Motion Sickness Prevention
I’ve suffered since childhood with the effects of motion sickness. With every car ride, I found that if I wasn’t looking directly out the front window, I’d suddenly become incredibly nauseated and unwell. Unfortunately, not much has changed since then. While riding in a car doesn’t trigger it as badly as it once did, I still try to stay clear of boats and I always feel slightly nauseated when flying.
While I’m sure many of you suffer from it too, I thought I’d share with you the remedies which have helped me and hopefully they’ll help you in the future too.
How is motion sickness caused?
Motion sickness is caused when there is discordance between the brain and the inner-ear. On a windowless boat for example, the inner-ear transmits to the brain that it senses motion, but the eyes tell the brain that everything is still. As a result, the brain comes to the conclusion that one is hallucinating due to ingesting poison, so it begins the process of trying to dispel the poison from your body through vomiting.
Close your eyes
Closing your eyes (or even better, going to sleep) resolves the conflict between your eyes and your inner-ear, which should result in the motion sickness easing. This is my go-to method when I’m really feeling nauseated and it seems to work well.
Look at the horizon
Whether you’re on a boat or in a car, using the horizon as a point of reference allows you to sense the difference between the natural motion of your body and the motion of the ship or vehicle, which should provide some relief if you’re feeling queasy.
Sit in the front seat
Using the same theory as above, If you sit in the front of the car, your vision is focused on distant objects rather than up-close items which is important if you wish to minimise the effects of motion sickness.
Have something in your stomach
Having an empty stomach is not an ideal way to travel. Before departing and during the journey, make sure to have a light snack available (such as a dry cracker) which you can nibble on to keep your stomached settled.
Consuming large amounts of alcohol and eating greasy food is not a suitable pre-departure meal. Stick to a healthy meal and drink plenty of water to ensure you’re hydrated before departing.
If you’re travelling by car, one of the best ways to overcome motion sickness is to stop frequently so you can take a break and walk around on stable ground. That, combined with some fresh air will do you wonders.
There are plenty of over-the-counter drugs available to prevent motion sickness. However, it’s important to choose the medication carefully as they do have side effects. I try to stay away from any claiming they “may cause drowsiness” as I’ve had them in the past and they put me to sleep.
If you prefer to stay away from the over-the-counter drugs, there are many alternative remedies which have been known to cure motion sickness. Whether they work for you or not is another story. Some of these include:
Ginger is a natural remedy to general nausea. Taking a ginger tablet prior to departing is probably the easiest method, however there are other ways to reap the ginger benefits such as drinking ginger tea, eating a ginger cookie or sucking on a ginger lolly.
Like ginger, peppermint is known for its ability to treat nausea. You can either take it in capsule form or slowly drink a peppermint tea before departure.
Nausea from motion sickness can be helped with an acupressure band. The band works by stimulating the median nerve in the wrist that triggers stomach upset. This area, called the P6 meridian, is widely used by acupuncture therapists to treat nausea.
What methods have you found best for dealing with motion sickness?