Is your voice tired by the end of the day?
I heard a story the other day of a teacher who told his students, he couldn’t answer their questions on break, he needed to rest his voice for lecture because he was experiencing vocal fatigue. I have another yoga teacher who came to see me with a similar problem, she couldn’t get though a class without feeling vocally exhausted, strained, and hoarse. And what about teachers who teach 8 hours a day with bad acoustics, having to speak over the disruption of kids in class? I had another client once who was in sales, and halfway through her day, she didn’t want to make any more calls her voice was so tired. Vocal fatigue and soreness can be experienced in a lot of professions, but it doesn’t have to be a “part of the Job” any longer.
So what can you do about it? If you feel vocal fatigue and hoarseness at the end of your work day, chances are you need some vocal rehabilitation and to learn how to use your voice properly to support the sound you are making and eliminate pain and fatigue. I will give you 3 tools you can use today to start rehabilitating your voice and strengthening it for good.
Vocal fatigue can become a serious problem. As a singer, if my voice starts giving me signs of fatigue, I back off because I know, singing on tired swollen vocal chords can cause more long-term damage. The same is true for continuing to speak day after day without proper vocal support. The compounded result of using your voice incorrectly and pushing though the pain can cause long-term damage and sometimes require surgery. So…let’s learn how to use that voice and breath support to have a pain-free dynamic experience speaking each day.
3 Vocal Tools to eliminate vocal pain and fatigue when speaking.
Not going to get out of this one people. BREATHING. I mean it is everything. You cannot make sound without breath…it is what makes the sound through your vocal chords and it is what you need to support your voice when you speak.
When you speak powered by your diaphragm, not your throat, you will find your true voice and be able to project rather than yell to increase your volume. Connecting your voice to your breath is number 1 in my book for increasing your vocal strength and eliminating fatigue.
Watch my video here for a quick easy breathing exercise to get you on your way to diaphragm breathing. Practice this exercise daily, and start to be aware of when you are breathing correctly and when you are not. You want the power of your voice to come from your diaphragm, not your throat.
Okay so now we need to get your voice to relax and rehabilitate. How do we actively relax the voice besides just not speaking? The humming exercise below will help you relax your vocal chords and strengthen the connection of your voice, as well as help you find resonance for your speaking voice.
So now we want to connect the breath work to the sound. Vocal warm ups and exercises are vital for this part. A great one to start off with is Humming. Humming is an amazing, accessible and relaxing exercise to get your voice to open up and also start connecting your voice to your breath. You can watch my video here for an example. Humming using your proper breath support learned above and feel the vibration in the mask of your face, not in your throat, that is where we want the sound to resonate!
You can look up other warm ups online, see my videos, find a local vocal coach and start practicing your vocal warm ups for vocal strength and connection. Remember, always use proper breath support when you are doing any of these exercises.
AND one more tip for good measure – Drink lots of water. The vocal chords vibrate extremely quickly even making the smallest sound. Water helps your throat stay hydrated and helps mucus production keeping the chords lubricated and moving with ease.
This information is not a substitute for medical advice. If you’re voice continues to feel strained and in pain and you are constantly hoarse, please visit an ENT for more personalized attention.
As always, please comment and questions are welcome.
Happy Healthy Speaking and Singing!
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