Una Ulla

SInger | Vocal Coach

Una Ulla singer | songwriter | vocal coach from Latvia

Are you a singer and you're getting sick? Here's my advice♡

Silent treatment for good

We all get sick sometimes. like I did today. So I thought I would share my strategies to deal with the beast. Soar throat, stuffed nose, head falling off your shoulders and body all zombified, you know what I'm talking about. 

First things to prevent you from getting sick is SLEEPING well and BEING HYDRATED.

Nothing new, right? It is so easy to not do, that I thought I should remind my dear singers of that.

I need 8,5 hours to feel rested. It is a lot, but that is me and my body. You might be different. So just in general, get good sleep as much as you need and when you can. 

You know how people drink water on the stage? And most have the idea that it is because your vocal cords get dry, but the truth is, when you drink, the liquid doesn't even touch the vocal folds. The stage fright (flight and flee response) takes your body liquids and readies your body for a battle, which leaves you with a dry mouth, so water can help with that. But healthy vocal folds are the ones hydrated days before. So, before an upcoming show, make sure you drink water and sleep well.

When the bug gets you, you need to do the same, SLEEP and DRINK WATER. Now, other liquids are good too, but tea and coffee might dry you out a little.  Lemon water cuts through the mucus and then if you use honey after, that can help heal the soar throat. The main thing I have found for myself from all the advice I have read is, don't let your throat get dry. Throat LOZENGES are good. I sometimes use VOCALZONE. They are made for singers and are soft, so I prefer them over hard candy. After hard candy my gums feel weird.  

I also have a BUCKTHORN OIL spray that I got in Latvia, called FARINGO SPRAY. When you start to feel the tingle, use it right away, that will make the process of healing take less time. KEEP YOUR THROAT FROM GETTING DRY. When I am sleeping I cover my nose and mouth with a blanket or a thin scarf, again, to keep my throat from drying out over the night. It is the same thing I do on airplanes. Dry throat means it has a less chance to defeat the bug that has gotten you down in the first place.

What to do with clogged nose. My way of dealing with it is STEAM. I boil some water, put in some chamomile tea, take a towel over my head and breath in the vapor. Be careful to not burn yourself. And don't over do it. After this procedure, don't go outside right away.  Another thing I sometimes do is drain my nose with light salt water. But it is very unpleasant so unless you have experience with it, I say stick to the steam. I sometimes use OCEAN WATER nose sprays during the day. When it comes to worst and I have to sing but my nose is clogged, I use stronger nose sprays, but be careful to ask for spray that keeps the moisture. The worst is when your passages are open but dry as a desert. 

Do as much talking as absolutely necessary, and not a bit more. SILENT TREATMENT for everybody for your benefit. Seriously, you need to shut up, no humming, singing, talking, whispering. Miming is ok. It's our day to e-mail and text everybody. The less you talk the quicker you will get back in the game. 

When I have to perform and I have no way out of it, which unfortunately happens, I do this:

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- sleep as much as I can before while keeping my throat from drying out with a scarf or a face mask
- avoid talking
- drink as much water as I can. Lemon water sometimes and then honey after it
- lozenges and buckthorn oil for throat during the day
- steam or drain the nose, but not over do it
- if my nose is still clogged when I have to sing, I use nose sprays, but the ones that keep the moisture

I hope this was useful. Please let me know if there are other methods that you use and that have helped you. Let's share the knowledge among this beautiful community. 

Let your voices ring.