How to Stop Hiccups (Works EVERY time!)

Hiccups are one of life’s little annoyances, but once you learn this little trick, you won’t have to suffer with them for long. (And no, you don’t have to drink a glass of water upside down or have someone scare you to get rid of them!)

drinking water

What are hiccups and what causes them?

Hiccups are simply involuntary muscle spasms of the diaphragm muscle. They can occur for a number a reasons, including eating too fast and swallowing air, chewing gum, eating or drinking too much, stress or anxiety, or there are more serious causes like nerve damage, brain tumors, and strokes.

While there’s not necessarily an easy fix for those serious causes, when you get hiccups from swallowing air or eating too fast, there is a relatively simple solution– you need to stretch the muscle that’s spasming.

A hiccup fix that actually works.

If you woke up in the middle of the night with a leg cramp or muscle spasms, what would you do?

Stretch it, right?

The same logic applies to hiccups. Your diaphragm muscle needs to be stretched to help stop the spasms.

diaphragm muscle illustration

Here’s How to Do It:

  1. To stretch your diaphragm muscle, take a deep breath and hold it for a count of 10.
  2. Without letting that breath go, take another deep breath and hold it for a count of 10.
  3. Without letting that breath go, take one more deep breath and hold it for a count of 10. (Or as long as you can at this point– your stomach and lungs should feel VERY full of air.)
  4. Slowly breathe out and then return to breathing normally.

You’ve just stretched your diaphragm!

By taking all of those deep breaths, you’ll feel your stomach and lungs protrude out, giving that area a nice, deep stretch. I think this is also why drinking lots of water or even being scared can sometimes “work” as a cure for hiccups– because they might also stretch the diaphragm muscle. This method is just a little more direct.

Just one breathing session is usually enough to stop a bout of hiccups, but repeat the above steps if you couldn’t complete them the first time, or if your hiccups return. (Sometimes I’ll have a hiccup during my first round of breathing so I’ll have to start over to get the full stretch in.)

I hope this technique will help you stop hiccups in their tracks the next time they happen to you. Personally, I find them SO ANNOYING, so having this method in my back-pocket is a sanity saver!

Reader Feedback: Do you have a go-to cure for getting rid of hiccups fast? Feel free to share more ideas in the comments below!

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Comments

Levon

It worked!!! I’m so relieved after trying everything, this actually worked. Thank you!

Cruisecontrol

I relax my diaphragm by sitting up straight and fully relaxing my stomach muscles, allowing it to extend as much as possible. My hiccups usually stop immediately.

Lizzy Mcarthur

I always take 9 drinks of room temperature water, and it works every time!!

V

It worked..TQ

Gorwade s s

I must appreciate this article where found the best remedy to my hiccups in the midnight. Counting till 10 works faster. It help me solving my problem. Thanks.

r

woah! this worked for me straight away! i am so surprised but so thankyit worked! thank you (:

Amanda

Doesn’t breathing in involve contracting the diaphragm? So you technically are doing the opposite of stretching it.

Baas

Fantastic tip!

Worked one the first attemp

Remembering for future instances

AmanDa

Thank you!!! Had them for a while there, held my breath, drank water backwards etc and gave in and used google cause my usual methods didn’t work… read and used your tips… and low and behold no more hiccups so seriously thank you!!! X

Andrew Demetriou

Perfect tip saved me alot of discomfort

Danny

It worked on the first try.. thank you

Enya

Thank you! Usually the ‘drinking water upside down’ trick works for me, but wasn’t this time. So glad I found this. Did 3 rounds to be sure and it’s worked a treat!

Andie

Hi Megan,
This worked for me and I am SUPER great full. Thanks so much for sharing this with everyone!

Saadia ramzan

I was getting so annoyed with my hiccups. I tried this technique and it worked! Thank you x

jimah

for me I jst eat enough garden egg ..it really WOrks for me
plz try the method if it works for u too

Sara

THAT MAKES SO MUCH SENSE. I’ve been holding my breath for 30-60 seconds to stop my hiccups for years, but never thought of it as stretching the diaphragm. The series of inhalations is a new one on me, though, and it helps a lot. Thank you!

Peters go oyebode

Been having hiccups for days just tried your breathing techniques and it worked.

Kim

Thank you so much for this! I just woke up (it’s midnight) with a horrible case of the hickups. This worked on the first try. Thank you!

Claudia

Had the hiccups… googled…. found this.. tried it and it WORKED!! Thank you!!!

Jamie Warner

Worked instantly 😊😊

Ashish

It really works. Thanks a lot.

Michael

Thank you! It hasn’t worked yet, but it think it has lessened the intensity of the hiccups, I’m sure it will work eventually!

Jennifer

Thanks! That actually worked for me.

Glenn

Hi,

I found your site yesterday while boarding a plane & couldn’t stop hiccuping. NOTHING worked, including several acupressure sites that usu. work for me! Thank you for your Website!

I have to add something to it that might help it work better. I’ve been doing a lot of work with Chinese/Asian exercises, which stress deep breathing and lung work (to increase the flow of breath into the lungs). When I did your exercise (above), I turned my head to the side & inhaled as deeply as I could, but still hiccupped. Then I put my hands near my groin, fingers in, thumbs facing my hips, which opens the lungs a bit more. Then I could inhale more, and THAT stretched the spasm out & the hiccups stopped! Hopefully this extra step might help someone else, too?

Thank you again for posting this! I really was desperate & you saved me!!

Glenn Allen
Lake Hiawatha, NJ
(please don’t be jealous, b/c there is no lake!)

PatriceNY

Totally hasn’t worked and I’ve done it 7 times now.

Uju

OMG!This worked like magic.I never knew this all my life.i tried it and got an instant result.Thank you so much for sharing.You saved a soul.😘😘😘😘

LAura

This worked so great for me….:)!!!!!!

Akiva Centner

Breath in. Keep breathing in even when you can’t anymore. Keep trying for 5 to 10 seconds. Breath out slowly and gently. May need to to 3 times

Momna

It worked like a charm.I did it on my first go and my hiccups went away with no struggle.

Thank you
xx

saikat chowdhury

Really it works like magic. I have just got rid of from hiccups by doing two breathing sessions.

Rabia

It works for me.
Thank you

rod

thank you for this!!

Genevieve

I just did three rounds of this and it worked like a charm! Thanks for sharing!

Amber

The one fix that has always worked for me – take a mouthful of water, plug your ears with your fingers, bend over at the waist and swallow. I think it has something to do with not swallowing air; I’m not sure. I just know even if I occasionally have to do it a second time that’s all it takes and it works.

    Ray

    Wow, when all hope I lost , I did your trick and hey, there it went away, thank you so much

Katy

Thank you for the awesome tip! Never knew the science behind hiccups!

Christa rakich

Don’t know why, but a trick I learned from my teacher in second grade works every time. Hands make soft fists, then extend your index fingers and bring the tips as close to one another as you can, without touching. Really concentrate. Worked on 6-year-old me, still works on 65-year-old me. Thank you, Sister Mary Celeste!

Anna

Stretches have never worked for me. Just eat a teaspoon of peanut butter. Cures hiccups every time.

    Anonymous

    Anna,
    Genius! Worked instantly. Peanut Butter!!!

Milli

Hi Megan,
I might try this next time I get hickups. I have tried so my different techniques but there is only one that ever really worked for me since I was a toddler. I close my ears with my fingers and then take little sips of a drink (preferably non carbonated water) and swallow Minäkinreally slowly and carefully. Using a straw works if you have Noone around to hold your glass. I do this till I feel my body relaxing. Sometimes, like you, I need to start over if a hickup gets through.
It looks strange and my boyfriend always feels really embarrassed but it ALWAYS works. And I get hickups quite often and sometimes really bad.
Try it! Might be an easier solution for your kids.
Thanks for all your hard work!!
Milli

    Hope

    This worked so well for me, thanks for sharing.My husband walked in on me and started laughing at me but who cares when it works!

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