Fresh Living

hiccup.jpgGuess what I’m doing every 30 seconds or so as I write this?  That’s right, my body is tensing into tiny convulsions accompanied by a noise that makes me grateful I work out of the privacy of my home. 

In other words, I’ve got the hiccups.  Meh.

After a couple of minutes of hiccuping, when I realize that they’re here for the foreseeable future, I start going through my bag of hiccup cures.  I’ll share my faves with you (and Valerie’s, whose brain I picked for #s 1 and 2) – please add yours!

5 Ways to Cure the Hiccups

1.  Eat a Spoonful of Sugar:  The power of a teaspoon of dry sugar to stop hiccups in their tracks has been documented by the New England Journal of Medicine and Mary Poppins alike.  So take your medicine!

2.  Distract Yourself:  Hiccups are a reflex, a nerve twitch that cycles through your body when something has irritated your diaphragm or one of the vagus nerves that run from the brain to the abdomen (incidental fun fact – the vagus nerve is what makes some of us pass out when we have violent stomach illnesses).  So to cure the hicks, distract yourself with any number of techniques that you’ve probably heard before – get someone to scare you, drink a glass of water from the far side of the glass, hold your breath and count backwards from 100, etc.

3.  Take an Antacid with Magnesium:  Did you know that magnesium is a natural muscle relaxer?  And did you know that hiccups are little more than muscle spasms?  Chew on an antacid tablet or two–many of them contain magnesium–to interrupt the twitch cycle and banish the hicks.

4.  Practice Prevention:  This one isn’t so helpful if you’re already hic-ing away your afternoon, but being over-full, eating spicy foods, and eating or drinking quickly are all known to cause hiccups.  So…don’t do that!     

5.  Breathe Tiny:  This is my go-to method for hiccup curing, and I swear on the soul of Fresh Living that I just now did it, and it stopped my hiccups cold.  Take a deep breath and exhale forcefully, visualizing your lungs getting small and tight, and your diaphragm sinking all the way down in your abdomen.  Visualize the hiccups as a bubble that your diaphragm is trying to pop like we used to sit on balloons when we were kids.  Then inhale and exhale really tiny breaths, not letting up on the ab-clenching, bubble-bursting pressure.  Hiccups?  What hiccups?

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