I just received a lively letter from a former student, asking for advice about how to get her singing voice back after having had the flu.
As we head into the months of winter, I thought it might be useful to share a bit of my response & offer a few simple things you can do every day towards vocal health:
My dearest MT,
…remember, you have one Voice – not a singing voice & a speaking voice. So if you’re able to access one you can access the other. And it is never lost… It may be weary or worn, you may not like the sound of it, or decide not to use it, but it only in rare physiological circumstances does it ever truly disappear.
It’s there. You have to (re)align & partner differently with your circumstances.
…when you cough, the vocal folds bang together… so when you feel that tickle in the throat, try to swallow instead of cough. Throat lozenges help you swallow more often, just be aware that eucalyptus & menthol are dehydrators.
…sleep is a wonderful healer.
…keep the vocal folds well lubricated. Drink plenty of room temperature or tea (there is an ayurvedic practice that suggests ‘hot sips’ – taking sips of water that is the same temperature as your body, throughout the day, just a few sips every hour – this is my preference over drinking jugs of water each day…)
…avoid eating late at night. Reflux & indigestion is very hard on your larynx.
…if you experience a sore throat, gargling with warm salt water can help cleanse the vocal folds. Warm liquids can help soothe & comfort the throat as well: look for herbal teas with slippery elm, or you can steep hot water with lemon, honey, & peeled fresh ginger root (this naturally helps break up congestion in the chest as well).
… vocal stress & damage is not something that can be healed overnight. Be gentle with yourself. Take the time to listen to your body’s needs and act accordingly.
wishing you wellness,
© 2016 Fia Skye