Turn Off Your Gag Reflex by Squeezing Your Left Thumb

gosu_smurf

Senior Member
7 Jun 2011
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If you have a particularly strong gag reflex, this popular dentist's trick can help distract your brain and save you the discomfort (and embarrassment) in seconds.

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This isn't a new discovery, but it's one many of us hadn't heard of before, so we thought it worth sharing. If you're in a situation where something is setting off your gag reflex (dentist's offices are one of the most common places), just form a fist with your left hand, squeezing your thumb. The folks over at Reddit's Ask Science forum deliberate as to why this is, and they point to a 2008 study that shows it to be effective—not to mention lots of anecdotal evidence on the internet—but whether it's an effect of the nerves in your hand or just a distraction, it looks like it's a pretty useful trick.

Of course, it's a bit different for everybody, so your mileage may vary, but it's something to think about the next time you're sitting in the dentist's chair.

Hit the link to read more: http://www.reddit.com/r/askscience/comments/m6229/why_does_making_a_fist_with_your_left_hand_and/

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gosu_smurf

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7 Jun 2011
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For those who do not know what a gag reflex is,
Gag reflex is a normal reflex in humans that prevents the passage of anything from the throat, except during normal swallowing. It is also named as pharyngeal reflex.

Touching the soft palate results in a very strong gag reflex in most healthy people. The gag reflex can also be used to make someone vomit.
 

PWiD

Well-Known Member
20 Jul 2011
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... I wouldn't wanna turn it off for any reason. Period.
 

Germs

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9 Nov 2011
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I'd try this out now, but making yourself gag isn't really something i enjoy, hopefully i will remember this for a time when it could come in handy.