About Tension in the Larynx
The body’s muscles need to have periodic sessions of stretching and exercise to reduce tension and strengthen the tissue. This enables us to have a healthy and strong body in order to meet the challenges we encounter every day. The larynx, or voice box, is no different in this regard, and just as with other muscles, there are exercise routines that will reduce tension in the larynx. Some may already be familiar because they are identical to routines already established for the neck and shoulders and elsewhere, such as the lungs and diaphragm. Just what does the larynx have to do with the diaphragm? Well, if there is a sure understanding of what left and right hands do for one another, the analogy holds for the larynx and diaphragm and lungs and neck, etc.
As with normal exercising, first begin with stretching to limber the muscles before they are put to work; in this case, the neck. Stand or sit straight, shoulders relaxed but not slumped, feet flat on the floor. With the mouth open, drop the chin to the chest, then roll the neck slowly until the chin is at the right shoulder and stop for a slow count to five. Then roll the neck until the ceiling is in view and repeat the count. Then roll to the left shoulder, count and return the chin to the chest. Repeat for several minutes.
Remain in the same position, looking straight ahead, with a palm against the abdomen at navel level. With the mouth wide open as if yawning, inhale through the mouth fully and slowly and feel the abdomen push out. Hold for a few seconds, then exhale slowly and fully while feeling the abdomen pull in. Repeat for five minutes. Repeat this exercise again while vocalising “zzz – zzz – zzz” in separate, brief expressions during the exhale cycle. Repeat this exercise with “sss – sss – sss” sounds.
Finally, again with the mouth open as if yawning, inhale deeply and upon exhaling, vocalise “ahhhhh….,” sustaining the sound for five seconds as a wide-open, smooth and gentle tone without allowing it to break or quiver. Repeat ten times then repeat the cycle with an “ehhhhh” sound, and then an “ohhhhhh” sound, keeping the throat wide open in a yawn.
These are just some of the stress-relieving exercises show you how to reduce tension in the larynx.
If you have questions about how voice therapy can help release the tension in the larynx make an appointment to see our speech pathologist. We see adults and children for voice therapy. Contact Us Today!