Breathing Exercises for Stuttering
Stuttering is a type of speech disorder in which the stutterer tends to repeat a word or part of a word. Stuttering sometimes includes jaw clenching or a rapid eye blinking. Stuttering tends to be worse in public situations that create anxiety, such as giving a speech. One of the treatments for controlling stuttering is to practice breathing exercises 1.
Pause before speaking. If you suffer from stuttering, you may start to feel anxious before you even being to speak. Stuttering can be made worse by a lack of oxygen mixed with anxiety. To relieve the throat or jaw tightening that accompanies this anxiety, before you start speaking, take a few seconds to breathe deeply both in and out. Begin by speaking slowly, making sure you are breathing normally while you speak.
Exercises for Stuttering
Focus on using your abdomen to breathe. Often times people breathe using their chest muscles which can tighten the laryngeal muscles that can cause stuttering. Practice this exercise by identifying words that often cause stuttering. Practice saying these words while breathing with your diaphragm by pushing your abdomen actively in and out with each breath. Put this into practice by using your diaphragm to breathe as you begin to speak in social situations. Diaphragmatic breathing can also lesson anxiety.
Use regulated breathing 1. Regulated breathing is a therapy technique that is introduced by a speech therapist. Regulated breathing consists of awareness training, relaxation, competing response training, motivation training and generalization training. Regulated breathing attempts to inhibit stuttering by teaching a speech-related breathing pattern that is incompatible with stuttering 1. You should focus on regulating breathing patterns by ceasing speaking when you stutter or think about stuttering and begin diaphragmatic breathing while consciously relaxing chest and throat muscles. Then think about what you want to say, exhale slowly and then speak.
Exercises for Stuttering
Breathing Exercises for Sleep Apnea
Facial Exercises for Stroke Patients
Exercises for Pelvic Floor Tension & Spasms
Yoga Breathing Exercises for Anxiety
How to Get Kids to Project Their Voices
Exercises to Improve Facial Muscle Tone for Speech Therapy
How to Hypnotize People While They Sleep
What Causes Shortness of Breath When Talking?
Chest Versus Stomach Breathing
- TheFreeLibrary.com: Regulated Breathing as a Treatment for Stuttering
- Sander RW, Osborne CA. Stuttering: understanding and treating a common disability. Am Fam Physician. 2019;100(9):556-560. PMID: 31674746
- Brocklehurst PH, Corley M. Investigating the inner speech of people who stutter: evidence for (and against) the covert repair hypothesis. J Commun Disord. 2011;44(2):246-60. doi:10.1016/j.jcomdis.2010.11.004
- Perez HR, Stoeckle JH. Stuttering: clinical and research update. Can Fam Physician. 2016;62(6):479-84.
- Guntupalli VK, Kalinowski J, Saltuklaroglu T. The need for self-report data in the assessment of stuttering therapy efficacy: repetitions and prolongations of speech. The stuttering syndrome. Int J Lang Commun Disord. 2006;41(1):1-18. doi:10.1080/13682820500126627
- Blumgart E, Tran Y, Craig A. Social anxiety disorder in adults who stutter. Depress Anxiety. 2010;27(7):687-92. doi:10.1002/da.20657
- National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). Stuttering. Updated March 6, 2017.
- Chang SE. Research updates in neuroimaging studies of children who stutter. Semin Speech Lang. 2014;35(2):67-79. doi:10.1055/s-0034-1382151
- Mcallister J, Gascoine S, Carroll A, et al. Cognitive bias modification for social anxiety in adults who stutter: a feasibility study of a randomised controlled trial. BMJ Open. 2017;7(10):e015601. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2016-015601
- Craig-mcquaide A, Akram H, Zrinzo L, Tripoliti E. A review of brain circuitries involved in stuttering. Front Hum Neurosci. 2014;8:884. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2014.00884
- Cervenka S, Hedman E, Ikoma Y, et al. Changes in dopamine D2-receptor binding are associated to symptom reduction after psychotherapy in social anxiety disorder. Transl Psychiatry. 2012;2:e120. doi:10.1038/tp.2012.40
- Iverach L, Rapee RM. Social anxiety disorder and stuttering: current status and future directions. J Fluency Disord. 2014;40:69-82. doi:10.1016/j.jfludis.2013.08.003
- Canton J, Scott KM, Glue P. Optimal treatment of social phobia: systematic review and meta-analysis. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2012;8:203-15. doi:10.2147/NDT.S23317
- Irwin, M. What is Stuttering? Defining Stuttering From the Speaker's vVewpoint.
- Molt L. Stuttering and Social Phobia (Social Anxiety Disorder): Background Information and Clinical Implications.
Sarah Smenyak has a Master of Science degree in counseling and human services from Indiana University. She has been a contributor to gnmparents.com and uses her experiences as an educator, a parent, a long-time runner and coach to encourage others in their mental and physical health goals.