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How Can I Stop My Hiccups? 50 Ways

Updated on February 7, 2014
50 ways to get rid of hiccups
50 ways to get rid of hiccups

Hiccups are perhaps one of the most common natural bodily functions that a person can experience, no matter what age you are.

Needless to say they are also known to be quite annoying. They start all of a sudden, out of nowhere and seem to take forever to leave.

Everyone you talk to will offer a different home remedy for their cure. A cure for what is actually nothing more than a natural spasm of the diaphragm.

In most cases they go away as fast as they arrive, but if you are at the point of pure frustration, there are many techniques worth trying.

No matter what remedy you take on board in an attempt to stop your hiccups, the ultimate aim always needs to achieve one of two things. You need to overstimulate the vagus nerve which is located in your throat, or alter your breathing to increase the volume of carbon dioxide in your blood stream.

Here are 50 popular ways to get rid of hiccups:

Breathing Techniques To Get Rid Of Hiccups

9. Breathe Into a Paper Bag - This is an age-old trick that many hiccup sufferers swear by. Take a brown paper bag (not plastic). Holding the opening around your mouth, over your lips and hold it tight. Blow in and out about 10 times. Remember to do this at your own comfort level and own pace. If you feel lightheaded stop immediately.

10. Breathe Into Your Hands - If you do not have a paper bag handy, use your hands. Cup your hands and place them over your nose and mouth, and continue breathing normally. This will give you an extra dose of carbon dioxide.

11. Hold Your Breath - You can also try holding your breath for 10 seconds. This works by creating a build up of carbon dioxide in your lungs and for the short period of time, it helps to relax your diaphragm. Repeat if necessary.

12. Breathe calmly – Sit in a quite place, and try to breathe in a calm yet shallow manner. Concentrate on your breathing. Rhythmic breathing can also help to relax and spasms.

13. Cough – A couple of coughs could help you out.

14.Sneeze – Sneezing alters the breathing patterns for just that split second.

15. Chew – Another key method which alters the swallowing and breathing patterns. Best try gum.

Drinking Techniques To Get Rid Of Hiccups

1. Drink Water From Opposite Side of a Cup - Fill a cup halfway with water and whilst holding it the right side up, bend forward and place your mouth on the opposite side of the cup so the opening is around cups your chin. Drink as much of the water as you can.

2. Gargle with Iced Water - Perfect for stimulating the vagus nerve.

3. Sip Your Drink - Take lots of quick sips of water in a row from a glass.

4. Drink and Block Ears - Drink water through a straw and block your ears at the same time.

5. Drink Quickly - Drink a large glass of cold water quickly. This method can help to rid of hiccups in a few ways. First it will get your mind off what is going on and second it will increase the carbon dioxide level in your blood. Furthermore, the act of swallowing lightly stimulates the vagus nerve.

6. Drink with a cup covered - This may sound a little odd however people swear this works. Get a piece of kitchen paper (or paper towel) and fold it in half. Then fill a glass with water and cover it with the folder paper towel and drink the entire glass through the paper.

7.Burp – Try downing a fizzing drink to help release the air.

8. Apple Juice – Drink a few sips of Apple Juice as it works to restore the body to its Ph level. Some suggest having a few sips after a meal will prevent them from occurring to start with.

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Things To Do With Your Mouth To Get Rid Of Hiccups

22. Massage the Roof of Your Mouth - If you have a sensitivity to gagging do not try this one. Massaging the roof of your mouth, at the back, with your tongue for example, will stimulate the vagus nerve and stop diaphragm spasms that cause hiccups.

23. Pull Out Your Tongue – In the privacy of your own mirror, try holding onto the tip of your tongue with your fingers and pulling it out. This acts similar to the previous idea by helping to stimulate the vagus nerve. This can cause people to gag, so opt for the next idea if you may struggle with this one.

24. Stick out your tongue – If you do not want to pull on your tongue, just try sticking it out, as far as it can go. This exercise is often done by singers and actors as it helps stimulate the opening between the vocal cords helping you to breathe more smoothly and helping to stop the hiccups.

25. Blow air out slowly - Do this about 5 times. Similar to the slow calm breathing technique.

26. Lift the uvula – This is for the ultimate non gagging person. The Uvula is the little sack that hangs at the back of your throat. If you can lift it with an object like a spoon or a cotton bud, it may just stop the hiccups in their tracks. If you like the idea but cannot imagine this, try gargling instead (number 2).

Things You Can Eat Or Taste To Get Rid Of Hiccups

Things to eat or taste

16. Sugar - A teaspoon of sugar is one common way to to get rid of hiccups. The idea being that the sweetness can help to alter the vagus nerve in your mouth.

17. Vinegar - Swallow (albeit quickly) a teaspoon of vinegar. This has reportedly been one way to cure some hiccups. If you cannot stomach vinegar alone, try combining it with sugar. Can’t hurt. Right?

18. Peanut Butter - Peanut Butter and other sticky foods are known to work in a similar way to sugar as they help to stimulate the vagus nerve, causing your diaphragm to constrict.

19. Lemon - If you prefer a sour taste, try sucking on a lemon.

20. Honey - Swap sugar for honey if you prefer.

21. A strong mint – Suck one very strong mint – don’t chew it.

When all else fails, try these

27. Get Scared - Sometimes it is sudden excitement which is the cause of hiccups to start with so another scare could just stop them in their tracks. It is rather hard to scare yourself so see if you can get a kind friend to help you out.

28. Pressure (palm)- Try pressing the palm of your hand with the thumb of your other hand.

29. Pressure (fingers) – Try squeezing the tip of your left thumb between the thumb and forefinger of the right. This could work based on the discomfort it causes or the distraction it causes.

30. Fingers in ears- Try placing your fingers in your ears (not far, just the edge) for 20 to 30 seconds.

31. Pressure (ears) – Try pressing the soft area behind your earlobes. This is known to send a ‘relax’ signal through the vagus nerve which connects to the diaphragm.

32. Get tickled- As much as you hate it, the way it will affect your breathing, not to mention being a helpful distraction, could be the cure you need.

33. Talk On The Phone – A perfect distraction.

34. Get distracted – Any activity that takes your mind off them for just a few moments.

35. Exercise – A great way to stay healthy plus this will alter your breathing patterns. A perfect combination.

36. Cold Shower – This will definitely shock your system.

37. Laugh – It will make you happy at least.

38. Close Your Eyes – Visualize something calm and peaceful. It may be mind over matter.

39. Sing – As soon as the next hiccup is over, sing out loud as it will help your breathing patterns change and will help your diaphragm adjust.

Alternative Therapies

40. Hypnosis – Seek the advice of a professional.

41. Acupuncture / Acupressure – Seek the advice from a professional if you prefer not to try any of the pressure suggestions above.

42. Essential Oils- Sandalwood and tarragon essential oils work are cited as hiccup cures. Apply a few drops topically to your esophagus/clavicle area or take a supplement orally.

43. Smelling Salts – The strong odor can keep diaphragm spasms under control.

44. Sniff Pepper Powder – Now only do this a little bit, but if you have a sensitive nose it will help to cause you to sneeze. This short ‘violent’ movement will be a sudden jolt you may need.

45. Sudden Jerking Movements – Often a sudden jerk of the body, particularly around the head, neck and chest area, can help to reduce the hiccups. This could be jumping around or just swinging your arms around like a windmill side to side.

Seek Professional Medical opinion before any of the below methods

46. Magnesium - Take a magnesium tablet.

47. Nerve Block- For the more severe cases of hiccups, some have reported having received a nerve block injection to the phrenic nerve.

48. Prescribed Medication - Long-term bouts of hiccups can be debilitating so for those sufferers a physician may prescribe a muscle relaxer medication.

49. Surgery - In extreme cases of diaphragm spasms, an oral surgeon may need to be contacted for advice and next steps.

50. Nothing – Sometimes none of these work – the hiccups just go away by themselves!

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