If you are a singer, then you are probably familiar with your diaphragm. You most likely have been told over and over again to sing “from your diaphragm”.
The diaphragm is a muscle that helps you breathe. It also assists you when you talk and sing, so that you do not overload your vocal chords. Like any other muscle, it can be strengthened and developed through proper use and exercise. The better your diaphragm functions, the less strain there is on your vocal cords. The stronger your diaphragm, the fuller and louder your voice will be.
Problems arise for singers when the diaphragm becomes dysfunctional. A poor performing diaphragm can have a serious impact on a singer and his/her career and the quality of their art. There are several conditions that can cause problems with the diaphragm, but I only want to focus on one in this article- Foot Problems.
Your diaphragm is unique in that several structures pass through it. Your esophagus connects to your stomach through your diaphragm. Your aorta (the large artery from your heart) goes through it. There are Two muscles that share the same fascia as the diaphragm: the psoas major and the quadratus lumborum. A dysfunction of one of these muscles can affect the function of the others.
The alignment of the joints in your feet can impact the function of your diaphragm, by affecting the tone of the quadratus lumborum and psoas muscles. If these bones are out of alignment, they these muscles can become either underactive or overactive and eventually inflamed. This will, in turn, have a negative effect on your diaphragm. If your diaphragm is malfunctioning, then the risk of straining your vocal cords increases.
It is often recommended to sing standing on your feet. Most people sing better when they stand. However, there are some who sing better when sitting. This may be because when they stand, their feet and ankles come out of alignment, causing their diaphragm to malfunction. When they sit, the stress is taken off their feet, and they sing better since their diaphragm works better in this position. To properly correct diaphragm issues, the feet must be addressed.
Dr. John Phelts is a chiropractor and a certified professional applied kinesiologist. When treating singers and those with diaphragm issues in his New York, NY office. During his examination and treatments he:
1. Identifies misalignments in the feet and ankles and then adjusts your feet and ankles to restore proper alignment
2. Identifies whether the muscles that hold those joint in alignment are working properly and applies treatments that restore proper function to those muscles.
3. Applies direct treatments to the diaphragm, psoas, and quadratus lumborum.
Treats diaphragm reflex points to restore normal function
4. Prescribes exercises based on the examination findings to restore balance to your feet.
To schedule your examination and treatment call 212-286-2012