You’ve Heard of Sleep Hygiene… So Let’s Talk About Vocal Hygiene
If you’re a teacher, a lecturer, in business, a personal trainer, a fitness instructor, or another professional that talks as much during the day as a cat sleeps vocal hygiene is essential.
What is vocal hygiene? It's hygiene for your voice. It’s caring for your voice so it continues to serve you. Vocal hygiene also helps you avoid a trip to the doctor (an otolaryngologist, or ENT) because it reduces your chances of damage to your vocal folds.
So replace that “apple a day” with…
1. Less throat clearing. Why? Every time you clear your throat you slam your vocal folds together. Imagine doing that with your arms – ouch… damage would ensue, right?
2. Fill ’er up… your water glass, that is. Drinking enough fluids throughout the day promotes something called systemic hydration (your entire body is hydrated, including your vocal folds). Aim for 8 eight-ounce glasses of hydrating fluids per day (or buy an extra large water bottle and fill it up as many times as needed throughout the day to reach 64 ounces). And yes, coffee does count toward your daily total (I heard that jubilant hoorah back there). Coffee is a diuretic, but only a mild diuretic, and the current consensus is that the body doesn’t lose as much fluid as you put in by drinking that liquid cup of caffeinated gold.
3. “Turn that thing down” isn’t just something that you heard growing up. It’s also important for voice health. Speaking over background noise (a loud TV, a noisy classroom, a loud meeting room, a fitness studio, etc.) causes you to speak louder than you need to. Remember what Number 1 said about slamming your vocal folds together? That happens when you yell, scream, or speak overly loudly… and can result in growths on your vocal folds that aren't supposed to be there and make your voice sound rough or scratchy.
4. Mics aren’t just for singers… Amplification systems can be used by anyone speaking to a room full of people. Many are affordable, easily purchased online or in many big-name stores, and are small and hands-free.
5. Keep clean air flowing into your lungs. This one's pretty simple. Don’t smoke, vape, or expose yourself to harmful chemical vapors.
6. Voice naps… are periods of vocal rest (not speaking unless necessary) throughout the day. They can be as short as 10-15 minutes.
These voice tips are so great that you have a hankering for more, you say? No problem! Contact Brave Speech and Voice Therapy via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone (630) 473-8315.
Are you or someone you love having difficulty with your voice? Visit www.bravespeechandvoicetherapy.com or contact Brave directly at the email or phone number above.