Why you should add a Swelling Check to your Check-in
Watching this video by Dr. Bastian made me go “D’UH, this is worth gold 🤗 Why haven’t I been advising my clients to do this before? 🙄”
However, we live to learn and I’m passing this golden nugget on now via this blogpost.
One of the key concepts of my point of view on warming up / preparing for a performance, rehearsal or practice session is the Check-in (see the webinar SOS Voice Part 3). Today, I’d like to urge you to add the Swelling Check to your check-in.
When you’re dealing with a vocal issue like fatigue, discomfort, tension, hoarseness or the likes, you might book an emergency-aid session with me. I will then spend some time analysing your voice, in order to identify whether I can help you, or should refer you on to an ENT doctor / phoniator / laryngologist. However, there’s a lot you can do yourself before making an appointment with me and / or the doctor! Even long before the vocal issue has presented itself…
Adding a Swelling Check to your regular Check-In will help your voice teacher and doctor to help you much more efficiently
Comparing the results of your Swelling Tests of previous months with the results of today – now that an issue presents itself, will help you to understand whether you can solve this issue yourself or need help. It will also give your teacher and doctor extremely valuable information on your voice and how they should proceed in order to help you get your happy voice back.
Vocal cord swelling checks can even help prevent a chronic vocal injury.
The swelling checks, which are a pair of short, simple vocal exercises, help you to monitor the health of your vocal cord mucosa and detect the presence of any possible swelling, which could be the beginning of a potentially more serious vocal cord injury. By performing these checks twice a day every day, you can hopefully respond quickly to any warning signs and avoid the need for treatment down the road. In this video, Dr. Bastian explains more fully how vocal injury might occur, he introduces and demonstrates the two swelling checks he recommends, and he discusses the long-term strategy for incorporating these checks into your daily routine.
Swelling checks allow every singer to establish a personal “baseline” when they first become aware of vocal cord swelling checks. This baseline can be determined, no matter what the voice type, singing style, and whether the vocal cords are normal or already damaged. Then, going forward, you can monitor to make sure that baseline is either stable or improving, and not deteriorating. It allows one to know when they have “overdone it” and created even subtle swelling. It would permit one to know that existing mucosal injury is resolving, if the baseline is improving (meaning the “initial mucosal ceiling is rising, semitone by semitone).
Buy access to the recording of my webinar SOS Voice Part 3, and dive deep into the world of SOVT’s like fricatives, humming, raspberries, straw singing, lax vox, flow ball and more! 🙂
Janet Wilson - Singer
Manon Campens - Singer
Sarah Joyce - Singer & Voice Teacher