Your esophagus (the tube running from your throat to your stomach) has pockets and is coated in a thick mucous membrane. When air gets trapped in these pockets, mucous forms over it. In your body's attempt to rid yourself of the trapped air, your esophagus contracts causing the hiccups. Drinking a glass of water while holding your breath stops the hiccups since your esophagus contracting on its own while it is trying to send the water down. In doing so, your esophagus' contractions releases the air bubbles which either end up in your stomach or comes up as a burp.
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