I was talking to a couple of friends yesterday when one of them suddenly developed a case of the hiccups. Try as he might he just couldn’t get rid of them. He tried some of the standard remedies like holding his breath, covering his ears, and drinking water, but nothing worked. Then it was suggested that he stick out his tongue, take hold of it and pull on it. That was a new one on me, I’d never heard that one. He felt a little foolish but tried it anyway. It didn’t work. There was no way I was going to make a fool of myself by trying to scare the hiccups out of him so instead I suggested he try drinking water again, but this time I stood behind him and pulled upward on his ears as he drank the water. I don’t remember where I heard about that technique, but it didn’t work either. A few minutes later he took off to to get some antacids because chomping on an antacid usually worked for him. I’d never heard that one either. But hey, if it works then what the hell.
While he was away my friend told me about another technique he’d read about in some journal that was a sure fire cure for hiccups. Now are you ready for this? The cure is ‘direct rectal stimulus.’ That’s right, a pinkie up the pooper! It’s supposed to work every time! Now that was good for a laugh, and believe me I was laughing, but my buddy wasn’t. I looked at him in disbelief with a “you’ve got to be kidding?” look on my face. He shook his head and swore it was true. He told me about this study he had read about called “Hiccups and Digital Rectal Massage.”
I found it pretty hard to believe, but then I got to thinking about other government funded research studies I’d heard about like the one to see if a cow can carry a human baby to term and another I recently read about that studied how the ovulation cycle effects tip earnings by lap dancers. No, really, it’s a documented study ladies and gentlemen, our hard earned tax dollars at work!
Well when I got home I did a little research of my own of the Google variety. I did a search on “Hiccups and Digital Rectal Massage” and was quite surprised when I got 9,790 results! It seems my friend was not kidding. Digital rectal massage has been medically proven and results in immediate cessation of intractable, stubborn hiccups. I continued reading about one case where a 60-year-old man with pancreatitis developed persistent hiccups after doctors placed a feeding tube down his throat. They attempted to stop the hiccups using traditional maneuvers and a number of different drugs but were unsuccessful. They finally removed the tube hoping that would work, but the hiccups continued. Finally they resorted to digital rectal massage which resulted in abrupt cessation of the hiccups. The hiccups reoccurred several hours later, and were again terminated immediately with digital rectal massage. No other recurrences were observed.
I have to say I was amazed. This was no joke. Apparently the rectum has a number of nerves and sensory fibers that when stimulated can stop hiccups immediately. Who would’a frickin’ thunk it? Who the hell made this startling discovery and how? About the only thing my friend had wrong was the finger. The pinkie is not the finger of choice, the index finger is. Now there’s a technique I don’t envision trying anytime soon on myself or anyone else for that matter! I think I prefer to stick to the more traditional hiccup ending methods. But if ‘you’ ever get a bad case of the hiccups that just won’t quit, a latex glove and some KY jelly may go a long way to bring you quick relief. If you decide to try it Let me know if it works!