Even after 20 years of singing Opera internationally, I still am amazed at the power of "nerves". More often than not, I feel as though the only thing I ever worry about anymore is how to relax and enjoy myself. As performers we are constantly put in positions of having to be "on". This means we need to appear totally relaxed and at ease, but at the same time need to be fully energized so that our voice can get up and out of our body when we need it to. This is no easy task. The balance is what truly great performers have achieved. I have spent many years experimenting, researching and ultimately using herbs, supplements and diet to successfully achieve this balance. I would like to share with you some very easy and effective ways I have found that work, while having no negative effects on the voice, throat or body, which may help you find the right balance for yourself.
An excellent calming agent for the nerves is not easy to find because we need to stay alert and have access to our energy. There are some excellent natural alternatives you can take to achieve this balance.
1. Theanine- Theanine is found in green tea. It is extracted and put into a capsule or tablet form. Theanine has a calming effect on the body by evening out the chemicals in the brain and relaxing the nervous system. It does not make you tired or drowsy the way a pharmaceutical drug will. You can find it in various dosage levels and it can be bought without a prescription.
2. Borage Oil- Borage oil comes from the borage plant. This extracted oil is produces more of an overall body feeling. It does not have the same effect in the brain as Theanine, instead it calms the body. It has been known for centuries as the "feel good" plant due to it's calming effects. When taken as a tea, it has the same effect as well as an added bonus; it helps to clear phlegm from the throat and lungs.
3. Gaba- Gaba is an amino acid found in the brain that helps your brain to slow down and transmit messages to your body to relax. It is often used to induce sleep. I have found it to be extremely effective at helping me to relax without slowing down my performance energy. I take it daily especially when I know I have a coaching, lesson, performance or audition.
As voice professionals we need to keep our mind, body, throat and voice as healthy as possible ALL THE TIME! This is not a game we are playing. We cannot afford to call in sick. Our health and especially our vocal health needs to be the number one priority in our lives. You may find many other natural, safe and effective solutions to vocal issue on my blog at Superiorvocalhealth.blogspot.com.
I wish you the best on your quest to superior vocal health.
David Aaron Katz