Alternative Medicine

Brain freeze? Arm fall asleep? 10 folk remedies to cure annoying ailments
You can teach your body to cure itself from everyday health ailments—side stitches, first-date jitters, even hands that have fallen asleep.  Just study this list, and the next time your friends challenge you to an ice cream eating contest, chow down: You know how to thaw a brain freeze—along with other amazing body tricks.

throat

Cure a tickling throat

When you were 9, playing your armpit was a cool trick. Now, as an adult, you can still appreciate a good body-based feat, especially if it serves as a health remedy. Take that tickle in your throat: It's not worth gagging over. Here's a better way to scratch your itch: Scratch your ear. 

"When the nerves in the ear are stimulated, it creates a reflex in the throat that can cause a muscle spasm," said Dr. Scott Schaffer president of an ear, nose, and throat specialty center in Gibbsboro, New Jersey. "This spasm relieves the tickle."

Toilets

Overcome your most primal urge

Need to pee? No bathroom nearby? Fantasize about Jessica Simpson. Thinking about sex preoccupies your brain, so you won't feel as much discomfort, said Dr. Larry Lipshultz, chief of male reproductive medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine. For best results, try Simpson's "These Boots Are Made for Walking" video.

(Copy Rights by Henryk Sadura)

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More from Men's Health: Relieve Pain INSTANTLY

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.
 

Runny Nose

Clear your stuffed nose

Here's an easier, quicker, and cheaper remedy to relieve sinus pressure: Alternate 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, 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.

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Stomachache

More from Men's Health: Check our Sleep-Position Master to see what your preferred pose says about you.

Fight fire without water

Worried those wings will repeat on you tonight? Try this preventive remedy: "Sleep on your left side," said Dr. Anthony Starpoli, a New York City gastroenterologist and assistant professor 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's in your favor.

toothache

Cure your toothache

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 percent 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.

Treadmill Running

Unstitch your side

If you're like most people, when you run, you exhale as your right foot hits the ground. This puts downward pressure on your liver (which lives on your right side), which then tugs at the diaphragm and creates a side stitch, according to The Doctors Book of Home Remedies for Men. The fix: Exhale as your left foot strikes the ground.

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Couple_Date_bar

Make your heart stand still

Trying to quell first-date jitters? Blow on your thumb. The vagus nerve, which governs heart rate, can be controlled through breathing, said Ben Abo, an emergency medical-services specialist at the University of Pittsburgh. It'll get your heart rate back to normal.

(Michael DeLeon)

Freezer Burn

Thaw your brain

Too much ice cream too fast will freeze the brains of lesser men. As for you, press your tongue flat against the roof of your mouth, covering as much as you can. "Since the nerves in the roof of your mouth get extremely cold, your body thinks your brain is freezing, too," said Abo. "In compensating, it overheats, causing an ice-cream headache." The more pressure you apply to the roof of your mouth, the faster your headache will subside.

(iStock)

Holding_arm

Wake the dead

If your hand falls asleep while you're driving or sitting in an odd position, rock your head from side to side. It'll painlessly banish your pins and needles in less than a minute, said Dr. DeStefano. A tingly hand or arm is often the result of compression in the bundle of nerves in your neck; loosening your neck muscles releases the pressure. Compressed nerves lower in the body govern the feet, so don't let your sleeping dogs lie. Stand up and walk around.

For more folk remedies, check out Men's Health: 18 Health Tricks to Teach Your Body

Brain freeze? Arm fall asleep? 10 folk remedies to cure annoying ailments

You can teach your body to cure itself from everyday health ailments—side stitches, first-date jitters, even hands that have fallen asleep.  Just study this list, and the next time your friends challenge you to an ice cream eating contest, chow down: You know how to thaw a brain freeze—along with other amazing body tricks.

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