We’ve all tried the usual thing to stop hiccups — holding your breath, drinking water, drinking water while holding your breath, eating a spoonful of sugar, etc. I don’t know about you but they rarely work for me on their own.
The key to stopping persistent hiccups is to calm the spasms in your diaphragm. Holding your breath alone doesn’t always accomplish that, nor does drinking water or just ignoring it and hoping the hiccups go away. I get hiccups fairly frequently (including this morning) and I’ve never yet had the following home remedy not work — give it a try yourself the next time you have a case of the hiccups that won’t go away:
- Right after you hiccup, exhale completely from your diaphragm. (Contract your upper abdominal muscles near the diaphragm as you exhale.)
- Inhale completely from your diaphragm and then hold your breath.
- While holding your breath, drink as many small sips of water as you can (aim for about a cupfull at least, if you can).
- Hold your breath as long as you can after you stop sipping the water and then exhale. The hiccups should be gone.
The entire process above should only take about 20 seconds or so. If your hiccups are coming too frequently, the process above may be interrupted by a hiccup (usually that interruption will come during the initial exhalation in step 1) — just restart.