Detecting and treating early signs of vocal damage
What can you do just before you’re about to suffer a vocal damage?
The earliest alert about a vocal disorder or damage should be your sensation.
When your larynx feels OK, and the voice production feels easy, that is, when you don’t need to pay attention to the larynx, it’s a sign you’re OK. When you feel the opposite, it’s bad. When voice production is difficult, your throat bothers you, or you are hoarse, you must take a time out, assess your situation and make a change. You are in danger of suffering vocal damage.
Generally speaking, any discomfort, hoarseness, or pain, are your body’s ways to tell you to slow down, in order to avoid vocal damage. More particularly, a vocal difficulty is the body’s way to prevent you from doing what you have been doing that might cause that damage.
Your voice muscles, just like any other muscle, consume energy, and when used intensively, they consume much more energy than when resting. In other words, during periods of vocal strain you must follow the vocal hygiene rules much more carefully. That is, have sufficient sleep, a proper diet, and if necessary, help your vocal system recover, using natural solutions protecting the voice box, such as TMRG powder. Otherwise, your voice-box may be more vulnerable to harmful factors, such as acids, mucus, viruses or bacteria.
All too often, it’s during intensive and important vocal effort that you suffer a vocal damage. One reason, is that vocal strain makes your larynx more sensitive. So, if your vocal folds are swollen or reddened, it is easier for the disorder to settle in.
So what should you do?
There are several routine responses to vocal disorders:
- Consult an ear, nose and throat doctor (ENT), to get your vocal folds diagnosed.
- Consult a speech therapist or a vocal pedagogue for reassessing your vocal practice and vocal training.
- Remember to have a rest before any vocal effort. A total relaxation of the body for a few minutes can significantly affect your muscle contraction, and therefore, your vocal performance.
- Regularly perform a few minutes’ long vocal muscle release, several times a day, using humming, gargling and all other usual release exercises.
- Adjust your diet to the level of your vocal effort. Your body must maintain a sufficient energy level both before and after a vocal effort.
- It is highly recommended to let your speech therapist or vocal pedagogue listen to a recording of you speaking or singing during a vocal strain, that is, during a lecture, a performance, or a rehearsal. Without this information, the exercises recommended by the specialist may not address the real reason for your vocal disorder.
Here are some of the many tips you should follow:
- If you ‘press’ your throat while speaking or singing, slightly nasalize your voice or yawn a little, in order to shift your palate.
- Massage and release your external voice box muscles: stroke the sides of your Adam’s apple (Larynx) from the top down, pressing them a little;
- Perform abdominal muscle and diaphragm strengthening exercises, to improve vocal support;’
- If you have no ailments on your vocal folds, perform neck muscle strengthening exercises, to make them close more tightly.
- Jaws and tongue release exercises;
When singing or speaking, you may raise or lower your head, but never let your jaw be projected forward. This is a commonly made mistake, which might strain your vocal cord.
- Carefully remember to practice vocal hygiene routines, such as relaxing your vocal folds before, between and after vocal efforts, having a sufficient rest and a proper diet. (Usually, one tends to avoid it, until one has a vocal disorder which seriously disrupts one’s everyday life).
- Be attentive to your sensations and vocal performance, to how your throat feels, and your intuition, in order to know when something goes wrong. The moment you feel it does, examine and treat the problem, change your life style, rest, exercise and eat properly.
TMRG solutions can help you treat such disorders, both as preventive measures as well as treatments of early symptoms. So please go to our online store and choose your solution, or contact us for free vocal hygiene consultation.