Take the deepest breath you can, hold it for 10 seconds, then, without exhaling, suck in more air and hold it for five more seconds. Finally--still without exhaling!--breathe in as much more air as you can squeeze in, hold for another five seconds, and exhale. Then breathe normally. This technique immobilizes the diaphragm (the muscle at the base of your lungs), preventing the spasms. Luc Morris, M. D., and his colleagues at the New York University School of Medicine tested the method on 30 patients who were prone to frequent hiccups. "It worked immediately on everyone who could do it," he says.
Break a Fainting Spell
Cross your legs, squeeze your thighs, and contract your abs. You can feel faint when your blood pressure drops and blood pools in your extremities. By tensing muscles, you keep your BP up and divert blood back to your heart and brain. University of Amsterdam researchers who tested muscle-tightening exercises found that they reduced the risk of passing out by 30 percent.
Heal Nighttime Heartburn
Feeling the fire? Sleep on your left side. This preserves the natural curve of the esophagus, which helps keep stomach acid from creeping up. (When you sleep on your back or on your right side, gravity straightens out the curve.) A study by Graduate Hospital in Philadelphia found that frequent heartburn sufferers had fewer episodes when they slept on their left sides than when they slept on their backs or right sides.
Stop Needle Pain
Make your next flu shot feel less piercing by putting pressure around the area that's about to be stuck, says Ross I. Donaldson, M.D., M.P.H., assistant clinical professor of medicine at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine. "Make a circle with your thumb and forefinger and push down for a few seconds as you're receiving the shot," he says. By stimulating receptors for pressure or touch, you can override nearby pain receptors in your skin. "It confuses your nerves, so a shot feels more like a gentle poke than a sharp jab," Donaldson says.
Beat Brain Freeze
Fold the tip of your tongue backward and stick the bottom of your tongue to the roof of your mouth. The warmth will help heat up the nerves in your palette and cause the blood flow to your brain to normalize, says Jorge Serrador, M.D. of Harvard Medical School, who has researched the mechanisms at work during brain freeze. You can also sip slowly so your body has time to heat the tissue in the roof of your mouth and cup your hands around your mouth like you would in the winter and exhale deeply. Doing so will trap warm air in your mouth and help thaw your noggin,
Prevent Motion Sickness
Seat yourself wisely: "Always ride where your eyes will see the same motion that your ears and body feel," says Keri Peterson, M.D. internal medicine physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City and Women's Health advisor. So in a car, ride in the front seat; on a boat, position yourself on the deck and keep your eyes on the horizon; on an airplane, try to score a window seat over the wing of the plane, Peterson suggests.
Tap on your body's acupressure points while repeating certain statements aloud, says Jessica Ortner, co-producer of The Tapping Solution, a documentary film that explores tapping.
Research shows that the Emotional Freedom Technique (a.k.a. EFT or tapping), a treatment which combines ancient Chinese acupressure with modern psychology, can reduce cortisol levels in the body and counteract the negative impact of stress by sending a calming signal to the amygdala (the part of our brain responsible for our fight or flight response).
Start by using the tip of your index and middle fingers to rhythmically tap the side of your hand point while saying the "setup statement" aloud (speaking out loud will help with focus): "Even though I have this problem [insert your particular problem, such as neck pain, stress from a deadline, or anxiety], I accept myself." Repeat three times.
Tap briefly where the eyebrow begins at the bridge of your nose, to the side of your eye, under your eye, under your nose, on your chin, on your collarbone point, under your arm, and on top of your head while you express how you feel aloud, as if you're venting to a friend. Then repeat on the other side.
Hold Back Tears
If you're tearing up at an inappropriate moment, just clear your throat. "It interrupts the mechanism in the nasal passage and larynx that controls crying," says Rebecca Nagy, a Charlotte, North Carolina-based meditation expert. Plus, after you clear your throat, you tend to swallow. This lifts your tongue to the roof of your mouth, which blocks the soft palate, making you unable to cry. "I've suggested this technique many times to brides and grooms who had trouble getting through their vows," Nagy says.