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Cover your mouth

Cover your mouth
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The next time you get a case of hiccups, try cupping your hands over your nose and mouth, but continue breathing normally. (You can also breathe into a paper bag if you’ve got one handy.) In either case, the extra dose of carbon dioxide should help you get rid of hiccups.

If this home remedy for hiccups doesn’t work, try the next tip…

Use your hands to get rid of hiccups

Use your hands to get rid of hiccups
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If covering your mouth doesn’t help you get rid of hiccups, try pressing the palm of your hand with the thumb of your other hand – the harder, the better. Alternatively, you can squeeze the ball of your left thumb between the thumb and forefinger of the right. The discomfort is a distraction that affects your nervous system and may get rid of hiccups. (One of the advantages of this home remedy for hiccups? You can do it under the table without anyone staring at you!)

Would you believe the longest case of hiccups lasted for 68 years?

Hold your breath

Hold your breath
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The next time you’ve got hiccups, take a deep breath and hold it. When there’s a build-up of carbon dioxide in your lungs, your diaphragm relaxes, which should help get rid of hiccups.

Get rid of hiccups by sticking out your tongue

Get rid of hiccups by sticking out your tongue
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When no one’s watching, stick out your tongue. This exercise is done by singers and actors because it stimulates the opening between the vocal cords (the glottis). You breathe more smoothly, quelling the spasms that cause hiccups.

As well as helping with the hiccups, your tongue can tell you about your health. Find out more here.

Plug your ears to get rid of hiccups

Plug your ears to get rid of hiccups
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The next time you get hiccups, stick your fingers in your ears for 20 to 30 seconds. Alternatively, you can press the soft areas behind your earlobes, just below the base of the skull. This sends a ‘relax’ signal through the vagus nerve, which connects to the diaphragm.

You can get rid of ringing in the ears, here are some effective cures to try if you have tinnitus.

Drink some water to get rid of hiccups

Drink some water to get rid of hiccups
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Take nine or ten quick sips in a row from a glass of water. When you’re gulping a drink, rhythmic contractions of the oesophagus override spasms of the diaphragm. If this doesn’t work, place a single layer of paper towel over the top of a glass, then drink through the towel. You’ll have to ‘pull’ even harder with your diaphragm to suck up the water.

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Combine the previous two strategies

Combine the previous two strategies
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If you can block your ears while you drink the water, all the better. Stick your fingers in your ears and sip though a straw. You’re pressing on the vagus nerve while also getting the benefits of steady swallowing – it’s one of the most effective home remedies for hiccups.

 

Swallow something sweet

Swallow something sweet
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A spoonful of sugar is a popular hiccups cure because its graininess could slightly irritate the oesophagus, causing the phrenic nerves to ‘reset’ themselves, although there is no proof of this.

Thought about giving up sugar? Find out how you can kick a sugar addiction without missing the sweet stuff.

…Or something sour

…Or something sour
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Take a teaspoonful of vinegar. Its sour taste could stop a hiccup in its tracks.

Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar can have amazing benefits but not if you drink it like this.

Have some peanut butter

Have some peanut butter
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A big spoonful of peanut butter is a classic cure if you’re pondering how to get rid of hiccups. In the process of chewing and getting it off your tongue and teeth, your swallowing and breathing patterns are interrupted. And hence, the hiccups will be history.

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Reader’s Digest Magazine delayed due to coronavirus
Please be advised that due to the current lockdown in Malaysia and the Philippines, Reader’s Digest magazine will not be available at its regular on-sale date to our subscribers or through our retail channels in these regions. We hope to have the issues available around 15 April in Malaysia and around 24 April in the Philippines, but this is dependent on when the lockdown restrictions are lifted. We sincerely apologise for this inconvenience.
Thank you and stay safe!
– The Reader’s Digest team