Tips to Prepare for Parkinson’s Voice Exercise
POSITIONING & POSTURE: Ensure you have proper posture when doing your daily Parkinson’s voice exercise. Whether you’re following along to our live or on demand speech therapist led sessions, you’ll want to make sure that you are set up correctly. Cranio-cervical positional changes can greatly influence voice production!
✅ Use a supportive chair with good back support
✅ Situate yourself squarely in front of your screen
✅ Both feet should be planted steadily on the ground. Ensure knees are not locked together.
✅ Chin should be parallel to the floor and slightly tucked in.
✅ Chest should be lifted (to achieve this, lift both arms straight up above your head, then gently let them fall back down without letting your chest drop).
✅ Shoulders should be relaxed and back, and spine should be straight.
BREATHING: Keep your stomach both firm and expandable at the same time. You will need to practice controlling these muscles while learning how to breathe using your diaphragm.
HYDRATE: Always have a full glass of water within reach during voice exercise sessions. Staying hydrated helps your body produce thin, watery mucus. Your vocal cords vibrate more than 100 times per second when you speak, and they need that mucus to help them move!
STAY RELAXED: Tension in the shoulders, neck and throat can result in poor voice quality and potentially strain those tender vocal fold tissues.
Try doing a few deep cleansing breaths prior to starting. Breathe in deeply through the noise and slowly blow out through gently pursed lips. You can even make a gentle “oooh” sound as you breathe out. Feel the ZEN!
Now you’re ready to safely do your daily Parkinson’s voice practice!
Staying Diligent with Regular Parkinson’s Voice Exercise: The SMART Approach
Living with Parkinson’s disease can be a challenging journey, especially when it comes to managing communication and swallowing issues. But here’s the good news: regular Parkinson specific voice exercises can greatly slow the progression of these challenges. The key is to stay diligent and motivated in your daily routine. To help you along the way, we’ve introduced the SMART acronym—a powerful tool designed to guide those with Parkinson’s disease in their quest for improved communication and swallowing abilities.
S – Schedule:
Life can indeed get busy, but just as you prioritize dentist or doctor appointments, your speech exercises deserve a special place on your calendar. Make a habit of scheduling your exercise time, and commit to showing up every time you’ve scheduled. You’ll be amazed at the progress you make when you treat these exercises as non-negotiable appointments with yourself.
M – Make It a Priority:
Remember the saying, “You always have time for things you put first.” Your speech exercises should be a priority, not just another item on your to-do list. By giving them the importance they deserve, you’re taking a significant step towards improving your speech and voice. Consider this an investment in your well-being and your ability to communicate effectively.
A – Accountable:
Sharing your commitment with others can be a powerful motivator. Let your friends and family know about your dedication to daily speech exercises. Ask them to check in with you regularly and encourage you on your journey. Accountability can make a world of difference, as the support of loved ones can provide the extra push you need.
R – Reward Yourself:
Progress, no matter how small it may seem, deserves celebration. After completing your speech exercises, treat yourself to a well-deserved reward. Whether it’s a soothing cappuccino, a stroll in the park, or a relaxing Netflix show, these small rewards can make your journey more enjoyable. Recognizing your accomplishments reinforces your commitment.
T – Team Up:
Surrounding yourself with positive and motivational people is key to staying motivated. Consider finding a “speech partner” within your Parkinson’s community. You can arrange to do your exercises together or at the same time, providing each other with support and motivation. Together, you’ll thrive and make significant strides in your speech and voice improvement.
In your journey to combat the communication and swallowing challenges that Parkinson’s disease may present, staying diligent and motivated is crucial. Remember the SMART acronym: Schedule your exercises, Make them a priority, be Accountable to yourself and loved ones, Reward your accomplishments, and Team up with supportive individuals. Your commitment to daily Parkinson’s voice exercises will lead to remarkable progress, giving you the confidence and strength to face the challenges ahead.
Your voice is your powerful tool—keep it strong, and keep communicating with the world.