Turn Off Your Gag Reflex By Squeezing Your Left Thumb

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.

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.

Why does making a fist with your left hand and squeezing your left thumb disable your gag reflex? [Reddit]


    Aaahhhhh. . . porn industry secret.

    Now where's the wife...?

    I know that the dentist can be expensive, but surely not that.... expensive!!! Oh wait mines a woman, what the hell does she need me to stop my gag reflex for?? ;)

    Oh, it's for the dentist! Right, of course.

    I never noticed Heather Brooke doing this trick. I will have to watch her movies again....all of them...for research....

    Ha Ha!! My first thought after reading the headline was how do I get the girlfriend to try this!!

    Yes we are all dirty, dirty guys!!

    Also in other areas of your life that make you want to gag, for instance a bad smell, apparently smiling helps. Though probably not the best idea to have a big cheesy grin around a bad smell, else people might think you're the source :P

    One of my mates brought this up at a recent party. Funniest and weirdest thing you have ever seen, half a dozen blokes standing around making themselves gag and then trying to suppress that gag reflex.

      We promised never to talk about that night...

    This is 100% true. I taught it to my girlfriend 4 years ago, and needless to say we are happily married today.

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