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I have had the same products in my vocal tool kit for a few years now. They work great, and I don't feel the need to change my routine up too much at this point. But this year, I decided to try out a new product to potentially add to my kit: the Vicks Personal Steam Inhaler. Between having a toddler at home and being pregnant, allergy, cold, and flu season just hit differently this year, and I was looking for some additional care and support for my voice.
I've thought about using a personal steam inhaler for a while, but never quite wanted to commit. In reality, you can get a similar experience by letting the shower run hot and sitting in the bathroom while it fills up with steam, but that's a LOT of water usage to do all the time. So I decided to go for it and try out the steamer for a couple of weeks to see what I thought.
I purchased it right before and during the height of Easter season. If you're a Worship Leader, you know how much work goes into that time of year, and how much our voices go through as well. This trial time that I tried out the steamer included a lotttt of singing during Holy Week - Service of Darkness, multiple Easter services, as well as recording an online Holy Week video series. So I was very curious to see how my voice would hold up, and if I could tell a difference in how or if the steamer would support my vocal health at all during such a busy time.
So, my verdict on the Vicks Personal Steam Inhaler - it's great! I have really liked using it and I recommend it. It definitely offered some additional support. It kept my vocal chords feeling more hydrated and relaxed, and also helped my nasal passages to feel more open.
I use the steamer before I do my vocal warmup routine. It feels like a little extra love for my vocal cords, and some additional chill out time for my brain, too. I use it for between 5 and 15 minutes, depending on how much time I have, and only use it one time per day. *I haven't used the included menthol packet yet because menthol tends to make me cough and dry my throat out. But I have some friends who use the menthol packs and really like the addition to their steam treatment*
There are only two cons for me with this steamer. The first is that it's not very portable. I may look into a smaller, more compact option for travel in the future, but I'm not doing a ton of travel right now, so this one will do just fine!
The second is that the cord is not very long, so finding the right spot to hook it up and use it took some thought. I settled on using my bathroom vanity or if I was only going to use it for a 5 minute treatment, I would stand at the counter or a dresser and use it there.
I'm still using this steamer, and am so glad I decided to try adding this additional tool to my vocal health and warmup routine. What about you, do you use a personal steam inhaler or any kind of steam treatment as part of your vocal warmups and/or vocal health? If you do, let me know how it's helped you. Happy singing!