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The Wilson Method is a revolutionary teaching and therapeutic technique that assists a variety of vocations and ailments, including all types of vocal (speaking and singing) problems, anxiety and panic attacks, asthma, and pain.
The Wilson Method utilizes breath therapy, movement re-education, restorative yoga and vocal entrainment to access the underlying physiological tensions, respiratory issues and belief systems that hold us back from realizing our full creative potential.
This multifaceted method is based on seven very distinct yet related ground-breaking discoveries Mr. Wilson has made during his life-long journey to better understand the hidden connections of the human body, breath, voice and mind.
There is a highly specific physical reaction to mental stress and anxiety. Our reactions to the rigors of life affect our mind, which in turn affects our body. Whenever we go through ANYTHING we don't like, we (unconsciously) tighten the upper half of our Rectus abdominis (six-pack) muscle in a well-meaning attempt to physically stabilize and mentally bolster ourselves to deal with the stressful situation. This "armouring up" would not be an issue, if not for the fact that many people tend to feel as if they are always under stress. Over time, this subtle gripping of the RA muscle can take a monumental physical, mental and emotional toll. I have coined this physical reaction the "Unconcious Valsalva Maneuver", and it is a world-wide phenomenon.
The Unconscious Valsalva Maneuver (UVM) is today's greatest non-environmental threat to our physical, mental, vocal and emotional health. The UVM is our physiological manifestation of the brain's Stress Response, and (through fascia) generates a protective shield that surrounds and armours our entire torso. It is created through a hyper-tonicization (clenching) of the upper half of the Rectus abdominis muscle - it's negative effects on our health are numerous, as the UVM effectively inhibits diaphragm mobility and tonicity, constraining the proper function of all the bodies systems, especially the respiratory, circulatory, digestive and lymphatic systems. This lack of diaphragm function creates symptoms that present as "asthma", causes numerous vocal problems, decreases core strength, increases physical pain, creates feelings of anxiety, heightens emotional trauma, and suppresses the immune system.
Most people are breathing poorly. Most of the general public are a) holding their collective breaths, b) not using their diaphragms to breathe, and c) therefore respiration is too fast and too shallow. Your diaphragm is your internal masseuse. This seemingly undiagnosed lack of diaphragm strength is therefore much more key to the respiratory, circulatory, digestive, lymphatic systems that has been previously reported. And since most are not using their diaphragms properly, the only place left to breathe is high, using primarily a lifting of the ribcage (known as costal breathing) which then triggers the Fight/Flight/Freeze/Faint (sympathetic) nervous system stress response: A vicious circle if there ever was one. The Wilson Method, because it increases diaphragm tonicity while manipulating the para-sympathetic nervous system, has been shown to have a positive effect on energy levels, along with overall physical, mental, vocal and emotional health.
The "Surrender Sigh". Our bodies have an instantaneous trigger for dropping out of anxiety. As a method to counter the mental, emotional and physical effects of the UVM, David Wilson has discovered that our mind-body connection DOES have a built-in trigger for switching out of the Fight/Flight/Freeze/Faint (sympathetic) nervous system and dropping into the Rest/Relax/Renew/Repair (para-sympathetic) nervous system. He has coined it the Surrender Sigh, and it is at the basis (along with physical therapy, restorative yoga and meditation) of his highly successful work with those facing challenges of anxiety, panic attacks, asthma, COPD and vocal pathology. In other words, with practice, the para-sympathetic nervous system IS within our control - we can manipulate it to improve our mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health. Awareness, along with movement re-education, bio-energetics, kinesiology, core work, and re-integrating body, breath and voice, is the basis of The Wilson Method.
Returning to natural breathing practices helps everthing. We are breathing poorly by letting our reactions to life adversely affect our respiratory system. It is subtle and slow, which is why it is not being noticed, much less diagnosed by the allopathic Western Medical System. Returning to healthy, natural breathing patterns sends an uptake message to our brain, suggesting we are, even for a moment, safe. Therefore muscles and fascia relax, which in turn reduces swelling, which lowers hypertension, inflammation (and therefore phlegm) lessens; we have more energy and less pain. There are hundreds of methods that work with the breath. Most of them are manipulating the breath in a manner that goes against what is NATURAL. The best methods out there are those that aim to return the breath to a more natural state, close to the way we breathed when we were young, and those which reverse the habits forced on us by the rigors of life. The Wilson Method of Breathing is a leader in this area.
Core work doesn't have to be work. There is a great deal of misunderstanding about what the Core is and how it functions, and how to make it "stronger". These misunderstandings are taking place in gyms, voice studios, pilates and yoga classes, and even in therapy offices. Many are confusing the UVM with a "Strong Core." The Valsalva Maneuver does not increase Core strength; in fact, this action SHUTS OFF THE CORE. In most cases, unless we are high-level athletes or stage performers, we don't need to make the core stronger, we need to make it more effective - there is far too much straining and tightening disguised as "core work". The key is this: When we stop over-exerting/over-tonicizing our (external) rectus abdominis and external obliques (the Unconcious Valsalva Maneuver) our Deep Core (Pelvic Floor, Transverse Abdominis, Quadratus Lumborum, Psoas, Diaphragm and Multifidus) ENGAGES ON IT'S OWN. Therefore, by unwinding tension we have access to greater core strength that has been there all along. The Wilson Method is in the process of revolutionizing the way we move, live, and exercise.
There is no such thing as a vocal problem. Vocal pathology is symptomatic of issues elsewhere; virtually ALL vocal problems are related to physical tension, postural issues, lack of diaphragm tonicity, unhealthy respiratory habits, doubt, fear or lack of permission. Therefore we should be looking to the respiratory system, diaphragm, posture, fascia, movement patterns and our thought processes first, and the larynx last. Unfortunately, it is not a simple matter to notice a lack of core efficacy and diaphragm tonicity in students. Multidisciplinary training for teachers is a key to helping singers take control of the systemic issues mentioned above. Respiratory therapy, kinesiology, core awareness work, restorative yoga, myo-fascial work and functional physiology are all helpful towards changing these unhealthy patterns. The Wilson Method is in the process of attempting to revolutionize professional singing lessons, speech therapy and vocololgy.