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Ways to trick your body to feel better

More often, we’re controlled by our body’s responses and can’t control most of the physical processes. For instance, it’s uncomfortable when you need to pee and there’s no toilet around, or you can’t clear your throat during an important presentation. However, Ann Wairimu compiles a list of life hacks to make your life more comfortable

1. Stop hangover ‘spins’ by confusing your brain

We keep our balance thanks to the Cupula – which is located in our ear, suspended in a liquid and with 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 behaviour 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.

2. Cough to alleviate the pain from an injection

You can’t get rid of all of the unpleasant feelings from the shot completely, but you can ease them significantly with a simple trick. If you start coughing as soon as you’re about to get the shot, it will ease the pain. Doctors claim that it’s due to the fact that the person’s attention shifts to something else, as well as the increase in arterial pressure.

As it turns out, this simple method is more effective than listening to music, watching a movie, conversation, or other methods of distracting a patient before giving a shot.

3. Massage the area between the eyebrows to relieve a stuffy nose

Drops, diffusers and other types of medications perfectly deal with a stuffy nose. But you can relieve your condition without any additional medications — just a massage.

To get rid of a stuffy nose, push your fingers against the area between your eyebrows and press your tongue against the palate. Twenty  seconds would be enough to feel the effect. By holding your tongue in this position, you move a bone that connects the nasal passages to the mouth. Thus, you create a kind of drainage that relieves the stuffiness.

4. Rub your calf if you can’t wait to get to the toilet

You have an urge to use the washrooms, but there’s no toilet around or you find a long queue. Just like with feeling pain, the need to use the bathroom is brought to you by the brain.

It can intensify the signal for us to hurry up. But, physiologically, we can usually wait much longer than we think. Researchers have found that an unusual way to deal with urgent calls of nature is to scratch your calf for a couple of seconds. You’ll become more relaxed and win more time if you need to wait.

5. Get rid of dizziness

Dizziness occurs not only due to serious pathologies and diseases, but also due to the influence of minor factors such as stuffed air, stress, or frights. Usually, you have to sit down and wait until your condition improves. However, there’s an exercise that can help you. Just tip your head up, then slowly bend forward and then turn your head to face your left elbow.

6. Slow your heart rate by blowing on your finger

Getting over excited about something? Or probably, you’re worried before an important presentation or a date or making a mistake at work. This can increase your heart rate. But you just need to blow on your thumb. This part of your body has its own pulse.

If you cool it down, the pulse will slow down and you’ll calm down. Another way is to put your thumb in your mouth and blow. This way you’ll stimulate the vagus nerve (the longest nerve of the autonomic nervous system in the human bod), slow down the heart rate, and feel much calmer and relieved.

7. Turn your neck to relieve numbness in the hands

Our limbs get numb due to the squeezing of nerves that run through the neck. If you turn your head, you’ll warm up the muscles and relieve the pressure. It would save you from unpleasant sensations in your hands. This method is often more convenient in many situations, especially if you’re driving.

8. Shift your body weight to the side to relieve pain on one side

Many people are familiar with sudden unexpected pain on one side that often appears during jogging. The most common reason for this is an insufficient warm-up. The blood flow significantly increases when you run, but the blood doesn’t have enough time to redistribute properly and accumulates in the liver and spleen.

These organs have a thin cover and push on it when there is too much blood in them. To deal with this problem, you need to slow down your running speed and shift the body weight to the side opposite to the one the pain is coming from. You need to do this while breathing out. After several repetitions, the pain will go away.

9. Rub ice on your hand to relieve a toothache

When you rub ice on the back of your hand, on the area that connects the thumb and the forefinger, you can reduce the intensity of toothaches by up to 50 per cent. The nerves in that part of the hand stimulate a part of the brain that blocks pain signals coming from the face and hands.

10. Massage your ear to reduce discomfort in your throat

Unpleasant tingling often appears due to muscle spasms. When you massage your ear muscles, you stimulate the nerves and help throat muscles relax and remove the spasm.

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