What is Laryngeal Therapy?
Laryngeal Therapy is a form of therapy that focuses on the structures and soft tissue that are primarily used in speech and singing. These areas can become overworked due to the rigorous demands placed on professional voice users. Overworked muscles often lead to vocal fatigue and muscular tension, which can result in TMJ issues (see below), inconsistency of the voice, pain, loss of vocal range, and many other complications. Laryngeal Therapy aims to release the tissue around the vocal mechanism. At LifeLight Massage Therapy PLLC treatment might also include Myofascial Release, Visceral Manipulation, CranioSacral Therapy, and massage to the diaphragm, chest, ribcage, shoulders, throat, neck, head, and jaw. It may also includes Intra-oral Massage to treat TMJD.
Benefits of Laryngeal Therapy
Our bodies are designed to function with the Parasympathetic Nervous System (rest and digest) 95% of the time. Living in today's society, especially in New York City and even more so as a performer, we live with higher amounts of stress and end up living in the Sympathetic Nervous System (fight or flight) for far more than 5%. This causes an increase in the release of glucocorticoids (our stress hormones). These hormones increase our heart rate, cause rapid and shallow breathing, inhibit digestion, and can ultimatlely cause fatigue, muscular tension, and even illness. In fact, researchers estimate that 80% of disease is stress related.
Laryngeal Therapy can help the professional voice user by:
Aiding in providing the best posture for breath support and muscles used when speaking and singing. This enables the vocal and breathing mechanisms to function at optimal capacity.
Reducing stress, increasing circulation, improving emotional well-being, balancing the central nervous system, and boosting immunity. This also helps to alleviate fatigue on the body, mind, and voice.
Releasing muscle tension and stiffness around the head, neck, jaw, tongue, and larynx, which helps the singer produce the best possible phonation, resonance, and articulation of sounds.
Keeping the larynx in a normal, relaxed position in the neck (not depressed or elevated).
Increasing the flow of lymph (eliminating waste from the tissues) which also boosts the immune system.
Increasing muscle recovery rates and endurance by eliminating irritation from waste.
TMJ/TMJD (TMD) Therapy
The Temporal Mandibular Joint is the joint that connects the mandible to the head. If you are suffering from headaches, grinding your teeth, tensing your jaw to speak or sing, and/or having clicking, grinding, popping, or locking of the jaw, it is likely that you have Temporal Mandibular Dysfunction. Treatment to the TMJ is often included with Laryngeal Therapy.