The Valsalva Stuttering Network

Valsalva Control Update

 By William D. Parry, J.D., M.A., CCC-SLP

NOTE: THIS ARTICLE IS NO LONGER CURRENT.  FOR THE LATEST INFORMATION ABOUT THE VALSALVA HYPOTHESIS, VALSALVA STUTTERING THERAPY, AND THE NEW SELF-HELP EXERCISES, SEE THE REVISED AND EXPANDED THIRD EDITION OF UNDERSTANDING & CONTROLLING STUTTERING (2013), NOW AVAILABLE FROM THE NATIONAL STUTTERING ASSOCIATION.

The following updated information about Valsalva Control exercises is intended solely for readers of my book, Understanding & Controlling Stuttering: A Comprehensive New Approach Based on the Valsalva Hypothesis (2nd ed., 2000, updated 5th printing, 2009), available from the National Stuttering Association.  Since I wrote the book, there have been significant advances in Valsalva Stuttering Therapy, based on my clinical trials of Valsalva Control and my practice as a speech-language pathologist. 

The following information is not intended to be a substitute for individual diagnosis, treatment, and counseling by a qualified speech-language pathologist.  Valsalva Control Therapy includes many additional elements.  Some of these are described in my book.  Others require individual therapy to be learned properly.

"Voluntary Valsalva" Is Discontinued

The "Voluntary Valsalva" exercise is no longer part of Valsalva Stuttering Therapy.

"Adronian Speech" Is Replaced by the "Humdronian Speech" Exercise

The continuous phonation part of the exercise now uses humming instead of saying "aah."  This has proven to be more effective and easier to learn.

Full Humdronian Speech is done as follows:

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Speak in short phrases.

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Begin each phrase by humming “Mmm?and continue phonating an unbroken, low-pitched hum through your nose.  This drone should continue without interruption, regardless of whether your mouth is open or closed.

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While continuously phonating the drone through your nose, move your lips and tongue to articulate the words.  You will simply mouth the words independently of the humming, without regard to how they sound.

"Modified Adronian" Is Replaced by "Modified Humdronian Speech"

Modified Humdronian Speech is done the same as full Humdronian Speech, with the following modification:

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As you relax your abdomen and let the air flow freely, you will start each phrase with a hum (“mmm?, but gradually divert more and more of the airflow through your mouth as you speak the words. 

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As more of the air comes through your mouth, your speech will begin to sound more natural.

New Transition to "Resonant Valsalva-Relaxed Speech"

The transition from "Modified Humdronian Speech" to "Resonant Valsalva-Relaxed Speech" is done as follows:

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Speak in short phrases, as you were doing in Modified Humdronian.

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At the beginning of each phrase, inhale through your nose, using your diaphragm.  Don’t hold your breath.

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Relax your abdomen and let the air flow freely.

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At the beginning of each phrase, gradually soften the hum that you were doing in Modified Humdronian Speech, to the point where you feel as if you are humming, but the hum can no longer be heard.

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Pinch on the vowel sounds.  This is an optional part of the exercise, to help you focus on the vowel sounds.  Do this by squeezing together your thumb and first or second finger of one hand. 
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Pinch only on the vowel sounds.  In words that begin with vowels, do NOT pinch on the laryngeal closure (or “glottal stop? that precedes the vowel. 

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You may also pinch on voiced liquid consonants /l/ and /r/ when they come between a stop consonant and a vowel and form part of the vowel sound (as in “block?or “train?.

 

Copyright  ?/span> 2012 by William D. Parry

 

Contact Information:

 

 William D. Parry, CCC-SLP
 

A licensed speech-language pathologist, offering Valsalva Stuttering Therapy and counseling in person in Philadelphia and by video conferencing over the Internet (subject to applicable law). 
 

Office: 1608 Walnut Street, Suite 900, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone: 215-620-6792
E-mail:
stutteringtherap@aol.com

 

Websites:

 

Stuttering Therapy and Counseling: www.stutteringtherapist.com
        E-mail:
stutteringtherap@aol.com

The Valsalva-Stuttering Network: www.valsalva.org
        E-mail: contact@valsalva.org
Beating Stuttering Blocks: www.stutterblock.com
Stuttering and the Law: www.stutterlaw.com

 

Valsalva Stuttering Therapy is a new approach to improving fluency by controlling the physiological mechanism that may be causing stuttering blocks. For further information on Valsalva Stuttering Therapy, visit Stuttering Therapy and Counseling at www.stutteringtherapist.com

 

The Revised and Expanded Third Edition of Understanding and Controlling Stuttering (2013) may be ordered from the National Stuttering Association or from Amazon.com.

For information concerning stuttering self-help and support, please contact:

National Stuttering Association
119 West 40th Street, 14th Floor, New York, NY 10018
Telephone: (800) 364-1677 or (800) WE STUTTER
Fax: (212) 944-8244
e-mail: info@WeStutter.org
Updated 5/13/2013
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Last revised: 5/1/13