Natural and Non-Intrusive Motion Sickness Remedies
Almost everyone, to their sorrow, has experienced motion sickness whether in a car, boat, roller coaster, airplane, or some other type of motion; in fact, the experts tell us that virtually no one is immune, although some are definitely more resistant than others are. It follows, therefore, that effective remedies are highly desirable and we should not be surprised to see a wide variety of ‘cures’ available. Indeed, history unfolds motion sickness cures back to at least the ancient, seafaring, Greeks.
What exactly is motion sickness? It is a disturbance of the inner ear (labyrinth) that is caused by odd and/or repeated movements such as turbulence of an airplane or the swell of the water. It is thought that the cause is from a disagreement between what the eyes, the body, and the ears each sense, causing them to send mixed signals to the brain. Motion sickness affects a person’s balance and equilibrium, and causes nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and/or an upset stomach.
Consider carsickness, a common and widespread form of motion sickness suffered by the young, the middle-aged, and the elderly alike. The first remedy that comes to mind is to simply direct the sufferer to look out the window and toward the horizon, which allows him or her to both breathe some fresh, cool air (weather permitting) and to see the motion that is being felt. Never read when you are moving and prone to motion sickness, and sitting in the front seat often helps. Not complicated cures at all, if they work.
If gazing out the window proves not to be sufficient, another simple solution anyone can try is to give the victim some chewing gum – or almost anything to chew. Somehow, chewing helps greatly to resolve the discord in the sensory images sent to the brain from eyes, ears, and nervous system which bring on carsickness. Eating light meals and avoiding alcohol the night before you travel can reduce your vulnerability as well, but, as we all know, it’s not always that simple.
Picture yourself traveling with a miserable child. Looking out the window hasn’t helped. Chewing gum and a light meal beforehand have helped a little, but not enough. What’s next? With any luck, the victim can be persuaded to try closing his or her eyes, even perhaps taking a nap – anything to redirect the mind away from the misery.
But for many victims, whatever their age, such simple solutions are inadequate. Theirs is a greater degree of misery, and this is where the remedies and treatments begin to multiply. Motion sickness pills have been available for a long time, with varying degrees of effectiveness. There are also motion sickness patches available now, but they seem to have limited success and cannot be worn by everyone.
One long-time remedy has been the use of ginger, whether in crystallized form or as ginger tea; and modern research tends to reinforce its effectiveness. However, while ginger may mitigate the actual vomiting associated with motion sickness, it does little to decrease the feeling of nausea. Peppermint is another option to try either in extract form, or in a tea.
Because astronauts struggle with motion sickness, NASA has done significant research on it. One emerging idea is the wearing of special glasses that produce a strobe effect, which seems to calm the wearer’s symptoms considerably.
Motion Sickness bands using acupressure, an ancient practice, has given birth to an interesting modern-day remedy for the miseries of motion sickness. A band, or bracelet, is used to secure a bead placed precisely over a pressure point known as Pericardium 6 (or P-6 acupressure point) located on the inner wrist, where it acts to disrupt the transmitting of nausea symptoms to the brain. This interruption of nerve signals is uniquely suited to multiple uses (motion sickness, headaches, morning sickness, even modern-day chemotherapy), without being in the least invasive. The wristband can be applied to people of all ages, meaning that even our suffering child can safely access this relief, as the physician may advise.
While some of these solutions work for some people and other options work for yet different people, it may take a combination of remedies to work for you. Luckily, there are many free or inexpensive options that are natural and non-intrusive so you can try several options or combinations to find out what works best for you.