Need To Sneeze? Just Say Cucumber
(And other essential sneeze facts)
You probably hadnt given it much thought but a sneeze is actually very interesting.
It’s impossible to sneeze with your eyes open and it’s also physically impossible to sneeze whilst you are asleep (due to certain sneeze receptors which it seems also go to sleep and do not send the required message to the brain).But there’s more…
* The myth that your heart stops beating when you sneeze is exactly that-just a myth however, your rhythm and blood flow do change.
* We say ‘bless you’ because of the belief we were expelling demons each time we sneezed.
* A sneeze comes out at 100 mph and the saliva can travel up to 6 feet.
* Plucking your eyebrows can stimulate certain nasal nerves that make you sneeze and you should not ‘hold’ a sneeze by suppressing it as some doctors consider this to be dangerous.
* Britain’s Donna Griffiths sneezed every minute for 978 days of her life
* And saying ‘lamp’ or ‘cucumber’ repeatedly when you know you are about to sneeze can stop you from sneezing.
* Also, it’s a darn good idea to always carry a hanky just in case you may need it.
Sneezing and back pain
I decided to write this article because I had a client in the clinic last week who had ‘put his back out’ the last two times when he was sitting on the toilet. He said that he was sitting there and had the urge to sneeze and as he sneezed he felt a searing pain in his lower back which put him in agony for many days.
I told him that firstly his back was probably rounded or slouched as he sat on the toilet which already strains the ligaments and puts a backwards force on the discs. It’s the same as what happens with the neck vertebra and discs (for more please read “why does my neck hurt?” and ‘lower back pain, disc problems and sciatica’ ) when in bad posture. So his ligaments were already straining, his discs were already under strain as well and then he sneezed which put enormous intra abdominal force against the back as well and ‘bang’, his back could take no more.
Heres the secret:
when you have to cough or sneeze-adopt good posture (an inward arch in the lower back) and sneeze or cough upwards. This will take the pressure off the discs and you will save your back.