PUBLIC OPINION > Hold Your Breath to Heal the Hiccups
Living 2012/05/14 22:00:00
For many, curing the hiccups is no easy task. There's an abundance of methods out there, and if you ask two different people, chances are you'll get two very different responses. Some methods are straight-forward -- have a friend scare you, breath into a paper bag, swallow a teaspoon of sugar; others are a little more difficult -- drinking water from the wrong side of the glass, balancing something on your nose, jumping out of a plane. A 13-year-old girl even came up with a lollipop that should do the trick. We asked the public which method works the best.
Hold Your Breath
Unfortunately, there is no scientific explanation for why hiccups occur or what the best method of eliminating them is, but it's generally agreed that building up CO2 is an effective method. Holding your breath or breathing into a paper bag is one way of doing that, since we exhale CO2. Holding your breath also inhibits the diaphram, where hiccups occur -- a double whammy.
Drinking water is actually very similar to holding your breath in terms of curing the hiccups. Drinking quickly and for extended periods of time, though more dangerous than holding your breath, simulates an intense, forced version of the same thing. It helps to try and swallow air with the water. Complicating the matter by "drinking out of the wrong side of the glass" could also help, if you can figure out how to do it.
Now for our favorite part. Here's a list of some alternative methods suggested by respondents, starting with the Top Opinion: Eat peanut butter; drink pickle juice; predict your next hiccup; gag yourself; swallow rapidly; smell crushed red pepper; annoy someone until they slap you; leave an unlit matchstick in your hair; think about white horses; do jumping jacks while screaming; or just ride it out. (We can't guarantee that any of these will work, but they are pretty hilarious.)
If you'd like to vote on this question, dig deeper into the demographics, or engage in existing discussion about the topic, visit our poll about curing the hiccups. We'd love to hear from you!
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