By Stephanie Ciccarelli
June 29, 2009
Ever find that your voice just isn't up for the challenge? Are you exhausted vocally or unable to speak without pain?
As a person who uses their voice every day as part of their profession or occupation, it's easy to get run down and suffer from periodic or sporadic vocal inconveniences such as laryngitis, bronchitis and the like.
What happens when your voice is not able to emulate what's on your demo because of a temporary health issue?
Many voice actors and singers face that reality every now and then. Find out how resting your voice may be the ticket to getting back to your regular self.
When I was a student at university in the music faculty, vocal rest was second to none for protecting your voice and or encouraging healing for a voice in peril. If you were sick, you simply didn't sing and knew not to push it. This notion also extends to any stressful vocal behaviours such as yelling, coughing hard, forceful throat clearing, crying, talking on the phone, or screaming.
Sometimes, vocal rest can mean not uttering a word.
Instead of taxing the vocal apparatus even further or irritating the vocal folds unnecessarily, it is advised to take two and wait out an illness before trying to replicate what you are able to do when you're healthy.
The same goes for voice actors and professionals who rely upon their voice to make a living. There is something to be said for prudence, and when it comes to your health, you can't be too careful... don't be afraid to go to your doctor to get checked out if you are concerned.
Vocal rest is not just prescribed for those with the common cold or overuse of the voice, but also as part of other recovery programs such as heart surgery, for instance.
Just recently, a young Canadian soprano and fan favourite, Measha Brueggergosman, was hospitalized for emergency heart surgery after suffering a tear in her aorta. The procedure went well and she is now taking time off to recover. Part of her getting healthy regime includes not singing for one month, presumably so as not to place strain on her heart.
When you speak or sing, more than just your vocal apparatus is involved. You've got all sorts of muscles working together in your chest, particularly breathing mechanisms and diaphragmatic support, that when used during a time of recovery, can hinder the process greatly, even possibly cause undue painful.
I'm interested to learn if you make it a regular practice to take vocal rest when necessary and what you do to pass the time productively while not voicing.
Looking forward to hearing your stories,
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