Now that winter weather is upon us, many of you will be turning up the thermostat to keep your home warm and comfortable. If your heat is turned up too high, you will be drying the air in your environment. Dry air will dry your throat and vocal folds.
To remedy this problem, I am suggesting that you use a hot steam bacteria killing vaporizer unit. You will definitely feel the comfortable and soothing heat that is moist. You will especially feel this wonderful moist heat at night when you sleep. I suggest that you close the door of your bedroom to keep the nice moist heat confined in the room.
You will be pleasantly surprised how warm the room gets with the awesome moist heat! In this day and age of high fuel costs, you can easily save money on heat if you turn down your thermostat to 66 to 68 degrees with the vaporizer. For those of you cranking up those thermostats at night, it will be a pleasant change and save you money on your gas or oil bills. More importantly you will save your voice.
Since vocal fold hydration is our prime concern during the winter because we go from dry cold air outside to dry warm air inside, the vaporizer use combined with a good amount of water. This really applies to singers and speakers who speak and sing many hours every day. Drink your water! But don't over hydrate. The current water craze with everyone carrying around bottled water is just that a craze a fad. A few years ago an article came out that said everyone should be drinking 64oz of water a day. Where did this writer live The Sahara Desert? Unless you're running the marathon in 90-degree heat, nobody needs to be THAT hydrated. Somehow the human race got along just fine without drinking 64oz a day before the article. BUT drinking FLUIDS is important. While water is the absolute best hydrate for the body, don't skimp on your fruit juices either. But watch the apple juice its gaseous and Orange juice can be very acidic. Distilled fruit juices or power water like those made by say, Snapple are very good.
When you venture outside be sure to keep your neck warm by wrapping it in a scarf or turtleneck. Also remember to breathe in through your nose at ALL times. Breathing through the nose warms and moistens the air before it passes into your lungs- a really good thing. Mouth breathing can - and will - lead to respiratory infections, dryness and inflammation of the vocal folds.
If you're taking any decongestants or antihistamines that can dry your voice or throat, you should take Robitussin DM or Mucinex to increase the secretions on your folds as a medicine supplement. This applies to everyone who takes antihistamines or decongestants for colds or allergies. I strongly recommend that you use these drying agents only when necessary. Consult with you doctor on their usage.
I suggest you consult your allergist or ENT doctor to go over your own personal issues regarding voice disorders and voice issues. We recommend a dust free and pollen-free environment. You should keep your bedroom clean by sweeping or vacuuming as often as possible! We hope that you find these tips to be useful as always.
Finally, if you do get a little phlegmy or get a build up of mucous in your throat, there is a great product called Alkalol which is like paint thinner for the vocal folds. Even though the bottle says to distill it, I've found it best to gargle with it at full strength. It can be found online at most online drugstores like Walgreens.com or drugstore.com. It's a singing trade secret.
Stay warm and keep practicing.
Until next time,