Prevent & Treat Sickness Like a Voice Teacher
You know the feeling. You wake up with a sore throat, you start sneezing, and before you know it you’re hit with the common cold. As a singer, it’s not something I can ignore and simply wait until it passes. I treat aggressively, while still being gentle on my overall system. I also take measures to prevent myself from getting sick in the first place. Nothing is foolproof, and everybody’s body reacts differently to certain things, but after collecting information from my voice teacher, reading up on wellness, and trying things for myself, here are my routines for prevention and treatment!
Sambucus helps my immune system stay on its game. This sweet purple syrup is elderberry extract, and it contains huge amounts a vitamin C, and also a bit of vitamin B6. I use a tablespoon of this daily in tea or on its own. It tastes super delicious! You can find this at Whole Foods and on Amazon!
Oregano Essential Oil
Oregano essential oil is used to purify, and I swear it does wonders for me. It keeps me breathing clearer, and also gives my immunity at little extra boost. I take a dab and I put it on the soles of my feet and the inside of my wrists. I definitely smell like pasta sauce….
On Guard Caplets
doTerra’s On Guard Blend of essential oils has a cult following. They even sell toothpaste and sanitizer made with this blend. I have the actual oil blend, and I love it! I use it in a similar way to the oregano oil. The caplets are taken just like pills, and I take a few at a time. On Guard contains wild orange peel, clove bud, eucalyptus leaf, and rosemary which all work to boost immunity and purify.
This is the quick way to give your body a major boost. I think it tastes better than Emergen-C, and has most of the same ingredients. I have one any time I think I may have been exposed to illness.
So if you start to feel the onset of a cold, there are several things you can do to shorten the length or make your symptoms manageable, so they don’t make everyday life feel impossible.
This is my number one tip for anyone experiencing sinus pressure, drainage, or a sore throat. I steam for 15 minutes at a time, three times a day. You can pick up a steamer from any drugstore. The ones that go over your face are particularly helpful. Steam thins your mucus membranes and allows fluids to move more freely therefore creating less irritation.
From the very first sneeze or sniffle, I take zinc in the form of Zicam Rapid Melts. This homeopathic solution has been a total lifesaver on many occasions. I’m willing to swear that it all but killed certain viruses I’ve gotten. Take one every 4-6 hours, and remember not to eat or drink for fifteen minutes after.
Not Mucinex-D. I use plain glucosamine. When you get sick, your body isn’t producing more mucus, instead the virus is thickening your mucus and making it more sticky, hence the congestion and post nasal drip. Glucosamine works to thin those membranes, so it can move more freely. The reason I say to avoid Mucinex-D is because it dries the membranes. While that may make you feel clear initially, those membranes wind up getting even stickier, potentially causing infections like sinusitis or bronchitis.
Salt water gargles
In order to provide relief from a sore throat or an abundance of phlegm on my vocal cords, I gargle with warm salt water. Not only does remove phlegm from your cords, but it also helps speed healing if your throat is raw from irritation.
“no, but for real” tips
Exercise & Sleep
This should go without saying, but the difference between my body’s ability to fight infection when I’m in shape and rested is absolutely incomparable to when I’m stressed and not taking care of myself.
Drink TONS of water
Seems like a no-brainer, but actually committing to drinking the proper amount of water for your body isn’t easy! For me, I have to buy spring water, because water out of tap doesn’t taste great to me, and I’m much more likely to pour myself a glass.
Sanitize your daily use items often
Your phone. You set it in the nastiest places all the time, and you use it with dirty hands all the time. Wipe. It. Down. Chlorox wipes are 99 cents in a travel pack. Get some. Other things you may not think of, but could harbor what makes you sick: gym equipment, your desk, the piano you practice at, your steering wheel, etc!
While I love being an educator, and having a professional singing career, it is truly difficult to balance sometimes. This is primarily because you are exposed to a lot of people in close quarters throughout a day as an educator. It is very difficult to avoid being exposed to viruses. That is why I believe in aggressive prevention and early treatment! I also think homeopathic remedies are generally more sustainable for a lifestyle where you are consistently being exposed to viruses. I truly believe you can sing while mildly sick if needed, especially when you’re treating the cold with some of these remedies. However, none of this article is meant to be medical advice. This is simply a list of things that have worked for me based on my experiences. Everyone’s body is different, and you should check with your doctor before taking any sort of medication-homeopathic or not.