Vocal Health

The instrument of our voice is our body. Voice hygiene measures aim to maintain this instrument and keep it healthy. The connection between certain behavior and its influence on the voice is not always obvious, so here are a few examples:

Vocal hygiene makes sense … …

… to prevent voice disorders
… to keep your voice healthyStimmhygiene
… to strengthen your voice
… if you depend professionally on vocal reliability
… if you like to use your voice a lot
… if you have the feeling that you sometimes experience small „discrepancies“
… for professional speakers
… for readers
… for all!

Aufwärmen

Warm up the voice

In sports, of course, when talking, clearly underestimated: warming up (and DOWN -!) The voice, so-called warm-up and cool-down, prepare the muscles and mucous membrane for an upcoming effort. Often a few minutes are enough to get your voice going or to bring the system back to a moderate tension after heavy use.

Nahrung

Food

Some dishes have an influence on the composition of saliva or gastric juice. If there is dehydration, mucus or reflux, this can lead to increased coughing or coughing as well as irritation of the mucous membrane and thus to voice problems.

Trinken

Drink a lot

Adequate drinking leads to better vibration behavior of the vocal folds, thus counteracting a hoarse voice sound. Preferably drink water, fruit or herbal tea. Caution: milk is often mucilaginous. Observe your individual reaction to certain ingredients, everyone reacts differently.

Körperhaltung

Posture

The body as the “instrument” of the voice needs tension that is as balanced as possible in order to function optimally. Daily exercise and certain body techniques (yoga, Feldenkrais, …) help to counteract tension and postural damage. Particularly important: raise your neck, proud of your sternum!

Umgebungslärm

Environmental noise

In a crowded restaurant, many people feel that they are having trouble speaking or even having a change in voice quality after a short conversation. Without realizing it, we speak much louder, the usual speech mechanisms are changed and this is often accompanied by an increase in the voice. The larynx acknowledges this multiple stress with sensations. Do not try to speak against noise. If it is too loud, wait until it gets quieter. Also switch off less conspicuous sources of noise: the radio in the background during a call, the washing machine running during lunch.

Nicht Räuspern

Don’t clear your throat

Try to avoid clearing your throat. When clearing the throat, the vocal folds collide with force and shift each other. Frequent clearing of the throat can damage the mucous membrane of the vocal folds and contribute to the tension in the surrounding muscles.
Even if it is difficult at the beginning: endure the need to clear your throat – it is getting easier. Instead of clearing your throat, take a sip of water or use the following technique: Breathe out briefly, quickly and strongly through your mouth, the impulse comes from your stomach. The jaw is open, the posture is upright, do not push your neck.

Bei Erkältung

When affected by a flue

If the cold settles on your voice and you notice that there is a risk of laryngitis, try to largely stop talking until the voice improves. If you whisper, do so without pressure, gently and quietly. Vigorous, powerful whispers, pressed in the throat, damage the vocal cords.

Gesunde Ernährung

Right nutrition

Try not to eat spicy foods before an important speaking event if you think your voice is reacting to spiciness. Dairy products, nuts and red wine should also be avoided, since these products promote the formation of mucus.

Keine Schadstoffe

No pollutants

We all know that cigarettes and other tobacco products are among the most harmful external factors for the voice. In high doses, hard alcohol also has a negative effect on the delicate mucous membrane of the vocal folds.

Gutes Raumklima

Good indoor climate

If possible, avoid dusty, dry, heated, unventilated or smoky rooms.

Bonbons lutschen

Suck candies

Menthol-free and / or unsweetened sweets can reduce the urge to cough and soothe the mucous membranes. In your pharmacy, there are various medications that provide relief in case of voice problems – get advice.

Mentale Stärke

Mental strength

Mental strength is an essential key factor for personal success and well-being, but also to master life better.

The following exercises support your vocal health

Stimme aufwärmen

Warm up voice and body

Start the day with a gentle, enjoyable hum on / mmm /. Let loose chewing movements flow in to prepare the tongue, jaw, lips and cheeks for speaking.
Wherever and whenever you can, yawn and stretch heartily and softly add your voice. By yawning and stretching, the tension in the whole body is released.

Lippenflattern

Lip flutter

Bring your lips into a light “kissing mouth” position and then send air evenly through the lips, which are placed gently on top of each other: it sounds like a loose snort of horses. If you don’t succeed in toning your lips right away, the index fingers on the left and right can support the corners of your mouth. Then add the sound and glide gently back and forth in the pitch – it sounds like when small children imitate car noises.

Gleittöne

Sliding tones

Start a / moo / in a pitch that is comfortable for you and pull the / o / slowly and loosely into a higher pitch, perhaps even from the chest to the head voice. Let the breath flow in again and then pull this high tone from the height back into a comfortable, low tone. This exercise stretches and relaxes the vocal folds.

SOVTE

SOVTE-Exercises

In our video you will find exercises with a straw that you can easily imitate at home.

Please note:
If you regularly suffer from symptoms such as hoarseness, tiredness of voice or a foreign body sensation („frog in the throat“), you should have these checked by a phoniatrist. Targeted voice therapy exercises or speech therapy can help you (again) to find effortless, clear voice.

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