Dr Martin F Schwartz's new e-book, The Thiamin Protocol, is now available as a free PDF download. This book, only 92 pages long, can be downloaded HERE.
The book contains the latest information on the thiamin (vitamin B1) and magnesium treatment protocol for people who stutter. According to Dr Schwartz's original trial study, of which you can read more HERE, about 1/3 of adult males who stutter can be helped significantly by following the protocol.
If you have previously tried these supplements without any effect, do read this book as you may have omitted or done something which compromised your fluency. For instance, some foods and drinks, as well as some medicines, contain anti-B1 factors such as caffeine, sugars and sweetened beverages. It makes no sense to take B1 pills if, at the same time, your diet neutralises the B1 in your body. So it's important to follow a pro-B1 diet during the 3-week test period.
This book is not only valuable because of the thiamin treatment, but also as it clearly sets out Dr Schwartz's view of how and why people stutter. Chapter 5, titled "The trigger for stuttering", explains how a stress-related dyscoordination of the vocal cords within the larynx results in vocal-cord "locking". The speech repetitions and prolongations which we hear as "stuttering" are merely learned struggle behaviours in an effort to speak in spite of the vocal cords that intermittently lock to a greater or lesser extent.
This dyscoordination, in turn, could be due to a deficiency of the GABA neurotransmitter in the brain. Vitamin B1 is required for the proper functioning of GABA, so this may be why thiamin improves fluency in some people.
The thinking man or woman's speech therapist
Finally, for those who do not benefit from the thiamin protocol, the author gives an overview of his "Intent Therapy". Intent Therapy resembles the "slow onset" approach, but also requires a "mental comma" after the first word (if a monosyllabic word), with the rest of the sentence spoken as an afterthought. Intent Therapy is actually part of his Passive Airflow Technique, but is presented here as a simplified stand-alone approach.
"The important thing is not to have the rest of the sentence in your mind before you say the first word," he writes. You must intend to say just one word, and then shift your intent and say the rest of the sentence. The purpose is to reduce pre-speech tension on the vocal cords, which would otherwise result in stuttering. This technique, if done correctly, sounds quite natural but, as with all fluency techniques, needs to be practised a lot.
Dr Schwartz's books have consistently re-defined stuttering and its treatment, beginning with the highly controversial Stuttering Solved (1976) up to Stutter No More (1991), and The Thiamin Protocol is no exception. He is the thinking man or woman's speech therapist and so is not everybody's cup of tea, but I love his work.
Do read this latest book, try the protocol if you haven't yet done so, and study Chapter 5 for a very plausible explanation of stuttering. And for a fuller picture of the author's thinking about stuttering also read Stutter No More, a 65-page free PDF - focused on his Airflow approach - which can be downloaded HERE. Dr Schwartz is to be commended for making these important books available for free to the stuttering community. Hopefully other authors will follow his example.