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Full text of "Stamering And Cognate Defects Of Speech Vol - Ii"

20       SYSTEMS OF TREATING STAMMERING

must be ascribed to commercial competition rather
than to any advantage or peculiar potency that com-
plex exercises may possess.  The practice of holding
the breath during these exercises is valueless unless
the glottis remains open, for no muscular activity is
required to inhibit respiration when the outlet for the
breath is obstructed. The practice of holding the
breath for any considerable length of time is injurious.
 The employment of exercises for the individual sets
of breathing-muscles is undoubtedly to be recom-
mended.  The use of mechanical restrictions to free
muscular action during respiration has little to com-
mend or condemn it. Lifting weights placed on the
abdomen and stretching elastic belts undoubtedly
strengthens the diaphragm, but a strong diaphragm
is not necessarily a diaphragm under complete control.
It is futile, of course, to endeavor to combat throat-
contraction and "tonic spasms" of the articulative
organs by increasing the strength of the expiratory
current.  As regards the use of the spirometer,
it is certain that no case of physical stammering has
ever been cured with this instrument that could not
have been cured without it. The practice of working
for lung capacity is an inanity, for lung capacity bears
no necessary relation to respiratory control.  Breath-
ing-exercises practised in conjunction with dumb-bell
exercises are probably less effective than breathing-
exercises practised without them. They have the