Over the past 2 months I have seen more messages on Facebook of my fellow Speakers, Singers, Trainers, Coaches, and friends begging for help, solutions, and concoctions to save their voice during this season of sickness.
I haven’t been sick enough to miss a performance ever in my 18 year career. That doesn’t mean I didn’t do all it took to get through certain gig, but I haven’t had a real lost my voice from sickness in years.
DISCLAIMER: I’m not a Doctor. I never even went to college. So consult a physician before you say I told you to do this stuff.
Here are the solutions:
1 Prevention trumps Prescription
2 Natural Products trump Medication
3 OTC can help a ton
Let’s lump them all together so this blog isn’t so long –
Question: When do we prevent lost voice from a cold?
Answer: Before it happens!
Well, this is what I do and it seems to work. I keep most of this in my bag for every gig:
1 – Religiously do the following daily:
- ZINC Lozenges (the powdery-chalky-chewable kind, take these every morning and throughout the day without fail)
- CardioMiracle (a drink mix of L-arginine and other healthy agents to heal damaged throat from coughing, sends blood flow to the vocal cords for extreme recovery and prevention)
- Drink more water than seems humanly possible
- Wash your hands at every opportunity
- Stop screaming and never whisper, both will ruin your voice permanently
- OTC options for major prevention:
- Prilosec & Zantac – I take Prilosec every morning and Zantac every night. After many visits to the ENT through the years, it was finally acknowledged that I, and 95% of us as performers, have some form of acid reflux. If I take these OTC options daily I will NEVER get sick. No side effects that I’ve seen (other than maybe it helps with the nose wiggle?)
- Eliminate from Diet as much as possible: Acidic foods (strawberries, oranges especially), caffeine drinks, alcohol, soda, chocolate (loosens the sphincter – yes we have 2 of them in our bodies, the one you laughed about in grade school and one in our throats that releases acid for acid reflux, chocolate is the great weakening agent of this body part)
- Work Out Every Day
I can’t GUARANTEE all of these will keep you healthy always, but it’s worked for me.
However, once in a while, whether I’ve been traveling a lot, sitting next to coughing people in an airplane, or shaking too many hands following a presentation, I do start to feel that sickness begin to take form. That is when I make sure I’m doing everything from #1 and then move on to:
2 – Oh man, I feel it coming on, time to do the following:
- Dr. Christopher’s Super Garlic Immune Formula (this may be the toughest thing to drink that I take, it requires a yelp once swallowed, but this will zap nearly anything, and you want to take it a few times per day, just realize your spouse will not be offering any kisses that day, this is straight garlic juice – available at Dave’s in SLC, UT, not sure where else)
- SPROUTS and other National Health Food Stores will have the following:
- Aloe Vera berry flavored – drink this like it’s the fountain of youth, and spend lots of time in the restroom
- Colloidal Silver – use a plastic spoon, not your silverware, not sure if old wive’s tale but I stick to it
- Siddha Throat & Voice Spray
- Singer’s Soothing Throat Spray – there are actually a few variations on this and most work well
- Drink Concoction: Cayenne Pepper (dash), Pure Maple Syrup or Honey, Fresh Squeezed Lemons in hot water
- Sea Salt – Mix with water and snort, coughing it out. There are other saline solutions on the market, just be careful!
- doTerra and Young Living Oils – I am not an affiliate of these but my family (paternal and current) have used both for years and told many about their powerful effects
- Thieves or OnGuard – drink a drop or two with water
- Oregano – 3-4 drops in a large cup of hot water, do not drink, rather cup your face over it with your hands and breathe in the vapors as strong as possible. You will rarely feel anything this painful, besides a horse kicking your face, but do this a few times and you will be amazed (and possibly crying)
- Peppermint for headaches and migraines
At this point, you’re starting to think I’m crazy, but this is what I do to keep on stage without actual prescription medication.
If I do all of these things, or if I can do none of these things because I’m either on the road, forgot to do them, or need to do something desperate, then I do the following with limited resources:
3 – None of the natural remedies are working, I’m on the road, in a hotel, go on stage in a few hours, what can I do?
- STOP drinking caffeine, coffee, soda, anything but WATER for that day
- Drink as much room temperature water as possible
- Ask the front desk/room service for lemon wedges, honey, spoon, and make hot water with the in-room coffee maker
- Ask for any type of warm tea, preferably none with caffeine
- Turn on the shower at it’s hottest and sit in the bathroom, door closed, breathing in deep
- Avoid most, if not all, foods. Only breads, oatmeal, and veggies won’t cause more damage at this point
- Don’t tell your client you’re having a problem and believe you will make it through
- Sleep as much as possible
- Get out of bed and walk around, rather than lying down while awake, do in-room work-out, such as push-ups or jumping jacks
- Pray fervently
I have had many days like this, just because I spaced the prevention part of things and then the sickness caught up to me.
There is one final solution I recommend, but it is only in the most desperate of times:
Go to an ENT, say you have a gig in a few days, know you won’t have a voice because it’s currently gone, and the ENT will prescribe you a small dose (perhaps 10 pills) of Prednisone.
Be very careful with this medication. It acts similar to a bandaid on your vocal cords and your voice will return for about 3 hours so you can either sing like Led Zeppelin or Adele, take it one hour before you go on stage, and realize it will wear off as fast as Cinderella hitting midnight.
The problem with this medication is how addicting it is. It isn’t healing you, it is masking the problem, so many singers will use it over and over until they have ruined their voice. Be careful.
I wish I were cool enough to have a bunch of discounts and offers for these prevention options, but I don’t, I just tell everyone about them in hopes they will recover quickly.
However, I do have one connection, and it is to CardioMiracle. Full disclosure, my Dad, John Hewlett, is the formulator and founder of this product & company. I have used other nitric oxide supplements of L-arginine for years since I like to lift weights and need to recover fast, and the CardioMiracle formulation is the only one made with the purest ingredients and the quickest delivery to the blood cells. It is also my prevention plan for diabetes, cardiovascular challenges, etc. It is like a miracle on your body. The other day I returned home from doing a pretty harsh turn-around: Drove 10 hours to Las Vegas, slept all of 4 hours, did a 6 hour training, drove home over the next 7 hours (900 miles in the car, 6 hours speaking on my feet, in less than 36 hours). Voice was destroyed. 2 scoops of CardioMiracle and I have full voice back.
I told my Pops I was writing this article and he offered a discount for anyone that wants to purchase it – I receive no kickback, this is just my Dad being cool.
Visit CardioMiracle.com and upon Check Out, to receive 15% off, type in Code: royal
I hope you feel better if you are reading this while sick.
I hope you’ll begin to adopt these practices immediately if you’re not sick and are someone who relies on their voice to be healthy while on stage.
And I wish you the best in your performing, speaking, and stage career.
Jason Hewlett, CSP (Certified Speaking Professional), CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame, is a Keynote Speaker for the largest corporate events in the world. His primary message, The Promise, is essential for Leadership, Management, Sales, Marketing, Direct-Sales Companies, and is a combination of engagement and entertainment meets inspiration. Jason has even received standing ovations from IT guys. He has been acknowledged as life-changing by Conference Attendees, C-Level Executives and Hollywood Elite. jasonhewlett.com
Please click here to learn about how Jason Hewlett, Speaker Hall of Fame, introduces the opportunity for you, or someone you love, to have the gift of learning how to create a Career From the Stage and begin moving toward fulfilling a lifelong dream as a full-time speaker, performer, or entertainer.