Dairy intake will result in everyone having at least a little congestion and oh so wonderful mucus! (see article on how to deal with that monster!) The singer’s enemy! If you must drink milk or consume other dairy, drink raw whole milk or at least the least processed and definitely no hormones in it. Get organic grass fed dairy products. Even if you do all that you need to stay away from all dairy products at least 2 hours before you rehearse, perform etc.
If you have allergies, asthma, sinus issues staying away from dairy could be a tremendous health benefit. I love dairy , but I know that it triggers congestion for me so I only have it at certain times and only organic grass fed local dairy products. It makes a huge difference in my health. Cheese tends to be a big trigger of allergies for many people.
ALL store bought juice has been processed. Once fruits and vegetables are processed and pasteurized they turn acidic, which is not good for your vocal folds nor your body.
In our home we drink infused fruit water, make our own juice, water with citrus oils and teas. Saves money and better for us plus no added sugars!
Processed drinks have tons of sugar and artificial sweeteners and GMO products which adds inflammation to the body and breaks down the immune system. AND creates more mucus! They also lower our pH and cause acid reflux which destroys your vocal folds and is an issue for over 75% of singers.
SO.....stick with water, throat coat or rooibus herbal organic teas with no sugar or fresh juice you make before you
sing! I suggest investing in a juicer, if you are serious about your health and
better singing. Kale, carrots, oranges,
pineapple, lemon, apple grapefruit etc, the nutrients in them are super beneficial for the vocal folds. Vitamin C rebuilds the cells in your vocal folds. Fruits and veggies also help your immune system, which in short, results in less mucus and healthier singing. Note man made Vitamin C ascorbic acid actually depletes your body of other needed minerals as it boost your immune system. So get natural Vitamin C in foods or bioflavinoids Vitamin C supplements.
If you need to cleanse your lungs, to get more air for singing, juice an 8 oz glass of fresh celery and carrot juice everyday for a week and then once a week to maintain.
If you suffer from asthma or allergies I highly recommend this cleanse.
If you must drink processed store bought juice, ones that have lower acid in them are:
Do not drink them full strength, add a little water to dilute and reduce the acidity.
Carbonation and smoking tears up your vocal folds.
Try to avoid from acidic foods, especially if you have acid reflux. Acid reflux is something that over 75% of singers deal with and can actually ruin your voice causing major surgery and possible permanent vocal loss.
Coke and diet drinks
Simply stay away from all forms of these products, especially Diet Coke. The artificial sweeteners are simply nuerotoxins.
People pour coke on top of batteries posts to clean battery acid to get their car started. If it eats up battery acid just think what it
is doing to your vocal folds and entire body.
There are many more reasons to stay away from Coke, but that is enough for now! I'll write a blog on it one day!
If you must have a cup of coffee, drink the equal amount of water to compensate in addition to the normal amount you should drink daily.
Green, White and Herbal teas are low caffeine and high bioflavinoids, which are great for your immune system. Caffeine is a diuretic, it simply dries out your body/vocal folds
The unavoidable topic among singers.
Often I wonder why we really need mucus, it just seems to get in the way of singing. But then I do more research and remember how important it is for our body to function.
The problem is when our mucus gets thick. That's when bacteria loves to have a party in it, it becomes infected and then we get sick and often time get laryngitis, bronchitis and other respiratory issues.
So what do you do?
First thing, avoid medicines as they dry out your body and for a singer, that means your vocal folds. Which will create more mucus.
Here are some things I've researched over the years and implemented in my daily routine as needed to prevent thick mucus. Hope some of this helps you!
I add 5 drops of lemon vitality Oil to 15 ozs of water each morning. This has NO acid in it because it the oil from the lemon not the juice. Plus it is highly concentrated. This is the first thing I do when I get out of bed. This does many great things such as build immune system, gives great skin, alkalizes my body, helps metabolism and THINS MUCUS! And all the singers rejoiced!!!
If congested from allergies, I place one drop of Lavender vitality on the inside of my cheek or under my tongue, it gets in the body fast that way. Lavender has powerful anti-histamine qualities.
For post-nasal drip issues, for me is usually in the morning in the winter, I use peppermint vitality essential oil, I place ONE drop on my nasal cavity. If you have sensitive skin/eyes, you may want to use a carrier oil, with it. If you get any in your eye, simply get some carrier oil and wipe it out. Don't use water.
Drinking plenty of room temperature water, especially during the fall and winter months when humidity dramatically decreases in the home due to the use of heaters. Especially if you live in Louisiana or other southern states where we are use to high humidity. A humidifier is very helpful .
When we are dehydrated, our body still needs fluids, so it creates more mucus! Not good! So, drinking extra water will help think it all out and keep it in check.
Sugar, dairy, artificial sweeteners and wheat creates inflammation and mucus. GET OFF OF THESE FOODS! It will dramatically help your voice and overall health, even autoimmune diseases and joint health. Unless you can find wheat that is pure from seeds before the 60's when the wheat as we know it changed causing all sorts of health issues. Not to mention that wheat in the US is also GMO. If you have access to raw milk, that has good enzymes in it and will cut down your allergies- drink up! Sugar is better than artificial sweeteners that are neurotoxins. Cane Sugar is usually non-GMO, but it is best to get it raw and use in moderation each day. Local raw honey is the best sweetener and is also has antibiotic qualities to it and soothing to your throat.
All of the above will aid to freedom from mucus and ease in singing.
As we age, we begin to lose our high and low ranges of hearing. There are things that can be done that will protect our hearing.
If you are serious about being a musician, protecting your ears is crucial. Environmental factors also contribute, hard to avoid, but try to if you are serious about being a professional musician.
Ear buds/Headphones- I have personally known several people who have lost over 50-75% of their hearing because of listening to music via headphones frequently. Music at loud levels Lawn Mowers Machinery sounds Sirens Concerts- I know, we all love a good concert, but the truth is the music at those levels damage our hearing. Wear earplugs when possible. Also train your ears to listen to music at soft levels to learn how to hear all the nuances of a piece.
1.) Get off wheat, sugar and processed dairy. They simply create inflammation and mucus.
2.) Increase water intake by at least 20-30 ozs per day to think mucus. Lemon essential oil added to the water will help.
3.) Apply 1 drop of peppermint vitality oil (dilute with carrier oil if needed) to the nasal cavity and then rub your hands together and cup them over your nose to breathe in deeply and get the oil deep into your bronchial passages and nasal passages to open up for good breathing.
4. ) STEAM! Boil water and place 4 drops of one of the above oils that will open up your airways and breathe over the steam for 15 minutes at a time as needed. This will help with inflammation and thin mucus while cleaning airways.
5. ) Local raw honey 1 tsp per hour while congestion is present. Then go down to 1 time per day to maintain .
6. ) Thieves Vitality Blend, put a drop or two on the back of your tongue or in a glass of water. You can also apply to spine and bottom of feet, 2 drops each foot.
7.) WATER AND REST! Get more rest at least 8 hours and refer to the article on Water on this page for details how much you should be drinking.
8. ) Lots of dark green veggies and dark red fruits will help in building your immune system.
9. ) Juice 5 stalks of celery and 10 carrots and 1 lemon or 1 drop of Lemon essential oil, this will clear the lungs.
10. ) Humming for 20 minutes straight will help loosen any head congestions as the vibrations from humming get all the fluids flowing! Lip Trill exercises does the same things for the throat area.
How to support vocal health during injury
Sore throats are frominflammation, from strain or viral or bacterial. Everything I recommend for laryngitis can also be used if you have a sore throat or muscles around the vocal folds. Copaiba vitality is an amazing essential oil for this issue, especially for a dry cough.
More natural ways to reduce inflammation of the vocal folds and mucus is to stay hydrated. You can use essential oils such as
Copaiba & RC (refer to list on this page)
Complete vocal rest. Don’t even listen to music. Your vocal folds still work slightly when listening to music.
Breathing steam helps with the swelling of the vocal folds. Shower steam isn't hot enough to get into the smaller air ways. Boil water and put a towel over your head and breathe in that for 15 minutes several times a day until laryngitis is gone. A personal steam inhaler is also a must for singers. Contact me for specifics on what type to purchase.
Various Essential oils can be added to the steam to enhance this benefit. Lemon, Lavender, Copaiba, Breathe Right, Thieves, Peppermint essential oils are great to help with a sore throat or inflammation. Either in water or applied on nasal cavity, throat and/or chest or diffused. Local Raw Honey 1 tsp 3 times a day until back to normal and then 1x each day to support normal singing.
If you lose your voice for any reason, don’t whisper, it puts more air on your vocal folds causing stress and damage. A vocal fry exercise is actually the most soothing thing you can do for your voice if you are able to create any type of sound.
How much do you drink?
A healthy person, should drink about half your body weight in ounces a day. So if you weigh 100 pounds you should drink about 50 ounces of water each day. This does NOT include drinks that are made with water as your body doesn't recognize it as water and uses those drinks differently.
Room temperature filtered water is the best and least amount of stress for your voice. Cold water add stress to your voice restricts freedom in singing. If you are under the weather, have caffeine, on medications or an athlete or a vocalist you need more water! Be sure to drink the water through out the day, not all at once.
If you are one who has fluid retention/swelling of the ankles 20-30 additional ounces of water each day will help with that. Also Cypress essential oil helps with fluid retention among other essential oils.
An app that is free and helps you keep up with your water intake is called Plant Nanny. Most people think they drink enough water but once they log it, they realize they are not drinking near enough water.
We MUST stay hydrated for our instrument to work correctly! As we talk and sing, we use a significant percentage of water. If you
sing for 30 minutes you have lost ounces of water! You must consider yourself as an athlete . Water should be room temperature, the same temperature as your vocal folds. Cold beverages and Iced beverages add stress to your vocal folds and cause you to have to warm-up all over again if you drink after warming up! In the winter, when the heaters are on and the air is super dry, drink more water. Also a humidifier in your bedroom will help dramatically. If you are not hydrated, your body creates its own form of hydration to keep the body working in the form of mucus. If you stay hydrated the chances of colds, viruses and all ways to get mucus dramatically decrease. If you do get a virus that causes congestion staying hydrated will keep the mucus thin and you still able to sing! You know you are hydrated if you: “Pee Clear”. Some singers don’t even go on stage if this phrase isn’t true! If your nose is moist. Rule of thumb if your nose is dry, your throat is dry. You want some level of moisture in your nose. The Entertainers Throat Spray you can spray in your nose to keep it moist. Also Lemon Essential Oil will help with moisture by building electrolytes in your body. Warm Sea Salt water – good to soothe and heal sore throat
As singers, our bodies are our instrument. It is crucial that we take care of our bodies. As a vocalist you are a vocal athlete! On this page you will find a wealth of information how to keep your instrument healthy. This is also a great source for respiratory related issues as this is the main health issue vocalists deal with on a daily basis because of the amount of air needed to sing.
My story as a professional musician.
I sing at least 8 hours daily plus talking on top of that. Years ago, I suffered from laryngitis several times, acquired asthma, allergies, even started getting walking pneumonia annually. This really puts a damper on vocal coaching & singing. Might I add all this happened while I started working on my first album in Nashville! Since then I've done a ton of research on the topic and no longer suffer from any of those conditions. Now I want to pass it on to all of you! I hope all that I went through can help some of you relieve those same issues and find freedom in singing. Depending on your health issues you may need to read a combination of articles blow to find the key to unlocking your needs. Use the contact page to message me with any questions you have on specific issues on this topic. - Carolyn
* Nothing on this page nor site is intended to treat, cure or diagnosis any health issue.