Question: Heatherji, Hare Krsna!

Saw your website while searching for voice cure.your profile is very impressive.
I teach Bhagavad Gita. I am not a professional and teach for free.many devotees life has changed for good. I used to speak a lot and suddenly a developed pain in my throat and now even if I speak for ten mins I start getting pain and throat gets infected, it takes a week of rest to heal and again when I speak again there is infection.this is going on for 5 years. I cannot stop teaching as how can I refuse when people come with problems. I have shown many doctors, taken antibiotics, done laryngoscopy, reports are normal but nothing has worked and all doctors have different diagnosis. See if u can help.

My answer: One of the most common types of people we see for throat pain are teachers. Teachers are what we call extended voice users and without some training in how to properly use the voice, there can be problems. It sounds like you have not learned to connect the voice to the core for power and are engaging the swallowing (constrictor) muscles of the throat when you have to speak. I am attaching the handout that I gave out at the workshop yesterday which talks about abdominal support. It was for singing but the same rules apply to speech. The resonance portion on the bottom is actually how speech therapists get people to speak to release stress in the vocal cords.

The most important thing for you to learn to do is to attach your voice to your abdominal muscles. Lie on you belly and speak some text with crisp articulation. See if you can feel the abdominal muscles engage. When the abs. are engaged for voice use, the voice is supported.

Another important thing is never speak on the lowest tones you can use. Always speak three or four notes higher than the bottom note. The lowest note is usually scratchy and sounds creaky. This is very fatiguing for the voice.