With more than 51,000 followers on Instagram, Virginia-based physician Dr. Jason Singh offers viewers tips, tricks, and life hacks on everything from managing headaches to nosebleeds, panic attacks, and more. In a video reel, Dr. Singh walks audiences through a three-step hiccup treatment process involving a glass of ice-cold water. First, you’ll want to activate your vagus nerve by gargling the water, which will disrupt the body’s hiccup messaging. It’s the vagus nerve that controls many of our body’s involuntary responses (via Cleveland Clinic).
Next, proceed to slowly swallow the water, but not all at once. Instead, swallow small amounts of water, a little bit at a time. Not only will this temporarily alleviate spasming in the diaphragm, but our swallowing reflex will also throw a wrench in the body’s hiccup cycle. Finally, once the last of the water in your mouth has been swallowed, hold your breath and “bear down” for a few moments, Dr. Singh says. In other words, direct energy downward through your body by “pushing,” much like how a pregnant person is instructed to push when giving birth (via The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews). This will alter the body’s intrathoracic pressure and inspiration (inhalation) sequence that’s prompting your diaphragm spasms and put an end to those frustrating hiccups.