Dr Francis Fesmire won the Ig Noble prize for his work on stopping hiccups.
Runaway electrical impulses in the vagus nerve cause intractable hiccups, so Fesmire attempted to block them by stimulating the nerve.
“Gagging, tongue pulling, sinus massage and pressing the eyeball all failed, and my wife was getting pretty fed up with me testing those on her,” said Fesmire. “Then I discovered that digital rectal massage (inserting a finger into a patient’s anus) did the trick.”
“It worked, and the rest is history,” said Dr Fesmire. “Next time one of your work colleagues or family have an attack of the hiccups I recommend that you sneak up behind them and administer DRM, you will be astonished by their reaction.”
Workplace Health and Safety officers will be expected to learn this new technique.
“It’s not as simple as it sounds,” said a government spokesman, “In tests we found that in a stressful hiccup situation many people become all fingers and thumbs. I’d welcome back the days of drinking a glass of water upside down, or a cold teaspoon down the back.”
Dr Fesmire has published his results in the Anals of Emergency Medicine.