acupressure treatment. A 70-year-old patient suffered uncontrollable hiccups throughout the day for three months. He was treated with Korean hand acupuncture at points K-F3 (located on the palm side of the hand in the middle of the distal phalanx of the fifth finger) and K-A12 (on the palm above the third metacarpal bone). After two tries, the 30-second treatment quelled the hiccups completely thereafter. Here's another: Pull the thumbs in towards the palm and massage the temples. Then, with a fingertip, lightly press the tip of the nose.

Rochester, New York-acupuncturist Ric Warren applies pressure to the inside of the wrist (about two inches above the crease) or about four inches above the belly button. Warren claims that the pressure points adjust the "rebellious liver qi" or energy, that causes a swarm of symptoms, including nausea and hiccuping.

  Sweet relief. "The best method," opines Matthew Wood, an herbalist and author from Minneapolis, "is to take a tablespoonful of pure white sugar. I have used this method personally," he says, "and have found that it works about nine out of ten times within the first three hiccups. In short, I consider white sugar to be a specific for one thing only: the hiccup." A study in The New England Journal of Medicine verified the sugar treatment. Sugar was beneficial for 19 out of 20 patients, some of whom had been suffering for as long as six weeks. Ayurveda offers a similar suggestion: Swallow one teaspoon of honey with one teaspoon of castor oil.

So what's the final ruling on hiccups? "Cures" abound, but only a few seem clearly beneficial. While not a catastrophic event, hiccups that won't come to a halt sure present an annoyance. Gather a repertoire of several tactics that tend to work for you, and keep them on hand for the next time you find yourself besieged.