Voice, Breathing, and Digestion: The Triad Relationship and its Holistic Treatment

Course Number

This course is FREE for ALL members of SpeechTherapyPD.com, unlimited memberships start at $89/year: Become a Member

Presenter: Ellen Friedman, MA, CCC-SLP

Course Preview:

Digestive issues are responsible for many of the breathing and voice deficits we see in infants, children, and adults. While Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease affects millions of Americans, its serious illness potential is widely misunderstood. Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a high contributor to esophageal, throat, oral,. And lung cancers, COPD, pnuemonia, nasal-sinus issues,and dysphonia. This workshop will outline the intricate relationship between GERD, breathing, and voice, for patients who eat orally as well as for those who are fed via alternative nutrition and hydration. Participants will identify core medical issues which need to be addressed, when to refer, and who to refer to, as how to treat voice, breathing, and GERD therapeutically.


Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Define the triad relationship between GERD, Voice and Breathing Issues
  • Analyze the core problem among a myriad of presenting symptoms
  • Determine appropriate treatment strategies
  • Develop referral protocols
  • Treat the patient holistically
About Ellen: Ellen N. Friedman, MA CCC-SLP owns a private practice in Ohio, where she works clinically in out patient, school, home health and teaching settings. Former president of the Northeast Ohio Regional Association of Medical Speech/Language Pathologists, Ellen began her subspecialty voice practice in 1993, which has expanded to include pediatric, adult, and geriatric patients who have voice, swallowing, digestive, and speech/language deficits. 

Ellen has taught in the graduate school of speech pathology at Kent State University, and was also on the faculty of Cleveland State University, where she taught clinical procedures. On the national level, Ellen teaches CEU courses in the areas of dysphagia, adult failure to thrive, social skills, voice, and reflux disease, and is published in the fields of voice and gastroesophageal disease. 

In addition to being a speech/language pathologist, Ellen is a professional actor, vocalist, acting coach, and director. 
Additional Information

This course is offered for 0.3 ASHA CEUs (Advanced Level, Professional area)

Course Timeline:

60 Minutes: How voice, breathing, and sinuses are connected to digestion:
a) definition of GERD
b) effect of reflux on sinuses/breathing/voice/swallowing/esophagus

60 Minutes: Assessment and Referral protocols
a) components of a good case history
b) clinical symptoms of GERD related voice, swallowing, breathing and nasal-sinus issues
c) protocols for referrals to ENT, GI, and pulmonology

60 Minutes: Treatment strategies for
a) behavioral reflux precautions
b) food intake
c) GERD related dysphonia
d) GERD related breathing issues
e) GERD related swallowing issues

Disclosure Statement: 
Financial: Ellen Friedman is a speaker for SpeechTherapyPD.com and receives royalties. 
Nonfinancial: No relevant nonfinancial relationships exist.

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