Valsalva Control Update
By William D. Parry, J.D., M.A.,
NOTE: THIS ARTICLE IS NO
LONGER CURRENT.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.
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
"Voluntary Valsalva" Is Discontinued
The "Voluntary Valsalva" exercise is no longer
part of Valsalva Stuttering Therapy.
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:
Speak in short phrases.
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.
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:
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.
As more of the air comes
through your mouth, your speech will begin to sound more natural.
Transition to "Resonant Valsalva-Relaxed Speech"
from "Modified Humdronian Speech" to "Resonant Valsalva-Relaxed Speech" is done
Speak in short phrases, as you were doing in
At the beginning of each phrase, inhale through
your nose, using your diaphragm. Don’t hold your breath.
Relax your abdomen and let the air flow freely.
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
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.
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.
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
2012 by William D. Parry
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
Stuttering Therapy and Counseling:
The Valsalva-Stuttering Network:
Beating Stuttering Blocks:
Stuttering and the Law:
Valsalva Stuttering Therapy is
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
Revised and Expanded Third Edition of
Understanding and Controlling Stuttering
(2013) may be ordered from the
Association or from
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
- Updated 5/13/2013
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