[Callers] Caller's Throat

TF ravenluni at yahoo.com
Tue May 15 11:48:02 PDT 2007

I'm new to calling, but have been singing for many
years, some of that in musical theater, which can
easily strain one's voice. 

When I've overdone it, I've found that slippery elm
bark can help quite a bit - and it's healthy to boot.
Thayer's makes a good slippery elm bark lozenge. It's
inexpensive, easily portable, and even comes in two

Honey with lemon is another old standard for soothing
the throat (and after the gig, you can add a slug of

Drinking a lot of water is a very good idea,
especially if you're getting that thick mucusy quality
to your voice. You can also use expectorants like
guaifenesin if necessary (a rainforest plant product);
this isn't an emergency fix though, so start early.
For general toning, there are many herbs that support
the respiratory system in general - such as mullein,
nettles, fritillaria.  These should be fixed up in
tincture or tea formulation and taken fairly often. If
you're interested in playing with these, I suggest you
consult an herbalist or good book by someone like
David Hoffmann, Rosemary Gladstar, Susun Weed, or
Michael Tierra for more info before making them; that
way you can make something perfect for your situation.

There's also an over-the-counter homeopathic
concoction out called "Sore Throat Relief" by
Natra-Bio. I've been trying that recently and had some

Whatever you do, do *not* use that anesthetic throat
spray. All it does is make you unconscious of the
damage being done. Yes, it can get you through a gig
but I've seen people permanently ruin their voices
through its use.

If you're not already doing this, I'd also suggest
several tips that singers use regularly: 
*practice calling from your chest voice instead of
your throat voice (causes less strain overall) 
*practice breathing from deep in the chest (imagine
your lungs as a vase being filled from the bottom up)
- this also gives you  more staying power and
*loosen your jaw muscles overall through goofy-looking
yoga type exercises (like the lion pose where the
mouth is wide open w/ tongue stuck far out, & eyes
rolled upward); neck & shoulder rolls 
*whenever you think of it, relax your jaw by opening
your mouth a bit & letting your jaw hang slack, and
breathing deep.
These might not work in the middle of a call <g>, but
if practiced regularly, will make calling easier on
your body, therefore less likely to get strained.

Best of luck to you and your throat's health!

Tina Fields

> I have been suffering some with what may be mild
> laryngitis.  I had been
> practicing pretty regularly for an upcoming gig, but
> I did not feel that I
> was straining my voice.  I have been drinking a lot
> of water.  What else do
> you do - if anything - to help once you have throat
> or voice problems?  I
> still have about 2 weeks before the gig.
> Thanks as always,
> Rickey

Hindsight Now!

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