Motion sickness. While it may be true that it’s not the destination, but the journey that counts, there’s few easier ways to take the fun out of the journey then by adding in some dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. Use these tips to help keep motion sickness at bay and make all your journeys much more pleasant.
Counteract the Cause
Motion sickness is caused by your ears and your eyes finding themselves in disagreement – your inner ear insists that you’re in motion, while your eyes maintain that everything is still. Some hypothesize that your brain takes this information and assumes you’ve been poisoned- either the eyes or ears must be hallucinating – and tries to induce vomiting to expel the toxin. Whatever the reason for the nausea, the discord between your eyes and ears is the cue, so taking steps to bring them back on the same page is key. If you’re driving, call shotgun (or be the driver if possible). The view from the front seat will help your eyes confirm what your ears are experiencing. If you’re on a boat, stay on deck – as much as it may seem wiser to go below, staying outside will give you a view of the moving water that will help make peace between your eyes and your ears.
Whatever kind of transport you’re using, try and find a fixed point in the distance outside and focus on it. It will help bring the feedback coming into your brain back into agreeance. Always sit facing the same direction as you’re travelling. As tempting as it may be, don’t turn to reading for a distraction – a book is a fixed point, after all, so you’ll only be leading your eyes deeper into their misperception. Finally, don’t close your eyes (unless you think you can quickly fall asleep). You want to use them to provide the feedback your brain needs to believe everything is as it should be, so turning them off isn’t the best choice.
Ginger is the generally recognized go-to for motion sickness sufferers seeking natural relief. For many, the zing of this lifesaver root eases nausea at first taste or smell. Have crystalized ginger or ginger candies on hand for relief in a hurry. If you know you’re prone to motion sickness, you might also brew a thermos of ginger tea to bring along – simply steep fresh ginger in hot water, adding sugar if the taste is too pungent. You can also find ginger in capsulized supplement form if its strong flavor doesn’t sit well on your palate. However, many find that the taste and smell itself seems to help, and you’ll miss out on that with a capsule. If you can’t stand ginger, you may find peppermint (in the form of essential oil, candies, tea, etc.) a suitable alternative.
Acupressure has also proved an effective remedy for many motion sickness sufferers. Try pressing on your inner arm three fingers widths down from you wrist crease for a few minutes, until your symptoms calm down. You can also find wrist bands designed to apply consistent pressure to the magic spot, some of which even send a small electric pulse.
Antihistamines like Dramamine or simple Benadryl can help stop motion sickness symptoms before they even start. While these drugs are commonly used to treat allergic reactions, they also block signals at the areas of the brain responsible for nausea and vomiting. Frequent motion sickness sufferers (or those preparing for a particularly winding or bumpy ride) should take antihistamine tablets one to two hours before departure for maximum preventative effect. Be aware that you may experience drowsiness as a side effect – so if you’re planning on taking over the wheel at some point, or want to be alert for your journey, antihistamines may not be the solution you’re seeking.