Is your throat constricting? Do you ever feel voice strain when you speak? Here is a manual technique to loosen up your throat. I’ll explain (and demonstrate) how to employ laryngeal massage to restore your throat’s natural comfort and laryngeal massage benefits. Learn how to self-massage in 5 simple steps if you have vocal tightness that interferes with your ability to speak and are unsure of how to relieve it. This will help your voice feel free and relaxed once again.
What is laryngeal massage?
It is a manual method in which a skilled expert, such as a voice therapist, speech-language pathologist, or massage therapist, uses their hands to touch and manipulate your larynx to release tension from the muscles surrounding your voice box.
You may learn how to self-administer a laryngeal massage, or you can have a professional do it on your larynx. And if you’ve known me for a while, you know that I strongly support self-massage since you have complete control over the pressure and duration of the massage.
Laryngeal massage benefits voice tension
- Everyone may not benefit from a laryngeal massage! Please refrain from forcing yourself to experience this if you are sensitive to touch on your neck. It’s alright; you may try various methods to reduce larynx stress.
- Use only as much pressure as you find comfortable! No pain, no gain is not how we are going about things. It should feel pleasant to have this massage. As a result, make it enjoyable. When you first do it, it could feel strange, but it shouldn’t hurt.
- As long as it feels wonderful to you, only continue. For other folks, that may be a few seconds or a half-hour. I’d think that many people benefit from taking a few minutes to themselves here and there during the day.
- The carotid triangle should not be massaged. It is a location on the front of the neck where vital blood arteries, certain nerves, and lymphatic tissue pass through. When exerting pressure or massage, stay away from this region. Do not touch the pulse, is the rule!
A laryngeal massage won’t make all your tension go away by magic. This is only one method for releasing muscular tension, and the results are typically transient. That is disheartening, I realize.
You must realize that consciously releasing stress when speaking in a style that encourages tension and tightness on a regular basis has just a fleeting impact. Learn to utilize your voice more effectively for long-term effects, and enhance your vocal hygiene so that your voice stays relaxed even if you use it constantly.
5 Steps Laryngeal Massage
Ensure that your body is properly aligned when you sit. Make sure your chin is horizontal to the ground and that it is not being lifted or pressed down into your larynx.
First, locate the hyoid bone, a tiny bone under your chin. The only bone in your body with a U shape that is not connected to another bone by ligaments or muscles is this one, which is also related to your larynx.
From your chin, drag your finger down until you reach the first bump. Approximately where your chin meets your neck is where it is. Move your thumb and pointer over to the sides of this bone after that. Move it from side to side gently.
Keep touching the sides of the hyoid bone that we identified in the previous stage with your fingertips. Begin massaging these two locations in a circular manner with gentle pressure. Continue for a few seconds, or if you can handle it, a little longer.
Place your fingertips on the thyroid cartilage as you descend from the hyoid bone. Your larynx’s largest cartilage is located here. By touching its flat surfaces, you can identify it as well.
Once you’ve located it, gently press down on it with the thumb and pointer while massaging it with your fingers. We are releasing stress and bringing the larynx down by rubbing in this manner. As long as it’s comfortable for you, keep massaging it.
The thyroid cartilage may be moved from side to side gently. This could be unpleasant. This might be more difficult if you’re under a lot of stress because you’ll be up against opposition. Only slightly press down, or however, it feels comfortable. Don’t be rough with your neck!
It’s usual to sense some “clicking” as anything moves. The cartilages are simply rubbing against one another, so that’s all it means.
Work the thyroid cartilage’s sides in tiny circular motions using your thumb and pointer. This phase can be carried out in silence or even while softly humming. Do this for as long as it feels comfortable and relaxing.
Consider the causes of muscle tension
The cause of the tension may not always be eliminated with LMT. You would need to treat the underlying issue if, for instance, poor posture, worry, or an inflammatory process were to blame for the tension in the first place. Otherwise, the tension is likely to reoccur. It’s crucial to consider the larger picture, as with so many things related to singing. This brings me to my next point.
Learn some history
Lieberman emphasized the value of obtaining a comprehensive history. Consider factors like previous auto accidents, neck, head, or spinal injuries, sleeping habits, medications, posture, persistent and acute diseases, anxiety, stress, and overall health if you wish to identify the source of the issue.
Manual therapy can be like a miracle cure if the cause of the vocal issue is just the main muscle tension; as soon as the tension is released, bingo, the voice returns to normal. However, if there is a more serious issue at hand (and let’s face it, singers are complicated beings), you must deal with it.
For instance, if you have a respiratory illness and are continually cleaning your throat, the infection has to be addressed. If worry or neuroses are at blame, this problem has to be resolved. There can be several problems going on at once.
Chris Johnson, a fellow voice trainer, and writer for iSingmag, was present for the event. Regarding the workshop, he remarks, “Jacob’s session was just what I needed. I am now able to feel how the larynx and everything connected to it are functioning because of the palpation techniques I learned. Or maybe more importantly, how it is overworking.
“My capacity to identify the root of the issue significantly increases when I combine that information with what I hear in the vocal tone and the singer’s actions. This can only imply that my clients are able to get over obstacles and advance even more quickly, which ultimately helps their careers and general well-being. That really cheers me up! ”