Wow, it’s been a hot minute since I’ve followed up on this topic. Sorry ’bout that – to make up for it, here’s Part 2 in the voice-nurturing series extracted from my FREE e-book, “Vocal-CARE 101 – Rekindling A Loving Lifetime Relationship With Your Voice”
First, did you read Part I? It’s a helpful pre-roll to this post, so have a quick read for resources to add to the ones shared today, and of course, feel free to request your complimentary copy of the easy-to-read e-book to keep, use, and print out as a reference along the way. Along with natural remedies (some of which you can find in your kitchen, garden, or local market) to help you take care of your voice, tackle sore-throats, and breathe better, you’ll also be navigated through exercises designed to produce vocal endurance and a refreshing sense of calm.
So, let's get to those vocal-care tips, yes?
garlic is a good natural antiseptic. A pod can be eaten, diced and added to a fresh salad, or steeped whole in boiled water and drank as a tea. I advise this to be done in moderate doses, as it comes through the pores especially in sweat. Eeek! I wouldn’t suggest talking directly in someone’s face for awhile after this, for obvious reasons. Beautiful aroma for food – but for breath….mmm…not so much.
moringa nuts/seeds, steamed pods, and leaves. Moringa is a natural and potent energy booster, immune system builder, cancer kick-boxer & repellant, and much more. For those of you in Barbados, there are ‘nuff moringa trees around island-wide; if you see any in someone’s yard, just ask a question. You’ll be surprised at how many people will be totally cool with you picking pods and leaves to help clear their tree. Maybe give them a way to contact you when it’s tree-trimming time, so you can always have a supply.
Three easy ways to enjoy its many benefits are: 1.) as a tea (leaves) 2. as a salad topping (leaves) 3. Natural vitamin (nut – crack and gently peel the shell off with a fingernail before eating. Potent flavour with a wasabi-like zing! A glass of room temperature water afterwards will have a sweetish taste, thanks to the moringa (which actually purifies water.) If you’ve never tried moringa nuts before, start with 1 or 2 and avoid any ‘energy drinks’ after that. For fans like myself, feel free to eat up to 5 or 7 at one sitting, then drink a glass of room temperature water. To be clear, I’m talking about straight-from-the-tree-moringa in this case, not any packaged moringa-based product.
eucalyptus essential oil helps with clear breathing, by opening the airways, and it can be used to clean surfaces as well as the air. This is particularly helpful for vocalists, djs, and podcasters who tend to spend long periods of time in enclosed air-conditioned studios and hot vocal booths, using shared microphones.
EXERCISE – Align your posture (stand upright, roll shoulders up, back, and set at neutral. Elongate neck, slightly tilt head up…and breathe.) Picture a car tyre with a tiny hole where air is slowly coming out. The same way the air pressure is released, picture any present life pressure dissipating. Pace that tempo with your breathing. So (with your eyes closed), inhale for 5 seconds, and exhale through your mouth with a “sssssssss” sound. Tighten your tummy muscles on the exhalation. Do this 10 times, (gradually longer on the inhale, shorter on the exhalation) breathing in clear and healthy thoughts, and expelling doubts and insecurities. This exercise is also helpful as a stress-reliever.
How often do you consciously deep-breathe during your day? We all can use a reminder in this area, with the prevalent ‘hustle’ trend that can conflict with a healthy, sustainable living. Making an effort to assign quality time to breathe fully, inhale fresh air and release stale air is essential.
As a Speaker, Dj, Podcaster, or Vocalist, this exercise is a double plus for you, as it will help you strengthen your core and give your voice wings to soar.
Taking time to slow down and be conscious of the quality and tempo of our thoughts while working on improving our breathing, affects our sense of wellbeing and attitude of gratitude.
None of us is perfect, and learning is a process. Being patient and proactive is a part of the process. Your voice, like anything else, requires care. The more you use it, the more attention it needs. I find that placing certain items in my view can help remind and inspire me to incorporate them into my day. For instance, placing a bowl of limes on the kitchen counter, along with some tamarind or moringa leaves is likely to prompt you to grab some and make some tea before you head out in the morning. Setting some therapeutic grade peppermint oil on your bedside table serves as a little reminder to splash a drop or two between your palms and inhale to help relieve any minor congestion.
You matter – and so does your voice.
Want the FREE “Vocal-CARE 101” e-book or interested in booking an online Vocal Coaching session?