Mind Candy

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How to stop hiccups

Posted by mandyf on July 14, 2012

Getting rid of the hiccups is easy for some people and nearly impossible for others. Hiccups are usually not a sign of anything serious, although if they persist for more than one hour, occur several times a day for a week or more, or are accompanied by chest, difficulty swallowing, or heartburn, you may want to seek medical assistance. What are hiccups and what are proved techniques to get rid of them?

 A hiccup is just an audible tic that is created when the phrenic nerve excites the muscles of the diaphragm causing spasms. A hiccup may also occur when the esophagus becomes provoked in a manner that causes involuntary contractions. In a small number of cases, hiccups can even be triggered by psychological factors.

When it comes to getting rid of hiccups however, the answers are far less clear. There are more techniques than you can shake a stick at, but not all work as well as others. While there is no guarantee that any or all of these techniques will work, they are generally regarded as the methods for getting rid of hiccups that seem to work for the most people.

* Drink a glass of water in slow even swallows to try to disrupt the rhythm of the hiccups. This could also work because at times food may be lodged at or near the bottom of your throat which irritates the nerves in that area causing the hiccups. You may not be able to feel anything that seems lodged, but it is a possibility.

* The scare tactic is a time tested favorite. It’s hardly scientific, but it works because you distract the person with hiccups causing a gasp which can return everything to normal functioning. Sometimes the simple things are the best things.

* Making yourself gag is very effective for most people. In order to gag, you stick a finger down your throat as if you were trying to make yourself vomit. The trick is going far enough to gag, but not so far you actually do vomit. This is not always an appropriate technique – especially in public venues.

* Eating something bitter like a lemon can often do the trick when it comes to getting rid of hiccups. If you can stand it, a spoonful of vinegar is even better supposedly.

* Going in the opposite direction of bitter, a spoonful of sugar on the back of your tongue works great for some people and not at all for others. For some people a combination that employs a shot of bitter chased by a shot of sweet does the trick, but you’re really grasping at straws when you reach that point.

* Yanking your tongue can sometimes get rid of the hiccups. When a hiccup attack starts, open your mouth, grasp your tongue, and just pull it for a ten count. Don’t pull so hard it hurts, just enough to change the rhythm of your breathing pattern.

* Although this is not a great fix for everyone, sometimes pressuring yourself to hiccup does the trick. For some people when they consciously try to make them self hiccup the task proves impossible.

What you shouldn’t do when you have the hiccups is try to make yourself stop by fixating on stopping. The more intensely you focus on stopping the more you tighten up the muscles in your chest and throat and aggravate the issue. The best thing is to relax and try not to think about it for several minutes. If that fails to work try the above techniques and hope for luck!

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