Thanks to those of you who have contacted me about my blogs. One of the concerns that some of you have had in reading this blog is that there is not enough basic information to understand what I'm talking about. So how do I impart basic knowledge of the voice, as well as, healthy and effective use of it without boring folks who are not self described "voice geeks"? I think I shall do a top ten list of cool things about the voice!
So at the very beginning...what actually creates the Sound Source of your voice are two rather peculiar muscles. These are called the vocal folds or vocal cords...The following images are from actual imaging procedures known as video laryngostroboscopy and are from the this website.
The left picture are the vocal folds in the closed position, the right picture is in a position which is neither fully open nor closed. In a way, when we use our voice our vocal folds are not fully closed nor fully open. Those two positions are saved for other biological functions. Which brings us to THE FIRST COOL THING ABOUT THE VOICE....
The actual primary biological purpose of the voice is....not to produce voice....but to protect our airways. The vocal folds close in order to keep food from going into the trachea...otherwise known as the windpipe! The vocal folds open in order to allow air to descend into the trachea and eventually into the lungs. We cough in response to debris being caught in between the two vocal folds (known as penetration). When it actually goes beyond the vocal folds (possibly causing blocking of air flowing into the lungs), we experience aspiration. If the debris is large enough it will completely block airflow and result in choking.