TheraSIP Swallowing Products
TheraSIP® SWALLOWING TRAINER KIT
This is a clinician's swallowing toolbox! Designed for individual patient use, the kit comes with a resistance exerciser with micro-resistance tubes for exercising thin liquid swallows. The exerciser, T-SIP, is graduated and has a gauge which can be used after each trial to insure that the bolus is under 2 mL in size. The micro-resistance tubes come in three different sizes and provide mild, moderate and strong resistance. This allows exercises to be increased in difficulty. The T-SIP and the resistance tubes are not to be used for hydration.
The kit also comes with a graduated cup for measuring bolus size for cup drinking and a set of TheraSTRAWS, four therapeutic drinking straws designed to limit bolus size. The straws and the resistance tubes can be inserted into the larger straw to increase the outer diameter for patients with weakened lip strength. The straws can be bent by microwaving for several minutes. TheraSTRAWS sets can be purchased separately.
TheraSIP® PROFESSIONAL SERIES
TheraSIP PS is designed for institutions that provide swallowing rehabilitation to a large number of patients. This swallowing exercise system comes with four medical grade stainless steel micro-resistance tubes, a larger 50 ml T-SIP, a graduated cup, instructional manual, recording cards, and a hard carrying case. The resist tubes can be autoclaved and used with multiple patients. The TheraSIP PS also comes with a TheraSIP Swallowing Trainer Kit as described above.
TheraSTRAWS are therapeutic straws which come in four sizes and are design to help the clinician design a "safer" method of thin liquid intake or free water protocol. The smaller straws can be inserted into the larger straws to increase the other diameters. When designing a thin liquid protocol, TheraSTRAWS act to limit the size of the bolus for safer intake. The standardization of the straw sizes facilitate carry over of acute care recommendations to other levels of care. These can be cleaned after each use in warm soap and water using the TheraSIP Cleanser or an ear syringe. They are not to be shared between patients. These straws are designed for hydration rather than exercise.
SwallowMist is a misting spray device which can be filled with water and used to administer a trace amount of liquid into a patient's mouth. The amount sprayed is a small mist of moisture to hydrate the oral mucosa. The tool can be used for swallowing practice in patients that are unable to tolerate sips, teaspoons of liquid or the coldness of ice chips. SwallowMist can be used instead of ice chips for NPO patients. No batteries are needed.
TonguePRESS compliments clinical instruments such as the Iowa Oral Proficiency Instrument by providing an exerciser which can be used at home to improve swallowing pressures and tongue strength.
TonguePress is our newest therapist designed product for the treatment of swallowing. The unit is filled with water and the patient is instructed to insert the bulb on his/her tongue and press it against the hard palate. The indicator rises to a height in the tube depending on the strength of the press. In accordance with the principles of exercise, this device should be practiced repetitively to reach overload and can be adjusted in difficulty by adjusting the unit's valve. Typically, a patient would practice 30 to 60 presses.
Chin Tuck Against Resistance
An alternative to Shaker Exercise (Yoon et al. 2014). Results of this research showed use of the CTAR exercise was effective in exercising the suprahyoid muscles. Use of the ball can achieve therapeutic effects comparable to those of the Shaker without as much strain on the neck. The CTAR is placed on the manubrium steni and is patient is asked to tuck the chin against the ball while squeezing it. Strengthening the suprahyoid muscles contributes to the upward and forward movement of the larynx and hyoid bone. This facilitates the opening of the upper esophageal sphincter. The patient is asked to either hold the tuck or to tuck and release repetitively.
The CTAR BALL can also be used to perform jaw opening against resistance or JOAR. Here the patient tucks against the ball and opens his jaws to his maximum extent. This position is held for 10 seconds and repeated 5 times.
VocalSTRAWS are for voice rehabilitation using Semi-Occluded Vocal Track (SOVT) exercises. This set comes with four straws of varying internal diameters that can be easily cleaned. A program of exercises and a recording chart to facilitate patient adherence are included. Voicing through these resistive straws with or without placing them in a glass of water acts to lower the laryngeal position during and after exercise; to raise the velum position during and after exercise and to widen the hypopharyngeal opening during exercise. The straws come in various interior diameter sizes and can be telescoped together to further adjust the difficulty of the exercise. Vocalizing through VocalSTRAWS can help with muscle tension dysphonia as well as vocal fatique. VocalSTRAWS are an excellent addition to any voice therapy treatment.
ThermalSTIM Swallowing Activator is used for Tactile-Thermal Stimulation TTS to enhance bilateral cortical and brainstem activation of the swallow. TTS is used in patients with neurogenic dysphagia particularly associated with sensory deficits. The Swallowing Activator should be chilled for 4 hours in a freezer and submerged in cold water before use. The chilled activator is then applied to the anterior faucial pillars by stroking or rubbing as is shown in the products instructional brochure. This is followed by having the patient initiate a swallow. The activator should be kept chilled for each application. The silicone tip can be removed but prevents application of the chilled, frosted applicator to tissue. ALWAYS apply wet.
TTS research has hypothesized that touch and cold stimulation alerts the neuropathways resulting in a more rapid triggering of the pharyngeal swallow. TTS is not a stand-alone treatment and other swallowing exercises may be alternated between each application. The instructional brochure includes a checklist of various swallowing exercises that can be employed.