Tag Archives: tongue

The most beautiful thing (IMO) in the world


(This topic is not my normal biblical type post.  I want to talk about other things like Science and vocal folds!)

Well school is back in session and I’m really excited about this semester.  I am a Speech Language Pathology major and I’m currently catching up on all the undergrad classes so I can apply for the graduate program for next year.  A lot of the time I get asked “What can you do with that?” and I tell them “A lot of things!”  If I had the desire I could work with kids in the schools, but my heart is with the older populations.  I want to work with stroke and traumatic brain injury patients.  I also want to do endoscopes of the larynx and vocal folds along with swallow studies.

But to go with the title of this post for me the most beautiful thing in the world (well there are other things, but this one is awesome) is watching the vocal folds at work.  It’s sooo amazing how fast these things move just to produce our voice.  This semester I’m going to be working on a research project in voice normalizing.  You might be thinking “what the heck is voice normalizing??” Well it’s techniques SLPs use in order to help a client normalize their voice after some kind of event that has left one or both of the vocal folds paralized.  One kind of event that sticks out in my mind is when someone goes into surgery and they have to be intubated to breathe.  After the surgery sometimes the intubation tube can pull on the vocal folds and damages it, resulting in a raspy, rough sounding voice.  The techniques are taught to help the patient normalize their own voice so they can sound some what normal.

The first time  I saw I endoscopy I had mixed feelings of being totally amazing by what I was seeing and also the feeling that I was going to faint because it’s kind of creepy to look at.  But the more and more I see the more amazed I get and my feeling of fainting is decreasing.

If you want to see the vocal cords in action watch the video below.  Though I will warn you that if you don’t like looking up peoples noses or into peoples mouths then don’t watch it because the endoscope being used goes up the clients nose and down the back of his throat.

I think the most awesome part is when the patient give a “E” sound and the clinician turns the strobe light on you can see the waves of the folds.  In actual light they move soooo fast that you can’t see the waves.  IT’S SO AWESOME!

And don’t even get me started on how awesome the mouth and tongue are when we talk!  Well ok you can get me started, but I’ll save that for another post.  I do encourage you to actually pay attention to how much your tongue moves and the fine movements it uses the next time you talk to someone.  It’s crazy!!!