Hiccups have bedeviled people since the first caveman shoved too big a hunk of woolly mammoth into his gullet. Singulars as it is medically known, results from th irrigation of the diaphragm, usually caused by indigestion. Phrenic nerve fibers discharge in response, resulting in the spasmodic, painful contractions of the diaphragm. Air is sucked in, then the windpipe abruptly closes (Hic!). Hiccups have no beneficial purpose, though they do argue for taking smaller bites and chewing your food slowly.

For hundreds of years, hiccup cures have been pretty much the same (hold a sugar cube or glob of peanut butter in your mouth, drink water through a handkerchief, stand on your head, breathe through a paper bag, munch on a lime). Thomas Assmar, of Jewett City, Connecticut, invented a supposedly miraculous hiccup-curing machine that sufferers could stand on while drinking water and be tossed up and down 92 times a minute. It is claimed that everybody who tried it was cured – over 100 people in all – but the machine has been lost since Assmar died in 1978.

Except for Assmar’s inventions, for hundreds of years hiccups cures have been pretty much the same, but if you’re a frequent sufferer of hiccups – you’ve probably tried them all and found them wanting. Fortunately, medical science has weighed in on the issue.

Instead of a folk remedy, try the Hughes/Green hiccups cure invented by former hiccups sufferer Dave Hughed, of Redwood Valley California: 1.) Pour a tall glass of water. 2.) While holding your breath and pinching your nose closed, repeatedly take sips of water until you feel like you are drowning, then stop. 3.) Inhale deeply and breathe normally. The hiccups should be cured. Hughes believes this technique works by depriving the spasmodic muscles of oxygen, causing them to stop the hiccuping reflex.

For more stubborn cases, try icing down the nerve fibers that are responsible. It turns out the ideal places to interrupt the hiccups are the sides of the heck. To stop the hiccups, use the method developed by S. Gregory Hipskind, M.D. of Bellingham, Washington. Find your Adam’s apple (for women this point is about 2 inches directly below the chin.) Move back until you are above your clavicle (the big protruding bone at the base of your neck.) You should be just behind the sternocleidomastoid muscles, well back and below your carotid arteries. Apply ice cubes to each side until the hiccuping stops.

In really, really serious cases, your doctor can give you a shot of nefopam, and anti-shivering medication that is highly effective, or baclofen, a muscle relaxant. If those injections don’t work, nimodipine, a calcium channel blocker that inhibits muscle contractions has been shown to cure even the most intractable case of the hiccups.

If all else fails, consider the last resort, successful cure of the former hiccup world-record holder, Jack O’Leary of Los Angeles, who hiccups an estimated 100 million times during an eight-year bout: a prayer to St. Jude, the Patron Saint of Lost Causes.

citation: The Know-It-All’s Guide to Life: How to Climb Mount Everest, Cure Hiccups, Live to 100, and Dozens of Other Practical, Unusual, or Just Plain Fantastical Things

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31 thoughts on “Hiccups”

  1. That’s interesting.
    I get hiccups a lot and none of those normal cures work for me. I find that a simple meditation/relaxation thing works 100% of the time.
    I just get quiet, take slow deep breaths and relax my entire body.
    Works like a friggin charm!

  2. As an ex-Mixologist (Bartender) I discovered on SUREFIRE cure. Worked every time — Agostura Bitters sprinkled generously over a lime. The sufferer must take the whole of the slice of lime in their mouth and bite off the bitters-soaked fruit (no eating of the rind necessary). I guarantee that this works — every time.

  3. Kissing is the best cure for hiccups. I get the hiccups all the time, and my boyfriend does not like that they are loud in public, so he kisses me hic hic.

  4. I have the hiccups right now! and they are crazy hic’s. I like the hiccups, but it racks my tummy. Drink water upside down works for me.

  5. Hiccups are terribly sexy, and slow, ineffective cures are my faves, like kissing, tickling, or lovemaking … May I help ya?

  6. My girlfriend gets hiccups 3-4 times per week, on average. The only cure that works
    is to deeply massage her bellybutton (no joke) for 10-15 minutes. Works every time…otherwise she has them for hours!!

  7. I always find, be it brutal, a swift uppercut to the solarplexis (sp?) always seems to reset the diaphram. It hurts like hell but usually works. Think about it.

  8. obviously Bill, you missed those Reuters releases about the 2 people (Germany, I believe) that died after THAT cure was administered .. but I know no one has died from my cure … in fact, more likely someone gets born; or born again!!!
    Of course, if you want to stop hiccups dead out, just think of one thing: ………………………………………….
    “4 More Years of George Bush”
    Love ya Lisa !!!!!



  9. Hiccups are sexy for me. I like them in females, as long as they are not hurting them much. I would love to watch them hiccup and touch their belly and press my fingers on their neck….:twisted:
    Would help them cure them if they are having a lot of trouble with them..:wink:

  10. OK….. I was going to give you my cure for hicups but Asphyxed creeped me out….:shock:

    Oh well…. if you insist, pretty much all cures work exactly the same way they make your brain concentrate on something else. What works for me is similar to the bellybutton thing, except I rub the palm and wrist of one hand with the thumb of the other, and concentrate on what you are doing, I’m sure reading a good book would have the same effect.

  11. I’m a hiccup lover infiltrating this strange world. The weirdest, yet best thing that you can do to cure hiccups, is to record yourself with a camcorder, hiccupping, and when you watch the video, You will forget about your actual hiccups.
    Genious, I know. Please, girls, start sharing your vidoes on hiccup lovers sites. There is a new site called hlovers.tripod.com that is good.
    So, Cure your hiccups, and share them too!!

  12. Send me a video of you girls with the hiccups. And when you get them put on a bikini or a swim suit a just a bra and underwear because i like to see you’re necks. Thanks

  13. Adjustment to standard bartender cure:

    It is a wedge of lime doused with bitters and sugar (sugar was left out of the previous mentioned cure). Worked for me on several occassions!

  14. Girls, I don’t think you’ve followed my dirrections! The video thing works to cure hiccups, and hiccup lovers around the world could enjoy them if you sent them into a hiccup lovers site! Don’t be shy, you don’t have to expose yourselfs tremendously, just send something in. There are a lot of hiccup lovers out there waiting!

  15. I would really like if you girls would listen to Blackjack and share your videos. All of us are waiting. An please think about Mac Plummers idea and put on a swimming suit, a bra and inderwear or a bikini when you get them and record them.

  16. Hey, i have the hiccups rite now so annoying!
    But my grandpa, dad and sister get te hiccups ALL the time, sometimes after eating but usually while theyre asleep or in the middle of talking, they are not the usuall hiccups that last a while just between 10-20 each time. It is not only annpying for them but its annoying for the rest of us! Anyone out there have a remedy that can help us! its really weird, haveing 3 ppl getting them!!

  17. Got the hiccups? Please call here and record them for me!!!
    800-MY-YAHOO (800-699-2466), Mailbox HICCUPS4ME (4422877463)

    Thanks! (That is more reasonable right?)

  18. Hey, my friend is DYING for something new on those hiccup lovers site, so please people either record them on video or audio when you get them…lol! or please PLEASE send them here britney9862005@yahoo.com You will be a great help to my friend and promise will do something for you! Guarantee! :d Thank you very much!!:)>-

  19. Senior Mysteriouso

    Look at all these PEOPLE!! LOL I know about 1/4 of you!! ANYWAYS I have a group on Yahoo fo rthose of you who LOVE having/Love watching People with the hicccups…
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hiccupsrus Please join up. BUT DO NOT JUST TELL ME FOR A REASON “I Love Hiccups” that’s UNACCEPTABLE.. I need more information (I.E. I will contribute files/sightings/etc). Thanks!!

  20. I discovered that drinking a few gulps of a carbinated liquid like soda or bubble water and than burping as deep as possible will stop the hicups almost immediately. It may take only two or three good burps and it stops.
    Also works for my friends.

    Good luck.

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