You Don’t Smoke – You’re Not Sick – But Your Throat Hurts

Those who smoke, who are sick or who take prescriptive medications can often experience a sore or raw throat. What about the individual who does not fall into any of those 3 categories but experiences a persistent sore throat or chronic hoarseness?

The only real cause for an irritated throat is misplacement of the voice. That sounds strange, doesn’t it? You ask, how is it possible to misplace your voice? The answer is simple. When you consider that you have 5 cavities in the body responsible for the vibration and amplification of voiced sound and that you are probably using only 4 of those cavities, you will understand what is happening. Allow me to explain.

We have 5 cavities or resonators that vibrate our voiced sound. Those cavities include your throat, voice box, mouth, nasal passages, and chest. Most people are not aware of and not using their chest cavity, by far the largest of the 5 cavities. (Voices that do make use of the chest cavity sound like Vin Diesel, James Earl Jones, Phylicia Rashad, and Julia Ormond.)

When the chest cavity comes into play, pressure is immediately taken off the throat and vocal cords because the power is emanating from the chest. If the chest is not in use, then the throat and voice box are doing most of the work, along with your mouth and nose. Therefore, if you speak for great lengths of time or root for your favorite sports on a regular basis, there is an excellent chance that you are suffering from vocal abuse.

The only way to stop the abuse is to change your voice placement; i.e. learning to use your chest cavity as your primary sounding board. You will then discover that you can speak for greater lengths of time without hurting your throat and voice box. You will also learn how to increase your volume without shouting. The latter is only possible, however, if you are powering your voice from your mid torso region and not your throat. Another positive benefit is that you will discover a richer, deeper, more mature-sounding voice in the process.

Drinking plenty of water, getting a good night’s sleep, and eating a nutritious diet all aid in healthy vocal cords; but, unless you change how you place your voice, all the great nutrition, hydration and sleep will not make the discomfort go away.

Your vocal cords are a delicate organ. Keeping them in shape should be your goal whether you are suffering from vocal abuse or not. Left unchecked, vocal abuse can result in permanent damage to your cords.