Tips And Tricks To Handle Your Freaky Body
If your throat tickles, scratch your ear.
When you were nine, playing your armpit was a cool trick. Now, as an adult, you can still appreciate a good body-based feat, but you're more discriminating. Take that tickle in your throat; it's not worth gagging over. Here is a better way to scratch your itch: "When the nerves in the ear are stimulated, it creates a reflex in the throat that can cause a muscle spasm," says Scott Schaffer, M.D., president of an ear, nose and throat specialty center in Gibbsboro, New Jersey. "This spasm relieves the tickle."
Experience supersonic hearing.
If you're stuck chatting up a mumbler at a cocktail party, lean in with your right ear. It's better than your left at following the rapid rhythms of speech, according to researchers at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. If, on the other hand, you're trying to identifiy that sond playing softly in the elevator, turn your left ear toward the sound. The left ear is better at picking up music tones.
Overcome your most primal urge.
Need to pee? No bathroom nearby? Fantasize about a hot woman. Thinking about sex preoccupies your brain, so you won't feel as much discomfort, says Larry Lipshultz, M.D., chief of male reproductive medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine.
Feel no pain.
German researchers have discovered that coughing during an injection can lessen the pain of the needle stick. According to Taras Usichenko, author of a study on the phenomenon, the trick causes a sudden, temporary rise in pressure in the chest and spinal canal, inhibiting the pain-conducting structures of the spinal cord.
Clear your stuffed nose.
Forget Sudafed. An easier, quicker, and cheaper way to relieve sinus pressure is by alternatively thrusting your tongue against the roof of your mouth, then pressing between your eyebrows with one finger. This causes the vomer bone. which runs through the nasal passages to the mouth, to rock back and forth, says Lisa DeStefano, D.O., an assistant professor at the Michigan State University college of osteopathic medicine. The motion loosens congestion; after 20 seconds you'll feel your sinuses start to drain.
Fight fire without water.
Worried those wings will repeat on you tonight? "Sleep on your left side," says Anthony A. Star-poli, M.D., a New York City gastroenterologist and assistant proffessor of medicine at New York Medical College. Studies have shown that patients who sleep on their left sides are less likely to suffer from acid reflux. The esophagus and stomach connect at an angle. When you sleep on your right, the stomach is higher than the esophagus, allowing food and stomach acid to slide up your throat. When you're on your left, the stomach is lower than the esophagus, so gravity is in your favor.
Cure your tootache without opening your mouth.
Just rub ice on the back of your hand. on the V-shaped webbed area between your thumb and index finger. A Canadian study found that this technique reduces toothache pain by as much as 50% compared with using no ice. The nerve pathways at the base of that V stimulate an area of the brain that blocks pain signals from the face and hands.
Make burns disappear.
When you accidentally singe your finger on the stove, clean the skin and apply light pressure with the finger pads of your unmarred hand. Ice will relieve your pain more quickly. Dr.DeStefano says, but since the natural method brings the burned skin back to a normal temperature, the skin is less likely to blister.
Stop the world from spinning.
One too many drinks left you dizzy? Put your hand on something stable. The part of your ear responsible for balance - the cupula - floats in a fluid of the same density as blood. "As alcohol dilutes blood in the cupula, the cupula becomes less dense and rises," says Dr. Schaffer. This confuses your brain. The tactile input from a stable object gives the brain a second opinion, and you feel more in balance. Because the nerves in the hand are so sensitive, this works better than the conventional foot-on-the-floor wisdom.