Curing hiccups?

Well, curing hiccups may be too much to promise, but here’s a solution I’ve sometimes found helpful.  It has nothing to do with drinking sugary water out of a cup upside down, or having someone try to startle you.

We’ll start by remembering that hiccups are an involuntary spasm of the diaphragm, which, you will remember, is the muscle that controls the movement of air in and out of the lungs.  So anything to do with drinking anything, if it helps at all, is likely to do so accidentally, rather than by cause and effect.  The startle method, by inducing (presumably) quick intakes of breath, operates on a closer principle, but it seems like it would be as likely to cause them as stop them.

Since what we have is an involuntary spasm, it becomes a question of how to reassert control.  Holding your breath is working in the right direction, but it may not go far enough…or at least it doesn’t for me.

So here’s my method.  It may work, it may not; but please remember that I am not a doctor, so anything you do is at your own risk.

Step one:  Take a deep breath, and then exhale as far as you possibly can.

Step two:  Exhale a little further.  At least try.

Step three:  Feel the area just below your sternum with your first two fingers (either hand).  I’m not sure if this is significant or not, but it might help.  Wait for about ten seconds to see if your diaphram is still having spasms.

Step four:  Inhale as slowly as you can.

The last step is very important.  It may not be the key to whether it stops the hiccups, but it affects the question of whether you ever get them again.

Good luck….

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