Our bodies are amazing and complex systems. It’s alarming at times how little control it feels like you have over it. If you understand some of the processes in your body, you can sometimes get it to do what you want. These tricks can help you be more in control without requiring any tools. Surprisingly, many aches and pains can be solved without having to resort to pills or visiting the doctor.
1. Quickly relieve headaches and migraines
Why not try a natural way to relieve pain without having to resort to a painkiller? Acupressure is an effective way to do so in 5 minutes.
There is a Shiatsu point in your hand that is good at relieving pain in the frontal lobe. This spot is located in the webbing between your index finger and thumb, on the highest muscle point very close to where the bones meet. Using your thumb and index finger, press hard on the muscle from both sides, placing the thumb on the back of your hand and the forefinger underneath.
This technique can also be used with shoulder pain, toothaches and labor pain.
2. Ensure you remember something
If you want to make sure to remember something, timing is key. Encoding information before you go to sleep is one of the best ways to help your memory. This is because memory consolidation happens when you’re sleeping - that's when all the short-term memories are transferred to the long-term memory. If you want to do well on a test or work presentation, it’s best to revise before you head to bed.
3. Slow your heart rate down
If you’re nervous or have to run to get somewhere, your heart pounds. One way to slow your speedy heart rate down is by breathing. Your vagus nerve governs your heart beat and to lower it back to a normal rate, you need to stimulate it. Pinch your nose and try to breathe out while keeping your mouth closed. You’ll increase the pressure in your chest, which will stimulate the vagus nerve.
4. Stop a nosebleed
Most nose bleeds originate from the front of your septum, the cartilage wall that divides the nose in two. If you want to stop any bleeding the trick is to press hard against your upper gums. Find the spot behind the tiny dent below your nose. I recommend placing a swab of cotton wool or gauze behind your upper lip.
5. Control dizziness from alcohol
This won't stop you from being tipsy or drunk, but it can stop you from falling flat on your face. Balance is controlled by the sensory organs in your inner ear, which has fluid with the same density as blood. When you drink alcohol your blood is diluted and the fluid that the sensory organs float in is raised, confusing the brain and your sense of balance. You can provide your brain with a different stimulus for improved perception. Put your hand on something stable. Your hand's sensitive nerves give the brain a tactile input so that it can re-assess the situation and offer you a clear view while enjoying a drink.
6. Your sleeping position can fight acid reflux
The way you sleep can affect your acid reflux because of the position of your internal organs. Your stomach and esophagus connect at an angle. The position you sleep in determines which body part is higher. If you sleep on your right side, your stomach is positioned higher, allowing stomach acid to enter your esophagus easily. By sleeping on your left side, you make it difficult for the acid to reach the upper parts of your digestive system, as it would have to go against gravity.
7. Clear a stuffed nose
Use this osteopathic trick to clear a blocked nose. You can loosen congestion by getting the vomer bone, one of your facial bones, to rock back and forth. First you need to thrust your tongue against the roof of your mouth, and then you need to press one finger between your eyebrows. Alternate between these two movements and you should begin to feel relief after 20 seconds.
8. Give blood without pain
If you fear needle pricks, coughing might be the solution for you. Coughing can diminish the pain. When you cough, you increase pressure in the chest and spinal canal, inhibiting pain signals from going up the spinal cord. It’s important to let the person taking your blood know that you would like to try this technique.
9. Relieve a tickling throat
A tickling throat can drive anyone mad. All you want to do is try give it a scratch. Here’s a trick to do this indirectly: Just scratch your ear. When you stimulate your ear nerves, you cause a reflex in the throat, which can make your muscles spasm. This muscle contraction soothes the itch and in turn, your throat too.
10. Cool your nerves with water
If you’re feeling a bit anxious, splash cold water on your face. This is a terrific way to calm yourself down. If you hold your breath at the same time, it can be even more effective. This triggers an old mammalian reflex: Your body thinks you’re diving into cold water. Your body will then want to economize on oxygen as it senses there will be a shortage. This encourages you to take deeper breaths and relaxes the nervous system.
11. Distract yourself from needing to go
If you suddenly find yourself needing to urinate and you're far from a bathroom, here’s a clever distraction to holding it in longer. Redirect your thoughts to something more consuming. Experts at Baylor College of Medicine recommend thinking of something that turns you on or makes you fantasize. This will distract your brain from your bladder until you can find a toilet, without any unfortunate accidents.
12. Unstitch your side when running
It’s common to feel a burning pain on the right side of your stomach when you run or overexert yourself. This pain stems from your liver, which is located below your ribcage. This comes from a movement pattern many people follow while running. If you exhale when your right foot hits the ground, you apply downward pressure on your liver, creating a stitch when it jerks your diaphragm, one of the biggest breathing muscles. Prevent getting a stitch by paying attention to the movement of your feet. Make an effort to exhale when your left foot hits the ground.
13. Swallow tablets effortlessly
Many people struggle with downing pills and, to add insult to injury, many medications come in large capsules, causing much stress and discomfort. A lot of people will put their heads back to swallow pills. This doesn’t help. For better success take a sip of water, tilt your head forward and then swallow the tablet. The pill goes down easier when floating in water.
14. Breathe longer underwater
This trick to breathing underwater is to deceive your brain into thinking there is more oxygen in your system than you actually have. The urge to breathe comes from a buildup of carbon dioxide in the blood, and not a lack of oxygen. You can do this by hyperventilating. If you take a few short, quick breaths before you dive in, you can enjoy being underwater for at least 10 seconds longer.
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