Can You Still Swallow Food If You Are Standing On Your Head?


3 Answers

Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Please Do Not Try This At Home! Do not even think about trying it at home ~ or anywhere else for that matter! However, for those who are curious, yes it is in fact possible to swallow whilst standing on your head and this is due to the pulling action involved in the swallow itself.
Swallowing is one of those activities we do many times each day and rarely, if ever, think about it. When most people think about swallowing, they probably believe that the food simply falls down the throat with a little help from gravity. This isn't really what happens though. Instead, the food is gradually pulled down the ten-inch passage to the stomach in five to ten seconds.
Here's the science bit: As a result of this pulling action, it is possible to swallow food or liquid whilst standing on your head. But it would be very uncomfortable to do so and the danger of choking would be serious. Swallowing is a complex act for moving food from the mouth to the stomach. A series of closures to temporarily inhibit respiration occur while constrictive and peristaltic waves move the food and drink in rhythmic muscular contractions down the oesophagus.
Liquids make the trip in about one second to be drawn into the stomach. Semi-liquids take about five seconds. Solids take about 10 seconds. The whole swallow takes 10 to 12 seconds. The first phase of swallowing is the termination of chewing the bolus. The bolus is pushed to the back of the throat by the tongue. The tongue does this by pressing against the roof of the mouth forcing the bolus into the throat.
Then, the bolus is pushed down into the oesophagus by rhythmical contractions of the oesophageal muscles (peristaltic waves). The sphincter muscle at the entrance to the oesophagus remains relaxed in order to open the channel of the throat. The larynx must elevate to force the epiglottis to close over the airway (trachea) preventing the bolus from entering the lungs. Peristaltic waves continue to push the bolus through the oesophagus and down into the stomach. One more muscle sphincter must relax for this to occur and also to prevent the bolus from coming up again.
Swallowing is a very complex business and should not be taken lightly, so please just be happy with the answer and don't try to prove me wrong!

Answer Question