5 Vital Ways for Singers to Maintain Healthy Vocal Cords
What’s the singer’s most priceless asset? – Voice. It is treasured, cared for and nurtured with loving care and utmost attention. Avoiding cold and flu seems to be a singer’s full-time job and the biggest challenge. A guitar or a violin can be stowed away in a hard shell case after a gruelling jam session, but a vocalist’s priceless voice has no escape. Common factors that could handicap a melodious voice include cough, cold, allergy, lack of proper voice training, pollution, smoking etc. Here are five easy, natural and effective voice care measures to avoid the symptoms of flu before a performance.
1. Stay Hydrated:
Protecting the vocal chords from the natural friction that occurs as they vibrate against each other to produce sound is critical. Staying hydrated is the biggest key to vocal health as inadequate moisture could lead to vocal fatigue, vocal loss, and consequently, the singer will have issues hitting high notes. Drinking plenty of water or fluids at room temperature throughout the day, helps flush out any build-up of lactic acid in the vocal folds and reduces swelling or irritation. Adding fruit and vegetables such as cucumber, broccoli, apples, melon, plums, peaches and grapes that contain a lot of water to the diet also aid in increasing hydration. Ice water and other chilled or aerated drinks should be avoided particularly 3 to 4 hours before the performance as the cold temperature restricts vocal bands and obstructs voice modulation during singing.
2. Use Humidifiers:
The vocal cords as mentioned before function at their optimum best in a moist environment, while dry and arid air is hard on them. Heaters and air conditioners suck moisture out of the air and the vocal cords. The best way to increase the moisture in a living environment that is excessively dry is by using a humidifier as it adds moisture to the mucous membranes and also reduces the survival of viruses on the surfaces and in the air, thereby easing common cold and flu symptoms that include sinus congestion/headache, dry or sore throat, irritated vocal cords, dry cough and chronic cough etc. While using a humidifier it is important to clean the machine regularly and change the filter as needed in order to prevent bacterial growth, dust mites, mildew and mold which could cause further respiratory irritation.
3. Gargle for Sore Throat:
Gargling is great for curing a sore throat or scratchy throat as it helps in getting rid of mucus in the mouth and throat and consequently, reduces the swelling by flushing out the pathogens. To relieve an itchy throat, one could also try gargling by dissolving half a teaspoon of salt in warm water or with baking soda, of which the latter acts as an acid neutralizer, thus creating an inhospitable environment for fungi, yeast, and other micro-organisms in the throat and mouth.
4. Strep Throat Coat with Soothers or Lozenges:
When your throat feels like sandpaper, symptoms may be severe enough to be categorised as a throat infection that would demand additional cough remedies like cough syrup ,cough medicine to offset the feeling of dryness and irritation and get relief instantly. Some of these home remedies for cough treatments include half a clove of garlic added with a teaspoon of honey, a variety of herbal teas such as peppermint and licorice or chamomile or turmeric. Pepper and ginger in warm water can also help coat the inner lining of the throat, reducing pain and swelling while offering a soothing effect. Over-the-counter (OTC) lozenges such as Fisherman’s friend, PhytoRelief-CC etc. are natural cough relief saviors as they help keep the throat moist and coated.
5. Immune System Supplements:
To maintain healthy vocal cords, one should strictly avoid active/passive smoking as it thickens the vocal cords contributing to hoarseness of the voice. Similarly, alcoholic beverages and caffeinated drinks should be avoided as they bring forth dehydrating effects and are considered detrimental for a singer’s vocal health. Additionally, excessive use of the voice by screaming, talking loudly and even long drawn rehearsals in excess of 3 hours should be avoided as they may further lead to tired and swollen vocal cords.
Doctors recommend that decongestant and antidepressant drugs should be avoided as dryness in the throat gets aggravated. Instead, menthol or ginger along with natural sugar-free lozenge PhytoRelief CC containing turmeric, ginger, and pomegranate is a wiser and judicious choice.
It not only fights off and shortens the duration of cold but also boosts the immune system.
Try these easy and effective methods of treating a sore throat and let the audiences go ecstatic over your voice.
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