A Cure for Hiccups

[Epistemic Status: Totally Speculative]

I rarely get hiccups, but the hiccups I get are relatively violent and they last a long time.

Over the last few cases of hiccups, I have developed a cure which works for me. Try at your own risk, N of 1, results may vary, etc, etc. Here’s my method:

Surfing, in the abstract, is controlling something on the leading edge of a wave.

A hiccup is a spasm. A spasm is a wave. I have control of the muscles that form this wave. So in theory, I can surf a hiccup.

When I get a case of the hiccups, I stop what I’m doing and focus as much as I can on breathing. I breathe deep, full breaths, as though I had no hiccups, but I breath them very slowly, and for a minute or so I just pay attention to the feeling of the hiccup spasms.

Once I have a sense of how the spasms feel and where they’re happening, I start to try to focus on the leading edge of each spasm. Instead of feeling the spasm as one discrete shock, I try to separate it into a rise, a crest, and a fall (or for the mathy: instead of feeling the spasm as a step function, I try to feel it as a sigmoid up and a sigmoid down).

Once I feel like I can recognize the leading edge, I try to ride it. I don’t fight to stop it, I don’t let it come uncontrolled. I try to squeeze my throat muscles just a little bit in front of the leading edge of the spasm.

When I get it right, what I feel is a sort of managed spasm. It still comes, but it’s not explosive. I feel as though the wave has less amplitude, but it’s wider.

After a few well managed spasms, the hiccups pretty much go away on their own.

That’s my hiccup cure! Good luck with it.

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