How Do You Cure Hiccups
The Hiccups Ruined My Performance!
An “Ask Abbie” Question: I was singing in a very vocal competition and developed the hiccups just before going on stage. It completely wrecked the performance, every time I would hiccup I would lose either lose my breathe support or hiccup in the middle of a note. The audience found it much more humorous than I did. What causes hiccups, and how can I prevent or stop hiccups?
A hiccup is a spasm of the body’s diaphragm. The diaphragm is used to support breath control, and it is crucial for proper vocal technique. Therefore, it’s no surprise it affected your performance.
What Is Your Diaphragm?
The diaphragm is a large sheet of muscle which separates the chest cavity from the abdominal cavity. It serves as a muscle to help draw air into the lungs. It contracts to expand the lungs when breathing in, and relaxes when exhaling. If the diaphragm is unable to move as it should, breathing may become difficult.
No matter the cause of hiccups, the result is the same. The diaphragm spasms and causes us to take a quick breath. The sudden rush of air causes the epiglottis (the flap that protects the space between the vocal cords) to shut and interrupt the breath, resulting in a hiccup sound!
What Causes hiccups?
Here are some of the root causes of hiccups that usually go away on their own after a short time.
- Full Stomach From Eating Too Much
- Eating Too Quickly And Swallowing Air Along With Foods
- Drinking Too Much Alcohol Or Carbonated Beverages
- A Sudden Change In Stomach Temperature, Such As Drinking A Hot Beverage And Then A Cold Beverage
- Emotional Stress, Fear, Or Excitement
- Medications For Acid Reflux
How long do hiccups last?
Hiccups usually stop within a few minutes to a few hours.
Hiccups are classified into three categories: normal, protracted or persistent, and intractable.
Hiccups that last longer than 48 hours are called persistent hiccups. Hiccups that last longer than a month are called intractable hiccups (World Record For The Longest Bout of Hiccups is 68 Years). Both persistent and intractable hiccups may be a sign of a more serious health problem and must be checked by a doctor.
Home Remedies To Cure Hiccups
Many home remedies are used to treat hiccups. Most of them involve increasing the level of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the blood, which usually stops hiccups. Some of these remedies include:
- Holding Your Breath And Counting Slowly To Ten.
- Breathing Repeatedly Into A Paper Bag For A Limited Period Of Time (Increases The CO2 Levels).
- Quickly Drinking A Glass Of Cold Water.
- Eating A Teaspoon Of Sugar Or Honey
The University of Maryland’s Children’s Hospital gives the following suggestions: try breathing into a paper bag for 10 seconds, which will raise the carbon dioxide levels in your blood and help stop the hiccups; have someone scare, startle, or tickle you; or take a spoonful of sugar.
My Surefire Remedy To Curing The Hiccups
A good singer understands proper breathing techniques. When a singer is taking a deep breathe, you should NEVER notice a puffing of the chest or an expansion of the lungs into the ribcage. A good singer takes a deep breathe, which expands down into their stomach. This is the primary reason why eating too much food before a performance cannot only cause hiccups but inhibit proper breathing techniques and create difficulty if you’re trying to stop a bout of hiccups.
Take a very deep breath expanding into the stomach and bend forward as far as possible. Hold this position for as long as possible. I’m not responsible or liable if you pass out; do this at your own risk! This places pressure on the diaphragm, increases the CO2 level, and without fail — for me — stops hiccups immediately.