Learning to burp
March 28, 2005 4:53 PM   Subscribe

Teach my girlfriend to burp.

My girlfriend has never been able to burp, and can't remember an occasion on which she actually ever did burp. I tried instructing her to "stretch out her throat" and "open the food pipe" and "feel like you're about to throw up and then breathe in" and stuff like that, but she hasn't had any luck.

How would you teach someone to burp?
posted by rxrfrx to Grab Bag (13 answers total)
Have 'em slam a twelve ounce beer or soda? She has probably been burped, just can't recall it.
posted by fixedgear at 5:00 PM on March 28, 2005

I can't burp on command (is that what you are trying to teach her?) unless I have a soda nearby to help me out, and even then it might not happen. I can't Burp! Help! Please HELP ME!!! has a few suggestions.
posted by PY at 5:10 PM on March 28, 2005

I have a sensation of pulling down the part of my face under my chin, kind of sticking my head forward while I suck in the air. I think it's the muscles under my chin, next to my neck, that are opening the flap and suctioning in the air. There's also a wierd pressure on my head between my ears and temples. Then I just relax and the air comes back out in a small "burp."

Well, the "I can't Burp" guy _said_ we'd say something stupid and unhelpful. So there.
posted by lorrer at 5:16 PM on March 28, 2005

Close the throat with your muscles and try and breath
posted by edgeways at 5:54 PM on March 28, 2005

I taught my sister to burp when we were kids, so I know it can be done. First I'd have her swallow and concentrate on the path of the air bubble, and then I had her try to do it while keeping her throat open. You should have your girlfriend sit up really straight, elongate her neck, drop her jaw, try to open her throat, then lift and slightly tighten her chest. She should only use slight pressure from the diaphragm to squeeze it back out. If she's focusing on her stomach, or on "pushing", it's not going to work.

It's a subtle thing to teach, but my sister really wanted to learn so she was willing to sit through half an hour of me burping, then trying to describe what I was doing, followed by her giving it a try and me analyzing her technique. I think it finally clicked when she stopped trying too hard and just relaxed into it. She still can't let loose with a major belch, but every time she has a post-beer burp she knows who to thank.
posted by stefanie at 6:13 PM on March 28, 2005

I'd start with encouraging a burp-friendly environment. Have her guzzle a soda and/or beer and encourage her to really gulp it, swallowing a lot of air with it. Then, tap her on the belly, and at the point at which air starts to come up her esophagas, encourage her to tighten her diaphragm and sort of breathe out using her stomach to push the air out, opening her mouth wide. Alternately, she can see if she can swallow air [sometimes this is easy to do if you drink a small amount of water and try hard to swallow a large amount of air with it] and expel it back out. You have, of course, encouraged a large belching-fest here at Chez Jessamyn, apparently both me and the boy can burp on command.
posted by jessamyn at 6:17 PM on March 28, 2005

i'd second suggestions that involve heavy carbonation.

get her to lie on her back, prop up her head, and drink an entire can of coke as quickly as possible. vernor's would work as well.

once she's drunk the soda, have her sit up quickly. i'd lay strong odds on her burping.
posted by Hat Maui at 6:22 PM on March 28, 2005

pick her up and pat her back for a minute.

seriously though edgeways explanation is genious.

"Close the throat with your muscles and try and breath"
posted by freudianslipper at 6:23 PM on March 28, 2005

In addition to the carbonation, leaning to the left helps. The stomach opening is on the right side of your body, so leaning left helps the air go out the right direction. Or that's what my mom always used to tell me, at least.
posted by bubukaba at 6:52 PM on March 28, 2005

Carbonation works because you're swallowing air, right? Is there any reason that just swallowing big gulps of air wouldn't be even more effective?
posted by box at 7:37 PM on March 28, 2005

Well, box, you'd have to first learn to swallow air. And if you can do that, you can probably burp pretty good (and on command, even).
posted by rxrfrx at 7:54 PM on March 28, 2005

I can indeed burp on command, though I never thought of swallowing air as the kind of thing you had to learn.

Upon further reflection, maybe I'm suggesting teaching her to swallow air, which seem like it would be easier to learn than burping, and may well make a burp inevitable.
posted by box at 9:50 PM on March 28, 2005

warn her that once you start burping regularly its hard to stop! i never used to burp then i finally figured out how to do it as a response to my friend's constant belching. now i burp like 50 times a day - its embarassing!
posted by radioamy at 1:35 AM on March 29, 2005

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