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Using the Power of Manual Therapy: Your Path to a Clearer Voice

Updated: Oct 20, 2023


Woman at a microphone using her voice
Woman at a microphone

At True Self Speech Therapy, we are committed to providing you with the best possible care for your voice. If you've been struggling with voice issues, such as hoarseness, vocal strain, or discomfort while speaking, you might be dealing with a condition known as Muscle Tension Dysphonia (MTD). Fortunately, there is an effective and evidence-backed approach to help you regain control of your voice and achieve vocal clarity – Manual Circumlaryngeal Therapy (MCT).

In this post, we will explore how speech pathologists can use MCT to help patients with MTD. We will also draw insights from recent research to highlight the benefits of this therapy.

Understanding Muscle Tension Dysphonia (MTD)

MTD is a common voice disorder caused by excessive muscle tension in the laryngeal region. This tension leads to various symptoms such as hoarseness, strained voice, difficulty reaching high or low pitches, and overall voice discomfort. While MTD can be challenging to manage, the good news is that there are effective treatments available.

The Role of Speech Pathologists

At True Self Speech Therapy, we understand the complexities of voice disorders. With a specialized focus on voice rehabilitation, we are well-equipped to address MTD and its associated challenges. Recent research, such as the study "Treatment Effect of Manual Circumlaryngeal Therapy on Muscle Tension Dysphonia," cited at the end of this post, supports the efficacy of Manual Therapy in improving voice quality.

Manual Circumlaryngeal Therapy (MCT)

MCT is a targeted therapeutic approach for MTD. This therapy involves hands-on techniques aimed at reducing excessive muscle tension around the larynx. A recent meta-analysis that we've drawn insights from indicates that MCT can have a significant impact on voice quality, particularly in three key areas:

1. Jitter: Jitter is a measure of the variability in the pitch of your voice. Excessive jitter can result in a voice that sounds unstable or shaky. 2. Shimmer: Shimmer measures the variation in the loudness of your voice. If you've experienced voice strain or fluctuations in your vocal intensity, MCT can help reduce shimmer, leading to a more consistent and comfortable voice. 3. Harmonics-to-Noise Ratio: A higher harmonics-to-noise ratio indicates a more harmonious and clear voice. The research demonstrates that MCT can result in a significant improvement in this ratio, enhancing the overall quality of your voice.

How MCT Works

MCT is conducted by a trained speech pathologist, like Anne who specializes in voice disorders. The therapy typically involves techniques like circular massage, stretching, and laryngeal manipulation to reduce muscle tension around the larynx. This hands-on approach, while gentle, can have a profound impact on your voice quality.

Benefits of MCT

  • Improved voice clarity and stability.

  • Reduction in hoarseness and vocal discomfort.

  • Enhanced vocal range and flexibility.

  • Increased confidence in your voice.


Conclusion

If you've been struggling with the symptoms of Muscle Tension Dysphonia, True Self Speech Therapy is here to help. MCT, backed by recent research findings, offers an effective way to regain control of your voice and enjoy a clearer, more comfortable vocal experience. After confirming your diagnosis with an ENT, contact us today to schedule an evaluation with. We're here to guide you on your path to vocal clarity and empower you to speak with confidence.

References:

Barsties v. Latoszek, B., Watts, C.R. and Hetjens, S. (2023), "The Efficacy of the Manual Circumlaryngeal Therapy for Muscle Tension Dysphonia: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis." The Laryngoscope. https://doi.org/10.1002/lary.30850

Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with a qualified speech pathologist for a personalized evaluation and treatment plan.


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