Friday, December 22, 2006

A Cure for Hiccups

President Kennedy’s White House doctor, Janet Travell, who put him in a rocking chair and kept him from being bed-ridden, spent a long career researching muscle spasms.

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

In this season of eating too fast and drinking too much, both of which may bring on 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 hiccup treatment may also stop snoring, if you have the nerve to wake someone and try.



Unknown said...

Got anything for heartburn?

Dyre42 said...

Bitters and soda works pretty well. So does baking soda and water for that matter.

Anonymous said...

HI! Thanks for the tip! It really help a lot!