There are a few traditional ways everyone knows to cure the hiccups: holding our breath, tickling our tongues, or getting someone to scare us. But guess what? We may have be doing it all wrong.
One company has decided to put all those remedies to rest and are asking consumers to bite down hard. Hicural's Hiccup Stick (starting at $10), is a stick that's inserted horizontally in your mouth, according to TheGreenHead.com. After biting down and drinking a glass of water, the company claims those annoying hiccups will magically disappear.
Hiccups are contractions of the diaphragm, the muscle that separates your chest from your abs, according to the Mayo Clinic. Each of these contractions also closes your vocal cords, which is usually why we hear the 'hic' sound.
As far as the Hiccup Stick goes, apparently you can't just take any stick and put it in your mouth. The Hiccup Stick is designed to allow air and water to mix, and make your throat muscles tense — ultimately freeing you from your hiccups.
LOOK: Full instructions:
If you're constantly getting hiccups, you can blame your meals and drinks. For most people, hiccups (unless you have chronic hiccup disorder, which usually lasts for longer periods of time), are caused by eating large meals, drinking alcohol and fizzy beverages. The Mayo Clinic also notes some people just get hiccups from being suddenly excited, swallowing too much air or smoking.
And for babies, hiccups are not only more common (babies actually start hiccuping as they roll around in the womb), they're often caused by breast milk, formulas and other foods, according to The Baby Center.
But some studies have shown that hiccups are more common for one sex than the other. Men are more likely to have hiccups, and for a longer period of time compared to females.
So if you're up for experimenting (and willing to look a little awkward) with the Hiccup Stick, let us know how it goes in the comments below. In the meantime, check out these other eight (and more common) ways to get rid of the annoying 'hic'.
There are seemingly endless hiccup remedies that involve some sort of alternate breathing method, from holding your breath to taking deep breaths to holding your breath while plugging your ears. "Anything you do in regard to your breath, it's possible that you could disrupt that nerve impulse from the brain to the diaphragm so you stop the hiccups," says Udermann. A little extra carbon dioxide may also help to relax the diaphragm, according to Dr. Oz, although we don't know exactly why. Flickr photo by Camera on autopilot
There may be even more claims of water-based ways to stop the hiccups than there are breathing tricks. Among the many we've heard: Drink from the opposite side of the glass, drink through a straw (with and without plugging your ears), drink through a napkin or towel and drink a big glass of water without stopping. Swallowing -- which, when you think about it, is a temporary change in your breathing, says Udermann -- may override those diaphragm spasms, according to Reader's Digest Canada. "It doesn't matter if you drink upside down or sideways or from a spoon," says Udermann. "It's that act that could be disruptive." Flickr photo by eschipul
"What works in our house is a teaspoon of sugar," says Udermann. "You eat it, and they're gone, 99 percent of the time." Others swear by a spoonful of peanut butter or ice cream. We've even heard biting into a slice of lemon coated in sugar and bitters can do the trick. But there's not likely anything specific about the peanut butter or the sugar or the bitters that's easing those hiccups. Like with drinking and breathing tricks, eating has the potential to affect your breath and therefore your diaphragm, says Udermann. We can't help but remind you though that that spoonful of sugar is just that, a spoon full of sugar, and it counts, calorically. Women should aim to eat fewer than 5 teaspoons of sugar a day, men 9 and kids about 3, so you might want to try other remedies first!
When you stick out or even pull on your tongue, you stimulate a part of the throat connected to the nasal passage called the nasopharynx and the opening between the vocal cords, which may offer some relief. Flickr photo by xlordashx
A little scare could work for two reasons. First of all, it's likely to change your breathing cycle -- hear that gasp you just made? It may also work as a mental distraction, which seems to quell hiccups. Want proof? Have someone ask you to hiccup on the spot, and see what happens, suggests Discovery Health.
Reader's Digest Canada also suggests squeezing your palm -- hard -- to distract your nervous system away from hiccuping to the sensation of mild pain instead. This may work similarly to the way that slapping or pinching yourself can distract from an itchy mosquito bite.