Tag Archives: swallowing

With Head to Goal


Institute for Special Systemic Therapy

The Institute of Special Systemic Therapy is considered as a competent provider of therapies to promote and restore the health of patients. Our main focus is dedicated to the rehabilitation of language, speech, movement, brain function, nerve function, pain, hearing impairments, dizziness, sleeping and snoring and sleep apnea.

Staff at the ISST are proud of more than thirty years of successful work with patients of all ages from over ninety countries around the world. Neurophysiological treatment methods and patented technical aids, that are developed and applied from ISST, have received international attention. The successful work at ISST has been proven by numerous media reports and is well documented by an impressive list of scientific publications.


was founded in 1984 by Dr.Klaus and Sabine Berndsen. This was created under the influence of many years of therapeutic experience, consistent research and cooperation with universities, hospitals and international specialists. Together Dr Klaus and Sabine have created and developed new diagnostic and therapeutic methods as well as technical aids for ill and handicapped people. Their methods and devices have become known internationally and have been publicised by the media worldwide. As authors Berndsen/Berndsen have published numerous scientific papers. They have also been granted patents for their specialised medical devices and aids.

The innovative ISST team works on a high level of engagement and continuity, based on current scientific research, to allow the best possible results. ISST is organised in a tranquil, very personal and family based environment. Thus the important, trusting relationships between patient and therapists are always guaranteed. Patients come to ISST from all over the world and the ISST team have English, French, Spanish, Russian and Arabic language skills. Interpreters and nursing staff are also available on request.

We are looking forward an intense close cooperation with our patients!

Sabine Berndsen
Managing Director
Dr. Klaus Berndsen
Scientific Direktor


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Place of our practice

We are not born in Unna, but very long and happy here. We enjoy freedom, openness, interdisciplinary networking and diversity. As creative people we are guided by cultural highlights such as the International Light Art Museum. We lose bad ideas under the impression of this fantastic art. The good ones we use for our imagination, our actions and our patients.

Success for the patient and user

We work for the success of our patients and customers, not for our own glorification. We learn from them and optimize our qualifications not only through professional training, but also through a competent analysis of the different problems and the resulting of constant creative development and adaptations of individual assistance.

How we work

We do not consider and treat the symptoms of disease. We adjust ourselves individually to the patient. We always seek the causes of his problems. Together with the patient, we develop a partnership-based therapy in which the patient is extensively informed about the causes and therapy. Mutual respect and acceptance are important factors.

Our treatments take into account the complex mechanisms of the human organism, the psyche and important – old and new – findings from general research and brain research.

With head to the goal

The numerous interactive functions of the head and neck region with effects on breathing, eating, drinking, swallowing, hearing, metabolism, nervous functions, body balance and body statics are particularly considered.

Together with the patient, we develop strategies that prevent recurrences and have a positive effect on health and joy of life.

Ideas and creativity

Ideas for new methods and projects are often derived from intensive work with patients. We developed new therapeutic approaches and medical devices that were urgently needed for the rapid and effective improvement of patients’ quality of life. These patients suffered e.g. Dysphagia, swallowing, tinnitus, pain, etc. Some of these developments are now being applied worldwide.

We also developed speech aids for throat-less people, non-communicating communicators, respiratory devices, learning or re-learning of walking or body motor skills and products such as FaceFormer, LoopCup, hearing aids, communicator, intermittent heat treatment for neck pain, back pain, shoulder pain. Seat cushion with spring systems against decubitus, measuring devices for hearing tests and tinnitus measurement, electronic noise protection, etc. Some of these products have been patented.

Professional presentation

We want professional and ethical discussions on the same level, based on logic, analysis and experience. Ignorant dogmatics we encounter with dialectical argumentation. We are pleased to receive invitations to present us in information and expert forums. Comments and questions in our block are welcome.

What we do not react to

Destructive arguments for delimiting inappropriate hierarchical positions or unnecessary authority destroy the discourse. Conflicts with such only benefit the aggressor. This would take a step closer to their goal of destroying important innovative initiatives. They are basically ignored by us.

Selection of our employees

When selecting our employees, we attach great importance to the combination of professional expertise and a lived value orientation in our thinking and acting.

Everyone in our team has an excellent qualification, experience and the associated talent.

Important characteristics such as punctuality, reliability and honesty are further bases for reliable cooperation with our partners.

This is how we work

Ideas for new projects often come from direct work with patients or from inquiries from health care institutions. In the beginning, it was exclusively the help we developed for our patients. They were urgently needed by them as a quick, effective improvement in the quality of life. Such patients suffered e.g. dysphagia, tinnitus or pain. Subsequently, other health care facilities sent those affected, for whom we should invent something. We developed mainly individual aid for individual humans, e.g. speech aids for throat-less people, communicators for non-speaking people, respiratory aids or devices for learning or re-learning walking or body motor skills.

Afterwards, we developed numerous new products like FaceFormer, LoopCup, hearing aids, Communicator, device with intermittent heat treatment against neck pain, back pain, shoulder pain, seat cushion with spring systems against pressure ulcers, measuring devices for hearing and tinnitus measurement, electronic noise protection, etc. Patents were granted for some of them.

We are also constantly looking for products from other manufacturers. We assess and test this for suitability and quality. If they meet all our criteria, we recommend them to our customers. Our customers’ experience helps us constantly optimize processes and products.

Development to the International Center for Rehabilitation

Numerous specializations, which have developed over 30 years at the ISST-Unna, have resulted in complex rehabilitation therapies.

First, we did treatments for patients with Down-Sydrom, lips-jaw-nose deformities, swallowing disorders, speech disorders, voice disorders, stuttering, autism, developmental delays, hearing disorders, tinnitus, dizziness, malocclusions, pain in the joints, facial pain, shoulder pain, neck pain or patients with stroke.

Today, also patients with severe disabilities from various parts of the world come to the ISST-Unna: Body impairments, brain diseases, accidental injuries and various syndromes.

Methods such as Neuro-Cell-Stimulation-Therapy (NCST), FaceFormer Therapy (FFT), PhilPaso Therapy (PPT) have been specially developed by us for these patients. Dr. Klaus and Sabine Berndsen are often invited by international clinics to work with patients and explain the treatments.


Weight loss with sense! Weight loss without the yoyo effect!  Weight loss without hunger! Weight loss without diets! Weight loss without having to count calories! The EatGood method of Dr. Berndsen/Berndsen is a completely new approach to weight loss. EatGood does not stand for an especially good meal, but is much more about a better quality of functional digestion through eating, drinking, swallowing, taste sensitivity, breathing, head balance, etc. The EatGood method is about a correct functioning system incorporating important pre-digestive and digestive processes and metabolism.

Ideal Weight With EatGood

How often have you already tried only to become frustrated and pigging out afterwards to satisfy that frustration? You have chosen the correct nutrition. Are you sure what that is? Most of the information we receive about nutrition seem plausible, but the fact is that the information is pure speculation. Still the only convincing method in which everyone is able to lose weight effectively, is to simply eat less over a time.

How can one understand these goals?
Why must I change tested movements and functions of eating and drinking to reach my ideal weight?

The fact that something obviously functions smoothly is never a sign that a process operates correctly without problems. This is reason why false movements of our arms, legs, hips, etc. first present health problems long after they have begun. For example, walking from A to B was always no problem then one day pain is noticeable in the hips. The reason is in most cases, is that stress had gradually induced over the years which we had not noticed. The same goes for eating and drinking. We can do so without problem. Inspite of this, those functions do not have to be correct.  In most cases, weight gain is connected with such functional disorders. Considering this fact, the EatGood method assumes that the correction of habitual false behaviors is the central premise that body weight can be reduced and maintained successfully and effortlessly. How good is it when what is normal and correct leads to success!

Countless people could reduce and maintain their weights with the EatGood method without having to fear the dreaded yoyo effect. By correcting wrong behaviors and habits, people are able to create a foundation for a healthy lifestyle.

Which Skills Are Trained Primarily By the EatGood Method?

1. Excitment of Brain Nerve Functions – Sight, Smell, Taste, Swallowing

Optimization of Food Consumption

  • Danger control (temperature – hot, cold – over 43°C is painful, protein denaturation / Composition – pungent, acidic
  • Enjoyment (smell – fruity, foul, etc.)

Olfactory Perception

  • Fine taste evolves on the foundation sense of smell:
  • Oral Perception of Food (taste: sweet, salty, sour, bitter, umami (savory)
  • Inner Mouth Sensitivity
  • Retronasal Olfactory Perception
  • Differentiated smelling of flavors

2. Excitment and Correction of Functional Processes

  • Mastication Function / Mastication Time
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Tongue Sensitivity, Tongue Movement, Tongue Position
  • Swallowing
  • Breathing
  • Head Balance

3. General Processes

  • Motivational Training
  • Customized Movement Training
  • Customized Diet

Optional Complementary Helping Aids

  • The possibility for individually instructed equipment training
  • Individuelly guided equipment training
  • Attendance in Nordic Walking training
  • Drinking cure
  • Nutrition advice
  • Functional Measurements
    • Blood pressure
    • Pulse
    • Oxygen saturation
    • Nose flow
    • Lip strength
    • Weight

The EatGood method is instructed by well-qualified and certified therapists.et.


Myofunctional therapy aims to treatment of musculary disfunctions caused by functional disorders in the regions of mouth and face. By activating und strengthening orofacial muscles particular influence is taken on positioning of the tongue, accurate swallowing patterns and leading breathing behaviours to usual nose breathing.

Myofunctional Therapy

From the work of Straub (1962) developed Daniel Garliner the myofunctional therapy (MFT). The program was published in 1964 (USA) and titled “Myofunctional therapy in dental practice: abnormal swallowing habits: diagnosis, treatment. A course of study for the dental practitioner and speech pathologist.”

Components of Myofunctional Therapy

Essential components of the MFT: Garliner focuses on the rest position of the tongue, making the case that the position is the origin of learning correct tongue movements and function. A correct tongue movement during swallowing should be developed through tongue tip positioning exercises in the physiological rest position and a systematic development of exercises for swallowing. Furthermore, his methods take into account the correction bad habits such as thumb sucking, nail biting and pacifier (soother) use as well as correcting mouth breathing behavior. Importantly, the training concentrates on exercises which strengthen the musculature, correct the tongue position, swallowing and train the subconscious.

ISST and the Myofunctional Therapy Work Team

Countless proposals, case studies, scientific documentation, exercise developments and publications about MFT emerged from many years of cooperation between Garlinier and the German Work Team for MFT (AK-MFT e.V.).

The directors of the ISST, Dr. Klaus Berndsen and Sabine Berndsen, supported from the beginning the creation of the AK-MFT e.V. and were until its end a part of the Board of Directors. In addition, they developed standards for myofunctional therapists and were responsible for the implementation of examinations to qualify MFT therapists. In 1989, Dr. Klaus and Sabina Berndsen organized the “9th European Congress for Myofunctional Therapy” and published a book of the congress’s theme in 1991.

Damages to the Myofunctional Therapy

Authors who wanted to take Garliner’s intellectual work for their own, using their own names to suggest that they had developed the therapy (i.e. MFT according to…), have damaged the implementation of MFT as a therapy. MFT suffered under reduced quality because wrong elements were added to the therapy, affecting scientific orientation and acceptance.

Myofunctional Therapy and Face Former Therapy at ISST

ISST, training in the original form of MFT is still offered as a therapy to physicians and therapists in professional seminars. Primarily, the therapy has been replaced by the newly developed Face Former Therapy of Berndsen/Berndsen. Internationally published    clinical research investigations could show that the Face Former Therapy significantly improves desired results and achieve positive results quickly with very little effort.

Korbmacher, H.M., Schwan, M.; Berndsen, S.; Bull, J.; Kahl-Nieke, B.: Evaluation OF A New Concept OF Myofunctional Therapy in Children. The International Journal Of Orofacial Myology (IAOM, International Association Orofacial Myology). 30th Anniversary Edition, Volume XXX, Page 39-52, November 2004 Berndsen, K.; Berndsen, S.: Myofunktionelle Behandlungen und ihr Einfluss auf die sprachliche Artikulation. In: Schöler H.; Welling A. (Hrsg.) Sonderpädagogig der Sprache, Band 1, Handbuch Hogrefe Verl., Göttingen 2007, S. 866-890


We offer qualified and personalized treatments for different diseases, disabilities and syndromes to our national and international patients. The wide range of methods in diagnosis and treatment relies on our scientific developments, own patents as well as on extensive practical experience.

Therapy Programm

Speech and Language

  • Phonation disorder (dyslalia)
  • Grammar disorder (dysgrammatism)
  • Autismus
  • Mutismus
  • Communication disorders
  • Problems finding words (lexical disorders)
  • Loss of speech after a stroke or brain injury – aphasia
  • Neurological disorders (dysarthria, among others)
  • Stuttering, cluttering
  • Cleft lip, cleft palate and other malformations
  • Mouth, tongue, nose injuries (eg after surgery)
  • Bilingual language training (bilingualism)


  • Impaired voice use, loss of voice
  • Hoarseness, forced cough
  • Paralysis of vocal cord
  • Partial or total removal of the larynx (laryngectomy)
  • Nasal speech (rhinolalia)



  • Switching from mouth to nasal breathing
  • Respiratory disorders
  • Respiratory disabilities by narrowed airways
  • Asthma
  • Allergies

Hearing and Balance

  • Hearing loss, deafness
  • Listening and speaking with cochlear implants
  • Sudden hearing loss
  • Tinnitus
  • Dizziness

Neurological Disorder

  • Alzheimer, dementia
  • Stroke (apoplexy)
  • brain disorders

Disorders in Eating, Drinking or Swallowing

  • Troubled swallowing (dysphagia)
  • Paralysis in orofacial region
  • Switch from tube feeding to physiological nutrition
  • Salivation (drooling)
  • Sensory disturbances
  • Diseases caused by metabolic disorders


  • Head, face, jaw joints
  • Migraine
  • Shoulder, neck, arm region, back

Snoring and Sleep Apnea

  • Snoring
  • Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome
  • Sleep disorders

 Teeth, Jaw and Jaw Joints

  • Misaligned teeth, malocclusion (prevention and assistance in orthodontics)
  • Teeth grinding (bruxism)
  • Temporomandibular pain
  • Correction of muscle functions with inclusion of dental prosthetics and dental implants

Movement and Neurological Damage

  • Cerebral movement disorders (i.a. CP)
  • Head injuries, such as traumatic brain injury
  • Paraplegia
  • Muscular dystrophies
  • Stroke (apoplexy)
  • Brain tumors and spinal cord tumors
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Parkinson’s disease


Learning Disabilities

  • Dyslexia
  • Dyscalculia
  • Preschool training
  • Enrollment and school diagnostics
  • Expert reports


  • ADD and ADHD – Attention deficit (hyperactivity) disorder
  • Perceptual impairments

Special therapies

  • NCS Therapy – Neuro-cell stimulation therapy (acc. Berndsen/Berndsen)
  • Orofacial regulation therapy (acc.Castillo Morales)
  • Myofunctional Therapy
  • CCF therapy – cranio-cervical-function therapy (acc. Berndsen/Berndsen)
  • FFT – FaceFormer therapy (acc.Berndsen/Berndsen)
  • OSP therapy  – oral stimulation plates therapy (acc. Berndsen/Berndsen)
  • TAS  – training therapy for apnea and snoring (acc. Berndsen/Berndsen)
  • KVT therapy (sound-ventilation-tone therapy) (acc. Berndsen/Berndsen)
  • Therapy for tinnitus, hearing loss, dizziness (acc. Berndsen/Berndsen)
  • AMK  – Akupedics with sounds for the treatment of deafness, disorders of perception and concentration (acc. Berndsen/Berndsen)
  • Augmentative and Alternative Communication
  • Articulation, rhetoric training and vocal hygiene (e.g. for professional speakers)

Learn more about our Spezial Therapies.

Therapy Organisation

  • Intensive treatment (accommodation if necessary)
  • Group therapy and caregiver training

You want individual treatment or counseling?

Call us on [eating-fon] or use our contact contact form for therapy requests.

Learn more about special therapies at ISST

Learn more about intensive therapies at ISST

Learn more about special diagnostic and measurement methods at ISST