1. Itchy Throat? Scratch Your Ear
An itchy throat is a nuisance, and one that is difficult to get rid of unless you know this trick. When the inside of your throat feels itchy, it’s virtually impossible to scratch, and in many cases, a loud cough is not socially acceptable. Luckily, the throat and ears are part of the same system, and according to Dr. Schaffer, Head Otolaryngologist in Advocare, NJ, when you stimulate the nerves in the ear, you create a reflexive reaction in the throat, causing it to contract, relieving the itch.
2. The Right Ear Processes Speech More Effectively
Researchers from UCLA Medical School found that the right ear can process the faster rhythm of speech better than the left one. The left ear, on the other hand, is much more efficient at processing music. If you want to hear someone speaking in a crowd, try turning your right ear towards them. If you’re attempting to listen to a song or melody, use your left ear.
3. Mind Over Bladder
According to Dr. Larry Lipshultz, Head of Urology in the Baylor College of Medicine, if a man feels the need to urinate but doesn’t have the opportunity – he can think about sex. By keeping your mind on sexual thoughts, you distract your body from the need to urinate, since the two cannot co-exist. It is important to remember that holding your bodily functions for too long is unhealthy and even dangerous, so be sure to relieve yourself as soon as possible.
4. Coughing is a Painkiller
Pain is the body’s way of warning us about damage to the body, but sometimes this warning is more of a distraction than helpful. Surprisingly, it’s very easy to overcome. Researchers from Germany discovered that when patients were asked to cough while being injected, they felt no pain. The reason is that once you cough, your body increases the pressure in your chest and spine. This pressure blocks pain signals from moving up the spine, effectively working as a painkiller.
5. Use Your Tongue to Ease Congestion
You can find plenty of decongestants at your local pharmacy, but there’s an easy, natural alternative. What you need to do is alternate between using your tongue to push up against the roof of your mouth and applying pressure between your eyebrows using your finger. This action “shakes” the nasal bone, releasing the congestion within 20 seconds.
6. Sleep on Your Left Side to Prevent Acid Reflux
According to Dr. Anthony Strippoli, a Gastroenterologist from Florida several studies have shown that by sleeping on your side you reduce the likeliness of suffering from heartburn. The esophagus and stomach are connected at a particular angle. If you lie on your right side, your stomach is positioned higher than your esophagus, making it easier for stomach acids to travel between them, causing heartburn. If you lie down on your left side, however, the stomach now rests below the esophagus, which will prevent stomach acids from escaping.
7. Rub Ice on Your Hand to Relieve a Toothache
A Canadian study discovered an interesting phenomenon: When you rub ice on the back of your hand, between the area that connects the thumb and the forefinger, you can reduce the intensity of toothaches by up to 50%. The nerves in that part of the hand stimulate a part of the brain that blocks pain signals coming from the face and hands.
8. Make Burn Blisters Vanish
We’re taught to put ice on burns to reduce their intensity, but the truth is that lukewarm temperatures work better. If you’ve gotten burned, clean the affected area and apply light pressure to the spot with the pads of your fingers, and run it under lukewarm water. While ice will numb the pain, returning the area to the normal temperature will prevent swelling and blistering.
9. Stop “The Spins” When You’re Drunk/Hungover
The Cupula helps us maintain our balance. It is located in our ear, suspended in a liquid and has the same density as blood. When you drink too much alcohol, it dilutes the blood in the cupula, making it lighter than the liquid it is in, which in turn makes it float. This unnatural behavior confuses the brain and causes a loss of balance. To stop this from happening, you need to provide the brain with a “second opinion” – place both hands on a stable, horizontal surface. This will give your brain another source of stability to rely on, thanks to the sensitive nerves in your hands.
10. Prevent “Stitches” When You Run
Most people have experienced the feeling of “stitches” while running - a sharp, intense pain in your side - which makes it hard to breath. This often occurs because we exhale when our right foot hits the ground, putting pressure on the liver. The pressure on the liver causes it to “pull” on the diaphragm, making it very difficult to breath. To prevent this from happening, make sure you exhale when your left foot hits the ground.
11. Safely Stop a Nosebleed
If you get a nosebleed, most people would tell you to tilt your head back and apply pressure to your nose. While this method seems logical, it is actually quite dangerous, especially for children. When we tilt our head back, the blood flows down and may enter the respiratory system, which can cause suffocation and even death. A less-known, but far safer method, is to apply pressure with your thumb and forefinger on both sides of your nose, where the bone ends. Alternatively, you can place a piece of cotton wool on the inside of your upper lip, right at the center of the gums.
12. Slow Your Pulse Through Breathing
Whenever you get over-excited, and you feel like your heart is about to burst out of your chest, you can slow it down with a simple breathing technique. The nerve in charge of your heart rate is the Vagus Nerve, which can be controlled by rhythmic breathing. All you need to do is place the tips of your thumbs on your lips, and breathe through them (to slow down your breathing).
13. Quickly Stop a “Brain Freeze.”
If you enjoy a frozen treat from time to time, you’ve probably experienced the irritating pain of “brain freeze”. When you first eat something frozen, you shock the nerves in your mouth, which confuses your brain into thinking it’s freezing. To compensate, your body heats up instantly, causing intense pain. To relieve this sensation, push your tongue against the roof of your mouth, making sure to cover as much space as possible. The more pressure you apply, the faster the pain will dissipate.
14. Improve Your Eyesight
In many cases, nearsightedness is the result of strain on the eye muscles, which occurs due to the discrepancy between our natural field of vision and the demands of modern life. In other words, staring at screens too closely can lead to eye muscles stiffening, making it harder to see objects that are further away.
Since we can’t directly control our eye muscles, we can relax them by using a roundabout technique. By relaxing other muscle groups in your body, you can trigger a relaxation of the eye muscles. Close your eyes, take a deep breath and hold it in for a few seconds. When you exhale, loosen the muscles in your body. Another way to do this is by flexing and releasing your arm muscles, or your buttocks.
15. Last Longer Under Water
When we dive, it’s not the lack of oxygen that makes us desperate for air. Instead, it’s the accumulation of CO2 in our blood. To extend the time it takes the CO2 to accumulate in your blood, you need to practice controlled hyperventilation. This is done by inhaling and exhaling quickly multiple times, before taking that last, big breath. The rush of oxygen to the blood reduces the levels of CO2 and tricks the brain into thinking that the blood is oxygenated enough, and there’s no need to panic.
16. Quickly Stop “Pins & Needles.”
If you’re suffering from the achy feeling of pins and needles in one of your limbs, you can make that feeling go away in a simple manner. If the feeling is in your arms, tilt your head from side to side several times and the tingling sensation will dissipate within 60 seconds. That is because the tingling sensation often occurs due to tension in the nerve endings located in the neck. By relaxing the neck muscles, you ease the strain on those nerve endings. If your legs “fall asleep”, on the other hand - get up and walk.
17. Improve Your Short-Term Memory
Professor Candi Heimgartner of the biology department at the University of Idaho, explains that memory processes that occur during sleep are the most effective, so anything you learn before bedtime will be registered better in the long term. This means that if you have a test or a presentation tomorrow, study the main points before you go to sleep.