If you thought I was talking about alcohol, how wrong you are. I am of course, referencing the amazing power of Vocal Steaming.
Steaming, whether using a shop-bought inhaler or simply hovering above a large bowl of very hot (not boiling) water under a towel lubricates the vocal tract and can ease discomfort.
This is one of the best things you can do to maintain great vocal health.
Think about it, if you’ve just run a marathon, your muscles will be achey; a long soak in a hot bath helps ease that tension. Similarly, steaming alleviates any surface dryness or itchiness in the vocal tract by increasing our topical (surface) hydration levels. It optimises moisture levels on the epithelial surface of our vocal folds to ensure they are slippery enough to vibrate and undulate with better closure.
And boy do our vocal folds need to vibrate, sometimes as much as up to 1700 times per second!
So Steam!!! Morning and night, pre-show or post-show, using an inhaler or even in your own shower (seriously). Your voice will be better for it 🙂
Now of course, it is vital to maintain not only surface moisture levels, but to ensure we are drinking enough water to improve systemic hydration. This is more of an internal hydration system which uses water we have consumed for literally thousands of bodily processes keeping our skin, eyes and other mucosal tissues including our laryngeal vocal folds healthy and happy.
On average, we don’t drink enough water in the UK.
According to the NHS, men are meant to drink 3 litres a day (13 glasses) and women are mean to drink 2.2 litres (9 glasses). All too often, we fall short of these recommendations to the detriment of our overall health.
Water makes up 60% of your body weight and is used in a number of bodily processes, so for the good of your voice and your general health:
Drink up! Pee pale! And get yourself steaming!
Don’t forget, in addition to these helpful tips and techniques that I publishing here, I also provide one-to-one vocal coaching and singing lessons in Glasgow that really can take you to the next level by following a fun programme that I have developed.