I'm always looking for what works for you... so when my chiropracter Dr. Dwaine Allison told me about his new therapy I was thrilled. The following is a guest post he kindly agreed to write for "All Things Vocal" blog:
Life in the "Bowl"
How often have you heard someone say, "I never had these allergies until I moved to Nashville?" Or maybe it was you who said this to someone else! Our fair city is positioned neatly in a paradise filled with hundreds of varieties of trees and other pollen generating plants, cradled within beautiful hills serving as a sort of biosphere that allows all that pollen to hover gently within our breath's reach.
It makes for great pictures, however the camera won't reveal the ravages felt by those suffering with seasonal, or environmental allergies. And for those who depend upon a good set of lungs to make a living singing, it can be annoying or even disastrous! As a wellness coach and practicing chiropractor, I see it all the time, and have looked for ways of helping fellow Nashvillians cope with and ideally overcome allergies. The physical problems range from sinus drainage, congestion, infections, irritation, and diminished impaired respiratory capacity. Then there's the distraction of itchy eyes, skin upset stomach, fatigue, and general malaise, none of which serve well when laying down a vocal track, or giving a live performance. I've seen otherwise intelligent people reduced to a state of stupor when resorting to over the counter or prescription med.s. They lose their sharpness, awareness, and coordination, so much so, that many med.s have label warnings to avoid driving or operating machinery, but, people still do.
So, what's the solution? There are a lot of things a person can do nutritionally to curtail many of the above problems. A few simple things such as; limiting or avoiding all together dairy, gluten containing wheat items. Avoiding refined sugar, or worse artificial sweeteners is a good idea. Keeping your diet free from processed foods which contain numerous health and performance diminishing chemicals like MSG, high fructose corn syrup, salts and the like.
Since a singer's body is their instrument, it follows that overall health practices should be practiced daily. Much like a guitarist would not dream of subjecting their instrument to extreme temperature or humidity, or otherwise handle it carelessly, a vocalist must maintain and protect his or her own body. Habits like getting enough rest, managing emotional stress naturally, keeping a positive perspective, observe good body mechanics and posture, and doing suitable exercise are a few basics. They are not optional. If you don't have some coaches to give some objective guidance, then there are frequently gaps, or uncovered bases that will inevitably make themselves know in the form vocal or health plateaus that will frustrate or severely jeopardize your performance.
Coming back to allergies; There is another problem that makes things dicey. There are two primary types of allergies. Five percent are rapid response allergies known as "I.G.E.". These occur within minutes to an hour after being exposed to an allergen. These are usually obvious to us. However, ninety five percent of the time people experience "I.G.G." or "delayed response" type allergies. These are the ones that occur two to three days after we've been exposed to an allergen. Exposure can be anything eaten, drank, breathed or touched. So, a person may have any of the common allergic signs, or it may be more more obscure. A person may have indigestion, headache, fatigue, heart palpitations, joint pain, or emotional swings. And given that because delayed response is days after contact it can become virtually impossible to connect the dots.
Until now, delayed allergens have been difficult if not impossible to identify through traditional methods. Fortunately, there is a way to uncover these hidden irritants. It's based upon biofeedback technology that can evaluate foods, environmental, and chemical allergens, as many as sixty five thousand substances in total. This is more than could have been tested in a lifetime. And it can now be performed in minutes.
I recently tested a boy who his parents thought was allergic to beef and pork. Sometimes he'd eat and be fine, other times he would be reduced to tears and in anguish with pain. His test revealed no allergies to either meat. Although, he did have a sensitivity to citric acid, (contained in certain fruit). His dad who fashioned himself as a gourmet chef would sometimes spruce up the meat after cooking, with lemon juice to "wake it up" a bit. And as it turns out, this was what was flipping his switch.
So, then what? It gets better! It is possible to use a class three laser coupled with a homeopathic dosage in the form of an energetic frequency to gently reprogram the nervous system to not overly react to such substances. And it only takes about four minutes to accomplish, is totally safe for all ages, and you don't feel a thing, except, in most cases you are over the allergy. Science is great!
Of all the things I've seen for allergies, I believe this method, along with a healthy lifestyle, to offer the most hope for all of us living in the Nashville bowl. It is a paradise, here, but, only to those who can enjoy it. Breath easier!
For more information on allergies and living healthier, contact:
Dr. Dwaine Allison, D.C.
128 Holiday Ct.Ste. 107 Franklin TN 37067