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gagging during the exercise

i'm sure i'm not the only one that this happens to and i would assume it's a sign that i'm opening the throat wide enough.

any recommendations for anyone on how to keep from gagging while still keeping the throat just as open?


  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,346

    Just keep doing it and try to relax with your throat open.  It's the gag reflex.  Your body will eventually realize that you're in no danger of choking and will quit reflexing to try to save your life.  If it really won't eventually relax, you could be overdoing it. 

    What happens if you ease off just enough to stop the reflex?

    Maybe you could go to that point for a while and then gradually open up a bit at a time until you are able to stop the reflexing.



  • TravisBinghamTravisBingham Pro Posts: 16
    Thanks, Bob. I'm trying to back off slightly to stop gagging, but I can't get through anything today.

    I've always gagged on occasion over the 5 and a half months of doing the course since my throat is not used to being so open, but yesterday and today I can't even get through the exercises.

    I guess my body isn't used to my throat being WIDE open like it's become so I'll trying relaxing with my throat open without doing the exercises so my body gets used to it and doesn't freak out.
  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,346
    edited April 2013

    There is a tendency for many to have the gag reflex when going through the passagio, but it sounds like you're saying that you are experiencing the gag reflex almost anytime you are using open throat.  That's not natural, so I'm suspecting that maybe you are overdoing it.

    We tend to gag when we put a finger down the throat.  That is to protect us from something going down into our lungs.  That's what the vocalis is for, as well.  Our vocal cords are the last line of defense to keep foreign objects from dropping down into the interior of our lungs.  You may be stimulating the same nerves that get the reflex if there's a finger back there.

    You get that feeling if you touch anything to your uvula, also.  There could be something going on that is just tickling that gag reflex.  I have a litte angled medical mirror that is lighted that I can stand in front of a mirror and see my vocal cords with.  The only problem is that if it touches my uvula, I feel like I'm gonna hurl!

    I think you just need to relax.  Experiment like you said, without singing, and see if you can tell where the overstimulation is originating from.  Try for a more natural pharyngeal posture.  You don't feel like gagging when you yawn, do you? Your Open Throat position should be no more open than that. Are you feeling like you're about to swallow something evil when your throat is in that position?




  • TravisBinghamTravisBingham Pro Posts: 16
    Thanks so much for that Bob. I believe I was stretching the throat open with muscles rather than relaxing it and it was causing me to gag. I got it under control this afternoon and will work through it using your advice.

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