Hiccups are involuntary contractions of the diaphragm — the muscle that separates your chest from your abdomen and plays an essential role in breathing. Each contraction is followed by a sudden closure of your vocal cords, which produces the characteristic "hic" sound. While usually harmless and temporary, hiccups can be annoying. But what causes them, and is there a way to get rid of them at home using alternative therapy?


Stimulation or irritation of the phrenic nerves or diaphragm usually caused by consuming carbonated beverages or swallowing air can sometimes lead to hiccups.

By temperature change such as drinking a hot drink followed immediately by a cold one

By Eating too much, especially if the food is fatty or spicy

Because of Excitement, stress, or anxiety

Too much laughing without breathing

Most hiccups go away on their own, but if they last more than 48 hours, they are considered persistent. Sometimes person needs to get hospitalised if it continues for some days.

Home remedies

Drink a glass of cold water quickly

Swallow a teaspoon of sugar or eat piece of jaggary

Take a deep breath in and hold it for as long as you can hold comfortably

Breathe into a paper bag slowly and carefully. It increases the carbon dioxide level in the blood, helping to stop the hiccup reflex

Sujok Therapy for hiccups

Sujok Therapy is an effective way to stop hiccups. Please massage along the red lines on the palm (see image). You can also apply cigar moxa along the red lines. Seed therapy is very effective for hiccups, you can stick dried pea seeds or long seeds like litchi seeds on the highlighted point shown on the index finger.

If hiccups persist for more than 48 hours, it's essential to consult with a healthcare professional.

(Rajshree Vora is an obesity consultant, dietitian and nutritionist, Sujok therapist, counsellor, and yoga therapist. You can write to her at [email protected])

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