Vocal abuse can be caused by unconscious vocal habits or unhealthy lifestyle habits that could be actually damaging your voice.

As a professional singer, actor and voice coach with a Bachelor of Holistic Nutrition degree, Masters in Holistic health and a Masters in Vocal Pedagogy, I have had many clients in both America and Australia that have sought advice for not only voice problems but health-related vocal issues as well.  My passion is to address the whole person and to help people create balance, enthusiasm and energy back in their lives which is reflected in the way they make healthy sound.  Holistic Vocal coaching is my specialty.

Allergy Medications

Excessive talking, shouting, throat clearing, coughing and eating foods that don’t agree with you can all contribute to vocal damage.  Many people have allergies, hay fever, asthma and post nasal drip for which they take medications to keep the symptoms under control.  The main problem for a speaker taking these types of medications is that they are primarily designed to dry mucosal passages.

We as professional voice-users actually need these mucosal linings to be healthy and lubricated, not dried out and damaged.  Too many of these types of medications can cause a dry, sore throat and a raspy sounding voice.  There are more natural ways to combat hay fever and allergy symptoms and many natural remedies work well.

To eliminate the root cause of allergies, you must find out what exacerbates your symptoms and begin eliminating those foods from your diet.  Wheat, dairy and soy are the most common allergens.  The next step will be to start on a program of immune boosting herbs, vitamins and antioxidants which can be found in any good health food store.

Digestive Problems

Digestive problems and acid reflux can also wreak havoc on the vocal chords.  I have seen many cases of this where it becomes so severe that the sufferer loses their speaking and singing voice completely.  This can also be treated naturally with two very effective tonics from the health food store.  I have had very good results healing acid reflux with herbal remedies.

If you suffer from reflux, be sure not to eat or drink alcohol for three to four hours before bedtime in order to avoid any stomach acid rising up the oesophagus and burning the vocal chords.

Relative Vocal Rest vs Complete Vocal Rest

There are two types of vocal rest prescribed by voice pathologists: “relative” and “complete”.  With relative vocal rest, the rule of thumb is to rest your voice for as many hours as you speak in a day.  That means no whispering, no coughing or clearing the throat, no sound whatsoever for a certain number of hours.

With complete vocal rest, it means no sound for much longer periods of time.  In extreme cases of inflammation or nodes on the vocal chords, your doctor may prescribe complete vocal rest for a number of days or even weeks.  This is extremely difficult to do, but having done it myself once for six weeks can say unequivocally that it works effectively and the chords heal fast with no operation necessary.