Right Swallow Program
The Right Swallow Program is an exercise program to correct disordered swallowing patterns. The Right Swallow Program or "tongue thrust" therapy is based on the most recent treatment strategies advocated by the International Association of Orofacial Myology.
The first step in the process is the evaluation. Patients are asked many questions related to their oral facial musculature, habits and behaviors. The evaluation session takes approximately one and one-half hours and includes taking still pictures of the patient's bite if needed, video tapping the patient's swallowing pattern while eating a variety of textures (sandwich, pudding, liquid), observing oral-muscular movements and speech productions and watching a 15 minute video about tongue thrust. Overall findings are then discussed and a plan of action is outlined for therapy at the end of the session.
Throughout tongue thrust therapy, patients are asked to observe their orofacial movements carefully and to remind themselves many times about the new skills they are in the process of developing. Although it is extremely difficult to change an act as subconscious as a swallowing pattern, the key to this therapy program is motivation, patience, cooperation, and teamwork.
The Right Swallow Program is a 12 lesson program that is divided into three main stages.
Stage 1 is Muscle Training and covers five lessons. For example:
Lesson 1 and 2 deal with the tip of the tongue
Lesson 3 and 4 deal with the blade of the tongue and check muscles
Lesson 5 deals with the back of the tongue
All lessons include lip exercises and rest posture practice.
Stage 2 is Swallow Training and covers two lessons.
Stage 3 is Habituation Training and covers five lessons.