They are bodily nuisances caused by contractions of the diaphragm. They are recurring sounds coming from somewhere in the corner of the classroom, interrupting your thought process on an important exam. They are the embarrassing blips that escape your lips most inconveniently during college presidential candidate interviews and your great-grandmother’s funeral. They are hiccups. Some people acquire them daily, others have been caught in a perpetual bout for years. What can be done to stop these involuntary and rather embarrassing bodily spasms? Juniata students share their best remedies and some unfortunate hiccupping experiences.
Olivia Hayden-Pless ’16, Upperville, Va.:
I learned this technique from my math teacher in high school. You take a packet of sugar and pour it out onto your tongue. Then press it against the roof of your mouth and wait for it to dissolve. Your hiccups will disappear 8 times out of 10. As far as hiccup stories go, one time in elementary school, our teacher was very mad at us for being rowdy. He said if anyone else made a noise, we would be sent straight to the principal’s office. Just then I got the hiccups and he interrogated me because he thought I was doing it on purpose. But I told him I really had the hiccups and I narrowly escaped.
Lauren Wilson ’16, Friedens, Pa.:
My friend in high school taught me this remedy. Plug your ears while you take a drink of something through a straw. I get hiccups daily, especially when I eat starches and pasta. This remedy works about 70 percent of the time.
Megan Smith’15, Scranton, Pa.:
I don’t remember who told me this, but you can try either holding your breath upside down by pinching your nose and bending over, or you can drink water upside down by bending over with a glass and drinking the opposite way that you normally would. But this involves the risk of water getting up your nose, resulting in choking. These techniques have never worked for me, but I hear they work for other people. I’m pretty sure I’ve gotten hiccups on stage during a performance before. I had to stifle them and it was very uncomfortable.
Ethan Farrell’15, Damascus, Md.:
My crazy Uncle Tom told me to hold my breath, spin around three times and then drink a big gulp of water. It’s not very efficient at all. It has only worked once and never again. One time I burped and hiccuped simultaneously and it was the worst pain I’ve ever felt. It felt like someone was stabbing me in the chest.
Personally, to eradicate hiccups, my method of choice is the lemon. Simply cut a sliver of lemon and bite into it, sucking the juice out and voilà. Sayonara, you pesky spasms. I have never come across a more effective method as it has proven to be 98 percent effective after one bite and 100 percent after two. My father taught me this nifty trick and I would highly recommend it to anyone suffering the pains that can accompany hiccups.
-Hannah Jeffery’16 Juniata Online Journalist