Top 5 Things To Do If You Have Blown Your Voice
In this edition I will be talking about the Top 5 things to do if you’ve blown your voice. But first a little anatomy information.
Your vocal cords (a.k.a. vocal folds) are composed of twin infoldings of mucous membrane stretched horizontally, from back to front, across the larynx (voice box). They vibrate, controlling the flow of air being pushed out from the lungs when you make sounds. Open when you breathe and vibrating when you speak or sing, the folds are controlled with the vagus nerve.
Now that we have that out of the way, this summer you’re probably attending sporting events, festivals, concerts or parties, and you may talk a lot or cheer on teams, musicians or friends. Or you may be a public speaker, or give presentations as a part of your job. Maybe you do voiceover work. Or maybe you are an aspiring singer (shower singing counts! J) or are a professional. Regardless, we all use our voices. It is a part of us and it gives us identity – and for some of us, it is our ultimate form of expression. So, drum roll please …
Here are the top 5 things to do if you’ve blown your voice:
#5 – Drink plenty of water. You want to drink lots of water so you don’t dehydrate. But you also want to keep your vocal cords moist so they can get back to being loose and limber. Stay away from any foods or substances that dry your throat out, such as smoking, caffeine and alcohol.
#4 – Stop talking. This is hard to do but if you’ve really injured your vocal folds they will need rest. You’ve built up a lot of tension in the voice box area, as well as other neck and jaw muscles, from improper or reckless vocal production. Anxiety and nerves also affect the voice (which I will speak about maybe in another episode).
#3 – Drink warm tea with honey. This expands the vocal muscles and helps relieve built-up tension. The honey and heat are soothing. Lemon and honey is one I would suggest
#2 – Do gentle humming exercises. Stick your tongue out, hold your tongue gently with your teeth (you don’t want to bite your tongue too hard, ouch!) and hum gently, always moving the sound forward. Just do it a little and then stop.
#1 – Rest the voice for a couple of days (maybe even week or so). How long you should rest will depend on how bad you have hurt your voice. The voice is a part of you, so if you feel a lot of tension and soreness take at least a couple of days of no speaking or singing. We don’t want to develop nodes (benign white masses on the vocal chords). We need to engage the proper muscles in our bodies, such as our diaphragm, to correctly use our breath.
Remember, if you really have hurt yourself and the soreness or tickle won’t go away for more than a week or so, or is lingering, you should see an ear, nose and throat doctor.
These tips don’t cover everything, but it’s a small list to start with. There are other things you can do to prevent injuring your voice, like finding a proper vocal coach or using an online program or DVD. You definitely want to learn how to best take care of your voice – especially if you use it in professional settings. There is a lot out there I can direct you to – if you’re interested drop me a line at email@example.com
Peace and love,