reno, School of Medicine have decided if their techniques work (voice improves), the patient has MTD (muscle tension disorder); if their techniques fail, the patient has SD, because they state SD is incurable and offer Botox as treatment. In my opinion, another technique—DVR— have been tried to help patients overcome SD.

My experience with SD leaves no doubt that SD is curable and is due to misuse and abuse of the voice, speaking and/or singing, one or both. I have reported cures and successes with Spastic and Spasmodic Dysphonia for over 25 years by a program of voice behavior modification called Direct Voice Rehabilitation (DVR).

DVR reports lasting cures of not only adductor but also abductor and mixed abductor and adductor SD. DVR is a direct voice approach—changing the pitch, tone focus, breath support and voice image.

My SD patients have been diagnosed and documented as having SD by prestigious medical doctors and at top-rated medical centers. There is no question that these patients had SD. Doctors who diagnosed SD included Drs. Paul Ward, Gerald Berke, Henry J. Rubin, Robert Feder, Hans von Leden, Ed Kantor (all from UCLA Medical Center), Arnold Aronson (May Clinic), Robert W. Bastian (Loyola University Medical Center), Norman Hogikyan (University of Michigan), Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Vanderbilt Medical Center, Scripps Clinic, among others.

Is SD a dystonia or a dysphonia? There is a world of difference between the paradigm that medicine presents and that I present. A dystonia cannot be changed by DVR. A dysphonia can. DVR presents hope and cures of SD. The medical paradigm that SD is a focal laryngeal dystonia presents doom and gloom and pervasive despair with no hope for a cure.

The medical profession has failed to report a single cure of SD for over 130 years regardless of its various theories of causation and treatment. DVR has ongoing cures of SD. Isn’t it time that ASHA and the medical profession afford choice of treatment for SD and the opportunity of cures of SD by DVR?

Here are just a few of many documented and lasting cures and successes of SD by my DVR program:

  • Over one year ago, the Scripps Clinic in La Jolla diagnosed Ginger Chang, a young lady in her 20’s, with Spasmodic Dysphonia. She was told that her condition was hopeless and that she required a lifelong series of Botox shots. Within one week of my intensive program of Direct Voice Rehabilitation, Ms. Chang found a normal effective voice and has remained cured of her SD.
  • Some 14 years ago, Dr. Arnold Aronson at the Mayo Clinic diagnosed extremely severe SD for the Rev. James Johnson. He was advised to have surgery; he declined. The Rev. Johnson underwent an intensive program of DVR with me for one month. He has remained cured of his problem for 14 years.
  • Paul Ward, M.D., former Chairman of the Head and Neck Division at UCLA Medical Center, and the current chairman, Gerald Berke, M.D. have respectively diagnosed extremely severe SD in various patients: Dr. Ward’s patient, Mrs. Whitman, declined surgery. After undergoing my DVR program, she returned to UCLA where Dr. Ward confirmed recovery of a normal voice, which remains normal 10 years after DVR.
  • Dr. Gerald Berke, Chairman of UCLA Head and Neck Division, diagnosed Gayle Pace with severe abductor and adductor Spasmodic Dysphonia. She declined Botox and surgery treatments. Within one month of my DVR, Mrs. Pace was cured of her problem and remains cured for 10 years.
  • The Rev. Henry Sellers was diagnosed with “Focal Laryngeal Dystonia” by Dr. Gerald Berke. The Rev. Sellers declined Botox from Dr. Berke. After having one Botox shot from another well-known ENT doctor, his voice was impaired for almost a year. DVR helped him to a cure of SD.
  • Dr. Henry J. Rubin, ENT, affiliated with UCLA Medical Center Head and Neck Division and with Cedars-Sinai ENT Division, diagnosed three SD patients, one with abductor SD and two with adductor SD. All three were cured of SD by DVR.
  • Dr. Ed Kantor, ENT, affiliated with UCLA Medical Center Head and Neck Division and with Cedars-Sinai ENT Division, diagnosed Lisa Andreson and Don Matheson as having SD. They were cured of SD after working with me, Lisa 21 years ago and Don 12 years ago.
  • R.B. had 5 different ENT doctors diagnose SD. He was told his SD was hopeless. He remains cured of SD for 23 years after undergoing six months of DVR.
  • Robert Feder, ENT affiliated with UCLA Head and Neck Division and a former Chairman of the ENT group at Cedars-Sinai, diagnosed Zelda Pollack; he advised surgery. She declined. Zelda has been cured of SD for over 16 years by my DVR program.
  • Dr. Hans von Leden, who served on UCLA and USC Head and Neck faculties, diagnosed Professor Taffazoli with SD in 1973. Dr. Taffazoli underwent my program of DVR. He remains cured for over 25 years. Another SD patient diagnosed by Dr. von Leden remains cured for over 15 years.
  • Luana Hess, M.D. was diagnosed with severe SD by her ENT doctor. One week of my intensive DVR program and Dr. Hess remains cured of her problem 2 years later.
  • Dr. Gerald Berke diagnosed SD in Denise Proudfoot, who tried four Botox shots. She prayed for another way. She found me. In a short time, she was 95% better by my DVR program.
  • Sylvia Cheek was diagnosed with SD by various ENT’s. She tried Botox shots, years of psychotherapy, four speech therapists and still remained with severe SD. After suffering for 34 years with SD, a month of my intensive DVR program afforded this patent a clear normal voice.
  • Dr. Daniel Troung diagnosed Laurie Wolf with suspected SD and recommended Botox shots for her suspected SD. She declined. She underwent my program of DVR and has been cured of her voice problem for over 3 years.
  • Dr. Norman Hogikyan diagnosed Kim Engstrom with abductor and adductor SD. She tried 2 Botox shots that left her without any voice. She underwent a month of my intensive DVR program. She has had a normal voice for over 3 years, cured of SD.

An ENT professor on the UCLA Medical Faculty in the Head and Neck Division referred his wife who was diagnosed with Spasmodic Dysphonia (SD) outside the medical center to my private practice. She regained a normal voice through Direct Voice Rehabilitation (DVR). Today the UCLA Medical Center offers only Botox or surgery for SD patients without affording them the option of DVR. But not with my wife, you don’t. Double standard?

The National Spasmodic Dysphonia Association (NSDA) has been given a generous donation of funds by Allergan over the years. Allergan is the maker of Botox. (Botox is an acronym for botulinum toxin; Botox is a diluted form of botulinum toxin.)

Why did a representative from NSDA recently visit my office to tell me I cannot report cures of SD if my DVR program is to be reviewed in NSDA’s newsletter? Why do NSDA and the medical community collectively advise either a toxic substance, Botox, which may require four to ten injections, or more, each and every year for life and/or risky surgery with no cures ever.

If Botox or surgery isn’t wanted or doesn’t work with your SD patients, let DVR turn their voices and lives around.