As much as you may wish you did not have chronic hoarseness or a persistent sore throat, wishing it away will not solve the problem. The unfortunate truth about vocal abuse is that it will only get worse in time unless you stop what is causing it. There are no drugs you can take to end the abuse. Yes, you could stop speaking for many, many months and the abuse would end. The problem is that once you started speaking again, it would return.
The reason this picture is so dismal is because the way in which you are producing your sound is the problem. And, unless you change your voice placement, your vocal abuse will only continue and worsen.
You may be wondering why, at this point in your life, you are having a problem with your voice when you did not in the past. It is called aging. Even if you are still in your 20’s, if you have abused your vocal folds (cords) enough, then the abuse has started. Most people, admittedly, may not have the problem until their 30’s or 40’s or even later.
A good example are middle-aged school teachers. Upon returning to class in September, they notice a huge difference in the lack of power of their voice, having not spoken heavily for the previous 3 months. In using the voice for 7 to 8 hours a day, they find they need to build the voice back up. Unfortunately, in middle age, the voice may not be able to ‘bounce back’ the way it did when they were younger.
No matter what your profession or the reason for your vocal abuse, learning to use your chest cavity as your primary sounding board and amplifier will immediately stop the abuse. The reason is because you will be taking the pressure off your throat and vocal folds. Of course they are still necessary in phonation as are your mouth and nasal cavities; but, the stress on those areas is greatly reduced when you use your chest to resonate your voice.
Those who are using the chest, the largest of the 5 resonating cavities, have voices like that of Sean Connery, Julia Ormond, Cher, Kathleen Turner, George Clooney and most definitely James Earl Jones.
The good news is that you not only will alleviate the abuse but you will also discover a deeper, richer, warmer sound when you get your voice out of your throat and allow your chest to do more of the work. In addition, you will be able to speak for greater lengths of time and you will have the ability to project your voice – increase your volume without shouting.
Imagine ending your vocal abuse and discovering a much better voice in the process! Stop the abuse because it won’t go away on its own.