Hic. . . hic. . . hiccup!
Want a real cure for the hiccoughs?
There are many myths about how to cure the hiccoughs, from getting a fright to drinking water upside-down, but most of them are more amusing than helpful.
Hiccoughs are caused by a spasm in your diaphragm, the muscle that helps you breathe in and out. This breath control exercise will bring conscious energy into that muscle and so calm the spasm. It works every time.
You may not be able to isolate your diaphragm exactly. That's OK. The trick is to use the muscles in your diaphragm, solarplexis and belly as mindfully as possible. Remember: this is a control exercise, specifically designed to calm nerves or a fluttery diaphragm, it is not to be used in performance or as part of your practice towards free, relaxed sound.
As evenly and measuredly as you can:
(Using the muscles in your diaphragm, solarplexis and belly to breathe, not your shoulders or your throat!)
1. Breathe in for 5 counts
2. Hold the breath inside you for 3 counts
3. Breathe out for 10 counts on a fricative.
A fricative is a consonant sounds that creates friction as the air escapes. “Ffffff” is the best for being inconspicuous, for example when you have an attack of hiccoughs in a job interview or on a crowded train, but “Sssss”, “Thhh”, “Zzzz” and “Jjjjj” will work just as well.
Repeat steps 1 through 3 without stopping five times. For extreme cases you may need to repeat the steps up to ten times. It won't work if you're multitasking, you will need to put all of your attention on your breath. In most cases 3 to 5 breaths will have you hiccough-free! :)
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Danielle Benzon coaches entrepreneurs and performing artists in voice, acting and audition technique. She is also certified to teach the Meisner Approach through the True Acting Institute. Danielle is based in Vancouver, Canada.