Sunday, January 30, 2011

the zen art of getting rid of hiccups

From the dark recesses of the back of my mind, the Universe told me to post this at some point. Since I've been MIA with family all weekend, and this actually came up as a topic of conversation, now seems appropriate...

You'll want to remove all stimulation, so sit down - preferably in a quiet place, close your eyes, sit still, and try to clear your mind a bit.

Start focusing on the hiccups.  Feel the muscle contractions, their source, what your body feels like just before the contractions occur and after they pass.  You may notice that between contractions, and just before them, the muscle feels a bit uncomfortable.  Attune to the rhythm of the contractions; anticipate them, even welcome them by relaxing your body into the contractions.

After a few hiccups have passed, take a slow, deep full breath in.  Not overly deep, but enough to fill your body.  As you breathe in, continue to focus on the muscle and how it feels.

Hold the breath in as gently as possible for a moment, then relax your body and allow the breath to very slowly release as naturally as possible.  As the breath escapes, continue focusing on that muscle.  You may be able to anticipate when the contraction should be occurring, and notice the discomfort as the muscle breaks from it's rhythm of contractions.

After this breath has escaped, do the breathing exercise again for good measure.  You may have already noticed that the muscle has relaxed fully, or you may still experience some discomfort as the muscle returns to normal.

If you have another hiccup (which may happen with stronger occurrences, or with beginners), start from the beginning with the focus on the muscle, then gently move back into the breathing exercise.

I don't know how or why, but this seems to work, first breath, for 95% of my instances of hiccups.  It's also worked on kids as young as 5-years old and adults who have never meditated in their life.

Do you have any odd always-works remedies for hiccups?  What about for other odd body discomforts like pins & needles?

Much Love,
Able-Bodied Girl



  1. I have one that works on other people almost 90% of the time...sadly, it only works once usually. Without telling them what you are doing, just tell someone with hiccups, and speak slowly and evenly: "Okay, repeat after me: I want to be angel (I want to be an angel), I will be an angel (I will be an angel), I am an angel (I am an angel)" Apparently, that gets them focussing on something else for just enough time and altering their breathing for just enough time, that it usually gets rid of them. But if you tell them "hey I'm going to get rid of your hiccups" first, it won't work...they still focus too much on hiccups and not on what weird things you are saying.

  2. teehee, i think i remember you using that on me once :) it did totally work! and i think that's what made me believe that you could stop it just by focusing... it just evolved to an inward focus rather than an outward one.

    i think you should come up with other wierd things to get people to say, in addition to the angel thing, that way you have more to use on them a second time!