Hiccups are an involuntary body reaction that can be quite annoying. It is caused by the sudden contraction of the diaphragm and at the exact same time, the voice box does the same, resulting in the closure of the glottis and the eventual blockage of air. Hiccups ought to stop after a short period of time but in some cases may persist.
In critical conditions, they may result in sleep deprivation. Hiccups are an action that is beyond our control, the ideal solution is to psychologically distract the body from the hiccup, but that is easier said than done. Knowing shortcuts to getting rid of hiccups is the quickest solution the next time it happens.
A ten-second exercise is quick and effective with the right application. Take the deepest breath possible and hold it for approximately ten seconds, releasing the air there after in a much slower and calmer speed than the breathe in. Repeat this exercise four to five time with thirty second breaks between each interval. After five rounds take a longer break of close to twenty minutes and repeat the exercise one more time.
The second practical solution is colloquially named ‘the flight attendant method’. Best applicable on a chair with a straight back, sit with the back parallel and in full contact with the chair. Slowly bring your head down to the knees with arm crossed over the body. This position is very similar to the crash position instructed by airline flight attendants.
Hold the position until some discomfort is experienced. Let the arms squeeze each other inclusive of the rest of the body while taking deep breathes of intervals of five to ten seconds. Such a practical alternative is not recommended for individuals who experience back pains.
Not all individuals have the lung capacity to withstand heavy breathing exercises in the middle of a hiccup debacle. Using a paper bag may be considered a crude method but a preferable experience to uncontrollable hiccups. Breathe into the bag housing it around the mouth with the palms, making sure that it does not cover the whole head to avoid a tragic accidental suicide suffocation incident.
An alternative to the suicidal bag is sitting on the floor with the back to the wall. Fold your legs, bringing them to the chest and wrap your arms around them like a hug. Hold this posture for approximately five minutes. If the hiccup persists, hold the position until they subside.
Less complicated methods can be simple compressions to the chest. In serious cases, an individual may experience an attack that may render him uncontrollable. If compressions to the chest are the only viable solution, it should be performed by a medical personnel or an individual who has received first aid training.
If the hiccups are, adamant, gargling two or three glasses of iced water ought to do the trick. There is a technique to this solution. However, that must be followed precisely if the victim is expecting a positive outcome. Make sure you are drinking from the farthest side of the glass. It will be more effective if performed in an upright posture, bend over and place your mouth on the opposite side of the glass.
Drink the water as you bend making sure to tilt the glass away from you simultaneously. A simpler drinking exercise involves a layer of paper towels. The theory is to drink from a glass that is covered by these towels, which will be much harder than drinking directly. One will have no choice but to pull harder with the diaphragm.
The spasmodic muscle movements will be countered by the concentrated gulping. Alternatively, one can drink the water through a straw while blocking the ears tightly using the index finger. It is a solution that yet to have a scientific explanation. Doubling the straw is applicable to persistent hiccups.
Swallow something with a sharp, stimulating taste. A spoonful of sugar, for example, ought to provide a texture mild but effective enough to irritate the esophagus. The expected result is the relaxation of the phrenic nerves that will allegedly reset themselves. Sourness may be effective as well.
Depending on the intensity of the hiccups, anything between a couple of drops to a teaspoon of vinegar can stimulate the throat enough to stop the hiccups in its tracks. Hot sauce may be the first thing to pop into one’s mind when thinking about strong flavors. It may cure the hiccups, but it has more to do with the distraction of an individual’s body to direct its focus to the impending hot sensation.
For individuals who are not overly fond of spicy tastes, peanut butter is a workable solution. The chewiness element of peanut butter will engage the tongue, mouth and jaws significantly enough to influence an individual’s breathing patterns, correcting the irregulation.
Some individuals resolve to burp as a means to get rid of hiccups. The irony of the matter is that it is a solution that can reap positive results. The quickest way to catalyze a burp is by gurgling down a fizzy drink. It should be noted, though, this solution is applicable to a select few.
Soft drinks are known to cause hiccups in the majority of regular cases involving beverages. Pulling the tongue is another unorthodox means. Hold the end of the tongue, preferably with two fingers and pull. This supposedly is meant to stimulate the vagus nerve that results in the relaxation of the diaphragm, eliminating the spasms, getting rid of the problem comprehensively.
Stimulating an adrenaline rush or an alert sensation can also help in distracting the mind. Simple methods of applying this are by lying on the ground for a couple of minutes than standing up to full height instantly.
Coughing can be attempted to get rid of hiccups. It is important for the victim to note the intervals of the hiccups in order to approximate the next time another one will come up. Just as when the hiccup is about to happen, cough loudly over the hiccup. This solution works best if repeated severally. Screaming is also another unnecessary option. It is joined in the same category by tickling.