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Voice Lift:声の再生、または若返り

2012.10.22
9月下旬に、「ヴォイス・リフト」という声の再生、または若返り施術がイギリスでも本格的に動き出すというニュースをガーディアンで読みました。興味を惹かれたのですが、僕にとっては全く未知の分野。なので、記事からの抜粋を簡単に。翻訳、ものすごい手抜きですので、興味を持たれ方は記事をじっくり読んでください。

Voice lifts: something to shout about
http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/sep/23/voice-lift-vocal-cord-treatment

The term "voice lift" was coined by Dr Robert Sataloff in 2004 to describe the techniques used to repair a damaged or ageing voice. Sataloff, professor and chairman of the ear, nose and throat department at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia and one of the leading specialists in voice surgery, gives an exaggerated sigh when I ask if he regrets inventing the phrase. "I haven't thought of a better term," he says, "but I have certainly spent more time than I would like explaining that it's not just like dropping in and having an operation like a facelift. It's complex and requires a multi-disciplinary approach."

 ヴォイス・リフトという言葉は2004年に、アメリカ人医師、ロバート・サタロフ氏による造語。同医師はこの呼称ほど最適なものはないと考える一方で、(リフトという言葉によってフェイス・リフトの様な簡単な手術と誤解する人が多いので)ヴォイス・リフトはふらりと病院に立ち寄って簡単にできるものではないという説明に長い時間を割いている。

And in older people? "During the ageing process, the vocal folds become thinner and they don't come together, causing the voice to sound weak, shaky or breathy. An older voice is very easy to recognise. The first thing we do is send the patient to our speech therapist and we also get them involved in gentle exercise. Often that is enough to make the voice sound younger and more fit. If that doesn't work satisfactorily, then we may suggest a little augmentation."

 原則、ヴォイス・リフトは、甲状腺がんや喉頭がん等の手術で声帯を失った人への施術であるが、加齢のために声を発することが難しくなった人への適用もある。しかしながら、すすぐに施術するのではなく、言語療法士との訓練で効果が出なければ適用を考慮する。

In the US, where the treatment is more common, Sataloff says there has been a "huge increase" in the number of older people – the baby boomer generation – seeking voice rejuvenation. He also insists it is not a trivial, or cosmetic, procedure: "As people age, they have real quality of life problems – their voices are getting softer and breathier, while all their friends are going deaf. It becomes harder for people to have conversations or interact and eventually it gets to be such a struggle they stop trying."
 
 アメリカでは既に、ベイビー・ブーマー世代を中心に声の若返り術への需要が高まっている。加齢に伴い、声の力が弱まるのは、生活の質の課題につながる。

He also points out that – sad for us as a society – we are quick to judge people by their voices, and older people can fall victim to this: "As people's voices become unsteady, they become less convincing to us," he says. "So older people, who are often the most experienced and wise, have voices that begin to sound infirm and people unconsciously infer that those people are infirm, and their spoken opinions don't have the weight they should. Correcting these problems is worthwhile for people in many professions, but also for those who are interested in being able to continue to interact socially."

 サタロフ医師は、「悲しいことだが、社会は老いた声で人を判断する。加齢による声の衰えで人々が社会から阻害されいく状況を改善できるのは行動するに値する」と強調する。

Those worried by vocal ageing start coming to him in their 50s, he says, though most common are people in their 60s and 70s. The majority are worried about how their voice is affecting their career: "It's not even primarily singers. Business people, clergy, attorneys, politicians, secretaries – you don't want somebody who sounds feeble and unpleasant answering your phone and being your first interaction with the public. There are also people who are retired but don't want to sound like an old woman or man, wants to be able to sing in the retirement community choir, wants to be able to have conversations with people without yelling."

 60代、70代でプロフェッショナルな職業に就いている人々は、自分たちの声の老化がキャリアに影響することを懸念している。

 10月1日に、世界中で年金世代が増加するという国連の発表が報道されました。

UN report calls for action to fulfil potential of ageing global population
http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/2012/oct/01/un-report-action-need-ageing-population

 2050年には、世界中で60歳以上の人口は20億人に達する試算だそうです。そのような時代になっても、歳を重ね、それに伴う身体の変化は「弱さ」として認識されてしまうんですかね。

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