VOCAL TECHNIQUE IN PHYSIOTHERAPY: INNOVATING FROM THE UNIVERSITY CLASSROOM
Vocal apparatus consists of the respiratory system, the phonation device and the resonator apparatus, all of them located in different muscular and bony areas whose control and relaxation will allow the patient a healthier life. From the work of the so-called Vocal Technique, which puts into operation the three aforementioned devices, we believe that interesting results could be achieved that could be applied in the physiotherapy session. For this to be possible, it was considered that the physiotherapist had to be taught to become aware of his own breathing and of his body position before/during it, as a necessary training step so that in his professional future there wouldn’t be negative “countertransferences” to his patients. The experience that took place took place in the subject of "Music Therapy" of the Physiotherapy Degree of the University of Valencia, with fourth-year students. Its main objective was to train students in the principles of vocal technique established by Mansion, but adapted to the specific needs of the physiotherapist, susceptible to application in respiratory physiotherapy, among other specific physiotherapeutic techniques. The developed methodology started from the work from an augmentative level, in which the uses of the different characteristic elements of Music Therapy were adapted to their needs and acting as reinforcement of the specific physiotherapy treatment. Thus, corporal theoretical concepts characteristic of singing, were worked on and, later, specific physical exercises were carried out to strengthen the thoracic muscles and others to control diaphragmatic breathing and, finally, emission and agility exercises. This activity was developed during a month, four work sessions with three hours of duration each one of them. The results, collected through individual interviews, questionnaires pre-post experience and by observation of participating specialists, showed that more multidisciplinary experiences should be carried out in this line because, although they understood better the respiratory process and internalized more easily the corporal repercussion of good breathing diaphragmatic, the experience was too brief to properly internalize each of its principles. The experience derived from the role-playing, from the vocal performance with piano accompaniment, from the breathing exercises specially designed for the wind musicians, supposed an awareness in the organic-functional processes of breathing and relaxation-tension different from that practiced to date, but very useful for future physiotherapeutic practice. This innovative experience, in addition to others initiated in the Degree of Physiotherapy of the University of Valencia, place specialized musical training as another tool for the enhancement of physiotherapeutic treatment.