I have an interesting new patient this week. He says he feels like his throat doesn't close when he's swallowing sometimes, like it's supposed to and lets the food or drink go down the wrong way, and makes him cough. This started several months ago. He then completely lost his voice for 3 MONTHS. His voice came back but was extremely hoarse and airy and has remained that way for 2 months. He then developed pneumonia and respiratory failure, went to the hospital, was treated for pneumonia, and sent to our facility for rehab. During all of this, nobody ever suggested to him that he might have a swallowing problem and nobody tested him for a swallowing problem!
When I told him that I thought that was what it was and that my exercises may help him, he didn't believe me. He said, "No, I don't think so, nah, that's not going to help." But, he agreed to try the exercises while we are waiting to get him in for more testing. After 3 days of exercises with my ISO-CTAR device, he is noticeably better. His voice sounds better, and he said, "That problem with my throat really is doing better! It's not doing that thing anymore. I'm not coughing when I eat much anymore, and to think I didn't think it would work!" and he laughed.
Cases like this always amaze me and remind me how many dysphagia cases must go undetected and unresolved completely UNNECESSARILY! I've seen a lot of patients like this. I've seen some that have suffered for years who were able to correct their swallowing problem and resulting chronic bronchitis or recurrent pneumonia or voice problems within a few weeks, with simple exercises.
It is so wonderful to be able to help someone so much, completely changing their life, and maybe even saving it. I love seeing them transform before my eyes into a much healthier, happier, and very appreciative person! I want all the people out there who have this problem, who could be helped, to receive the help they need. Please try these exercises with your patients and share them with your colleagues. Use whatever you can get: your gloved hand, a ball, a rolled up towel, or an ISO-CTAR device. Get the patient to keep going until they feel the muscles really burning, then rest, then go again, over and over. It needs to be an intense workout for the suprahyoid muscles in order to get good results. I think that the reason why we get such good results with the ISO-CTAR device, is because patients naturally seem to keep using it until the muscles really burn, and then SPONTANEOUSLY use it again and again, and even ask to keep it for practice during the evening, whereas with the other items you may need to push them a lot more, but it can still be done!
We are on the brink of major advancements in our field. We can help so many people so much! Message me anytime if you have any questions. I would love to help! Here is a link to a list of the exercises I use: