I bet we have all had hiccups at a point, for some people, it even happens frequently. Hiccups could last from a minute or take a long while before it finally goes.
Imagine you’re having an important conversation with your boss at work or probably you’re giving a speech at a large gathering. I tell you, all these scenarios could be quite embarrassing as I have been in worse situations.
Hiccups are caused when the diaphragm (which is the muscle below the lungs) contracts which leads to the vocal cord being shut which in turn leads to the hiccup sound we get. Hiccups can also be caused by what we eat (spicy foods), eating too fast, or too much. In some cases, being exposed to a quick temperature change also could cause hiccups.
Over the years, people have come up with several tricks to deal with these awkward situations but do they solve the problem? is the question we need to ask. In this article, I would be sharing 20 proven tips that work like magic and you can employ the next time you’re about to be embarrassed.
Rubbing the back of your neck: This is one of the easiest things to do and yet it never even crosses the minds of people. Doing this helps to stimulate the phoenix nerve, this nerve is involved in breathing exercises as well as the control of the diaphragm.
Eating Sugar: Take a pinch of granulated sugar and slowly let it dissolve on your tongue for at least 5 – 10 seconds after which you can now swallow.
Exercise your breathing: This refers to you inhaling and exhaling. This helps to calm your diaphragm and allows a free airway due to an increase in carbon dioxide levels. Repeat the process of taking long and short breaths simultaneously.
Measured Breathing: This is similar to the breathing exercise earlier, only that this is done slower and measured in a way. You slowly breathe in counting to 5 and also slowly breathe out counting to 5.
Breathing into a paper bag: This method Is exclusive to paper bags alone and no other type of bag. It involves placing a paper lunch bag and slowly breathing in the paper bag. Then slowly breathe in and out; this deflates and inflates the paper bag, thereby causing a balance in breathing.
Compressing your chest: To compress your chest, all you have to do is to lean or bend forward. This puts pressure on the diaphragm and stops hiccups.
Using Valsalva maneuver: Valsalva maneuver is a breathing technique to slow your heart when it’s breathing too fast. You try to exhale as you pinch your nose and keep your mouth sealed. This triggers the heart to return to normal breathing.
Pulling your tongue: The act of pulling your tongue helps to stimulate the throat’s muscles and nerves. All you have to do is gently and carefully pull the tip of the tongue forward like twice. This in turn stimulates the diaphragm.
Knee against your chest: Holding your knee against your chest helps to relax your diaphragm. Do this for some minutes till the hiccups stop. It is one of the easiest methods.
Apply pressure on the diaphragm: Gently apply pressure on the area below your sternum. This in turn calms the diaphragm.
Eating a green Olive: Sometimes, food helps to stop hiccups based on certain effects that give. Pungent, and bitter food have been seen to facilitate halting hiccups. For green Olives, it is because they are pungent and hence a good method.
Using Honey and Castor Oil: This method requires mixing a teaspoon of castor oil and another teaspoon of Honey. Mix this and lick a small amount using your finger. This is to be repeated like 2-3 times.
Drinking Iced water: You can try sipping cold water slowly. This helps to stimulate the vagus nerve and send a signal to the body to relax. It stops the irritation in the diaphragm.
Drinking warm water: Another way is to slowly drink a glass of warm water without giving space to breathe
Gargling iced water: You can also stop hiccups when you gargle ice water for 20 to 30 seconds and repeat a couple more times.
Sucking lemon: You can also try Sucking a thin slice of lemon. You could add a bit of salt but that’s optional. Also, you must remember to rinse your mouth with water after the Hiccup stops to protect your teeth against citric acid.
Using Vinegar: Having a taste of Vinegar triggers some nerves which are said to be responsible for hiccups.
Sucking an ice cube: Another method similar to slowly drinking ice water. You try Sucking an Ice cube for a few minutes and once it’s shrunk to a reasonable size, you can sallow it.
Focus: Focusing on another thing entirely asides the hiccups has shown to be a way to stop hiccups. Focusing or engaging in something for a few minutes takes your mind off the hiccups. This could be an activity or even a memory. While there might not be scientific backups, this trick works quite well.
Orgasm: This method is very unpopular and could seem a bit strange but it works. This is only advised for those having hiccups for a long time (actually days). Orgasm leads to the stimulation of the vagus nerve. When this nerve is stimulated, it can stop hiccups. A study has also proven it right as it worked for a man whose hiccups had lasted four days.
Since hiccups could happen randomly, with some being loud or silent depending on if the mouth is opened or not. We should devise different ways of dealing with hiccups, from the above tricks, you should be able to pick a trick that would work effectively every time. However, if your hiccups still don’t go or last more than a day, it’s best advised to go see a doctor as this could be a result of another medical condition. The use of medications came also comes in place depending on the situation at hand.