Posted in Psychology & Medicine

Brain Freeze

When you quickly eat or drink something cold, you experience a sudden onset of a painful headache. This is commonly known as brain freeze, or medically, a sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia.

Although the cause is not perfectly understood, it is believed to be due to the coldness on the palate (roof of mouth) causing a sudden cooling and rewarming of the sinus capillaries, which causes them to suddenly constrict and then rapidly dilate. Dilation of blood vessels in this area causes pain due to receptors in the vessels. This phenomenon is similar to the cause of a flushed face when exposed to cold wind, and why it sometimes causes headaches.

The only way to prevent a brain freeze is to slowly let the mouth get used to the cold, warming the food or beverage in the mouth instead of quickly swallowing it. Warming the palate with your tongue is another effective way to shorten the duration of a brain freeze.

Posted in Psychology & Medicine


A hiccup is a common phenomenon that almost everyone experiences some time in life. The exact mechanisms are still not well known, but it is likely caused by an irritation of the phrenic nerve, which supplies the diaphragm, causing it to spasm and interrupt normal breathing.

This can be a very debilitating condition, and such there are hundreds of “remedies”, such as drinking cold water, holding your breath or giving the person a scare. However, these are often ineffective in taking away the ailment. 

One thing you can try is pulling your tongue. Although it may sound like a crazy treatment, it stimulates the vagus nerve which can stop a hiccup. However, note that this may be ineffective in many cases as well.

In some cultures, it is said that hiccups are brought on by eating something one stole off another person, or if others are talking about you in a bad manner.
The world record for the longest attack of hiccups is held by Charles Osborne, who had it for 68 years.