This is on the brain because I am sick as I type this. I was pretty proud of myself for not picking up any junk from all the sickies out there until last week when I got smacked with a nasty sinus infection.
I frequently get asked (especially this time of year) what to do when you get sick and need to still sing. Obviously, good technique has the potential to transcend SOME sicknesses. But honestly, sometimes colds just happen despite our best attempts to shield ourselves from the nasty.
So how do you save yourself from the coughing hoarseness that typically comes with a fierce cold? Ask any of my students, I preach a "Neti Pot" gospel. According to Wikipedia, a Neti Pot is: Nasal irrigation -the personal hygiene practice in which the nasal cavity is washed to flush out excess mucus and debris from the nose and sinuses.
Basically, you flush salt (distilled) water up your nose and it comes out the other side. Sounds fun right?
Here's the thing, most colds start up in your sinuses and worm their dirty way down to your chest and the whole thing ends with a hoarse voice, sandpaper for vocal chords, and the kind of coughing that makes you gag. Gross. But when you think about it, colds are a bunch of symptoms that only occur due to a domino effect. The congestion in the head and sinuses eventually drain down to the chest where you cough up that unspeakable mucus. I had a theory that I tested out this last weekend, and I'd like to inform you all that I was RIGHT!!!
I religiously used my Neti Pot every day of my symptoms. Now it was gross people, but I successfully re-routed all of what normally drains to the chest all out my nose with the Neti Pot. Well, that and some intense nose blowing. I had little to no drainage move into my chest which saved my voice. Now, I have been coughing. But it's a pansy cough compared to what normally happens. While my voice isn't awesome, I still have it!! All that coughing I avoided enabled me to actually teach today! (Skype though because I still could spread this, and I'll save you all from suffering)
So there you have it. Stop the drainage, stop the coughing. Stop the coughing, save your voice!! Go buy a Neti Pot, or some Neti "SinuCleanse" type of contraption, and conquer your cold!
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