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-   -   Rewiring your brain to stifle hiccups (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=868400)

manson1972 01-05-2019 12:15 AM

Rewiring your brain to stifle hiccups
 
One day a few months ago, I had a bad case of the hiccups. I then consciously thought "Stop hiccuping, you stupid diaphragm" for a good hour until I wasn't hiccuping anymore. Now, when I start to hiccup, I just mentally say "stop hiccuping, diaphragm" and then my hiccups go away.

I suggest those with hiccups try it.

Beckdawrek 01-05-2019 12:31 AM

Are you drinking water upside down while you do it? ( i'm kidding you). Power of suggestion maybe? I'm trying it right now. I have a toe that keeps cramping up. I said " toe quit cramping" while staring at the toe, I added the staring to strengthen my position.

Joey P 01-05-2019 01:22 AM

Being involuntary, I'd be willing to bet the first time you got rid of them, it wasn't what you did, but the hour that elapsed. After that, I'm guessing it's some flavor of confirmation bias.

manson1972 01-05-2019 03:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joey P (Post 21412940)
Being involuntary, I'd be willing to bet the first time you got rid of them, it wasn't what you did, but the hour that elapsed. After that, I'm guessing it's some flavor of confirmation bias.

I think that too when it happens, but every time now, I "order" my diaphragm to stop hiccuping and then I stop hiccuping.

manson1972 01-05-2019 03:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Beckdawrek (Post 21412891)
Are you drinking water upside down while you do it? ( i'm kidding you). Power of suggestion maybe? I'm trying it right now. I have a toe that keeps cramping up. I said " toe quit cramping" while staring at the toe, I added the staring to strengthen my position.

The first time I tried it, it took a while. And then after that, it was easy. After all, isn't strange muscle contractions just from your brain? If so, seems logical to force your brain to tell your muscles to "stop it"

Beckdawrek 01-05-2019 03:31 AM

Well, my toe quit cramping. Maybe it worked? IDK. I'll have keep trying when it cramps again. I'll let you know.

Magiver 01-05-2019 04:14 AM

drink water with your mouth open. You have to swallow with your mouth open. If you find this hard to do then bite down on a spoon handle to keep it open. there's something about the unnatural act of swallowing this way that interrupts the signal to hiccup.

I've suggested this to people in the middle of a hiccup "fit" and it stops it dead. YMMV.

Les Espaces Du Sommeil 01-05-2019 04:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by manson1972 (Post 21413035)
The first time I tried it, it took a while. And then after that, it was easy. After all, isn't strange muscle contractions just from your brain? If so, seems logical to force your brain to tell your muscles to "stop it"

In the past 3-4 years, I've tried with some success to stifle hiccups by holding my breath AND sort of focusing my mind on my diaphragm. It doesn't always work, it may be confirmation bias but it has been much more effective than every other methods I'd used over the years, including just holding my breath.

Treppenwitz 01-05-2019 11:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Magiver (Post 21413053)
drink water with your mouth open. You have to swallow with your mouth open. If you find this hard to do then bite down on a spoon handle to keep it open. there's something about the unnatural act of swallowing this way that interrupts the signal to hiccup.

I've suggested this to people in the middle of a hiccup "fit" and it stops it dead. YMMV.

Yeah, I do a swallowing thing and that always works (and it would be fascinating to know exactly why). What I do is get a glass of water and take a tiny sip and swallow it; then repeat the process over and over again as rapidly as I can - sip, swallow, sip, swallow and so on - for a half minute or so.

As for "focusing my mind on my diaphragm" - I have no idea where it is. My diaphragm, I mean.

j

markn+ 01-05-2019 12:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Treppenwitz (Post 21413384)
Yeah, I do a swallowing thing and that always works (and it would be fascinating to know exactly why).

It works because you're not breathing while you're swallowing. It gives the diaphragm a chance to relax. Of course, ANY attempted remedy will "work", because except in rare pathological cases, hiccups resolve themselves in a short period of time.

Les Espaces Du Sommeil 01-05-2019 01:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Treppenwitz (Post 21413384)
As for "focusing my mind on my diaphragm" - I have no idea where it is. My diaphragm, I mean.

https://jessicarealept.files.wordpre.../diaphragm.jpg

;)

Qadgop the Mercotan 01-05-2019 03:01 PM

I've had a few patients with intractable hiccups, those that go on for days and even weeks. Extremely debilitating!

Thorazine is my go-to drug for those situations. It hasn't failed yet.

Wesley Clark 01-05-2019 03:09 PM

Try this.

Take a deep breath and hold it, then swallow as many times before you can't resist the urge to breathe again. It'll usually take about 6 swallows.

By the 3rd or 4th, you'll feel something shift inside your body, and your hiccups will be gone.

It's worked every time, and it works better than just holding your breath alone.

EDIT: This is just for regular hiccups, not the more severe ones that last for months.

Beckdawrek 01-05-2019 03:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan (Post 21413657)
I've had a few patients with intractable hiccups, those that go on for days and even weeks. Extremely debilitating!

Thorazine is my go-to drug for those situations. It hasn't failed yet.

I had an Uncle with this. What causes it?

EmilyG 01-05-2019 03:48 PM

I have also been able to mentally stop hiccups.

voltaire 01-05-2019 03:59 PM

My (possibly gross and rude) method, which has been adopted by a few people that I've recommended it to, is to simply convert hiccups into burps. Works every time.

Qadgop the Mercotan 01-05-2019 05:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Beckdawrek (Post 21413728)
I had an Uncle with this. What causes it?

Damfino. Medicine is still far far more Art than science. And within that Art resides a lot of magic.

So I consider myself more of a scientomagician than scientist, just like Effrafax of Wug.

I just hope I don't end up like him . . .

Beckdawrek 01-05-2019 06:00 PM

Hmmm? That would just be my luck if it was genetic or something. I can just see me with permanent hiccoughs. I may need lessons from you, Manson, if it happens. So don't get lost. It could happen any day. ;)

purplehorseshoe 01-07-2019 09:39 AM

Jeebus, do people with pathological hiccups develop washboard abs? I feel like I've done a hundred crunches, after a brief hiccup bout.

.. oh, I guess the 6-pack muscles aren't the diaphragm, huh?

Hampshire 01-07-2019 12:24 PM

I've been doing the mental method for a few years now. You don't "hold" your breath per se as that puts pressure on your diaphragm. Instead you stop breathing in a completely relaxed state halfway between a full inhale and exhale. Then focusing on controlling your breathing you take very very short inhales and exhales that use as little of your diaphragm muscle as possible.

Zyada 01-07-2019 01:29 PM

Anyone else hear of the sugar treatment? Put a spoonful of sugar in your mouth and let it melt and you'll get rid of the hiccups? It works for me, and works well enough that Mom would always force a spoonful of white sugar on me whenever I started hiccuping.

As much as I have a sweet tooth, a full spoon of white sugar is nasty

Beckdawrek 01-07-2019 03:31 PM

I just got over the hiccoughs. Gazing at my navel and telling my diaphragm to stop didn't work. So I just tried to ignore them and they stopped after about 15mins or so.

notfrommensa 01-07-2019 10:04 PM

My hiccup cure

I hit my chest with my fists, firmly not to easy and not to hard. And mentally count to ten in French.

Der Trihs 01-08-2019 04:14 PM

Hiccups as I understand it are caused when a reflex gets caught in a loop. That's why normal hiccups can be cured by so many apparently unrelated methods; anything that disrupts the loop will work.

icantdraw 01-09-2019 02:38 PM

Since I was young (I'm 48 now) my mother would always off me cash to hiccup...

hiccup... hiccup... hiccup

(mother) Hiccup again and I'll give you $5.

(me) ………. dammit

Doesn't work for me anymore (since I don't want my parents money), but it works on my kids.

Shoeless 01-09-2019 05:13 PM

The only hiccup cure that has ever worked for me, taught to me by a roommate in college. (I used to get really bad hiccups after drinking lots of beer.)

Take a deep breath, as slow as you can.
Let it out, as slow as you can.
Repeat as needed.
After about half a dozen deep breaths, hiccups are gone.

Ruken 01-09-2019 06:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by manson1972 (Post 21412874)
I then consciously thought "Stop hiccuping, you stupid diaphragm" for a good hour until I wasn't hiccuping anymore. Now, when I start to hiccup, I just mentally say "stop hiccuping, diaphragm" and then my hiccups go away.

Every time my dog barks at a helicopter, the helicopter flies away.

I suggest all dogs with helicopters invading their airspace try it.

BigT 01-09-2019 08:17 PM

I find there are two types of hiccups: the kind that is caused by an immediate stimulus that I can remove simply by removing the stimulus (usually by swallowing, possibly with water to help, but sometimes just by holding things still), and the kind that gets triggered and doesn't want to stop. I haven't had the latter in years.

Still, as such, it would be possible the OP had the second kind first, and they happened to stop as you told them to. But, since then, you've only had the second kind, and they resolved quickly on their own, or after you subconciously swallow to stop them.

A weird thing I have is that certain types of coughs will cause a single hiccup at the same time. It actually seems to get in the way of coughing something up.

And don't praise my inability to have long hiccup fits. It may be coincidence, but I seem to have traded them for the occasional laryngspasm, where you larynx locks into place and you feel you can't breathe for about a minute. You can breath, but only if you don't try too hard, and your instinct is to try (especially right upon waking, which is when the most often happen to me.)

manson1972 01-10-2019 10:55 PM

So I had hiccups last night and the "thinking the hiccups away" didn't work. So I did what I used to always do, something I call "swallowing air" where I seem like I'm swallowing air. After a few of these swallows, I have to burp, and then the hiccups go away.

I'll continue to work on the "willing the hiccups away" procedure.

RememberMe 01-12-2019 01:07 PM

Started doing this when I was in my teens, I am 35 now and it has worked immediately, EVERY SINGLE TIME: Plug your ears while drinking a cup of liquid with a straw.

I am still waiting for the time that this does not work, but each time is still a success.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

tim-n-va 01-14-2019 12:15 PM

My theory after reading about lots of “cures” is that hiccups are just a twitch of the diaphragm. Generally only relaxed muscles twitch so keeping your diaphragm tense will stop common hiccups. Note that many of the cures have that side effect. My technique is to take as deep a breath as possible, hold it while tensing my abdomen until the interval between hiccups has passed. This usually breaks the cycle. I have noticed that the sooner in a bout of hiccups the more effective.


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