Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sure Cure for a Holiday Affliction

"Hiccups," says the Mayo Clinic, "may result from a large meal, alcoholic beverages or sudden excitement," which makes tomorrow the perfect-storm day for being afflicted.

 Fortunately, there is a sure-fire cure, passed on by (brace yourself for major name-drop) John F. Kennedy's White House doctor, Janet Travell, an expert on muscle spasms who put him in a rocking chair and kept him from being bed-ridden.

Years later, when I was helping Dr. Travell find a publisher for her two-volume medical text on trigger-point therapy, she mentioned a paper she had written on one form of that treatment-—for hiccups.

Herewith Dr. Travell’s little-known but, in my experience, absolutely effective cure:

There is a small flap at the back of the upper palate called the uvula. Pressing the end of a butter knife or spoon handle firmly against it for three seconds or more will make the spasms stop. The only problem is to keep the hiccupper calm enough to avoid gagging.

In dozens of attempts with friends and family, I found it worked every time. As a magazine editor, I ran a brief item, and scores of readers confirmed that it did.

This treatment may also stop snoring, if you have the nerve to wake someone and try.

1 comment:

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

I am now the center of gravity for my family – the one around whom everyone congregates (and sometimes aggravates) – so tomorrow I will be flinging the bird (sliced turkey) to everyone.

Earlier today, my family told me to go stuff it, so I am off to the kitchen with 2 boxes of Stove Top.

If a very large bird appears at your window on Thanksgiving Day, it is probably a peeping tom.