By shining a flashlight into the bathroom mirror, you can examine your own throat. It becomes immediatly obvious the effect of saying “ahhh”, as well as why a toungue depresser is used (A toothbrush handle works as well).
At around age 10, I learned the trick of depressing my tounge and raising my pallet just by thinking the “ahh” sound. It takes all of 10 minutes to learn, using the feedback discribed above. Doctors seem to find it curious when I tell them they won’t need the depressor, and find I’m right.
Also, If you are ever diagnosed with strep throat, take a long look at your throat as discribed in first paragraph. I guess it is not 100% reliable (they ALWAYS take a culture) but strep has a very distinctive apperance…useful for next time when you are undecided as to if you really need visit the doctor.