Singing the new physiotherapy to stop snoring?
There is nothing musical about the sound of snoring, but can singing or playing a wind instrument be the answer?
It is common knowledge that Snoring is the direct result of soft tissue blocking the airway, creating that dreaded sound we know as snoring. But can we strengthen this soft tissue enough to open the airway and allow a free flow of air?
Alise Ojal a drama therapist had the idea that singing could reduce snoring after a friend who suffered from snoring sought out her help. She ran a pilot trial at the Peninsula Medical school in 2013, this was so successful that she went on to develop Singing for Snorers. A specifically designed program that strengthens the tissue and supports the airway. The study adds weight to the idea that improving tone and strength to the pharyngeal muscles reduces the severity, frequency and loudness of snoring and improves mild to moderate sleep apnea.
“I spent months experimenting with a mirror and my own throat, even though I knew which muscles I wanted to work," Ojay told The Smithsonian. “It was just a case of finding the exact sounds and pitch changes that grabbed and maximized the movement in those muscles."
Playing the Didgeridoo to stop snoring is no wives tale. The Didgeridoo is played with continuously vibrating lips to produce the drone while using a special breathing technique called circular breathing.
This requires breathing in through the nose whilst simultaneously expelling stored air out of the mouth using the tongue and cheeks. This is not only unique to the Didgeridoo but most wind instruments, like the trumpet use circular breathing as part of their technique to keep a steady tone.
Exercising the pharyngeal muscles is like physiotherapy to any other muscle group. Research and development at the Minnesota Medical Centre has led to a new app, which will work the muscles to stop snoring. Brian Krohn, CEO of Soundly, has developed this sound activated game app, which works like the old games like space invaders.
The 'AH' sound brings the muscles in the back of the throat all the way to the back, and the 'EE' sound brings them all the way forward and the 'N' sound engages the soft palate," Krohn said. "So 'Naw' and 'Nee' is like doing a perfect push-up for your upper airway.
15 minutes a day will all you need to keep your airway fit from snoring.
Snoring is cited as the third reason for divorce. So maybe be cautious which therapy you choose and what time of the day you choose to practice it.a