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The Cure for Hiccups

September 13, 2009

Yesterday, I was about to make a business call when I got the hiccups. I’d made the mistake of snacking on some chips and then taking a drink of soda. Whatever reaction this causes in my esophagus, I don’t know, but it usually induces hiccups. But, fortunately, I know the cure for hiccups.  I was able to perform my special hiccup removing technique and I was on the phone in no time.

I’ve heard a lot of different suggestions on how to get rid of hiccups, but none of them have ever worked for me. There’s the standard hold your breath, but usually somewhere in the process of holding my breath I hiccup again. I’ve been told to eat a spoonful of peanut butter, but I’ve had no success here either. I’ve also never had the hiccups scared out of me either. Another common suggestion is to drink a glass of water, and again no luck. At least not if I drink it the regular old way.

So, how do I cure my hiccups. I drink a full cup of water while plugging my ears with my fingers. This seems to make a little sense because all those inner workings in the head are connected in some way. Ear, nose, throat… they have a doctor specifically degreed to work on those parts. Of course if you’ve tried to drink a glass of water while plugging your ears, you’ve noticed a small problem. How do you hold a glass while plugging your ears. You could get a friend to help (make sure you trust them or you’ll be wearing the water). You can go to a water fountain and use your elbow to turn on the water. Or you can do what I do. Use a plastic cup and hold it with your teeth and tip your head back as you plug your ears.

It works every time for me. It’s never failed. Maybe you should give it a try next time.

What about you? Do you have a sure fire way to cure hiccups?

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3 Responses to The Cure for Hiccups

  1. Jennifer Sutton on September 13, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    Dear Jackodile,

    While the hiccup impact might feel as if you have no control over your epiglottis, any good Otolaryngologists (ENT), “Ear, Nose, Throat” doctor is going to tell you the same thing as any well trained vocal technician, “Go with your gut”.

    It is all about breathing and how it works. Hiccups happen when the diaphragm, the large muscle at the bottom of your chest cavity, has a spasm. It contracts, expanding your lungs, pulling air in, and when that air rapidly flows in past the voice box and releases just as quickly – hiccup!

    Ever had a charlie-horse in your leg? Ever ask a friend to feed you water while you held your ears to relieve the muscle pull? You kind of look a little silly hopping around on one leg, trying to drink (or be fed) water while playing hear-no-evil. See where I’m going with this? Doesn’t make much sense.

    Trained singers can feel and control their diaphragms. This is the theory behind breath control as a cure. Control over the diaphragm and the rest of the pulmonary region can bring air into the body. Knowing how to isolate the affected muscle while still expanding the rib cage for oxygen… well, if you aren’t trained, don’t try it.

    The childhood trick is, “take a deep breath and count to 10”. Purposefully putting pressure on the diaphragm can interrupt the neurological impulse telling that muscle to spasm.

    Point is, know the body and know why it does what it does.

    My mom throws a sugar packet at anyone with a hiccup fit these days. My science and knowledge think it is a trick you do to your body to distract and drink in the flavor of the sweetness, and as the flavors linger in your mouth, you think, “huh?”

    “How are the hiccups?”

    Hmm. Well. Sweeeet. “What hiccups?”

    My best guess is that Jackodile accidentally hit on something, the senses. You pucker at tart. You salivate with salty. Sweet? The tendency is to savory and indulge and the nostrils flair and … oh hey, look, your body is paying attention to this yumminess up in the oral region, far distracted from what is going on down below. Plus you are getting a dose of a brain pleasing agent. So… suddenly…

    “Hiccups? What hiccups?”

    Meanwhile the Mezzo’s on stage belting her diaphragm out.

    Body control and you won’t need any gimics. Or embarrassing maneuvers.

    I’ll still take a sugar packet please. Anything my Mother throws my way has to have some value I’ve yet to discover.

    And maybe I’m too cerebral. The “trick” works for too many. Theories theories. More investigation should be done.

    PS – I love you you Mom for holding my ears as I tried to drink from a salty hot water cup – other side of the cup – while upside down. And I thank you for taking me to singing lessons.

  2. Jackodile on September 14, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    Wow, Jennifer, you know a lot about hiccups. My only question is why do I get hiccups when I eat and then take a drink of soda if it’s a diaphragm thing? Is my brain telling my diaphragm to do that annoying thing because my esophagus doesn’t like the mixture of carbonation and food?

    Either way, I’m just glad I know how to get rid of my hiccups quickly.

  3. Mr. Homeowner on June 1, 2010 at 11:59 am

    nice post, cheers!

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