Clearing Out the Crud

by | Jan 5, 2017 | Vocal Health | 3 comments

When your speaking apparatus is gunked-up… you can’t keep up your VO commitments so well.

And Boy Howdy, this is the season for gunking!

How many times have I seen anguished posts on social media groups begging anyone for quick-fix solutions that will allow the completion of a project in progress? The sinuses are full, or the voice is raspy, and who wants a miserable attitude clouding a professional voiceover delivery?  I got a long audiobook assignment once in the middle of a head cold, and I soldiered through it, but the publisher never offered me another job again, and I can’t blame them.

I don’t know of many guaranteed quick fixes for symptoms of the cold or flu. Usually, advice centers around AVOIDING rhinoviruses in the first place.  You know…things like getting proper rest, washing your hands, taking AirBorne, and drinking lots of water.

Certainly, some over-the-counter medicines do offer temporary relief (if you’re lucky), but over-use of these products can prolong the recovery too.

One consistent mention I’ve seen over the years is the Neti-Pot.  It’s kind of an old-world breathing treatment using vapors and a saline solution that actually can unclog sinuses in some instances, by thinning mucus and flushing the nasal passages. Google “Neti Pot” for advice on this.  Here’s the WebMD article on Neti Pot.

But of course someone would try to do an ancient remedy one better with modern science, right?

Maybe you’ve seen TV ads already for Naväge.  Looks like they’ve borrowed the basic theory of the Neti Pot, and added a few bells and whistles along with some plastic and hi-powered suction.  The basic configuration costs $80…the most expensive with a travel case, a countertop caddy, and more salt pod capsules than you’ll EVER use, costs $120.

My guess is, if you’re already clogged, you’d want overnight delivery.  Or if you’re smart, you might wanna just order one now, even if you’re healthy, ’cause — really — you KNOW it’s coming sooner or later, right?





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  1. Howard Ellison

    Holiday gunk, eh? Yes, in the January gloom I thought my career had croaked out until I remembered: sugar and wheat are a no-no. Tons of those over the period, along with brandy butter and additional stress – not to mention a dank British winter.
    Ten days on, throat and lungs are clearing – and in reserve there’s a steam inhaler I got from a rummage sale. If I understand you right, Mr Courvo, it sounds like the addition of saline will help, though I don’t see the physics of that staying in the steam.
    So next I have to check out those ‘vapors’.
    Just this morning, the BBC radio news anchor was apologising for a foghorning voice (no chance of a retake!). Why is this biz so yapping complicated?

  2. Sue Soltis

    I use Sinus Rinse by NeilMed (can be purchased at Walmart, Rite Aid, etc. for about $14) and it really relieves my sinus pressure. It clears out all the gunk! It takes some getting used to, but it is well worth it. Remember to use warm distilled water with the saline mixture packet. I’m at the tail end of a 2-week sinus infection and Sinus Rinse really helped!

  3. Jamie Cutler

    My advice..Find a local beekeeper and buy honey from each of their harvests (spring, summer and fall). Eat a spoonful daily and reap the rewards. Don’t buy the garbage from the Grocery store! It must be raw honey from a beekeeper. Also, probably a good idea to get to know your ENT Doctor (Otorhinolaryngology) Pretty well. I’ve been eating my honey for 3-4 years now. I used to be a snotty clogged up mess and I’m convinced the raw honey has helped because I only ate honey, no medicine. IMO honey is king!


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