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Hiccups and Acid Reflux and their affect on singers

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It always floors me when a Voice Therapy Client or Singing Student comes in with something unusual. I've dealt with Vocal Nodule Rehab cases to Chronic Laryngitis cases to Vocal Fold Paralysis cases over my 28 years of practice.

So when one of my students went haywire during a vocal practice session when hiccups ailed him, I found it interesting. They wouldn't go away and there he was getting agitated, progressively nervous and he basically got so flustered that the hiccups would not go away.

I instantly blurted out the "Old Wives Tales" cures one after another that we all know, but really it all came down to relaxing the abdominal muscles and doing a lot of deep breaths, yoga breaths, meditation, self hypnosis to get those abdominal muscles to stop the spasms.

Drinking water obviously helps along with deep relaxed breaths and sometimes even holding your breath. If you combine all of the above and literally weed out all of the potential things that might agitate the symptoms and simply relax, you're out of the woods.

Ironically, I looked in my various Vocal Pedagogy Textbooks and Bibles and found nothing on hiccups. Nerves can trigger them, but it's horrible when you're on stage performing and they hit. One preventative measure I think that you can take is to watch your diet and don't eat too close to a performance. I always have Brioschi, a lemon flavored Sodium Bicarbonate that is always handy to have.

But one thing I think that everyone should be also aware of is Acid Reflux cases(GERD). Acid Reflux must be treated or patients suffering with GERD can do severe damage to their voice, esophogus and upper respiratory tract and can even cause throat cancer when the acid comes up into Upper Respiratory Tract chronically. A tell tale issue is chronic sinus infections that are also caused by stomach acid coming up.

50% of the adult population in the United States has Acid Reflux. A Startling Statistic!!! So get a GERD test from a good specialist. Many of these specialists can also do a Colonoscopy as well. If you have Colon Cancer as I have in my family history, you need to get those done when you're over 40.

If you've read this article, I would love some feedback about your methods of curing hiccups. I am going to webmd.com now to do further research on this case for my Voice Student.

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Hi, I noticed that this was written 4 years ago but I thought I would write anyways. I am a singer and I always get hiccups after practicing with my band-mate. They tend to be harder hiccups than I get at other times and sometimes my diaphragm seems to be more agitated even the next day. Holding my breath usually works or sometimes I have to put downward pressure on my diaphragm while holding my breath to get rid of difficult hiccups. I asked my voice teacher and he had never heard of it. We are usually having a glass of wine and having a good time chatting too. I think I do tend to sing harder when I am with her. I also noticed that I get hiccups sometimes when I am just having lively conversations at a party or dinner. I am thinking it has something to do with using the diaphragm in a more forceful way than I usually do. I do also have GERD and asthma and I think these things may all be related somehow.

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