How to Treat Motion Sickness


You go deep sea fishing and spend more time reeling with nausea than reeling in fish. You spend airplane flights clutching a little plastic bag protectively to your chest. You have motion sickness, but don’t worry. It’s not really a sickness at all, although it certainly makes you feel sick.

Motion sickness is actually a normal response to abnormal movement. You have a balance center in your inner ear that gets confused when the motion you feel doesn’t match what your eyes see. That’s why a fast-moving video game can make you sick, because your eye sees the screen moving quickly, but your body is sitting still. This confusion can give you a headache and slight queasiness, or you may find yourself sweating heavily, turning pale, and possibly vomiting.

Motion Sickness

The best way to deal with motion sickness is simply to stop what you are doing. If you are on a car trip, pull off the road for a few minutes and sit with your eyes closed. On an airplane, take slow deep breaths and try to remain calm. Being anxious and tense will only make your motion sickness worse.

Believe it or not, acupressure may help ease your queasiness as well. Hold your hand with your palm up. Find the spot on your forearm that is three finger widths from your wrist, between the two tendons and lined up with your middle finger. Apply steady pressure to this point, and you may soon begin to feel your motion sickĀ­ness fade away.

Though these tips may make you feel better, the best way to deal with motion sickness is to prevent it in the first place.

The long-range plan for motion sickness

If you have this problem, you may not look forward to vacations as much as the rest of your family. Don’t put a damper on everyone’s fun by refusing to get on that plane, train, or automobile. Instead, use these tips to nip the problem in the bud.

Keep it fresh. Certain heavy odors, like cigarette smoke, can make your motion sickness worse. Try to keep the air you breathe fresh and scent-free.

Get it in focus. You feel sick because your eyes and your inner ear don’t agree. It sometimes helps to focus on the horizon or some other object to make yourself believe you’re seeing and feeling the same motion.

  • Rest before you go. Make sure you get plenty of rest before embarking on any trip that may cause motion sickness.
  • Axe the alcohol. Pass on any alcoholic beverages both before and during your trip.
  • Keep it light. Large heavy meals can distress your stomach and make motion sickness more likely. Try to eat small meals, and avoid fatty foods.
  • Get some ginger. Studies find that ginger can tone down your nausea and help prevent vomiting, although it may not help with other symptoms, like headache and dizziness. One study looked at people who took a 940-milligram capsule of ginger before spinning in a chair. They were less likely to vomit than people who took Dramamine, which is a medicine for preventing motion sickness. You can find ginger in different forms at your health food store, or try sipping the original nausea-buster, ginger ale. But stick to health store brands; supermarket ginger ale usually doesn’t contain enough ginger to help.
  • Behavior therapy may help. Imagine being a sailor, truck driver, or flight attendant fighting the misery of motion sickness. If your job exposes you to motion all the time, behavior therapy may help. You can call your local counseling center to see if it offers this type of therapy. But keep in mind that therapy usually takes a long time and may not be the best solution for occasional motion sickness.

If you love sailing, despite your queasy stomach, don’t give up yet. This type of sickness tends to get better if you keep experiencing the motion that bothers you. Just follow the above tips and tough it out. Chances are, your motion sickness will disappear soon, and you’ll enjoy smooth sailing from now on.

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  4. How to Treat Vomiting in Children
  5. How to Treat a Headache Caused by Stress

Filed Under: Health & Personal Care

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About the Author: Andrew Reinert is a health care professional who loves to share different tips on health and personal care. He is a regular contributor to MegaHowTo and lives in Canada.

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