Valsalva Stuttering Network Home Page
Parry, W.D. (1994). Understanding and Controlling Stuttering, a comprehensive new approach based on the Valsalva Hypothesis. San Francisco: The National Stuttering Project.
Stuttering and the Valsalva Mechanism: Introduction
I agree that you will not find my hypothesis about stuttering and the Valsalva mechanism in any of your standard textbooks. I have yet to find a fluency textbook that even mentions the Valsalva maneuver or effort closure of the larynx. I find this puzzling, because the medical profession knows about the Valsalva mechanism. Physical therapists, trainers, and voice coaches know about it. Even musicians are aware that the Valsalva maneuver can cause “stuttering” in the playing of brass instruments like the trombone, trumpet, and French horn. (There are websites devoted to this problem, and I have personally discussed it with brass players from major orchestras.) Although my hypothesis may not appear in the SLP curriculum on stuttering, persons who stutter have consistently reported that this explanation is the one that most accurately describes their own stuttering experience and the only one that makes sense to them.
Because the circuit in which the amygdala participates also monitor tactileproprioceptive feedback as well as auditory feedback for emotional significance, it is likely that the reactive response could be triggered by feedback that indicates an existing or incipient problem in the physical speech system, as well. For example, the fact that the vocal folds are adducted or abducted in a manner that would make initiation of speech difficult or impossible due to the inhibition of motor commands may be conditionally associated with speech difficulties, reinforcing the reactive inhibition. Thus, this model would explain the so-called "Valsalva hypothesis," which points out that negotiation of the Valsalva maneuver, involving the forceful adduction of the vocal folds and tension throughout the thorax in anticipation of difficulty with speech, is associated with stuttering (Parry, 1994) .