I've had an inguinal hernia for several years. The recommended remedy involves repairing the abdominal wall using a mesh sheet, which is put in place during laparoscopic surgery.
I'm reluctant to have surgery at this time, especially with my wife's unpredictable medical issues. So I've found, through experimentation, two types of treatments that reduce the swelling and pressure in the area.
The first involves diet. There are inflammatory foods that increase swelling and pressure. Wheat is the most notable culprit. So by reverse logic I decided to stick with a mostly anti-inflammatory diet, and the one I chose is my trusty Blood Type Diet.
Overeating can also exacerbate the condition. It's simple -- there's just so much stuff you can put into a gut before it tries to expand beyond its confines in the abdomen. Don't over-stuff it, and keep the pressure down.
The second approach is mechanical, broadly speaking. Coughing produces the biggest stress to the area. So if I'm about to cough, I'll apply upward and inward pressure on the area with my hand. This is difficult to do discretely in public however, so my alternate method is to bring my knee up and across my body. This is even more bizarre looking to the general public (I suppose), but at least I don't look like a perve.
Lying supine on a decline bench is great for providing momentary relief of acute pressure, especially when combined with the inward and upward hand pressure described earlier.
Wearing pants that are not tight around the waist also helps. The tighter the wasit-line, the greater the pressure on the hernia.
Lastly, keeping external pressure applied for an extended period really helps. So when I lie down to go to sleep I apply the pressure. I used to place my hand on the area. But then I decided I'd use a weight, instead. I chose a stone from the garden for the weight. I warm it before bedtime by running it through the dishwasher. I think the combination of pressure and warmth brings healing.
2014-11-22 - SPG Edited to add the second to last paragraph regarding the waist line of pants.