Sources: Papers On Health

This trouble is simply a loss of command of the vocal

organs, and is distinctly nervous in its cause. Especially must we

look to the roots of the nerves controlling the vocal organs, if we

are to see the real difficulty. There is evidently a state of

irritability and undue sensitiveness in these nerves which must be

soothed down, if a cure is to be obtained. The roots of such nerves lie

in the back of the head and neck, and they are best soothed by

application of soap lather (see Lather; Soap). This must be well

wrought, and applied warm to the back of the head and neck in three or

four coats. Then mix some hot OLIVE OIL (see) with the lather, and

apply with the brush gently to the parts. Altogether, in applying the

various latherings, and the final oil-and-lathering, an hour should be

spent, so as to continue the soothing effect during that time. The head

may be soaped one night (see Head, Soaping the), and this treatment

given the alternate night. Where the case is of long standing, it may

take long to cure it, or a cure may be impossible, but some mitigation

will result from this treatment. The Sabbath should in all cases be a

day of rest from treatment, and generally common sense will indicate

that it be not continued too long. The patient may do a great deal for

himself by the strictest watch on his enunciation, speaking slowly and

deliberately, and breathing deeply. This will be difficult to maintain

at first, but practice will make the habit unconscious. An instrument

called a metronome may be had from a music shop (used for keeping time

in practising), if a book be read aloud by the stammerer, pronouncing

one syllable only to each beat, he will soon gain complete control of

his voice.