How to Stop Hiccups - How to Get Rid of Hiccups Fast
No one knows what
causes hiccups, but the little diaphragm contractions can certainly be
annoying. Here's how to get rid of them fast.
Hiccups can come at the most inconvenient times–just
before you have to give an after-dinner toast or address the town planning
commission, for instance. When you’re in public, you might have to use some
very subtle methods to control the hiccuping.Some methods involve gentle pressure; others, a glass of water.And, if you have a high threshold of
embarrassment–or you can hide somewhere–there are wonderfully strange
contortions that hiccup-prone people have devised to cure the contractions. Do
whatever works for you.
Emergency action in public places
• Press the palm of your hand with the thumb of your
other hand. The harder, the better. Alternatively, you can squeeze the ball of
your left thumb between the thumb and forefinger of the right.The discomfort is a
distraction that affects your nervous system and may put an end to the hiccups.(And you can do it under the table,
without anyone staring at you.)
•Take a deep breathand
then hold it for a while. When there’s a buildup of carbon dioxide in your lungs,
your diaphragm relaxes.
• If you can retire from public view for a few minutes
(‘Sorry–have to visit the restroom!’),stick your fingers in your ears for twenty or thirty seconds.Or
press the soft areas behind your earlobes, just below the base of the skull.
That sends a ‘relax’ signal through the vagus nerve, which connects to the
• As long as you’re out of sight,stick out your tongue.This rude-looking exercise is done by
singers and actors because it stimulates the opening between the vocal cords
(the glottis). You breathe more smoothly, quelling the spasms that cause
• Cup your hands around your nose and mouth, but continue
breathing normally.You’ll get relief from the extra dose of carbon dioxide.
•Take nine or 10 quick sips in a row from a glass.When you’re gulping a drink, rhythmic
contractions of the esophagus override spasms of the diaphragm.
• If you can block your ears when you drink, all the
better.Stick your fingers in your
ears and sip through a straw.You’re
pressing on the vagus nerve while also getting the benefits of steady
• Place a single layer of paper towel over the top of the
glass, then drink through the towel. You’ll have to ‘pull’ harder with your
diaphragm to suck up the water, andconcentrated gulping counteracts spasmodic muscle movements.
• Put oneteaspoon of sugar or honey, stirred in warm water, on the
back of your tongue, and swallow it.
• Thesharp surprise of something sourcan
pucker lips and lick the hiccups. Cut a slice of lemon and suck on it.
• Swallowa teaspoon of cider vinegar.This is a challenge, but if you cope
with the assault on the taste buds, it’s a quick cure. (Another vinegary method
is to suck on a dill pickle.)
Take a time-out
• Sometimesrelaxation is the key.Lie
on a bed, stomach down, with head turned and arms hanging over the side. Take a
deep breath, hold it for 10 to 15 seconds, exhale slowly. After a few repeats,
rest for several minutes before you get up.
• If you can elicit the help of your partner, stand
against the wall andask your partner to place a fist lightly in the soft area just under your
breastbone.Take a few deep breaths,
and on the last one, exhale completely. Your partner should then press gently
but firmly to help expel air from your lungs.
•A long, passionate kiss has been known to work.(And if it doesn’t? Well, no harm
done.) Needless to say, it’s important to choose the right partner for this
Cures for kids
• Offerone big teaspoon of peanut
process of chewing and getting it off the tongue and teeth, swallowing and
breathing patterns are interrupted.
• With a scoop of ice cream, the cure becomes a treat.
The chill of the ice cream, steady swallowing, and a pleasurable distraction
all add up tocalming the diaphragm.
The power of prevention
•Avoid beer or carbonated soda, especially if they’re
cold. The low temperature, combined with the bubbles, creates a medley of
irritations that could set off your diaphragm.
• When you eat, slow down.Eating quickly, you
swallow more air,and
that can cause hiccups as well as burping.
• A few medications such as diazepam have been known to
contribute to more frequent hiccups.If you suspect a prescription drug is the problem, talk to your doctor
about taking an alternative.
• If a baby has hiccups, it could be because he or she
swallowed too much air while feeding. So perform the same ritual you would for
burping:Hold the baby against your shoulder and pat gently on the back.
That can bring up the air and stop the hiccups. Also check the nipple of the
baby bottle to see if it is allowing the right amount of fluid to flow out.
Turn a full bottle upside down; you should get a regular dripping that slows
and eventually stops. If too much or too little liquid comes out, that could be
contributing to the hiccups.