Proactive or Reactive?
There are two possible approaches that you can take to the health of your voice: proactive or reactive.
Really, you can take either a proactive approach or a reactive approach to anything in life, but today we’re talking about your vocal health, so let’s stay there.
The best way to describe a proactive vs. a reactive is through an image that a friend of mine shared with me a while back. She has a background in massage therapy, and she learned this concept while she was in massage school.
There’s something called the Wellness Spectrum, in some circles it's called the Illness-Wellness Continuum. On one side of the spectrum is flourishing, optimal health - actual wellness. The other side of the spectrum is premature death. And in the middle is a comfort zone, false wellness - what my friend calls “the land of OK.”
Most people live in the land of OK - nothing is broken, they’re not sick, but they aren’t in the best health they could be. I’ve certainly fallen in this category at multiple points in my life: I’m fine now, but I could get sick at any moment. Or one wrong move and my body will fall apart on me. I’m not at the doctor every 3 and a half seconds, but I’m not exactly in optimal health.
The medical field is designed as reactive. They take people who have fallen below the “OK” mark and get them back to OK. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s absolutely necessary. But from a voice perspective, by the time you’re taking a medical route, you’ve already done a lot of damage. From personal experience, it is a much longer and harder road to be reactive with the health of your voice.
On the other hand, you have holistic measures you can take to be proactive about your health. Obviously my friend would suggest massage therapy, but exercising, eating well, and taking quality supplements also fall into this category. Being proactive about your health means taking yourself from OK and moving yourself forward towards optimal health. Every step you take you move further and further away from death. And then if something hits, you tend to handle it a lot better, because you were proactively prepared and further along on that spectrum.
As you can imagine, I HIGHLY recommend the proactive approach when it comes to your vocal health. That's one of the major reasons I started Artist Life. Being proactive is simpler, it’s much cheaper, and you don’t have to go through the mess of dealing with a ruined voice. If you can stop a problem before it happens, why wouldn’t you? There is so much long term damage that can be avoided if you know how to make the right, proactive decisions.
Here are some simple ways to be proactive with your vocal health:
Take care of your general health - good supplements, with additional focus on immunity support, can do WONDERS to keep your voice healthy.
Stay hydrated - drink enough water! Half your body weight in ounces should be the goal. Most people’s voices get tired because they’re not properly lubricated.
Keep dehydrators in moderation - limit your caffeine and alcohol intake.
Warm up - especially if you’re singing, a light vocal warmup can do wonders. Think of it like stretching before you work out.
Learn to breathe properly - if your voice is well supported by a proper, diaphragmatic breath, you have a much lower chance of injury.
Want more personalized strategies for how to take care of your voice? Feel free to contact me for a consult!
There is so much you can do to stay on the right side of the Wellness Spectrum. Choose to be proactive for a happy, healthy voice!