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Topic: Overcoming The Gag Reflex
Message: Posted by: DavidEscapes (Oct 22, 2002 03:09PM)
Hi all,

I wonder if anyone here who has any experiece in sword swallowing and/or the balloon from nose to mouth stunt can give me some pointers in overcoming the gag reflex?

Or is it just a matter of tickling the throat everyday until the reflex fades?

ANY pointers would be appreciated.


Message: Posted by: Missing_Link (Oct 23, 2002 04:28AM)
Hi Duncan,

Yep, I'm afraid that's all that's required— persistence. I can do balloon through nose and mouth ok now but have a bit to go with sword swallowing.

The reflex does fade after a while— a popular way of working on it is to work it three times in a row, three times a day. PM me if you want more.


Message: Posted by: Dr Dark (Oct 23, 2002 05:16PM)
One of the worlds greatest sword swallowers, Captain Don Leslie, once said when you can fit your entire fist down your throat without gagging you are ready to try a small sword.

I can honestly say it took me nearly two years to feel confident about it by slowly working on it. Also don't forget that it's easy to work on your gag reflex at least twice a day when brushing your teeth. Good luck and please be careful. I also recommend kung fu swords known as Sai as they look amazing and have round or octaganal blades i.e. no pointy bits.
Message: Posted by: DavidEscapes (Oct 23, 2002 07:39PM)
Hi all

Thanks for the advice. There is, as I suspected, no easy way around it. :(

The tooth brushing idea is a good one. But twice a day? Surely once a week is more than enough! Unless you are one of those fools that has fallen for all the absurd propaganda the dentists will have you believe, don't you know those guys are in league with the government?

Love the Sai idea by the way. And there are a couple on eBay right now... hmmmmmm...!

This making yourself gag all the time is NOT FUN! Still, it's all for a good cause. I am sure I will get there eventually.

Have fun

Message: Posted by: Slim Price (Nov 25, 2002 01:42AM)
Here's a tip ... when you practice put your head back as far as you can, and open your mouth as wide as it will go. Later you can modify this but in the beginning it will help. Another thing is not to anticipate gagging.

For your sore throat, the premium cure is Horehound drops. Tyr to get the real thing, not the candy. If you can (I can) try to control your throat muscles. You probably will be able to open your throat all the way to the upper sphincter of your duodenum. You can also use this for regurgitating. I can't tell you how, you just need to do it! As in all sideshow stuff, mind-set is the main secret.

For the human blockhead, a nail that fills the passage is best, probably 60d.

Slim & Krista Price.
Message: Posted by: docdazzal (Mar 7, 2003 09:46PM)
Hi Duncan...

One of the best ways to help to condition your throat is to gargle with warm salt water before practice. Also, you may want to try swallowing a tablespoon of olive oil after gargling. Do this before every practice until you can begin to eliminate the gargling and oil little by little. Everyone is different in their time frame. But as stated above...keep-on, keeping-on!

Continued success...

Best Regards,
Doc Dazzal
Message: Posted by: snilsson (Mar 22, 2003 03:13PM)
Go to FISM and watch every single competitor. If you can endure this, your gag reflex will be gone forever. Sorry, I couldn't resist. ;)
Message: Posted by: Slim Price (Mar 22, 2003 08:09PM)
There's a long and professional thread about this at...

[url=http://www.sideshow-freaks.com/sideshow_discussion1/disc1_tocf.htm]Sideshow Freaks Discussion[/url]

Please sign the guestbook
Message: Posted by: Zack (Apr 11, 2003 08:22PM)
Once you overcome the gag reflex, is it gone forever? That is, is a sword swallower incapable of inducing vomiting?
Message: Posted by: Slim Price (Apr 11, 2003 11:04PM)
Vomiting can easily be induced, but why would you want to? <G>

Without practice, the gag reflex returns, and it's never really gone, just controlled.

There is an extensive website on the net, that you can find with a search. "Site seers" can access parts of it, but you must be registered to go to the "inside." Also there are many references to ALL the sideshow arts at
Please sign the guestbook.
Slim Price
Message: Posted by: Dragona (May 6, 2003 09:59AM)
One way I found is to take liquid Golden seal. I don't do sword swollowing, but at least I don't gag. :firedevil:
Message: Posted by: Addy (May 7, 2003 09:06PM)
I was a student at the Coney Island Sideshow school earlier in the year. Sword swallowing was taught and I picked it up quite easily. The first sword that I got was a goddess sword. The blade is about 17" long and quite thin. Do a search for short swords or daggers on the net. You'll find something. But be sure to check the measurements with the dealer. Also, make sure you dull the point and the blade before you go sticking it down your throat.
Message: Posted by: Dark illusionist (May 8, 2003 09:57PM)
sanscan you said

"Vomiting can easily be induced, but why would you want to?"

Let's just say your baking cookies and while nobody is looking you take a huge hunk of raw cookie dough and eat it. It tastes good but an hour later you're sick and would love to puke. Now you could either sit around forever next to the toilet thinking "god I will never eat raw cookie dough again" or you could tickle the back of your throught and get the ordeal over with.

This is a trick my dad taught me.

Message: Posted by: Slim Price (May 8, 2003 11:30PM)
If you develop sufficient control of your throat muscles, you can vomit at will anyway. I've been able to do this since I was a kid. Doesn't anyone really work their body anymore?
Message: Posted by: Dark illusionist (May 10, 2003 09:02AM)
WOW I would love to see that!
Message: Posted by: DavidEscapes (May 15, 2003 09:10PM)
There used to be a wrestler called Darren Drozdoff who worked for the WWE who could do that. When he first started they were going to call him puke and his gimmick was to be that he would throw up on his opponent during matches. :) They never ended up doing it for obvious reasons— pity, I would have LOVED to have seen that!

He ended up wrestling as Droz, and was tragically crippled in a match a few years ago.

Just thought it was worth mentioning since this thread was going that way anyway!

Have fun

David Straitjacket
Message: Posted by: Dragona (May 15, 2003 09:43PM)
I saw something by Droz a few days ago on the WWE website. He is working for them again and has control of the upper half of his body. I didn't see anything that mentioned him being able to walk or wrestle, but he is making significant strides in getting better.
Message: Posted by: trainerjep (Jun 11, 2003 04:33AM)
Well I think blowing chunks, is gross. Why on earth would anyone want to do it.... as far as sword swallowing, I was told once to start with cooked spagetti, then raw spagetti, and work your way from there.
Message: Posted by: Knil Gnissim (Jun 11, 2003 07:58AM)
Cooked spagetti breaks too easily, but I suppose it could help to overcome the gag reflex.

Message: Posted by: jennieprice (Jun 11, 2003 02:59PM)
I think you mean RAW DRY spagetti. Anyhow, my husband sanscan and I teach this, basically for nothing in El Cajon, CA. If you can make it down here, we'll be glad to show you how.

Message: Posted by: Big Jeff (Jun 24, 2003 11:29PM)
Droz was famous because when he played in the NFL he threw up in the huddle during a game. I think it was on Monday night football.
Message: Posted by: stine (Jul 7, 2003 11:53AM)
I discovered that when you gag it's GOOD! that's when you realize your throat is open and ready to receive the sword.

The difficulty is in the "mentally willing" yourself from actually throwing up. You may, so practice on an fairly empty stomach.Your gag reflex will never go away and you wouldn't want it to. You'll just control it when you WANT to.

I first learned from a manuscript in the eighties called surprisingly enough "How to eat fire and swallow swords".(and now...two interesting side notes)

1) I was hired to work Knotts Berry farm in CA during their Halloween haunt. I created a character calle "Sado the Masochist" and did a sideshow set. The guy that WROTE the sword swallowing book was WORKING THERE TOO!!

2)I learned to swallow with 1/4 inch rod iron filed at the end to be round and smooth. I went to my doctor and asked him to watch me as I was having trouble and I wanted to make sure I wouldn't hurt myself. He actually helped me position it and it WORKED. (this was after I had practiced enough not to gag)I had thought about using a sai and while visiting TC Tahoes house HE had one. I told him I could swallow it. He didn't believe me and so TC became my first demonstration.
Message: Posted by: CardFan (Jul 12, 2003 09:19AM)
To overcome it, if you still don't get it to fade you can also use a special ointment sold in drugstore that is swallowed before a fiber optic gastroscopy. Tastes like strawberry and stops the gag reflex for a short period of time.
Message: Posted by: jmm1303 (Jul 31, 2003 09:19PM)
Vomiting is gross and if you want to do it at will you are either sick or getting paid a lot.
Message: Posted by: Scott Xavier (Aug 4, 2003 09:10PM)
Just met a sword swallower @ Busker fest, he said this is one thing you really have to want to do.
Message: Posted by: shinobi (Aug 24, 2003 03:30PM)
I hear actors/actresses in movies performing a certain 'technique' use anaesthetic spray to take care of the gag reflex. :goof:
Message: Posted by: DavidEscapes (Aug 25, 2003 06:27AM)
Hi all

Please please PLEASE don't use any sort of anaesthetic spray on your throat!!!

You need to feel everything that is happening in your throat. Even the smallest cut could prove life threatening, and using anaesthetic would make it more likely you would cut yourself, and less likely you would notice. This is not a good idea!

Cheers all

David Straitjacket
Message: Posted by: djvirtualreality (Aug 27, 2003 10:22AM)
I want to try this. I'm thinking about buying 9" dagger to start. I know this is really dangerous, but I think it would be a cool stunt in my close-up act, or just to show people.

I've read the whole topic, but can anyone please post or PM with a method to get ready for it. In other words, what you did when you started out. Am I going to throw up the first time? I can do spaghetti down my throat with ease?

Sometimes, in the shower when I brush my tongue(with a toothbrush lol) I'll gag, in order to control it, should I keep doing that? Please, any advice would be great. Thank you:)