Good Words Never Die

Silence hiccups

Take the deepest breath you can, hold it for 10 seconds, then, without exhaling, suck in more air and hold it for five more seconds. Finally—still without exhaling!—breathe in as much more air as you can squeeze in, hold for another five seconds, and exhale. Then breathe normally. This technique immobilizes the diaphragm (the muscle at the base of your lungs), preventing the spasms. Luc Morris, M. D., and his colleagues at the New York University School of Medicine tested the method on 30 patients who were prone to frequent hiccups. “It worked immediately on everyone who could do it,” he says.

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