My daughter suffers from motion sickness. Thus during our recent trip where we took planes, boats, trains, and jam-packed buses and minivans for extended periods of time, it was important to keep any bouts of motion sickness to a minimum. In most cases, knowing what triggers the sensation of motion sickness along with some acupressure on a famous acupuncture point were enough to keep major symptoms at bay.
Motion sickness can happen from any type of movement, even movement that one is anticipating.
It happens when the body, the inner ear, and eyes send conflicting signals to the brain. For example, inside a ship’s cabin, your inner ear may sense rolling motions that your eyes cannot see. This most often happens when you are in a car, boat, or airplane, but it may also happen on amusement park rides. Once a person gets used to the movement and the motion stops, symptoms may come back although not for very long.
The most common signs and symptoms of motion sickness:
- pale skin
- cold sweats
- increased salivation
Children aged 2 to 12 are the most likely to suffer from motion sickness, but anyone who is prone to nausea or vomiting is equally at risk. People with higher levels of fear or anxiety are also more likely to suffer.
There are several ways you can try to prevent motion sickness.
First of all, it is important to choose an appropriate place to sit depending on the type of transportation. In a boat, stay in the middle of the cabin near the water line. When on deck, keep your eyes fixed on the horizon or land. In an airplane, choose a seat over the wing or near the front. In a car, drive or sit next to the driver. Concentrate on the horizon or a fixed point that is far away. Do not try to read if you suffer from motion sickness. It is also important to rest your head against the seat back and to keep still. Turn any air vents toward your face. Also do not smoke or sit near smokers.
As far as nutritional tips go, in order to help reduce symptoms, try and avoid spicy, greasy, or fatty meals and don’t overeat. Also drink plenty of water. In some cases, dry crackers and carbonated sodas such as ginger ale can help with nausea. Eating small, frequent meals may also help. Some herbs such as ginger, peppermint, and black horehound have been shown to help with motion sickness. These can be used as dried extracts such as in capsules, powders, or teas, or as tinctures. You should always make sure that the herbs do not interact negatively with any medication you may be taking.
The acupuncture point known as Pericardium 6 helps to relieve nausea. It is located on the inside of the wrist about the length of two fingernails up the arm from the center of the wrist crease. This point can be massaged and rubbed during travel to help relieve motion sickness.
Biofeedback training, cognitive behavioral therapy, and breathing techniques such as taking slow, deep breaths are a few other options to consider for anyone with severe or debilitating motion sickness.