Hi everyone! It feels like I'm back from the brink of death today as I've been so ill. I had the worst flu I've had in years and for a couple of days just could not get up from bed-that's horrible for anyone but an absolute nightmare for a singer because of the toll it takes on my voice. Over the years, having been ill many times before important shows or recording sessions, I've learnt what works and what doesn't, so I thought I'd share. Did you know there is no cure for colds and flu?! They're the most common types of illness but there is no cure, and all the stuff you get at the chemist for it simply masks your symptoms. That's brilliant for allowing you to get on with your day and function, but not great if you actually want to shift the illness. Here are 3 of the most common issues and how I deal with them...
1. Throat Issues
If it hurts to swallow, I put 2 tablespoons of TCP in a glass of warm water and gargle. I know this sounds disgusting, and at first it is, but you get used to it. The main thing is it's antibacterial and will get rid of those nasty germs that are making your throat hurt. Alternatively you can just gargle with salty water, but honestly, TCP is the best! Do this as many times as possible!
2. Nasal Congestion
This is the most frustrating part of being sick-being bunged up can make you feel so much worse than you are. A common thing to do is fill a bucket with boiling water, put a teaspoon of Vicks Vapourub in and then put a towel over your head and breathe in the steam. If I am trying to get healthy in time for a show I do this up to 10 times a day. The steam eases the swelling in your sinuses that is causing the congestion. Something a bit more unconventional I've discovered in recent years is giving myself a sinus massage. In the picture below you can see where the sinuses are in your face. I massage with my fingers firmly on the sides of my nose and then up onto my forehead. I do this regularly and have found it really helps to unblock them. Sometimes if I do it well, I even hear a popping sound!
This is the worst for a singer because every time you cough, your vocal chords smash against each other making recovery time even longer. We tend to cough more at night because of post nasal drip. The best thing to do is make sure you have a good pillow that keeps the back of your head elevated stopping loogies dripping into the back of your throat too much. Again I do lots of steaming, but not with Vicks, just boiling water. . Finally, if you can get hold of a humidifier and keep it on at night,it puts moisture back into the air and will help ease the dryness of your throat.
I repeat these steps constantly throughout the day until I'm all better and ready to sing again. I hope it works for you too!