Overview: This case series describes patients with intractable or persistent hiccups treated with extracranial acupuncture.
Conclusion: Patients with intractable or persistent hiccups treated with extracranial acupuncture can have the hiccups disappear without recurrence.
Background: Hiccups are a common clinical symptom, and persistent hiccups and intractable hiccups severely impair the individual's quality of life. To date, there has been no effective treatment specifically for hiccups. Herein, we report 2 cases with intractable or persistent hiccups that were successfully treated with extracranial acupuncture. The first case is a 46-year-old woman who presented with a 7-year history of intractable hiccups that had worsened over the past 3 years. She also complained of chest tightness, dyspnea, palpitations, dreaminess, dysphoria, intolerance of cold, and hypohidrosis. The second case is a 75-year-old man who presented with a 7-day history of persistent hiccups and hematemesis for 3 hours. The patient's persistent hiccups were treated using traditional Chinese acupuncture, but the patient reported no remarkable benefit. They were diagnosed as intractable or persistent hiccups.
Methods: They were treated with extracranial acupuncture.
Results: The hiccups completely disappeared. During the follow-up period, the hiccups did not reappear.
Conclusions: According to neural balance theory, an episode of the hiccups is caused by an imbalance of the nervous system. Extracranial acupuncture in the area adjacent to the external occipital protuberance affects the intracranial nervous system, which can effectively control the hiccups. Our study provides a new approach to the treatment of hiccups.