5 Odd Health Remedies

hand holding an ice cubeWhen you stop to think about it, our bodies are pretty incredible. Each system works on its own, and together with every other system, to keep our hearts beating, our lungs breathing, our brains thinking … and sometimes, these systems cross over in strange and surprising ways. Take, for example, the following list of “tricks” to help seemingly unrelated health issues.

Pull your ear to “scratch” an itchy throat.
When you feel that itch or tickle in your throat, you can find relief by pulling on your earlobe and rubbing or scratching it between your thumb and index finger.

Why does it work?
Stimulating the nerves in the ear causes a tiny muscle spasm in the throat, which stops that tickle.

Rock your head to “wake up” a hand or arm that’s fallen asleep.
Rocking your head from side to side will get rid of the numbness or pins-and-needles sensation in under 60 seconds.

Why does it work?
The bundle of nerves that serve the upper body are in the neck, and when they get compressed, the result is often a numb or tingly arm or hand. Rocking your head loosens these nerves and relieves the pressure.

Drain your sinuses with your tongue and finger.
Stuffy nose? Drain your sinuses in about 20 seconds by alternately pushing your tongue against the roof of your mouth, and then pressing a finger between your eyebrows.

Why does it work?
The bones surrounding the sinus cavities are fairly flexible. Alternating these two movements rocks the frontal bone, the maxilla and the vomer bone, moving mucus and other fluid out of the sinuses to drain into the nose and throat.

Ice your hand to cure a toothache.
Reduce pain from a toothache by rubbing ice on the back of your hand (on the same side as the toothache), on the webbed skin between your thumb and index finger, for about seven minutes.

Why does it work?
The researchers aren’t entirely sure, but it seems that nerves in this part of your hand are linked to a particular nerve system in your head, and applying cold not only numbs your hand, but also lessens dental pain. Weird, for sure.

Cough to reduce pain during an injection.
If you have a fear of needles, or just want to feel less pain, make yourself cough right when the needle goes into your skin to lessen or even eliminate the pain.

Why does it work?
Coughing causes pressure in the chest to increase suddenly, which temporarily blocks the spinal cord from sending pain signals to the brain.