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Muscle Tension Dysphonia (MTD) fix: Extreme YAWN

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  • Muscle Tension Dysphonia (MTD) fix: Extreme YAWN

    Suffering from neck/larynx tension for several years. Thousands of dollars spent trying to cure. UCSF therapists acknowledged the problem, but admit they are unable to cure.

    Typical symptoms: Sore larynx muscles, sore/tired voice, involvement of the false vocal folds, poor resonance, etc.

    To my surprise, I was able to cure this by EXTREME yawn. Not just the usual yawn/sigh, which is a well-documented therapy technique, but much more intensive yawn, repeated for about 10 minutes. Emphasis on really stretching out the muscles during a long yawn--not so much the sign or phonation.

    Quality of voice drastically improved, and larynx soreness disappeared. I was astonished.

    I know a lot of singers/professional voice users suffer from vocal hyperfunction, and I want to share this information.

    I'm happy to share any more details.

  • #2
    But yawning is in itself something that tenses up muscles around or in the throat, isn't it?

    I know for sure that the root of the tongue becomes quite tense.
    I'm Masklin. How was your day?

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    • #3
      Yes, you are correct--the muscles are TEMPORARILY stressed--in the same way that stretching temporarily stresses the muscles. The trick here, at least in my case, was activating muscles that it's tough to directly control.

      The yawn-sigh is nothing new, but it's often used for resonance training.

      I found this tip by a professional speech therapist. I'll try to find it again so that I can give her proper credit. She uses this often with her patients. I wish my therapist had known about it!

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      • #4
        Here is the original reference by Nancy Barcal, who is a licensed speech pathologist. She gets all the credit for this, not me. I believe her company is "Granite Bay Speech" of Roseville. If she reads this blog, THANK YOU!

        Here's what Nancy says:

        "My favorite exercise for vocal relaxation is the yawn-sigh. First, you start out by yawing as wide as you can; imagine the wide-open mouth of a lion roaring. Follow your big yawn with a loud and open sigh. You should drop your tongue down low in the back of your mouth and let the air flow out easily. Make an "AHH" sound like you do at the doctors' office; it should sound relaxed and open. Repeat this exercise at least five times.

        It takes some practice to learn how to yawn/sigh, so keep trying. At first you may hear a crack or squeak in your voice and this is a good sign because it means the tension in your cords is being released. Soon you'll notice a drop in your pitch and you won't be able to yawn anymore because your cords are relaxed.

        After your voice is completely relaxed then a therapist can help you find your perfect pitch range. It's similar to tuning your car engine so you don't waste gas. You don't want to waste your air and making sure your vocal cords are relaxed and then building up the amount of talking and varying loudness often helps."

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        • #5
          Christopher,

          A yawn function is in fact a good way to find resonate. Just as long as you're NOT depressing the root of the tongue. Depressing the root of tongue might make the voice sound 'thicker', but does nothing to help resonance and is harmful to the voice. If you want to use the yawn function, then I think you should return the the tongue to an 'ng' position (sides of the tongue touching the back top molar teeth) before you vocalize.
          Moderator - The Singer's Forum
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          • #6

            Now i have MTD I,m really tired of it. I love singing very much but now I can,t sing when I speak my voice hurts and feels tired. 

            Btw, how long did it take to you to cure your voice with YAWN? days, weeks, months?

            I hope this is gonna help me.

            P.S. sorry for my english, I,m in learning process

            And thank you very much ChristopherW! 

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            • #7
              ChristopherW, if you get this I'd appreciate a reply, I know this is an old thread!

              I have been suffering with MTD, voice tension when talking and singing. Its been a miserable year and a half filled with doctors, specialists, operations, endoscopies, diets, you name it!

              I sent you a private message, if you could reply to that or on this thread I'd love to speak to you and see how you are getting on

              Thankyou
              Alex

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