Photo by 'J. Star'

Tricking Your Body? - I found this Men's Health article a bit misleading, if not silly...But it had some interesting kernels.

1. If your throat tickles, scratch your ear.

"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."

2. Use right ear for conversation and left ear for music.

Can't hear what's being said. Researchers at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine say you should lean in with your RIGHT ear, which recognizes speech better.

On the other hand, if you are trying to identify a piece of music, lean in with your LEFT ear. The left ear is better at sensing (recognizing?) music tones.

3. Need to pee but no toilet nearby? Think about sex.


Thoughts of sex preoccupy your brain (as well as your peeing apparatus) and relieve the discomfort--so says Larry Lipshultz, M.D., chief of male reproductive medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine. I'm not sure about this one...but I'm willing to try, in the name of science.

4. Cough during injection to reduce pain.

This one seems dangerous. German researchers claim that coughing during an injection can reduce the pain of the needle stick. Says Taras Usichenko, author of a study on the phenomenon, coughing causes a sudden, temporary rise in spinal cord pressure. This spinal pressure inhibits the structures that conduct pain. I might try this when I stub a toe, but not when getting stuck with a needle.

5. Clear stuffed nose by thrusting tongue against roof of mouth and pressing finger between the brow.

Relieve sinus pressure by alternately thrusting your tongue against the roof of your mouth, then pressing between your eyebrows with one finger. D.O. Lisa DeStefano of Michigan State University college of osteopathic medicine says this causes the vomer bone (which runs through the nasal passages to the mouth) to rock back and forth. After 20 seconds of this motion, you should feel your sinuses begin draining.

6. Avoid night-time heartburn by sleeping on on your LEFT side.

Why? The esophagus and stomach connect at an angle. When sleeping on your right, the stomach is higher than the esophagus, enabling food and stomach acid to flow up your throat causing heartburn or acid-reflux. When you're on your left, the stomach is lower than the esophagus and less likely to flow against gravity.

7. Cure your toothache with ice on the hand.

Just rub ice on the back of your hand, on the V-shaped webbed area between your thumb and index finger. The nerve pathways at the base of that V stimulate an area of the brain that blocks pain signals from the face and hands.

8. Make burns disappear by applying light pressure.

This method brings the burned skin back to a normal temperature, reducing the blistering.

Tricks with Your Head
The Big Book of Health Tips

9. Stop alcohol dizziness by putting hand on something stable.

Putting your sensitve hand on something stable works better than the putting your less sensitive foot on the ground. Why dizzy after drinking alcohol? Because the part of your ear responsible for balance -- the cupula -- floats in a fluid with the same density as blood. As alcohol dilutes the blood IN the cupula, the cupula becomes less dense than the surrounding liquid and rises. This confuses your brain. Putting your hand on a stable object reduces the confusion, giving your brain a second opinion and helping you feel less dizzy.

10. 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.

11. Stanch bleeding nose with a single finger!

Pinching your nose and leaning back is a great way to stop a nosebleed -- if you don't mind choking on your own O positive. A more civil approach: Put some cotton on your upper gums -- just behind that small dent below your nose -- and press against it, hard. "Most bleeds come from the front of the septum, the cartilage wall that divides the nose," says Peter Desmarais, M.D., an ear, nose, and throat specialist at Entabeni Hospital, in Durban, South Africa. "Pressing here helps stop them."

12. 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, says Ben Abo, an emergency medical- services specialist at the University of Pittsburgh. It'll get your heart rate back to normal.

13. Thaw your brain!

Too much Chipwich 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," says 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.

14. Prevent near-sightedness!

Poor distance vision is rarely caused by genetics, says Anne Barber, O.D., an optometrist in Tacoma, Washington. "It's usually caused by near-point stress." In other words, staring at your computer screen for too long. So flex your way to 20/20 vision. Every few hours during the day, close your eyes, tense your body, take a deep breath, and, after a few seconds, release your breath and muscles at the same time. Tightening and releasing muscles such as the biceps and glutes can trick involuntary muscles -- like the eyes -- into relaxing as well.

15. 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, says 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.

16. Impress your friends!

Next time you're at a party, try this trick: Have a person hold one arm straight out to the side, palm down, and instruct him to maintain this position. Then place two fingers on his wrist and push down. He'll resist. Now have him put one foot on a surface that's a half inch higher (a few magazines) and repeat. This time his arm will cave like the French. By misaligning his hips, you've offset his spine, says Rachel Cosgrove, C.S.C.S., co-owner of Results Fitness, in Santa Clarita, California. Your brain senses that the spine is vulnerable, so it shuts down the body's ability to resist.

17. Breathe underwater!

If you're dying to retrieve that quarter from the bottom of the pool, take several short breaths first -- essentially, hyperventilate. When you're underwater, it's not a lack of oxygen that makes you desperate for a breath; it's the buildup of carbon dioxide, which makes your blood acidic, which signals your brain that somethin' ain't right. "When you hyperventilate, the influx of oxygen lowers blood acidity," says Jonathan Armbruster, Ph.D., an associate professor of biology at Auburn University. "This tricks your brain into thinking it has more oxygen." It'll buy you up to 10 seconds.

18. Read minds!

Your own! "If you're giving a speech the next day, review it before falling asleep," says Candi Heimgartner, an instructor of biological sciences at the University of Idaho. Since most memory consolidation happens during sleep, anything you read right before bed is more likely to be encoded as long-term memory.

18 Tricks to Teach Your Body - Men's Health Article

Tricks with Your Head
The Big Book of Health Tips

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