Have Sex or Show Your Tongue: Original Ways to Stop Hiccups

“Hiccup, hiccup, move to Fedot” – everyone knows this incantation, but not always it helps to get rid of the unpleasant sounds. Hiccups are disturbing and embarrassing and, in general, create discomfort for everyone who encounters them.

How long the hiccups can last and why do they occur

Hiccups are caused by involuntary contractions of the diaphragm, which is located between the chest and stomach. The movements of this muscle are controlled by the brain – sometimes it sends the wrong signals. There is a spasm, the muscle presses on the lungs, pushing air out of them. It passes through the larynx under pressure and slams the vocal cleft and epiglottis – a characteristic sound that appears. The spasms are repeated – incessant hiccups occur.

A variety of factors can cause this situation:

  • Consumption of carbonated beverages;
  • Smoking cigarettes, vaping, or hookah;
  • Swallowing air while laughing;
  • Eating food that is too hot or spicy;
  • Stress and emotional strain;
  • Sitting in an uncomfortable position for long periods of time;
  • sudden changes in temperature;
  • Rapid swallowing of food;
  • excessive alcohol consumption;
  • lack of sleep;
  • overeating.

Physiologists believe that one of the causes of hiccups can also be a serious disease of the nervous system. In a normal (not critical) case, the hiccups last 10-15 minutes, but sometimes this time increases by up to two days. In this case, it is better, of course, to consult a doctor, but to cope with hiccups urgently get and without doctors.

How to get rid of hiccups at-home – methods

In order to quickly get rid of hiccups, you need to stimulate the vagus nerve – it connects the brain, and the digestive system and takes part in breathing processes. Therefore, if you stimulate it – the brain will be distracted by other activities, and the hiccups will go away.

There are many methods of getting rid of hiccups – from simple and familiar to very original:

  • hold your breath – take a breath and do not exhale for 10-15 seconds, and then slowly exhale;
  • Breathe into a bag – take a paper bag, put your nose and mouth into it, and breathe for 15 seconds;
  • embrace your knees – assume the fetal position sitting and stay in it for 15-20 seconds;
  • drink water – pour a glass of cold water and drink it in small sips;
  • eat lemon or ice – an ice cube should be sucked until it disappears, and if it does not help, then consume a lemon sprinkled with spices (you need a pungent taste);
  • induce vomiting – press two fingers on the root of the tongue to create a gagging sensation;
  • show your tongue – stick out your tongue as far out as you can and stay in that position for 5-10 seconds;
  • massage – press lightly on the carotid artery and massage it for 5-10 seconds in a supine position.

By the way, experts from Israel believe that massage can be done in a different way, by sticking a finger in the anus. There is a known case where doctors thus stopped the hiccups in an elderly patient. If rectal massage is not close to you, you can have sex – it also helps with hiccups. The orgasm itself incredibly stimulates the vagus nerve, which makes the brain “forget” about the diaphragm and spasms.

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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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