Saturday, September 02, 2006

>Hic< cups!

I wrote in a recent Mark Mail post about the hiccups (or hiccoughs) and a cure for them.

They're caused, as I understand it, by spasms of your diaphragm, which is the muscle that sits right on top of your tummy. Most hiccups last less than three minutes, though I did read about one documented case where they lasted nearly 60 years. Really.

The folk legend cures that we've used around our house are the classic "drink a glass of water," which also works for a few of you, according to what my list members sent me. We've also tried holding our breath and eating a spoonful of peanut butter.

Then I asked for your cures. Here's a sampling:

"Take a deeeeep breath very, very, v-e-r-y-a-l-m-o-s-t-p-a-i-n-f-u-l-l-y-s-l-o-w-l-y. Hold it for two or three seconds, then exhale just as slowly. Repeat three or four times, and that's usually enough to get those pesky critters gone. What it does is work that spasming muscle much like you would walk off a 'charlie horse' in your leg. It gently and slowly allows the diaphragm muscle to relax. Works like a charm every time."
-- Susan B.
Mechanicsville, MD

"Our favorite cure is taking a spoonful of sugar and placing it on your tongue. You cannot open your mouth until the sugar is dissolved. Works every time. When I first told my pre-teen about this, I thought she'd 'get the hiccups' just so she could eat sugar. It never happened and now she hates to put the sugar on her tongue when she gets the hiccups, but she knows it works."
-- Liz M.
Conway, AR

"When my children were small I used a remedy that my parents had used on me as a child. I would ask them to remember the LAST white horse they had seen. They would go deep into thinking and then finally come up with an answer. They were then surprised to learn that their hiccups had disappeared. I guess the moral of the story is it is difficult to concentrate on one thing while you are seeking another."
-- Bonnie D.
Roy, UT

"If you place a straw lengthwise between your teeth and drink water with the straw in place ... the hiccoughs will stop!"
-- Tippy H.
Martinsville, VA

So there you have a few more cures to try. The web was full of them ... as in pages and pages and pages. I'd still be interested in hearing what works for you. Please leave a comment!