“You have the hiccups? You know there was a guy who had them for 60 years…?”
Hiccups (known as hiccoughs in England) are stressful and can be painful. In fact, anything that interferes with your oxygen intake is going to be stressful. We all get them. My dogs get them. Even fetuses in the womb get hiccups (why is unknown).
When you have hiccups, you can guarantee that two things are going to happen. The first is that you are going to feel embarrassed. The second is that someone is going to say, “Hey, did you know there was a guy who had hiccups for 60 years?” This reminder makes you even more stressed, which makes coping with hiccups even more difficult. Here are some tips on coping with your hiccups.
You Are Not Going To Have Hiccups For 60 Years
The world record for hiccups was a very unlucky fellow named Charles Osborne who had them for 68 years, at what is thought to have been just over one million hiccups per year. This is a fluke. The odds of it happening to you – let alone anyone else on the planet – are astronomical. And even poor Charles still managed to father 8 kids, so somehow he coped.
Those being said, if your hiccups last for more than a day, call your doctor. But how many times has that happened to you or anyone else you personally know? Chances are you’ve had hiccups before this latest bout. You survived the hiccups then; you’ll survive it now. Use that knowledge to calm down.
Take a Series of Deep Breaths
Everyone seems to have their own favorite cures for hiccups, and quite a few of them involve breathing deeply at one point or another. If you have a favorite method for curing hiccups that helps you, by all means, keep using that cure and ignore what I’m about to recommend. The familiarity of using a trusted hiccup cure will be a better help to you than any other well-intentioned suggestion.
Now, basically, take a series of deep breaths. Then try to forget about the hiccups and, if you start worrying about them, try to take another deep breath. Holding your breath is optional.
I adapted my favorite cure from an old English rhyme found in a modern book written by an Australian white witch. And I’m an American. Small world, huh? Anyway, this is what you say:
Hiccup, hiccup, hiccup
Rise up, rise up, rise up
Three sips to the cup
Is the way to cure the hiccup
One, two, three
One (inhale and exhale deeply)
Two (inhale and exhale deeply)
Three (inhale and exhale deeply)
This also works for the dogs, especially my oldest. I chant it to her, placing my hand on her side or back. My breathing deeply seems to encourage her to breathe deeply.
Science Museum UK. “Why do we get hiccups, and how do we stop them?” http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/onlinestuff/snot/why_do_we_get_hiccups_and_how_do_you_stop_them.aspx
Web MD. “Hiccups: Causes and Treatments.” December 7, 2009. http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/tc/hiccups-topic-overview
VetInfo.com. “Do Dog Hiccups Require Treatment?” 2010. http://www.vetinfo.com/do-dog-hiccups-require-treatment.html