The human body is a strange thing. Anybody who has experienced an annoying case of the hiccups or an excruciating cramp can attest to that.
We've compiled do-it-yourself ways to hack your most unpleasant bodily ailments, from nosebleeds to hiccups to brain freezes. Some of the cures are based on time-honored home remedies, while others are just downright bizarre. Bacon for nosebleeds, anybody?
1. Rub your ears to boost energy: Instead of reaching for another cup of coffee, give your ears a gentle self-massage. According to Chinese medicine, stimulating the pressure points in the ears increases blood circulation to all parts of the body, giving you an instant energy boost.
2. Cure hiccups with peanut butter: Chewing and swallowing the sticky spread will interrupt your breathing pattern and force your diaphragm to relax.
3. Use honey to soothe a sore throat: A natural antibacterial and antifungal agent, honey can help coat and soothe sore throats and alleviate minor coughs.
4. Blow-dry waterlogged ears: Put a hair dryer on the gentlest setting and hold it a few inches away from your ear. The increased airflow will help to evaporate the water in your ear.
5. Make warts disappear with garlic: Garlic — which has been shown to have antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties — is thought to be an effective home remedy for warts. Apply a freshly cut garlic clove to the wart, place a bandage over it, and leave the bandage on overnight. Repeat every night until the wart disappears.
6. Blow on your thumb to calm jangled nerves: The thumb has its own pulse, and blowing on the thumb will cool down the thumb and thus calm the heart rate, as cold air can slow down your pulse. This trick might also help simply because the act of blowing forces you to deepen your breathing, which calms the heart.
7. Sniff peppermint to quell a craving: Chew mint gum, sip peppermint tea or take a whiff of peppermint oil. Studies suggest that the scent of peppermint stimulates the brain to release appetite-suppressing hormones and promotes a feeling of fullness.
8. Curl your toes to fall asleep faster: The next time you find yourself tossing and turning, try a progressive muscle relaxation technique. Begin by slowly curling and uncurling your toes. Then, work your way up the entire body, from your toes to your neck, tightening a certain muscle group before releasing it.
9. Smile to make yourself happier: Scientists have found that the simple act of smiling can lower blood pressure and release stress, giving you an instant mood boost (yes, even forced smiles count!).
10. Press your tongue against the roof of your mouth to beat brain freeze: Also referred to as "ice cream headaches," brain freezes are caused by a rapid increase in blood flow to the brain. After you down a frozen treat, try thrusting your tongue against the roof of your mouth — this will warm up the palate and ease the flow of blood to the brain.
11. Rub Vicks Vaporub on feet for congestion: To temporarily relieve a cough, try applying the mentholated topical cream on the soles of your feet and immediately covering with a pair of socks. There is no scientific explanation for why this old wives' trick works, but many stuffy nose-sufferers (and even nurses and doctors) swear by it.
12. Use ginger to prevent motion sickness: Twenty minutes before travel, take two capsules of powdered ginger to ease an upset stomach caused by motion sickness.