Getting Over Congestion

Let's face it. As stage managers, we really don't feel we can take time off if we're sick. We really should. The show can go on without you. There should be a backup option to be figured out, or a day that they can function without you (especially in rehearsal situation). In a recent year, I managed to work an out-of-state job within 4 hours driving distance of a relative's memorial, and it was so nice to be encouraged to take the time to be with my family - even to the point to not rush back the next day to make the last few hours of rehearsal. However, sometimes, you're just feeling "ick" but could function if only you got that drainage out of your head and throat.

The sister of a college friend of mine is a massage therapist, and has two great videos that I usually remember to watch a little later than I should - which have brought me much relief over the years. I've especially used her technique before and on an airplane trip, when my ears were VERY stuffed up. I am convinced it saved bursting my eardrums at altitude. I'm including the videos here for you. Try them if you've got the stuffed-up-yet-runny-at-the-same-time feeling that I've currently got going on myself. (Luckily, I'm between gigs, BUT I have a flight the day after tomorrow and I need it gone!)

Here's the first video for general lymph drainage. When she gets to the part where she starts working backwards, however, stop and move on to the next video for an added set dedicated to the ears.

Here's the second video, tailored towards draining those pesky ears. I'm telling you, it helps me without fail! I'm sure I do it a little faster than recommended, and with a heavier touch. (She compares the appropriate pressure as sliding a quarter across a table.)

Keep these videos on reference when you, a cast member, or crew member is feeling a bit under the weather - especially do it before the gunk builds up too far in your Eustachian tubes!

UPDATE January 1, 2022: I just found a much quicker technique that you can complete in 1-2 minutes. Try that too!

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