By Cari Cole
Nothing puts a singer out of work faster than a respiratory illness. That’s it chica. You are down for the count! And nothing is more embarrassing than having to cancel your concert or apologize for you voice being sick. Ugh.
Here’s my 10 Tips for Staying Healthy During Cold & Flu Season, avoiding the dreaded cold or flu in the first place!
1. Wear a Scarf.
This is so simple, but so effective. I went out without one the other day and ended up with a flu. It wasn’t only that, but a combo of overworking (Mama pushes herself :)), stressful life situations and no scarf. BAM.
And pull that scarf up over your mouth in super cold weather to keep only warm air hitting your lungs.
This is the #1 remedy in the world for your vocal cords and lungs. Steam 2-3x daily with eucalyptus essential oil. If you can get around to steaming, just breathe in the oil. Long slow deep inhales and hold the air and oils in so it can circulate in your lungs. Breathe in through your nose for sinus issues. You can also gargle with it as noted below (mixed with warm water.)
Here’s an excerpt from OrganicFacts.com:
“Eucalyptus essential oil is effective for treating a number of respiratory problems including cold, cough, running nose, sore throat, asthma, nasal congestion, bronchitis, and sinusitis. Eucalyptus oil is antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and decongestant in nature, which makes it a good ingredient in many medicines that treat respiratory problems. A study published in Laryngoscope in 2004 shows its usefulness in treating non-bacterial sinusitis. Patients suffering from non-bacterial sinusitis showed faster improvement when given the medicine containing eucalyptus oil. Gargles of eucalyptus oil mixed with warm water are consistently effective in treating sore throats.”
3. Keep a Humidifier On Day & Night.
Humidifiers are on 24/7 here at CCVM. It has long been known that singers favor humidifiers which moisten the air. Dry air and vocal cords can mess with vocal performance. So much so that Celine Dion requested a humidifier be built into the theatre to help her combat the dry desert air. The Las Vegas Strip casino spent $95 million building the Colosseum for Dion in 2003, complete with a humidifier to protect her voice.
However — as stated by Livestrong.com “If a humidifier — especially the cool mist type — is not cleaned properly, bacteria or fungi can grow in the water tank and release into the room through the mist, potentially causing health problems ranging from flu-like symptoms to serious infection. A portable humidifier tank should be emptied, wiped dry and refilled daily. Every third day, all parts of the unit exposed to water should be scrubbed with a disinfectant to remove film or other deposits, and then the tank should be rinsed thoroughly before the next use.”
4. Do Yoga to Relieve Stress.
Stress is always an ingredient in getting sick. It’s hard to manage because it’s not so obvious. But doing yoga is one way of keeping stress manageable. Doing yoga will release stress in the mind and body and keep it from building up.
5. Indulge in Massages.
Yay! Who doesn’t want a massage? But seriously ~ it’s not a luxury as a vocalist. It’s a necessity. At least once a month, getting someone to dig into your neck tension and overall body tension does wonders for the singing voice.
6. Herbal Teas.
Herbal teas are quite helpful at avoiding colds or soothing them.
Teas with licorice, slippery elm are soothing and anti-inflammatory.
Thyme essential oil, which is obtained from its leaves, is often used as a natural cough remedy. In one study, a combination of thyme and ivy leaves helped to alleviate coughing and other symptoms of acute bronchitis. Next time you’re faced with a cough or sore throat, try drinking some thyme tea.
Teasmade with lemongrass, ginger, lemon balm, sage, or lemon verbena serve as antiviral sore-throat soothers.
Research at Harvard University shows people who drank five cups of black tea a day for 2 weeks transformed their immune system T cells to pump out 10 times more cold and flu virus-fighting interferon.
7. Nighttime Epsom Salt Baths.
The wonders of Epsom salt have been well known for hundreds of years and, unlike other salts, has beneficial properties that can soothe the body, mind, and soul. Some of the countless health benefits include relaxing the nervous system, curing skin problems, soothing back pain and aching limbs, easing muscle strain, healing cuts, treating colds and congestion, and drawing toxins from the body. An Epsom salt bath is known to ease pain and relieve inflammation, making it beneficial in the treatment of sore muscles, bronchial asthma, and migraine headaches.One of the simplest ways to ease stress and stress-related problems is to soak in a tub full of hot water with a few cups of Epsom Salt.
Ref article: https://www.seasalt.com/epsom-salt-uses-and-benefits
8. Raise Your Immune System.
Vitamin D deficiency is one of the causes of colds and flus.
Ref article: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-d-deficiency-symptoms
My favorite go to is Organic Elderberry Syrup by Honey Gardens. Works wonders. Yummy too!
If you are not vegan, The Transfer Factor is all the rage for raising the immune system. Looking for a vegan counterpart. If ya know one – hit us back and let us know about it!
And let’s not forget moving your body! Exercise is one of the best forms of boosting your immune system if you don’t overdo it.
9. Positive Thoughts.
Dr. Bruce Lipton, renowned scientist, stem-cell biologist and author, has scientifically proven the effect of our thinking on our cells. Negative thinking sends a whole cascade of chemicals pumping through our body that signal stress. And it affects our cells!
Everyone falls prey to negative thinking, it’s the way we’ve been conditioned. The trick is, to catch it, and program in a corrective “positive” thought. That alone helps to program your body more towards a positive mindset, free from “dis-ease” and stress.
The most obvious, but often the most overlooked. Drinking water and eating foods with a high water content (raw) hydrate the body, the voice and help to avoid injury and illness. One of the ENT’s I work with in New York said that if people drank enough water he would lost 80% of his clients. What does that tell you?
There are of course many more of these, but these are top of Mama’s mind to share today! Hope this helps!
Looking for some serious mentorship and professional guidance in a support mastermind style think tank for 2018? Check out our Artist Success Circle.