We all know how annoying hiccups can be. They always seem to come at the most inconvenient times and overstay their welcome, but there are some easy ways to get rid of hiccups once you understand what causes them. Hiccups are involuntary contractions of the diaphragm, occurring at the same time as a contraction in the larynx and blocking air intake. This can be caused by a number of things including sudden excitement or stress and overeating or eating too quickly. There are many different techniques used to stop hiccups and some of them are more effective than others, but here are some of the best ways to end hiccups in any situation.
1. Hold your breath
Breathing techniques are a great way to relax your diaphragm and get rid of hiccups. Try holding your breath for about ten seconds at a time and exhale slowly, repeating three or four times. The build-up of carbon dioxide in your lungs will help relax your diaphragm and beat those hiccups.
2. Breathe into a paper bag
To increase the carbon dioxide, you can also breathe into a paper bag. This is believed to work in a similar way, but increases the carbon dioxide and allows you to focus on the bag and forget about your hiccups.
3. Compress your chest
Gently compress the chest by leaning forward and putting pressure on your diaphragm. Alternatively, this can be achieved by hugging your knees to your chest for a couple of minutes. These also take your mind off of the hiccups and help focus on something else while relaxing your diaphragm to relieve the hiccups.
Drink your way to relief
4. Take quick sips of water
Sometimes it really can be that simple. When you take a drink, your esophagus undergoes rhythmic contractions which override the contractions of the diaphragm that cause hiccups. Take few quick sips of water in a row to build this rhythm. Sometimes it can also help to drink one large sip of water very slowly to relax your diaphragm and also redirect your focus. These techniques can be discrete and easy to do if you get hiccups in public.
5. Drink water from the far side of a glass
One old wives’ tale that proves to be successful is drinking water from the far side of a glass. While standing, bend over and put your mouth on the far side of the glass. As you bend, drink from the glass as it tilts away from you. While this technique is a little more obvious, it’s proven to be helpful when trying to stop hiccups.
6. Stick your fingers in your ears
Applying pressure to the vegus nerve can also help, so try sticking your fingers in your ears and drinking through a straw. Putting your fingers in your ears presses on the vegus nerves and the steady swallowing of drinking through a straw helps relax the diaphragm.
Stop hiccups before they start
7. Eat slowly
The best way to conquer hiccups is by taking some preventative measures to help avoid them altogether. While there is no one cause for hiccups, there are many factors that can contribute to them, especially if you seem to get hiccups frequently or at similar times. Eat slowly. Eating quickly can cause discomfort from indigestion and gas build-up as well as causing hiccups so try to take your time.
8. Drink carbonated beverages slowly
Carbonated beverages can also irritate the diaphragm, especially when consumed quickly with big gulps, so try to drink slowly and in moderation.
9. Stop overeating
Take caution with how much you eat. Overeating can overload your digestive system by not allowing it enough time to process all of the food, causing hiccups.
10. Stop consuming stimulating foods and drinks
Spicy food causes extra acid to leak into the esophagus, which can bring on hiccups. Similarly, alcoholic beverages can irritate the esophagus with big gulps causing the esophagus to rapidly expand.
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