Hiccups are one of those annoying things in life that we really don’t think of as a bother until it’s happening to us. There are plenty of old wives tales out there for how to get rid of hiccups, but do they really work? We found 23 of the most popular methods so that you have something to try next time the hiccups strike.
Hiccups – we’ve all experienced them before and probably struggled to get rid of them at one time or another. The annoying little diaphragm spasms that feel as though they’ll never go away are a pretty common occurrence. They can be brought up by eating or drinking too fast, becoming excited or nervous, sitting up too fast, and a whole host of other everyday things that we do.
What’s even more interesting that the hiccups themselves though is the slew of methods and tricks you’ll be told to try when you have them. We’ve found some of the most common (and some not so common) tricks for how to get rid of hiccups so you’ll have something to test out the next time you’re struck down with them.
#23: Ice, Ice Baby
For some people, they try to freeze their hiccups out. You can try this by filling up a glass with cold water and plenty of ice and then downing it as quickly as possible. The idea is to freeze yourself and create a distraction, which some people find actually works.
Rather than doing anything you can to try and avoid the hiccups, place special attention on them instead. Think inside your head about the next hiccup and will it to happen, and you might find that it never actually comes. To go one better, you can proclaim to someone that you’re able to hiccup and wait for the result which hopefully never arrives.
#21: Spoonful of Sugar
Even if this one doesn’t work at least you get a nice little sugar rush from it. According to the old wives, you get a teaspoon of sugar and place it right at the back of the tongue. Rather than swallowing it you should let it sit until it dissolves completely, and this might rid you of your hiccups.
#20: The Power of Magnesium
This one actually seems to have some scientific evidence behind it so it could potentially work. Some people recommend taking an antacid as soon as the hiccups start but you need to make sure it has magnesium in it. Apparently, this wonderful natural ingredient will stop them in their tracks.
#19: Drinking Backwards
If you’re not worried about how silly you’ll look or the potential of getting wet, this is a popular cure for the hiccups that you can try. Pour yourself a glass of water but instead of drinking it as normal, hold it under your chin, bend over, and drink from the back of the rim instead of the front. We don’t know why, but it always seems to work.
#18: Nutty Relief
Some people believe that a good dollop of peanut butter or any other type of nut butter like almond or cashew will give you relief. It’s thought that it can soothe the reflex and give you a tasty treat at the same time.
#17: Pressure Points
If you’re someone who prefers the holistic alternative in life, you’ll love this one. There are a number of pressure points that are meant to be perfect for relieving hiccups. The hollow at the base of the throat, an inch from the bottom of the breastbone, and the small hollow behind your earlobe. At the very least, it will keep you entertained and distracted for a few minutes as you try to find them.
#16: Paper Bag
This is a classic trick that can be used for hiccups and hyperventilation, and it’s all thanks to a little brown paper bag. Breathe into the bag with full force and breathe the air back in again. It’s believed that the concentrated carbon dioxide from your breath in the bag can reach your bloodstream and reset your breathing.
#15: Chair Breathing
Head for the dining room the next time you have the hiccups and try this seated exercise. While sitting down, breathe in slowly and then count to 20. As you’re breathing out with powerful force, lean forward so that your chest is pressed against your knees. This is thought to put pressure on the diaphragm and stop the hiccups.
#14: Work Out
Even if you really don’t feel like getting active, it could be the quickest cure for hiccups that you’ve ever tried. Spend a couple of minutes doing some high-intensity cardio like jumping jacks or burpees and see if it relieves you at all.
#13: Scared Straight
This is an oldie but a goodie, however, you’ll need someone who is willing to play along. There’s a thought that being scared is enough to rid yourself of the hiccups so ask a friend if they can oblige you. It’s better to not know when it’s coming, so you’ll need to show a little patience with this one.
#12: Tickle Me Hiccups
Just imagine yourself as a big old Tickle Me Elmo doll and you may be able to get rid of them once and for all. Ask someone to give you a good tickling so that you’re at the point of laughing so hard that you’re finding it hard to breathe. This may even be less bearable than the hiccups themselves, so don’t say we didn’t warn you.
#11: Question Time
Sometimes all we need is a little distraction to keep our mind off the hiccups, and you might find that they go away completely. Call a friend and have them ask you a series of questions without stopping so that you end up talking so much they actually disappear.
#10: Alphabet Game
Think of a category such as clothing stores or famous places, and then go through the letters of the alphabet trying to find one that fits. This will be a great distraction for your mind which is sometimes all we need to get rid of our ailment.
#9: Dance It Out
To get yourself really out of breath, try putting on some music and dancing around in circles. To make it even harder, sing the words to Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious until you feel like you might just pass out. If you start to get dizzy though, it’s probably time to sit down and take a rest.
#8: Lemon Slice
This one might scare you so much that your body just rids itself of hiccups at the thought of it. If you’re struggling to get rid of them, cut a slice of lemon and put the whole thing in your mouth and start sucking.
#7: Tilted Perspective
Sometimes all you need is a change of perspective to get rid of the hiccups, and what better time to do it than when you’re drinking some water? Grab yourself a glass of water, tilt your head to the side, and attempt to drink the whole glass while keeping your head in that position.
#6: Cotton Mouth
This one is said to distract the vagus nerve that can cause hiccups, so it’s got some scientific backing at least. Grab a cotton swab and use it to tickle the roof of your mouth. It could just trigger what you need to stop the hiccups once and for all.
#5: Hold Your Breath
Another one of the classic old wives’ tales for hiccups relates to holding your breath. Take a huge breath in and hold it for as long as you can, until you feel like you’re about to explode. Some people find this has brought them instant relief in the past.
#4: Yoga Time
Work on your body in the hopes that it will distract the hiccups by performing some yoga moves, but if you’re strapped for time there’s just one to do. Lion’s Breath is said to rid people of this common ailment and if all else fails, at least it’s achieved a few seconds of inner peace.
#3: Wiggle, Wiggle
You might look absolutely ridiculous doing this one, but who really cares? Place your fingers in your ear and wiggle them around in circles to see if it brings you relief.
#2: Stretch It Out
Open your mouth as wide as humanly possible and hold it there for 20 seconds or longer, and you might be able to solve the problem. Be careful to watch for flies that could try and sneak their way in.
#1: Just Relax
Try to do anything you can that’s not thinking about hiccups and they’ll probably go away. Just remember, the longest stint of hiccups ever recorded was 68 years, so things could be a lot worse.