Having a healthy voice should be a part of your every day routine. Just by taking better care of your voice you can greatly improve your vocal health. If you are having vocal problems and are experiencing fatigue and hoarseness regularly, please see a professional voice doctor right away. Catching problems early is the key to turning them around quickly.
1. Humidity is a singer’s best friend. The ideal humidity level for singers is 60%. Boiling one pot of water in a 600 sq. ft. apartment will usually reach 60% in 1 hour. For frequent travelers, run the shower in your hotel room every morning and evening for 20 minutes with the bathroom door open. You can also use a humidifier, but it must be on all the time (be sure to clean humidifiers every other day with water and vinegar as mold spores develop quickly). Get a humidity thermometer to read your levels.
2. Drink 8 -10 glasses of water per day to stay adequately hydrated (the equivalent of four 1 liter bottles).
3. Do not talk over loud music and try not to “glottal” (strike the vocal cords). Do not whisper as it strains the voice.
4. Do yoga (or stretches) and breathing exercises daily. Vocal problems come from deep contractions in the muscles of the neck, tongue, jaw, back, and diaphragm. A loose and limber body helps avoid injury.
5. I recommend going for massage 1 or 2x a week for the next month – have the masseuse focus on your stomach, ribs, abs and neck/ shoulders/upper back/jaw/throat as well as all over body. With my students, I provide vocal massage sessions to release the jaw, tongue, throat/vocal muscles and neck and upper back and diaphragm – and teach singers self massage to help them stay free of tension as much as possible.
6. Acupuncture for the voice reaps great results. Acupuncture works on the central nervous system and energy centers of the body to get your natural healing energy flowing. Once or twice a week treatments are very helpful in restoring vocal health.
7. Do speaking exercises to find your optimal voice placement. And be sure to warm up and cool down before and after performances every time to avoid vocal wear and tear.
8. Stay away from smoky environments and use Vocal Eze Throat Spray 3-4x per day (endorsed by tons of rock stars). Spray 5-6 times at the back of the throat, tip head back and let it stay for a few moments before swallowing.
9. Gargle with warm salt water daily; use Neil Med saline rinse every day as well (available at most drug stores); and drink Throat Coat tea (available at health food stores).
10. Steam 3x a day – breathe in hot water/steam for 10min
11. Consume foods with a high water content:
a. Fruits and Veggies: Watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, papaya, strawberries/ blueberries (all berries), romaine lettuce, celery, water chestnuts, bok-choy, carrot/celery juice, etc., b. Salads are your new BF. …