Whats your secret remedy to get you through the week or the performance when youre not feeling well?

February 28, 2008 at 11:40 PM · I am not sure this topic has been covered yet. I got in recently from playing for a conductor with who I am performing with this weekend. My throat really hurts and body aches, I feel like crawling in to bed, but I took out my violin and did some slow practice for an hour before I gave up. What does everyone do or what remedy do you have when youre not feeling up to it to get you through the week, or the performance.

Replies (21)

February 29, 2008 at 01:43 PM · Water, vitaminc C, Zinc, soup, naps naps naps!

February 29, 2008 at 01:46 PM · Wow! Good question. I was sick a couple of weeks ago. I could not practice for a few days. So, I totally want to hear people's responses as to how you do not let sickness interrupt a recital or something.

February 29, 2008 at 01:58 PM · If it is a throat thing, then definitely take 1000mg Vitamin C 3 times a day to boost immune system. Also get some high percentage Manuka honey - lots of healing properties - and especially soothing for a sore throat. Other than that, drink loads of water, treat yourself with some of your favourite foods and use will-power.

February 29, 2008 at 02:07 PM · If you are truly ill, you need to rest & de-stress. What help is practice when your mind and body are not in reasonable form? YOu won't remember, and you might do yourself an injury. If its more the sicky feeling of general malaise and being overwhelmed, make conscious choices to put other tasks aside and don't obsess on getting everything done. Sue

February 29, 2008 at 02:34 PM · i know several physicians who are bed-bound for several days recently because of flu or flu-like symptoms. once you've got it, there isn't much you can do. obviously keep good hydration right now is a good thing, but whether vitamins or other elements are of much help at this stage, who knows, try it. for whatever it is worth, there was once a published study looking into chicken soup and the investigators claimed that there are indeed compounds inside the soup that inhibit viral replication. see, grandma knows the best!

for those who are not sick yet, one thing you can do is to wash your hands very frequently. it is rare that someone sneezes right into your face, but we inadventently touch our face (mucusa of mouth, nose, eyes, etc) all day long which increases the chance that we bring it onto ourselves. especially for teachers who invite students into their homes, it is tough. may have to ask them to wash their hands before coming over:)

turns out the flu shot formulation this year is a flop. since the current technology, based on egg culture, takes about half a year to make a dose, the antigens used are based on last year's flu virus. so it is a gamble how well it matches this year's strains which invaribaly mutate year to year. it just happens the match is poor this year thus the flu shot is not very protective.

there are companies out there that are making vaccines based on vlp/dna technology which can make vaccines fresh-ready in couple weeks. there is hope but it may take a while to get to the market.

February 29, 2008 at 02:44 PM · (Knock on wood) I don't get sick a lot. But when I do, I have found several things that help.

1) As much sleep as possible.

2) Lots of juice. Not sugar water with fruit flavor, but real juice.

3) I found a non-drowsy cough/cold medicine that works for me. Everybody is different though.

4) Clean out sinuses with saline solution. Very, very gross, but very effective!

5) Lots of hot tea. I like de-caf green. Added honey is nice too.

6) Ricola cough drops taste really nasty, but they work.

Hope you feel better!

February 29, 2008 at 05:09 PM · Thanks, its been a surreal experience so far. I gave a lecture and a masterclass yesterday morning, loaded up on coffee and cold medicine. Halfway through the talk, as 400 people were looking and listening intently my mind just hit a blank, for about 10, 15 seconds I just wasnt sure what to say next. So I said that Ive been talking about what I thought was interesting, why dont I answer some questions that would be of interest to the audience. That sort of saved me, and they had some good questions. I came home and went to bed at lunchtime after the masterclass. So far the thing that has helped me get through some of the work has been Thera Flu Severe Cold, it makes you feel almost normal but it wears off after about 4 hours. Tonight is the orchestra rehearsal so I hope it will still work. Be careful mixing cold medicine and cofee, it really makes you feel wired.....

February 29, 2008 at 05:27 PM · Hello, There's the good reason people say they feel dopey when they mix multiple (check the label) drug effects like that...that particular combination can jack up your blood pressure and slow your reflexes as well. Not the best state of mind for performing, or driving, for that matter. Try "non-drowsy" formula antihystamines to keep your nose from running down your face and making you snuffle loudly during a performance, but save the multisymptom stuff for bedtime.

cheers, Carol

March 1, 2008 at 01:14 AM · Tamiflu or other anti-virals can help, but must be taken within 2 days of start of symptoms. Failing that, bed rest, lots of fresh oranges, and a trip to the doctor when your lungs start to gurgle and wheeze are about the best you can do.

Pushing yourself when you're down is a very macho thing, but doesn't work so well for the over-40 set; that's how I ended up with walking pneumonia a few years ago. Went from flu to bronchitis to pneumonia, took 2 months to get more or less well.

March 2, 2008 at 11:28 PM · I would echo Bob's advice. My husband ignored a dry cough of all things a few years ago, when he was only in his early thirties. It was August, our doctor away for a month too. Someone else we tried wasn't too helpful, and my workaholic, gregarious husband did not want bed rest. He too, ended up with pneumonia that required antibiotic treatment and days of imposed bed rest. Sleep is one of the best healers and may help prevent nasty complications.

March 3, 2008 at 03:09 AM · The world will not end if you take a break. It's important to remember this!

March 3, 2008 at 03:21 AM · However, it might end -while- you are taking a break which could be a bit of a downer.



March 3, 2008 at 09:26 AM · But at least you'll live to see it! ha ha

Would be far more tragic for a talented young'un to send themselves to an early grave by overdoing it when the body is sick.

My two cents.

March 3, 2008 at 10:25 AM · I've found that I almost always get sick before major performances or juries. Cancel as many things as you can that week so you can rest, and if you ever feel a slight burst of energy, take advantage of it and practice. Get plenty of sleep, keep taking vitamins, drinking tea, and plenty of soup too. Good luck and hope you feel better.

March 3, 2008 at 01:44 PM · And definitely DON'T take any money from guys in masks, or offer to write any masses for the dead.

March 3, 2008 at 02:53 PM · Somehow I survived this weekends perfromances flying high on Alka Seltzer Severe Cold, Theraflu, and Lipton spiced chai. One problem I found was timing the medication, as the decongestants last only 4 hours. So you might be in the middle of a performance and your hearing starts to go, as the medicine wears off. It actually wasnt as bad as it might have been. The odd thing was that the hard parts didnt have any probs, but some things which were easy, and never missed before I seemed to have a prob with.

You can see those efforts on youtube.com if you search for Sushansky Kabalevsky. Thanks for the suggestions, those mini naps also were a big help, just sitting still for 5 min at a time, can do wonders to give you a little recharge.

April 15, 2008 at 10:23 PM · I have met a few musicians and teachers who say they drink Airborne during the flu season and swear by how great it is. I tried it and had no flu or debilitating colds so far in 2008. They say their sick days are way down from past years. It is a high intensity vitamin tablet that disolves in water, invented by a teacher who was sick of getting sick from the students in her class. Lots of sales people take it because they shake hands a lot and don't want to miss days.

April 15, 2008 at 10:23 PM · If I'm not too bad I'll first go out and get a half bottle of dark rum, that's very satisfying to glug at intervals. If it gets worse I'll take to my bed and not eat anything, drink tea and eat fruit as people have suggested.

But as far as playing is concerned, I usually find it burns the fever away, I once had to do a quartet gig in central London and while I was nearly fainting in the car journey there the arm movements get the lymphatic system going or something and I could play all night no problem.

April 16, 2008 at 10:28 AM · Tantra.

Definitely Tantra.

April 16, 2008 at 06:21 PM · Saline nasal spray.

It will change your life.

April 16, 2008 at 06:42 PM · try to retain control of your heart

if you do not play from your heart,others will easily notice.

faking music rarely works.

usually,i'm the only violin player

when i speak--they listen.

when we speak,then all is good.

just loose yourself in the gestalt

as i will tonite

dealing with guitar players

thank god,there will be no percussion.

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