How to Burp
July 19, 2006 5:38 PM   Subscribe

How can I learn to burp?

Whenever I drink a lot of carbonated beverages, my stomach gets really bloated and upset, and I need to know how to expel the gas out of my stomach. I usually just heave once or twice unintentionally and it comes out, but it would be much easier to burp it out on command.

So, MeFites, how can I learn to burp on command? This has been asked before, but there weren't any adequate answers!
posted by jordanian2 to Health & Fitness (13 answers total)
"How to burp"
posted by bigmusic at 5:53 PM on July 19, 2006

This isn't exactly the answer to your question, but to relieve gastric distress, you can often pat your belly with your palm a few times and it will get the bubbles moving upwards, burptown!
posted by jessamyn at 6:09 PM on July 19, 2006

preface: this might get weird, but go with it.

pretend you've got a gulp of water in your mouth, but you don't want to swallow it, but you want to look straight up and open your mouth: this is the position your tongue should be in (i.e. blocking your trachea and esophagus). now block your esophagus even more by moving your tongue further back, so that you can no longer breathe in through your nose.

now think about sucking in through a straw, creating suction like b1tr0t said, although i usually use my tongue to do this, all the while keeping your esophagus and trachea blocked off. this is usually easier for me with my jaws open a bit, again as b1tr0t said. finally, squeeze your diaphragm and abdominal muscles1 (as if you're trying to heave or blow air/water out of your mouth forcefully), as this helps a decent amount (for me).

this is really the best way i can think of to explain it. to review: block throat with tongue, try to suck in and create a vacuum, squeeze diaphragm/abs as if to "expel" something from your mouth. it's interesting to note that i can't and have never really tried to "burp on command" e.g. by swallowing air, but whenever i 'feel' air in my stomach/throat, i can always get it out easily, which i think is what you're going for.

seeing a friend do it in person would probably be a LOT easier than trying to desecribe it on the internets. regardless, best of luck in all of your burping endeavors.

(haha i just almost did it during preview without thinking; luckily i stopped myself and thought about how i did it... pretty much what i just explained. gl again!)
posted by kaytwo at 6:13 PM on July 19, 2006 [1 favorite]

I find that thumping my chest firmly -- but not too hard -- with my open palm (to maximize the surface area of your hand) usually works. Often if I stand up to do this, it helps a lot. The feeling you mentioned happens to me when I drink seltzer (and I'm a man who loves his taffy seltzer), and this technique always helps me let loose with a real window rattler.

Coming, Eudora!
posted by hifiparasol at 6:37 PM on July 19, 2006

My Grandma taught me how!

Fill your mouth with air. Seal your lips shut. Now chew (try to shift your perception from your teeth to the flesh under and over your lips as well as your inner cheeks)the air, then swallow it. Do this several times until you feel pressure in your stomach - then let 'er rip! If you can't get the air out, do a semi-violent wiggle/shimmy)

(I don't do it this way anymore because I've become sort of a black belt at burp speak, so it needs to be fast. Classy, eh?)
posted by zerokey at 6:38 PM on July 19, 2006

Oh crap...that's what I get for not fully reading the question.

Try the shake/shimmy thing.

Another thing I do is flex my stomach muscles rapidly (suck in, push out).

Yet another (when it's really bad), I get on my knees, belly and head to the floor, butt high up in the air and rock back and forth.

The belly pat/rub ala jessamyn works well, too.
posted by zerokey at 6:41 PM on July 19, 2006

I can actually burp in and out on command, almost like breathing, except with my stomach. I learned it from my cousins when we were little, but I can't really explain how i do it though. it's almost like a hiccup. The swallowing air thing does it to, though.
posted by empath at 7:56 PM on July 19, 2006

Ok, raise your hand if you were trying out your little strategy while reading/writing on this post.
posted by sweetkid at 8:26 PM on July 19, 2006

Very similar to what kaytwo said above, but: I actually do take in a breath first, then do the tongue blocking thing, but more importantly, squeeze the abdomen muscles while NOT expelling the breath from your lungs. Basically just take in a breath and hold it for a few seconds while tightening up the abdomen muscles. You'll end up inhaling, letting the burp rip, then exhaling from your lungs. Just the increased pressure forces the burp up, and having a breath in your lungs adds to that pressure.
And yes, sweetkid, never really thought about it until now, had to do it a couple of times to figure out what's doing.
Hope you feel better, jordanian2, and happy belching.
posted by zoinks at 1:13 AM on July 20, 2006

jessamyn's patting, or trying to reach back and tapping on your lower and upper back with a closed fist + making sure that you are standing up straight; that is, imagine that there is a string attached to the top of your head, pulling you skyward. I find that if I'm well-aligned, the gas rises naturally and eases right out.
posted by exlotuseater at 3:35 AM on July 20, 2006

"How can I learn to burp?"


No, seriously. I don't generally recommend drinking alcoholic beverages, but if you can, I think you'll find that drinking beer is more conducive to learning to burp comfortably than swallowing air, or swilling soda pop. For one thing, I think beer releases it's carbonation in the stomach more gradually, and, volume for volume as compared to soda, with less overall gas. Thus, the stomach expands gracefully, without the fast increase in volume that can trigger diaphragmatic spasms (hiccups) or various Esophageal Motility Disorders. Beer also relaxes most people, promoting effective burping, especially after the second one.

I recommend draft beer, or ales, as these products are rarely as heavily artificially carbonated as other bottled beers generally are. Naturally carbonated beers and ales (sometimes called "still" beers) may not even produce enough gas to make memorable burps for the experienced drinker, but if you're just starting to belch, you might want to start with such lower carbonation products.
posted by paulsc at 5:21 AM on July 20, 2006 [1 favorite]

When I'm in your position, I open up my throat by closing off the air passage and breathing in, forcing the food passage to open up. I'l try to describe it.

I start by preparing to swallow, which forces the soft palate to close off the windpipe. I then move my tongue down, towards the floor; this loosens the sphincter that allows food to pass. I then "breathe" in.

I can hold this open indefinitely, providing instant access to the goodness in my guts.

My friends and I mastered the technique of opening up your throat in 8th grade. We made long audio tapes of the results. My mom is holding them for blackmail.
posted by o2b at 10:03 AM on July 20, 2006

I had a similar problem from when I was young, up until some point when I was in college. I would never, ever burp. Growing up I drank lots of soda and always either got bloated stomach pains, or eventually farted a lot. As much as I would ask everyone around me, desperately, "how do I burp?", I could never get the swallowing air thing down, or any of the other methods that seemed to come so naturally to other people. As much as people can explain what muscles to use or how to trigger them, when you haven't felt them in action, it's hard to pinpoint, much less control.

Then, when I started drinking beer, it all fell into place. I have to second paulsc's explanation and strategy. It really just happened naturally as a result of drinking beer in college. Draft pints, not bottles.

Now I know exactly what muscles function when I burp, how to bring in air down that pipe deliberately, and how to burp when I need to, on command. It's fantastic.
posted by scallion at 11:43 AM on July 20, 2006

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