Masako Exercise


For clients WITH teeth or dentures:


For clients WITHOUT teeth or dentures:


Purpose of Exercise:
– Increase posterior pharyngeal wall movement in clients with reduced base of tongue to posterior pharyngeal wall approximation (seen on Videofluoroscopy / Modified Barium Swallow Study)

Medical Contraindications:
– Recent tongue surgery; do NOT perform this exercise and consult your physician for further advice
– May also be unsuitable long-term post tongue surgery, depending on type of surgery and/or flap reconstruction

Precautions / Tips:
– Do not perform this exercise with any food or drink
– Protruding the tongue further may be more effective, however may be more difficult to perform
– If triggering a swallow is difficult, perform a repetition of Thermal-Tactile Stimulation (TTS) immediately before the Masako swallow
– If feeling uncomfortable, release the tongue and rest as required

Note for clinicians:
– Evidence suggests the Masako exercise may decrease anterior hyoid movement. Therefore, it is recommended to train & prescribe an exercise to improve anterior hyoid movement, such as the Shaker’s Hyolaryngeal Excursion Exercise (SHEE)

Research Articles:
– Doeltgen, S.H., Witte, U., Gumbley, F., & Huckabee, M. (2009). Evaluation of manometric measures during tongue-hold swallows. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 18, 65-73.
– Fujiu, M., Logemann, J.A. (1996). Effect of a tongue-holding maneuver on posterior pharyngeal wall movement during deglutition. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 5, 25-30.
– Logemann, J. A. (2006). Medical and rehabilitative therapy of oral, pharyngeal motor disorders. GI Motility Online.

*Articles cited are a limited sample only, and there may be other & more recent evidence which supports / contraindicates use of this exercise.


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