Immediate effects of 'voice massage' treatment on the speaking voice of healthy subjects

Author: Laukkanen AM//Leppanen K//Tyrmi J//Vilkman E
Department of Speech Communication and Voice Research, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland.
Conference/Journal: Folia Phoniatr Logop
Date published: 2005
Other: Volume ID: 57 , Issue ID: 3 , Pages: 163-72 , Word Count: 193

'Voice massage' (VM) treatment includes manipulation of muscles related to speech production and voice and breathing exercises. This study investigated the effects of VM in 10 healthy subjects (5 females, 5 males). They recorded repetitions of the word 'paappa' at normal loudness and as softly as possible and read a text sample before and after 1-hour (1) VM treatment, (2) fast walking, (3) sitting in a library and (4) lying on a bed. Subglottic pressure was estimated from oral pressure during [p]. Transglottal flow and glottal resistance were measured. Voice production was studied with electroglottography. Fundamental frequency, sound pressure level (SPL) and alpha ratio [(SPL of the range 1-5 kHz) - (SPL of the range 50 Hz-1 kHz)] were calculated from text samples, which were also evaluated by 7 voice experts. A questionnaire was used to record subjects' sensations. Changes after lying and sitting suggest lowered effort in phonatory muscles, while after fast walking effort seemed to increase. After VM no significant changes were observed in voice parameters or perceptual quality, but ease of phonation and reduced tension in the neck, shoulders and back were reported. The effects of VM may be partly psychological, partly related to a search of phonatory balance.