Hiccup-curing straw (and other hiccup cures)

Researchers have invented a straw that, they claim, will cure hiccups. They call it the HiccAway. From the product page:

HiccAway can instantly stop hiccups by generating enough pressure while sipping from the device to lower the diaphragm while simultaneously activating the leaf-shaped flap in the throat, known as the epiglottis. Doing this stimulates two key nerves, the phrenic and the vagus nerves, which are responsible for the hiccups. This allows the brain to reset and stop hiccups.

Back in 2015, we posted about Hiccupops, invented by 16-year-old Mallory Kievman. These were apple-cider lollipops that, she said, could cure hiccups. Apparently she's done well with her invention, because she's now the CEO of a company selling them.

And here's some more hiccup cures, from an article I wrote for about.com (back when the site still existed):

For many years, doctors only had one remedy of last resort to offer those suffering from hiccups — to crush the phrenic nerve. This procedure was done on the theory that irritation of this nerve was causing the hiccups.

But in the second half of the 20th century, researchers stumbled upon some less-invasive, but definitely odd, hiccup cures.

The first of these was reported by Dr. Erminio Cardi of Rhode Island in an August 1961 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. Cardi had discovered that he was able to cure the hiccups of several patients simply by using a cotton swab to manipulate a hair in their external ear canal. He confessed that this treatment was "seemingly unorthodox," but it worked. He theorized that it did so because the hair had been irritating a nerve that triggered the hiccup response.

And if examination of the ear revealed no hair irritant? No problem. In that case "twirl a stick tipped with cocaine-soaked cotton in the ear," instructed the doctor.

Nowadays doctors are more likely to use lidocaine than cocaine, but the principle remains the same.

The second cure is even more unorthodox, but again, it seems to work. In an August 1988 issue of the Annals of Emergency Medicine, Dr. Francis Fesmire of Jacksonville, Florida reported that a "digital rectal massage" (aka a finger up the bum) had unexpectedly cured a patient of hiccups. Fesmire didn't record what inspired him to think of this technique, but the reason why it worked, he suggested, was similar to the ear method — because it calmed an overactive nerve. Several other doctors have subsequently reported success using this technique.
     Posted By: Alex - Thu Jun 24, 2021
     Category: Health

I've had itchy external ear canals several times, so I've added that one to my list of hiccup cures. It once got really bad, and I asked an ENT doctor to trim the hairs in there. He remarked that, "This is why I like medicine," presumably for the weird stuff that comes to him.

That HiccAway straw looks promising – for the everyday version of the hiccups, anyway. I'm passing on the last idea in the post, however.

Posted by Virtual in Carnate on 06/24/21 at 11:56 AM
A long time ago, someone told me you first have to know the type and style of hiccup and its exact location. They can be sinister or dexter, boo-bop or bop-boo, and anywhere from inside the rib to one, two, or three fingers below it. You have to positively identify it so you know which cure to use.

Place one finger on the victim's abdomen, roughly central near the bottom of the rib cage and have them concentrate on the next hiccup. They have to tell you which way to move your finger so you're right over it, and they have to tell you its exact rhythm. You have to keep them intent on recognizing the exact point of origin of the next hiccup. Focus and wait for it. Focus and wait for it.

For me, that first time, I did two more hiccups and then, no more. Although mine were gone, I asked her what the different cures were for the different types. She said there weren't any -- the simple act of concentrating on the source involved subconscious flexing of the minor muscles in the area, and that's all it took to dissipate the spasm. She also said that 90% of the time, it works 100% of the time (that's when I fell in love with her).

Over the years, it's worked absolutely every time when self-applied, despite knowing the 'trick.' I've only had the opportunity to do it five times on other people. The record for most hiccups after I start is four. (Caveat: I'm a guy, but I only offer to aid women in distress. I don't know how effective it might be on other guys.)

Once, I demonstrated this technique on someone who'd tried the usual holding their breath, drinking from the wrong side of a glass, and Q-tip soaked in vodka. Afterwards, I got into a discussion with a guy at the bar (who happened to have a master's in psychology) about why it worked. He'd heard of it but had never seen it applied. His theory was a large portion of the effectiveness was the 'shock' a woman naturally experiences when there's a socially-acceptable reason for a strange man to be deliberately touching her. (I am undeniably a man, and more than one person has commented on how strange I am, so I guess it's a legitimate view.)
Posted by Phideaux on 06/24/21 at 12:08 PM
Phideaux, it seems like a "strange" man would just be one not known to her. However:

What is the Q-tip soaked in vodka cure? (If it's inserted in the ear, then it's basically Dr. Cardi's cocaine-soaked cotton swab cure, I guess.)
Posted by Virtual in Carnate on 06/25/21 at 11:32 AM
@Virtual -- The vodka-soaked Q-Tip is Dr. Cardi's technique. It's just that in a working-class bar in a small, conservative town in the Midwest, vodka is easier to get than cocaine.
Posted by Phideaux on 06/25/21 at 04:18 PM
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.