Many doctors have trouble proving that the most common hiccup cures are actually just myths. Many of the actually work, and we are going to explain why. See, there is something called a placebo, that is basically a drug that doesn’t work or has to effect on the body physiologically. However, mentally, the patient is completely aware of the drug and thinks that the consumption of the drug should have a positive or negative effect on the body. See, the mind is a powerful thing and it is extremely easily to influence. Try to follow some of the methods mentioned below to get rid of your hiccups immediately.
How do we get hiccups?
Many people ask the question “Where do hiccups come from”, or “How do I get hiccups”, and the answer is in the muscle that controls your lungs. The diaphragm is a large muscle in your abdomen laying directly below your lungs. It generally has a rhythm that it follows and makes breathing very easy. However, sometimes it gets out of rhythm and jerks your lungs around. When this happens, it forces your lungs to take in a large amount of air, or release a lot of air very quickly, causing what we call a hiccup. Generally, this irritation of the diaphragm is caused by eating too fast or a scratch in the throat. Sometimes even a feeling of nervousness or excitement can cause hiccups to develop. Try to eat slower to reduce the chances of getting hiccups, since many times hiccups are caused by consuming too much food too quickly.
Eating or drinking
Try drinking some water out of a straw. Many people report that this method works and can cure the spasms of your diaphragm for what seems to be no reason at all. This method has been proven time and time again to be an effective cure to stop hiccups. Some say that gulping down large amounts of water prevents your body from hiccuping because it would cause damage to your throat and lungs.
Since your brain realizes this and doesn’t want to cause any harm, it turns off the spasms causing the hiccups. For some reason, this technique works amazingly well on young children and kids. It still works great on adults, but the process may need to be extended from a couple gulps to an entire glass. Beware though, that drinking a large amount of water can cause bloating and the eventual need to urinate. Some say that using multiple straws can increase the effectiveness. Others say that this only makes the patient look funny and humiliates themselves. Whatever the reason may be, try it and test the outcomes based on your own results.
Remember that everyone is different and one method may not work for someone else. Curing the hiccups is a very interesting topic since there is no absolute cure, and symptoms are relieved by different methods. Another method is to drink the water upside down. The idea behind this is that your brain has to work out to balance the cup and the water without spilling it. All the focusing on this task literally makes your brain forget about having the hiccups. Be very careful to not spill the drink, and try to only use water in the event that if you do spill it, there won’t be any serious stains.
Eating sweet food, such as sugary candy also has been found as an effective home remedy to hiccups. The basic thought process is to overload the nerve endings in your mouth and tongue with sweet substances to trick your brain. Literally just a teaspoon of sugar will do the trick. This idea also works with sour stuff. Try biting in to a lemon and sucking the tart juice to the best of your ability. The effect on your brain is comparable to someone scaring you and initiating the flight or flight response. This sudden shock will help you completely forget about your hiccups. For those with a strong stomach, pickle juice, ketchup, and vinegar works well too. Consider swallowing a teaspoon of raw salt to reduce the amount of diaphragm spasms. If you follow this method, drink a cup of water after to get rid of the bad taste that follows. Slow breathing will be needed as well.
Peanut butter is a great homemade herbal remedy to the common hiccups. Simply scoop out a big spoonful of organic peanut butter and hold it in your mouth for about a minute before swallowing without chewing. After a few seconds, your saliva will start breaking down the thickness a bit. I do not recommend the peanut butter with nuts as this may be an very undesirable and dangerous experience. Other types of butters such as salted butter and Nutella seems to work great too at stopping hiccups instantly.
Since hiccups are literally just an uncontrolled spasm in your diaphragm (the muscle that controls your lungs and breathing), it would make perfect sense to take some deep breaths to try and control them. Take an extremely deep breath, but not so deep that it causes pain, and exhale all the air in a strong, controlled fashion, focusing on getting all of the air out.
Another trick is to breath air with your mouth open. Try to gulp large amount of air in a quick, spastic motion. This strange form of breathing should break the cycle causing your hiccups. Note to get rid of any tight clothing around your chest. If this method doesn’t work, try breathing through your nose very slowly. Then, once your lungs are completely full with oxygen and can’t take in anymore, breath out as forcefully as possible, keeping safety first. Repeat this process 10 times and your hiccups should be gone.
Some people actually report that intense focusing can completely get rid of hiccups overnight. First, start by trying something such as meditation. Sit in an very quiet room without extra noise. Then, focus. This can be intimidating and difficult for many, but it can be easier if you try praying. Think about your future, your past, stuff you would change if you could. Another form of intense focus to distract yourself form hiccups is whistling. Try whistling a song, tune, or some other interesting note that you don’t have memorized. A third method is playing with your fingers. I remember my mother teaching me a very simple trick that seems to work everytime. Cross your hands like you are holding a significant other’s hand. Now, put your thumbs very close together. The goal is to try to touch your fingernails together without anything else touching. The focus associated with this game seemed to help distract me from the hiccups.
Exercise has also been proven as a great cure to the hiccups. It seems that motions which greatly raise your heart rate and increase your breathing work best. Try performing some burpees. These are basically a push up followed by a jump into the air. For extremely fit athletes, this will be quite easy, however overweight patients may need an easier option. Going for a short walk around the block, or climbing a few flights of stairs can get rid of hiccups if it raises your breathing rate enough. For some people, just standing up after a long nap session is enough energy to shock their body into stopping the hiccups.
The flight attendant method works for some. Find and sit in a chair with a straight back. Then, place both of your hands on your ears, wrapping your fingers on the back of your neck. Slowly lower your head and bend over, placing your head between your legs. This position is comparable to the way an airplane attendant describes the “crash position”. Continue sitting in this uncomfortable position until the hiccups are gone or you feel sick. Do not perform this method if you currently have or have had back problems before.
Swallow enough air or drink enough carbonated sugary drinks until you have the urge to burp. Burping is higher up on your vagus nerve priority and will reset your diaphragm, causing the end of your hiccups very quickly. Another simple way to reset your diaphragm is to have an orgasm. Although this may not be the best alternative, it definitely works and can be used as a last resort. Coughing is a simpler technique that doesn’t activate your vagus nerve. For some, coughing can irritate the through area very quickly, so this method is a terrible alternative. Screaming works too! Go somewhere that people won’t be disturbed by loud noises and just let it all out.
Tickling is a very anaerobic activity that has a large amount of positive health and mental effects. Have a friend tickle you. There are tons of places that everyone is ticklish. A little secret is that we are ticklish in vulnerable areas such as under the neck, near the ribs, and the insides of the thighs. Since most of these are around important arteries, which makes them prime targets to tickle. The special sensation will cause laughter and distract your brain from the hiccups. 30 seconds should be long enough if you can tolerate it. Actually, any type of laughter will interrupt your breathing pattern and stop the spasms.
Stretches to stop hiccups
Try performing some specialized stretches which help to stop hiccups quickly before a larger problem arises. Many patients are firm believers that stretching can cure hiccups, and there are tons of hiccup stretches to try. Remember, what works for someone else may not work for you. The first stretch to try is very simple and can be done in a door frame. First, stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your hands in the air. Then, place your palms on the top of the door frame. Slowly lean into the door frame, stretching your abdominal muscles ever so slightly. While performing this exercise, don’t forget to control your breathing and take very deep breaths for better results. By the peak of this exercise, you should be about 2 minutes in, and start to form an arch in your back. After 5 minutes have passed, the hiccups should be gone, along with any muscle cramps in your abs.
If you seem to have chronic hiccups that cause pain or don’t go away after a couple of hours, consider visiting a professional doctor. They will have the expertise and proper tools to diagnose your case properly. Finding the source of the hiccups is critical to determining the solution. For all you know, there may be a more serious problem at hand than just hiccups. Be proactive and safe by visiting your health care professional if your hiccups last longer than you think they should.