If you know the Heimlich maneuver then there’s a genuine chance that you may get to be a hero. If you see someone choking on their food in a restaurant, then you will be able to come to their aid and immediately help them to remove food that’s lodged in their throat. In turn, you can prevent them from suffocating to the cheers of the other diners.
The irony is though, that if you start choking, then this knowledge will be of little use. You can’t perform the Heimlich maneuver on yourself, so you’re just going to be stuck there choking while everyone around you panics. It’s kind of unfair, especially after that heroic thing you just did…
The good news? There is a method you can use to help yourself in case of choking.
The technique you’re about to learn can save your life if you are choking. Of course you shouldn’t do this if there are other people around to help – they can perform the Heimlich in this case which will be much more effective, or you can just get someone to pat your forcefully on the back. Use this method in conjunction with those two and you’ll increase your hopes of surviving threefold.
But if no one is around to help at all, this method might just prove to be enough and it could save your life.
To perform the move – which was originally from boxing training to help toughen abs – you are going to first get on your knees and put your hands on the floor as though you were about to do a press-up on your knees.
Next, you’re going to throw your hands up in the air together and then let yourself fall suddenly on your stomach.
As you do this, the impact should be enough to force an exhalation of air that dislodges whatever is stuck in your throat. You can see a video here.
Tips and Advice
Note that this method of course will not work if you are pregnant and potentially being very overweight might also cause a problem.
It also won’t work if you don’t commit. While the thought of slamming your front down on the carpet might be a little frightening (it can hurt), it’s obviously far preferable to choking to death on what you’re eating. Try to overcome your natural ‘survival’ urge to avoid face planting and override that with the fear of suffocation.
Another tip is to consider hitting your back as well if that doesn’t help, which you can do in a similar manner.
Bear in mind that of course nothing is 100% effective and that you should try as many things as possible until the item of food is dislodged.
And just for those who don’t remember it: here is a quick recap on how to perform the Heimlich maneuver. Now get out there and be a hero!
Oh and chew your food!