We’ve all had the dreaded hiccups at one time or another. While it can be very amusing to others when this happens, it can be embarrassing and even painful for you. Hiccups are caused by temporary spasms of the diaphragm, the large muscle that helps us control our breathing. The tell tale ‘hic’ sound is the result of air rushing into your lungs as the diaphragm constricts suddenly and violently. The diaphragm is fascinating in that it is controlled both voluntarily and involuntarily. When you’re breathing normally, it works automatically, enabling you to breathe without having to think about doing so. However, if you want to hold your breath, or take a deep breath, you can voluntarily take control of its functioning. It’s this duality that is the key to understanding how to cure hiccups. This can be done by interrupting the spasm.
What To Do: Take a deep breath and then bend over, at the same time pressing your tummy. Hold this position for a count of 10, then straighten up while exhaling slowly. Repeat until the hiccups have gone.
How It Works: Pressing your tummy in, while bending over, puts pressure on the diaphragm and helps to stop the spasm. At the same time, holding your breath also helps to relax the diaphragm and stop the hiccups.
Other Tips: You can also ask someone to press their fist into your tummy (gently!) while you hold your breath.