“You can speak well if your tongue can deliver the message of your heart.” – John Ford
Even if you do not have a voice disorder, you may benefit from skills and techniques to relax your vocal cords if you use your voice often in day-today activities. Vocal tension can build into hoarse voice, swelling, or in extreme cases a vocal cord disorder. Your voice is an essential asset; read below for tips on how to best care for and maintain good vocal health.
Consult a professional
We are here to listen to whatever level of concern you have, evaluate your needs, and provide you with professional recommendations, skills, and tools to maximize your vocal cord health. There are many people who greatly benefit from seeking assistance from a speech and language pathologist and with a free initial consultation we can outline the individual treatment we would utilize to help you reach your goals and determine if you need medical intervention, vocal rehabilitation, or simply some relaxation skills to keep you healthy and effectively communicating.
Warm Up, Loosen Up – And Breathe!
There are many techniques I can teach you to warm up your vocal cords, but why is that important? Just like warming up our muscles before intense exercise, warming up your vocal cords can reduce inflammation, hoarseness, coughing, and fatigue. Warming up your voice starts with warming up your body. Do some whole-body stretches, engage in progressive muscle relaxation, or do some diaphragm exercises. Some of the most effective ways to warm up are actually through controlled breath-work. Below I outline one technique you can easily do at home. Diaphragmatic breathing or “belly breathing” can help reduce vocal cord strain.
- Sit or lie flat on your back in a comfortable position.
- Put one hand on your belly just below your ribs and the other hand on your chest.
- Take a deep breath in through your nose, and let your belly push your hand out. Your chest should not move or only a very small amount.
- Breathe out through pursed lips as if you were whistling. Feel the hand on your belly go in as you release all the air out.
- Do this breathing 3 to 10 times. Take your time with each breath.
Water, Water, Water
Water is life; keeping your vocal cords hydrated is essential to vocal health. Just like you keep oil in your car to keep it running smoothly, water helps prevent vocal strain, inflammation, and soreness. Ask your SLP about how much water intake they recommend for personal maximum performance.