Hiccups can be a real pain. Literally. They can be painful and annoying and cause some people to even experience nausea or vomiting. They are caused by spasms in the diaphragm that can happen after drinking carbonated beverages, eating fast food, drinking alcohol, or even sudden changes in temperature. According to the Mayo Clinic, each contraction of a hiccup is followed by a fast and complete closure of the vocal cords, which causes your voice to make a “hic” sound. A burst of air goes into the lungs before the epiglottis closes, which traps the air in.
Hiccups often last less than an hour and slowly become weaker before disappearing. Some common methods used to try to quickly get rid of hiccups are drinking water upside down, holding your breath, and eating a tablespoon of sugar. It has also been recommended to breathe into a paper bag.
Here are some other methods that can help to quickly get rid of hiccups. With the simple touch of a pressure point, hiccups can be relieved quickly and effectively.
1. Face Point
Simply place your finger on your philtrum, which is the area between the top of your lip and the base of your nose. Press this spot firmly and push in towards your teeth. Hold this pressure for about 30 seconds before releasing it.
2. Chest Point
Locate your sternum, which is the bone in the middle of your chest that connects your ribs together. Place your fingers on your sternum and walk your fingers up until you find its ending point. Apply pressure to this bone for under thirty seconds. This does not need to be strong pressure, just enough so you are about to feel it. LiveStrong notes that the sternum is fragile, so it should not be pressed too firmly.
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3. Abdomen Point
Find your belly button and your pubic bone. In this middle of these two spots, there is a pressure point that can be pushed to relieve hiccups. It is located in the center of this line. This is also where you may push for the Heimlich Maneuver. Press this spot in for about 20-30 seconds while lying flat on your back for optimal effect.
4. Hand Point
Make a fist to reveal two vessels located on the inner forearm. There is a dent in the skin that is located closer to the wrist. The pressure point is located between these two vessels, which is about 3 fingers in length towards the elbow. Hold this point for about 30 seconds. This pressure point is also used to relieve nausea, so if you have accompanying nausea, this is a great point to start.
Pressing on pressure points can change the GI flow in the body to help reduce hiccups. Enough force should be applied to these areas to create a slight numb feeling or a feeling of warmth. If the first round of pressure point therapy is not effective, try again in about one minute.
Long-term hiccups, or hiccups lasting over one hour, may be an indication of a more serious medical problem which should be treated by a doctor. Pressure point self-care is useful for everyday hiccups that are common and should be considered a temporary measure, not a replacement for a doctor’s intervention, if needed.