To find the best possible stuttering treatment available, I conducted numerous experiments with my own stuttering. You and I will conduct one simple experiment together a little bit later. As I mentioned in different sections of this site, your self-therapy fails to work because it does not deal with various secondary symptoms of this disorder. This is only one of two reasons. The second reason is every speech therapy creates an “artificial environment.” In another words, you are able to apply all speech techniques perfectly only in your speech therapist's office. However, you do not have that much success in applying the same techniques once you step in a “real world.” The main reason is because your secondary symptoms of stuttering are kept to a minimum in a controlled setting, such as your speech therapist's office. However, they all “show up” once you deal with real situations and people.
It is time to conduct one experiment together. The goal is to check the intensity of secondary symptoms of stuttering on your level of fluency. If you are reliably healthy, let's do some aerobic exercise for about twenty minutes or so. Aerobic exercise can include exercising on your treadmill, your bike or running. Once we are done with aerobics, we will enter some speaking situation. It can be any speaking situation in which you know you will stutter. I know you will find you will stutter a lot less after your aerobic session than you will stutter without it. Please note it is not a stuttering treatment in itself, but it can be easily incorporated in one if you want to.
If you have done aerobic exercises as I instructed you to do, you now find it is much easier to enter some speaking situation that you previously were scared to enter. You will find even if you stutter, you simply will not care much. Overall, you will be speaking a lot more fluently than you did before. You might even begin thinking about how to incorporate aerobic exercises in your stuttering treatment.
A few years ago, my friend suggested that I read one old book that is called The Use of the Self. “This friend knew that I was interested in reading books about stuttering and various anxiety disorders. I reluctantly agreed to read it. hard to get this book because there were no new editions of this book. FM Alexander was the author of it. Write a few sections about it on this site. For now, please note that Alexander offered a unique stuttering treatment method.
He believed that every disorder consists of the wrong habit or habits that a person develops over the years. Observing how a person uses his muscles, how he walks, where his tension originates, and how he talks was absolutely critical in finding out what this person needs to do to change these wrong habits. By changing the wrong habits and replacing them with the right habits, FM Alexander believed one could “cure” any disorder, including stuttering.
The main goal of this technique was inhibiting the wrong habits of a person. The sufferer was instructed to be extremely aware of his old habits that were wrong. Once this person was aware of them, he had to do everything he could possibly do to make sure that he was not to engage in these old habits again. Needless to say, many people had struggled with changing these wrong habits for months and even years.
Although this stuttering treatment has gained popularity before, it is not very practical for one main reason. We do not have years to master it. This fact alone makes it almost impossible to use it. We often need some tool that will work for us immediately. Alexander technique is not one of those tools. Also, it often requires assistance from other people. It is very hard to detect all your “wrong” behaviors when you are engaged in them. We need someone to observe us. In addition, it needs to be pointed out that the progress does not often come to someone for months with this tool. Why would you want to use something that is almost impossible to master?
I believe Alexander technique has one major flaw when it comes to stammering. I am convinced stammering is not a habit. However, there are many people who will disagree with me. They will state the stammerer blocks in a habitual way. In another words, a person's jaw, lips, and tongue move to exactly the same location during his speech block. Thus, his disfluency is purely habitual. This, by the way, will explain why a person who stutters has trouble pronouncing the same sounds or gets stuck in the same word places. I believe, however, stammering is a lot more complicated than being a habit.
During those early stages, his theories met stiff resistance from scientific community. After all, Mr. Alexander could take any serious illness and could claim it was made of several wrong habits. He appeared to insist by making this statement a person could get rid of any illness if he would simply learn how not to engage in his wrong habits. He did remember to state that it sounded easy. In reality, it could be the most difficult thing for a person to do.
I do not believe when a person blocks on some word or has trouble pronouncing some sounds, his speech mechanism always operates in the same way during these disfluencies. If you notice, your tongue might go slighly more up or down during your speech speech difficulty than it did during the one before. Your lips may take a different shape too.
However, I do know all secondary symptoms of stuttering, such as anxiety and fear of speaking are habitual in nature. Think about it for one minute. You are conditioned to react in a certain way to “difficult” speech situations. It is your conditioned response that tells you need to avoid this “danger” of entering this speaking situation at all costs. Bad things occurred in the past when you tried to talk under similar circumstances. Therefore, bad things are likely to occur now. You need to run away. Mr. Alexander considered those conditioned responses to be your wrong habits.
How does this technique relate to what we are doing here? Physical exercise has this inhibiting effect on your “wrong” habits. This effect is rather temporary in this instance. Neverheless, it is still an effect. By the way, I do not believe that stuttering is a habit. However, your certain reactions to different situations can be considered to be wrong habits.
Let's come back to analyzing our experiment again. Aerobic exercise has a calming effect on a person. Some aerobic exercises, such as kickboxing, have a great effect on one's confidence. Beside, physical exercises have a direct effect on muscle relaxation. Secondary symptoms of stuttering like your fear of speaking, anxiety, muscle tension and panic attacks are greatly minimized during and after these exercises. I bet you even adopted a care-free attitude in the process.
What am I suggesting here? Should you adopt some exercise routine to start speaking more fluently? Absolutely not … However, you should do physical exercises for a sole purpose of preserving health. I also believe physical exercise can be incorporated as a part of any stuttering treatment. There are, of course, easier ways to get more fluency. You can use various psychiatric medications in combination to deal with secondary symptoms of stuttering. These medications have severe side effects. You can also use alternative medicine remedies in combination. These remedies are essentially free from side effects. By the way, will you get rid of all stuttering if you eliminate secondary symptoms of stuttering? Although your fluency has improved significantly, you still will need to deal with the primary symptom of stuttering that is your speech block. Natural remedies that are discussed in my program can offer much assistance in that regard.