Saturday, December 09, 2017

A Cure for Hiccoughs

Hiccoughs (aka "hiccups") are funny, but can be embarrassing and annoying. Most of the folk cures for it (scaring the victim, breathing in a bag, drinking water, etc.) are obtrusive and do not work.

Here's a cure I developed many years ago. It's simple, it's imperceptible to those around you... and thus far, it's always worked. There are a few steps, but they're easy, easy, easy.

  1. Close your mouth. Make sure that your upper teeth are touching the lowers, but do not clench your teeth. Simply close your jaw and your lips.
  2. Place the tip of your tongue against your upper teeth where they meet the gum.
  3. Flatten out the front of your tongue against the roof of your mouth so that your tongue is touching the roof of your mouth and all of your upper teeth. It doesn't hurt to suck in the back of your tongue just a little. This should be comfortable. Do not press hard.
  4. Breathe in and out a few times through your nose. Do it naturally. Don't force your breath, and do not hold your breath either at the exhale or the inhale. Just let the air flow in and out.
That's pretty much it. It usually takes about three or four breaths for the hiccoughs to disappear, but you may have to do it a little longer if your timing was unfortunate and you had a nice big "HIC" early in the process. Again, do not force, clench or press. This should be totally relaxed and natural. I used to have frequent hiccoughs, but for years I've simply held my mouth that way when not talking or eating, and I rarely if ever get them any more.

I could go out on a limb and give you some theory as to why this works, but it would be bullshit. The fact is, I have no idea why it works. It just does; and not just for me. So far it's worked on practically everyone I've shown it to. I was in a pharmacy one day, and met a little girl, about 10 years old, and her mother. The girl had chronic hiccoughs. I coached her through this exercise, and they disappeared, at least for the remainder of their visit. And if they ever came back, this is such a simple, easily remembered exercise that she could always apply it again. Her mother was flabbergasted. Maybe it was just my coaching technique, but "Mom" asked me if I was some kind of hypnotist. Nope... just observant.


Since you've gotten this far, here's a bonus "cure", for gag reflex, particularly effective for denture wearers.
Blow your nose.
That's it. When you feel your gag reflex, close your mouth and snort. If you're congested, you'll probably want a tissue or handkerchief, but most of the time a good sharp exhale through the nose will cause the gag reflex to instantly abate.

Again, I don't know why this works. It just does.

No comments:

Post a Comment