I love alternatives to traditional approaches to therapy. When I think about swallowing exercises or oral motor exercises, I am a big fan of incorporating exercise that requires effort and includes resistance. I remind my patients if it is too easy, we must be doing something wrong. Essentially, I remind them, “no pain no gain.” Take the simple exercise of a lip press and make it into an advanced lip press with resistance. Not rocket science, but a handy item for the toolbox.
1) 5-7 tongue depressors
2) Silk Tape
How to make:
1) Stack two tongue depressors and tightly tape them together on one end only.
2) Slide 3-5 tongue depressors between the taped tongue depressors. Depending on the placement of the 3-5 tongue depressors will create more or less resistance
3) Secure the 3-5 tongue depressors between the two tongue depressors where appropriate
1) Place between patient lips, anterior to teeth.
2) Have patient press the extended tongue depressors together and hold for 3 seconds, then release. And repeat 10x
3) Additionally, have patient press extended tongue depressors together 10x
Voila! A homemade lip press.
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