A hiccup occurs when the diaphragm involuntarily spasms forcing the vocal cords to snap shut and creating the hiccuping sound.
Causes of Hiccups
Traditional Chinese medicine provides the clearest explanation for hiccups.
1. The Liver chi is experiencing a stagnation of energy which flows through the liver.
2. The stomach chi is flowing upwards instead of downwards as it should.
The liver is the primary organ regulating the body’s chi or energy. Ayurveda states that hiccups occur when the stomach chi rebels. Ayurveda explains that it is a Vata disorder.
Modern medicine states that hiccups are caused when an individual eats too quickly or too much or when the diaphragm nerves are irritated due to disease or infections.
All of these are related to the two causes listed above.
Chronic hiccups complications
1. If hiccups continue unabated for a long period of time, they may cause cardiac arrhythmia. Traditional Chinese medicine believes that this happens because of liver chi stagnation disrupting the wind energy of the heart. This is called a wind disorder. You can cure the arrhythmia by treating the liver chi stagnation.
2. When the stomach chi rebels upwards, it can create gastroesophageal reflux or heartburn.
Understanding allopathic treatment
When an individual has chronic hiccups, physicians may prescribe antipsychotic drugs or antiemetics. Doctors may also try sedatives or muscle relaxants, but none of these medications address the real cause of hiccups.
When the liver is not functioning properly, metabolism of toxins in the blood is impaired. When toxins in the blood are not successfully metabolized, they will agitate receptors in the CTZ of the brain.
This causes hiccups. Antipsychotics block the chemoreceptor trigger zone (CTZ) in the brain.
One of the popular prokinetic and antiemetic prescribed by modern physicians can have profound side effects such as depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts.
There have also been instances of Parkinson-like symptoms.
Modern medications cannot be completely metabolized or detoxified within the body.
This means they can actually create more problems when the liver malfunctions resulting in a cycle of increasing toxicity.
If these types of medications fail, then modern medicine’s answered it to cut the phrenic nerve supplying the diaphragm. This is completely unacceptable.
Traditional Medicine Treatment
Sometimes, home remedies such as pulling hard on the tongue, holding your breath, and biting on a lemon are used to treat hiccups.
In order to treat the root cause of hiccups, it helps to understand the causes mentioned above.
If the hiccups are caused by an infection or a disease, such as cancer, those conditions should be addressed by a medical provider. If the hiccups are caused by some other condition, then try the following remedies:
Poses from Yoga
Traditional yoga poses such as the Peacock pose, the Swan pose, and the Snake pose can help massage the liver, releasing toxins in the liver.
The liver requires cleansing to relieve liver chi stagnation. Applying acupressure massage in the right areas can restart the flow of chi. The effective liver points are Liv 3, Liv 5, Liv 8, GB 34, P 6, and SJ.
Following a recommended yoga diet, eat half of your day’s allowance in one meal. The yoga diet consists of half stomach food, one-quarter air, and one-quarter water. Relax and eat slowly, thinking pleasant thoughts.
A Balanced Diet
There are certain foods which are effective in treating liver stagnation.
These include alpha sprouts, artichoke, beetroot, fennel, asparagus, Brussel sprouts, dill, cumin, horseradish, celery, mustard, strawberries, cardamom, plum, carrots, lettuce, and chestnuts. It also includes drinking one teaspoon of olive oil mixed with one teaspoon of lemon.
Drink this combination in the morning on an empty stomach to help cleanse the liver.
There are several emotional issues which can cause hiccups. These include irritability, anxiety, bitterness, frustration or repressed anger. Any of these can result in liver stagnation. These types of causes can be addressed with pranayama and meditation.
It makes no sense to treat hiccups with artificial chemicals and medications if they are not addressing the real cause. Hiccups may be treated and cured by natural methods. Say good Bye to hiccups!