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Core Faculty Member
Connie M. Pike, M.A., CCC-SLP

Connie Pike has been practicing as a licensed certified speech and language pathologist since 1981. She has served a diverse population including hospitals, home health, early intervention, feeding and swallowing teams, and private practice clinics. Connie has been certified by the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA) since 1983, and is currently licensed by the State of Florida and a member of the British Healthcare Professions Council.

In late April 2004, Connie developed a throat virus which left her voice severely impaired. In August 2004, she was diagnosed with Spasmodic Dysphonia – Adductor type with tremor - by a professional in the area of Voice. SD is a devastating life sentence; believed to be an incurable neurological disease which causes ones voice to spasm and break. It generally progresses over a period of several years after which is plateaus. It is a highly handicapping condition. Botox injections into the vocal folds is the gold standard of treatment and voice therapy has a poor track record. Botox does not claim to cure SD, but it is a temporary paralyzing agent for the spasms of the vocal fold muscles which provides relief for a period of an average of 3-4 months. Re-injections are then necessary for the rest of ones life. Connie’s belief in the ability of the body to heal led her to a different path of reclaiming her voice.

Initially Connie challenged the diagnosis. It was later confirmed by a team of 12 otolaryngologists and speech therapists who concurred that she did, indeed, suffer from SD and needed to schedule Botox injections. Connie decided to try to rehabilitate the voice using voice therapy methods. She began with some techniques outlined by Morton Cooper, PhD, and followed with research in areas that were particularly problematic. One of these areas was breathing.

“I felt like I was talking while holding my breath. I couldn’t get a deep, satisfying breath and it seemed as if all coordination of breathing and talking had disappeared. My research led me to Mike White’s website, and I had the opportunity to work with Mike when he was in Orlando leading a training workshop. During a three hour session, I was able to reconnect with the feeling of correct breathing patterns and establish that elusive connection with breathing and voice production. This instruction truly was an integral part of my recovery and I continue to utilize the breathing techniques I learned almost daily. Mike and I teamed up to create a holistic voice rehabilitation program which has been very successful to date. Fully 100% of participants have been able to improve their voice production during the clinic and almost 90% report moderate to significant voice improvement six to twelve months following the clinic with significantly less voice handicap scores. While I realize that SD can be a chronic condition, I also know that it can be controlled in most cases so that voice improvement is clearly evident. Restoring the voice takes dedication to the process and many hours of practice, but can be accomplished and result in permanent improvements.”

The program is described at www.freetospeakvoicetherapy.com and testimonials may be reviewed as well as efficacy data. The program is helpful not only for those with SD, but also those with Muscle Tension Dysphonia or any related serious voice dysfunction.

She is also listed at (see Tampa)
http://www.dysphonia.org/healthcare/default.asp?search=state&stateid=9

Connie's website: www.freetospeakvoicetherapy.htm

Learn about the Overcoming Spasmodic Dysphonia Clinic:  Workshop outline
Testimonials from previous clinics     conniep1@breathing.com

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About the Optimal Breathing
Self Mastery Kit


 

An MD recommends  Optimal Breathing®


 

Optimal Breathing 
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3. Energy, stamina, recovery, sports, gentle yoga, breathwork, Pilates, Qigong, Tai Chi
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mike@breathing.com  1820 Sunhaven Ct, Charlotte, NC, 28262 USA
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The breathing improvement techniques, practices and products outlined in this publication are extremely gentle, and should, if carried out as described, be beneficial
to your overall physical and psychological health. If you have any serious medical or psychological problem, however, such as heart disease, high blood pressure,
cancer, mental illness, or recent abdominal or chest surgery, you should consult your health professional before undertaking these practices.

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