[nt_dropcap]L[/nt_dropcap]ately, the weather has been extremely cold, the temperature dropping from day to day and, as a result, many people are getting sick. It's officially cold and flu season. We all suffer from colds at one time or another, but when a singer gets a cold it can be a more serious problem.
Your voice, as a singer, is your life. It is your identity as a performer.
Your voice is part of your body, and when you get a cold or the flu, everything is affected. Singing with an illness is a miserable affair.
There is a lot of controversy about the common cold and what to do for it. If you've been ill for a couple of days and you have to perform, then I suggest you do whatever will get you well the quickest.
When you have an over-accumulation of mucus in your body and your body has built up too many toxins, it begins to houseclean to eliminate these wastes. At the slightest sign of a cold, you should start with these simple remedies.
- Steam! Boil some water on the stove in an open pot and, as soon as the water is boiling, shut off the heat and lean your face over the pot and drape a towel over your head to form a tent, then simply breathe in the steam through your open mouth and your nose. This will open up the sinus passages and the moist heat will restore the natural healthy environment of your nose, mouth and throat. Steaming can help to eliminate enough mucus that you can get rid of the the cold all together. Avoid clearing your throat.
- I highly recommend a hot bath on the first night you feel the cold coming on. Begin by dry-brushing your skin. A dry skin brush has bristles made of vegetable proteins and can be purchased at health food stores. By brushing your skin when it is dry, scaling off dry skin particles, you are simultaneously stimulating and opening the pores. It increases circulation on the outer skin surface as well. Your skin is an organ, too, and dry brushing aids the body in eliminating toxins through the open pores.
- Besides cleansing your body you should be drinking lots of fluids and eating proper food. Drink lots of water and natural fruit and vegetable juices. Fresh carrot juice mixed with beet juice and celery juice is a great aid to eliminating toxins from the body. Fresh apple juice is excellent and fresh grape juice is wonderful. A daily small dose of apple cider vinegar with it's natural antibacterial properties can help to quickly alleviate cold symptoms.
- You should also be eating fresh raw foods. Apples are especially good for the throat, as are grapes and melons. Eating fruit, which is easy to digest, allows the body to give all its energies to eliminating toxins and gets you on the road to being well again. And the classic bowl of chicken soup is good for you, too! Tumeric is great for reducing inflammation so don't be afraid to add a little to your soup. If you've been coughing a lot, eating an orange before you go to bed can alleviate a persistent cough.
- If your throat feels raw, make some herbal tea, add honey and lemon, and then add a drop of Eucalyptus in the tea before you drink it. The taste isn't that great, but it's very soothing to the throat.
- Last, but not least, 8 hours of silence, better known as sleep! You need voice rest to be able to work your body properly and proper rest will allow for recovery time for your vocal cords.
As you wait for the sun and warmer weather to return, celebrate your small victories and smile. Your cold will be over soon and you'll be back to your happy self sooner if you get your mind there first.