Laryngeal Massage (for More Relaxed Throat)

Laryngeal Massage (for More Relaxed Throat)

Do you suffer from vocal tension? In all honesty, we all have some form of tension
in our vocal instruments. It’s inevitable. Therefore, in this video, I am going to show
you 5 steps to a more relaxed throat. I’ll show you how you can use laryngeal
massage to make your throat feel great again. Keep on watching. Hi, I am Katarina from How 2 Improve Singing. For the best advice on how to use your voice
in a healthy way, subscribe to my channel and click the bell icon so that you get notified
when I post a new video every week. If you experience vocal tension and you don’t
know how to get rid of it, by the end of this video, you’ll learn how to administer
a self massage in 5 steps so that your voice feels free and relaxed again. Famous opera singers, or singers like Shawn
Mendes or Sam Smith use laryngeal massage techniques on a regular basis. So, now it’s your turn. We will cover all of the Ws: who, when, where,
why, what and how. That sounds like a lot but just watch and
follow the video, you don’t need to take notes because at the end, I will give you
a laryngeal massage handout. Let’s start. First of all:
What is laryngeal massage? There are many names for this type of therapy:
vocal massage, digital laryngeal massage, vocal cord massage, massage for singers, larynx
massage, circumlaryngeal massage, manual tension reduction and many more. They all basically mean that a specialist
trained in these laryngeal massage voice therapy techniques is using hands to treat your larynx
by touching it and manipulating it. In this video, I am going to show you a self
administered massage of the larynx. I recommend that you do the massage yourself
because the front of the neck and throat is a tricky area. Many certified massage therapists avoid this
area all together because it houses some major blood vessels. However, if you use self massage techniques,
you can control the pressure applied to your neck, you can change it or you can stop whenever
it does not feel good. You can do a few seconds of it or a few minutes. Only do what is comfortable for you. Apply pressure that feels right for you and
stop when you’ve had enough. I do not recommend letting other people massage
your throat unless they are specifically trained in these techniques. Who is laryngeal massage for? There are many singers and voice users who
strongly believe in laryngeal massage. They regularly self massage neck and throat
or they even go to special clinics and have their larynx worked on for hours. Like Shawn Mendes who swears by it. Right Shawn? Then, on the other side of the spectrum, we have people who are very protective of their
necks. I used to be one of them. These people are very sensitive to touch,
which may even trigger a gag reflex. So, if you are one of them, just know that
it’s normal and you are not alone. There is a huge variability in how much touch
and pressure a person can tolerate on the neck and throat area. Therefore, laryngeal massage techniques are
not for everyone. Also, bear in mind that these techniques are
not a magical cure it all approach. It should be a part of a more comprehensive
approach, including healthy vocal technique, solid breath work skills, and overall good
vocal hygiene. So, if you have been experiencing serious
vocal problems, like chronic hoarseness, sudden loss of voice or changes in voice quality
without any obvious reasons, you need to visit a voice specialist. Be honest with yourself, laryngeal massage
alone will not cure your voice problems. Let’s move onto another W:
When to use laryngeal massage? In this video, I am going to show you a light
version of laryngeal self massage lasting a few minutes. This version is suitable for any healthy singers
or voice users who has signs of vocal tension. Sometimes, these signs are obvious, like pain
in the neck, the sensation of tightness when singing, tension in jaw or tongue or even
a headache. Then, there are less obvious signs, like tired
voice, breathiness, hoarseness, or a temporary loss of the ability to sing high notes. These signs would indicate that your voice
has been used more than it is conditioned to and there is some tension present in the
vocal instrument. Therefore, some type of vocal massage techniques
may be helpful to ease the tension. Why would you want to massage your larynx? You may know that your voice box is surrounded
by many muscles. Some of them are on the surface and these
are the muscles that you have access to. Some people call them circumlaryngeal muscles,
hence the name circumlaryngeal massage. Tension in these so called extrinsic muscles
can cause tension inside your larynx, which will affect the voice quality and ease of
sound production. It can also cause your larynx to sit in a
higher position, which of course is not desirable for most singers and voice users. So, basically if you release tension from
the superficial muscles of the larynx, you improve the function of the inside muscles,
including the vocal cords. Throat massage improves sound production,
which becomes easy and free. Simple as that. Now, let’s talk about where and how. If you are ready, just do the massage with
me. Step 1:
Sit on a comfortable chair and establish an optimal body alignment. Make sure that the chin is parallel with the
floor and you are not lifting the chin up or pressing it down onto your larynx. First, we are going to locate a small bone
underneath your chin, called the hyoid bone. This is a U-shaped bone which is the only
bone in your body that is not attached to another bone but it is connected to other
structures, including your larynx, with ligaments and muscles. So, let’s find the hyoid bone together. With your thumb and pointer, find a bony structure
right below your chin. Take your time to find it. Just search for something that feels like
a bone. If you swallow it will move up. So gently search for it. Once you locate the hyoid bone, gently move
it from side to side. If you have a lot of tension, especially in
your tongue, it may be more challenging to move it. Step 2:
Keep your fingers on the sides of the hyoid bone that we located in the previous step. With circular motion and light pressure, start
massaging these two points. Continue for a few seconds or longer if you
can tolerate it. How do you like this massage so far? Let me know in the comments below. Comment with GOOD, if you are liking it so
far. Moving onto step 3:
Step 3: Now, let’s move a little bit down from the
hyoid bone onto the thyroid cartilage. That is the biggest cartilage in your larynx. Men will have no problem finding the peak
of the thyroid cartilage because it is their Adam’s apple. Ladies, you may need to take more time to
locate it because it is not as prominent as in men but we still have it. If you move your finger down from the hyoid
bone, the thyroid cartilage is the next hard structure that you feel. You can also recognize it by its flat sides
that meet in the front and form the Adam’s apple. Once you locate it, take your thumb and your
pointer and put them on either side of the thyroid cartilage, your throat. We are going to apply light pressure and massage
it with a downward movement of the fingers. I find this very relaxing. By massaging in this way, we are releasing
tension and bringing the larynx down. Keep massaging it for as long as you feel
comfortable. Step 4:
In this step, we are going to gently wiggle the thyroid cartilage from side to side. This may be uncomfortable for some of you. If you have lots of tension, then this may
be even challenging as you will work against some resistance. Apply only slight
pressure, whatever feels comfortable. Be gentle with your throat. You may feel sort of “clicking”, which
is normal. This just means that the cartilages are rubbing
against each other. And while we are doing this step, let me remind
you that I have other videos about how to relax throat muscles, so don’t forget to
check out these video after you are done this massage. I will link to them at the end of the video
and in the description below. Step 5:
The final step is still around the thyroid cartilage. With your thumb and your pointer, do small
circular motions on the sides of the thyroid cartilage. From the front to the back. You can do this step silently or you can even
gently hum when doing this step. And do this for as long as it feels comfortable
and relaxing. You can repeat this 5-step sequence for a
few minutes every day if you can tolerate it. Or you can perform the massage sequence occasionally,
for example after a vigorous vocal practice or performance. Now, this may feel like a lot of information. So, let me give you a laryngeal massage handout
with all of the instructions and pictures. Click this link right here or the link below
the video, to get the handout. But before you go, don’t forget to like
this video, click the red subscribe button and the bell icon to stay in touch. I will be posting more videos on the topic
of vocal strain and tension and how to get rid of it, as well as other tips on healthy
signing. Don’t go too far! Hope to see you in my next video! Happy singing!

50 Replies to “Laryngeal Massage (for More Relaxed Throat)”

  1. Very neat! I get massages regularly but never would have thought to get my neck massaged! I love to sing (just for fun) so maybe that would help me bring it up a level ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ˜‰โค๏ธ thanks for sharing! Came from Ron's Facebook page!

  2. Wow, I learned so much in this! Finding the hyoid bone was a little tricky but it was great to have you doing it on the screen as guidance. Will have to do this massage more often! Cheers!

  3. This was fascinating! I love watching your videos and so practical for everyone. I'm going to start doing this regularly. Thanks!

  4. You are like a wizard! … holding the special secrets and old known wise woman potions for creating magic … only with you, it's with your voice, your throat, the place that expresses who we are and all we can be. And cares for these places as one would care for a little growing kitten who will one day snuggle with you because you took such good care of her when she was just beginning. XOXO ~Elizabeth xox

  5. Thank you for this lovely, gentle throat massage, Katarina! It's surprisingly relaxing – mentally, emotionally and physically.

  6. Wow so good ! The only time I have laryngeal massage was when I have fish ๐Ÿ  bone on my throat! How do we do that? First, find a guy who is a breech birth. Let him/ her do it. If you donโ€™t have that, get a furry feline and have her gently massage the throat. Hmmm, if you want to self massage yourself, eat bananas ๐ŸŒ to ram it from itโ€™s sticking place to your stomach! If none of this work, go see your Doctor!

  7. This is a great massage technique. I tried it and it helped relax the layngeal and surrounding area and made my voice sound more clear/open/relaxed. Thank you so much and I love your clear, scientific approach!

  8. I am in disbelief. I have searched for a cure, for someone to tell me exactly what has been going wrong with my voice for the past six years. I've gone to ENT's, doctors, a vocal coach, who have never been able to properly diagnose my symptoms. I came across your videos and started to recognize that I had all those symptoms you described, and it made sense why I have been having so much trouble with my voice! It wasn't acid reflux like everyone had been saying – it's the muscles!!! THANK YOU FOR MAKING THESE VIDEOS. You have saved my life. I had lost my hope. And now I've found it again, thanks to you, Katarina!!! I will be asking a few questions in the future, and hope that I will be lucky enough to catch you!!! I love you for being so willing to teach us all what you know. Thank you!!!

  9. Ooh, thank you! The clicking of my thyroid cartilage felt so good. All of these massages were so relaxing! I went through a period of great stress recently and have had bad neck pain and my vocal ability has decreased a lot since then (had a checkup with the doctor and ruled out thyroid and all other issues). So I am going to check out the rest of your videos and follow your tips to hopefully get better! I subscribed! Thank you again – you are awesome! <3

  10. My right side of throat where is thyroid cartilage , is squeezed inside and when i swallow anything its gets squeezed inside which hurts and this probelm is since 1 year u r the only hope , sister i went for ent and he check my putting a machine inside and irt ok inside but he cant figure out whats the problem ans said everything is fine ๐Ÿ˜”๐Ÿ˜”๐Ÿ˜”u r the god for me helppp

  11. Thanks for the video, I noticed there is A LOT of tension just below the thyroid cartilage when I do the massage that goes downward, It's very painful on the right side. I am assuming this is the Cricothyroid Muscle

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