Reducing Body Tension

Weekly Teaching Tip – March 24, 2014
by Anna Siciliano

Decrease  Neck, Body and Voice Box Tension

Tension is the enemy of the voice

These methods help you relax the throat, voice box, neck and body. They help you speak without vocal tension and help you breathe and speak easily. Try all of these and pick those exercises that work for you. Practice these several times a day.

  1. Gentle movements while creating sound
  • Chewing and phonating vowels
  • Sighing
  • Yawning
  • Easy breathy whistle
  • 2. Body movements while phonating
  • Say the word “flow” while moving one arm forward and out visualize your voice flowing to the listener
  • Torso swing relax your body and your breathing, “ah”
  • Raggedy Anne-flop over at the waist, let your head relax and hang, let your arms and hands flop, knees easy and bent, easy exhale and inhale sing, or hum, then hold easy “m” while you slowly roll up. When up sing/chant “ma, mo, me, my, mu
  • Stretch arms up overhead, feel long torso, stretch arms to the right and easy side bend, say “ummmmm” and then to the left “ummmm’
  • 3. Speech/mouth movements
  • Drop jaw and phonate, “uh, ah, oh”
  • Blow out on voiceless sounds and relax, “shhhhhhh”, “fffffffffffffffff”, “ssssssssssssssssss”
  • Blow out on sound “whoo”
  • 4. Visualization
  • float on water while saying “hmmmmm” or “ahhhhhhhhhhhhh”
  • sink onto a soft feather bed and say “ahhhhh”
  • think of warm honey or warm water flowing down your shoulders and say “soothing”
  • pretend to quiet a young child and say “there there” “shhh”
  • align your head over your shoulders, torso over hips, knees slightly bent and say to yourself, “body relax” “let go”

5. Relaxation

  • recapture your own most relaxed situation, think of how that felt, smelled and what you were looking at, feel muscles let go
  • listen to relaxing music and let go of tension
  • listen to progressive relaxation tape
  • listen to the sound of the ocean
  • stop your activity look out a window, see the sun shining on surfaces or the evening resting on the grass, see the beauty in your surrounding
  • stop and feel your body in your clothes, feel the chair or bed or floor you are on, feel the air and the room, stop thinking and feel your environment
  • imagine yourself in the arms of a loved one, nothing to worry about, nothing to do but rest

Anna Siciliano, MA CCC/SLP
Speech Pathologist

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