I wrote two weeks ago about hydration.  How are you doing with that?  Hydration is one key component of whole body – and voice specific – care.

So the next question:  how’s your mucus situation?  (not a question to raise in casual conversation, I guess).  Many things can affect tone production, and mucus and/or congestion are major players.  Too little mucus production isn’t a good thing for your nose and sinuses.  Too much leads to congestion and blockages, which leads to vocal compensation which leads down bad roads.  Ask me how I know.

Your body will respond to stimulants in its own individual way.  My own body has found that eliminating dairy almost entirely has had a positive effect on my ability to healthily sing well.  Dairy’s mucus producing properties leave me with a blocked nose and sinus cavity, and so I have to work harder to get good sound, often using bad technique.  That’s just me.  I encourage you to be aware of your own nose and sinuses!  You don’t have to be down with the flu to have your body impacted by your sinuses.

With that being said, I also used to be prone to sinus infections.  Those have drastically reduced in recent years due to regular use of a saline nasal spray.  There are a couple of benefits of nasal rinses – one is that they clear out any dust/allergens/mucus that doesn’t need to be there, and two is that they can help with hydration and lubrication of the nasal cavity.  Both of these things can help reduce stress on the vocal mechanism by creating freer passages for breath and air.

I use an off the shelf spray, but if you prefer a neti-pot or other manner of saline rinse, they’re all good.  As we head into cold and flu season, keeping your nose clean – literally – is something you might want to consider.

Maybe this is an odd blog – who wants to read about mucus anyway?  But it’s an important factor in helping your instrument function to its best ability, and I’m here to help you with that.

Shine on, my friends!

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