Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Monday, November 28, 2005

Body Hacks

'Cause Sometimes You CAN Fool Mother Nature

Found a link on Boing Boing for fun little body hacks you can do to tweak your system in various ways.

Here's a sample:
11. Stanch blood with a single finger!

Pinching your nose and leaning back is a great way to stop a nosebleed -- if you don't mind choking on your own O positive. A more civil approach: Put some cotton on your upper gums -- just behind that small dent below your nose -- and press against it, hard. "Most bleeds come from the front of the septum, the cartilage wall that divides the nose," says Peter Desmarais, M.D., an ear, nose, and throat specialist at Entabeni Hospital, in Durban, South Africa. "Pressing here helps stop them."

I've actually known about this trick for years. I've been susceptible to nosebleeds since I was a small kid. Constant allergies and the havoc they wreak on my nasal cavities and sinuses mean I get a bleeder every time the humidity levels drop significantly, or sometimes when I just sneeze too hard. Once, I got a little too much wasabi on my California Roll, and had to make a dash to the bathroom!

By age 8 or so, I was a nosebleed pro. Point me towards a bathroom, and I'd drip and wipe and swab on my own until it finally quit. As you might guess, I have no blood phobias at all. I am greatly amused at people who faint at a single drop leaking from their own epidermis.

One day, I suppose I was 9 or 10 years old, I was in a church bathroom having a devil of a time getting my schnozz to stop dripping. Wasn't even our church, we were there for some function my Dad was involved in. This really old man shuffled into the bathroom, took a look at me trying to keep my head back, and said "You're doing it all wrong, son!" He came over, pulled a length of paper towel out of the dispenser, tore off a strip, folded it up and handed it to me. "Wet that in the faucet, son, and jam it up under your upper lip," he said. "There's a blood vessel back there that's feeding that leak, and you need to block it for a while so the blood can clot."

Damned if it didn't work like a charm. I've got to the point now where I can get most nosebleeds stopped and be all cleaned up in under 5 minutes. For me, three squares of a double-ply bogwipe, folded to fit and wet under the faucet is the perfect size. Your mileage may vary. Be sure to make a small tear or indentation in the middle of the wad so that there's room for that ligament that ties your upper lip to your gumline. Lean over the sink, turn the water on low so the blood won't splash on the porcelain and spatter, let it drip, and just wipe off the blood every so often. It'll slow, then stop pretty quickly.

It's not an instant stop, but it sure speeds it up. Next time you get poked in the snoot, give it a try! It beats having blood leak down your gullet 'cause your head's tilted back!

Read the rest of 'em here!