Most carsick, airsick, or seasick — we have experienced some form of motion sickness (clinically called kinetosis) at some point. It is most common in children between the ages of two and twelve and among women, but can be achieved by anyone of any age. Cars, planes and boats are the most common places, but some people can suffer from motion sickness in a lift, on a roller coaster, on a swing, in virtual reality games, on horses or just thinking about it. It is usually felt with nausea and then combined with cold sweats, vomiting, dizziness, headache, drowsiness, irritability, increased saliva or falling. Symptoms can last from a few minutes to a few hours.
Although many people have motion sickness, it is not well understood and the reason for this is unknown. Theoretically, it is caused by sensory conflicts or poor communication throughout your body between your inner ear, eyes, and other sensory nerves (proprioceptive systems). When these systems send different messages to the brain, conflicting information is expressed as a disease. For example, when you’re in the car, you can send messages that your eyes are moving in your brain, but because you’re sitting, your ears and muscles can send messages that you don’t move. Different messaging leads to brain confusion or misalignment, causing symptoms of motion sickness.
Ways to Prevent or Remedy
There is no cure for motion sickness, but avoiding or catching symptoms as soon as possible reduces their severity. It helps you identify what is causing your symptoms and then try to try or alleviate different things. Some remedies work better than others; here are some options to consider.
To travel: When possible, look at the vehicle and look at a distant object. Avoid reading or looking at your phone. If the vehicle is rotating, tilt its head with the rotation. Get fresh air by opening the windows or sitting next to the vents. Lie down and close your eyes if you can. It’s also where you sit. In the car, try to find a seat for the driver or front passenger. In an airplane: wing section. Looking forward to the window seat on a train, the window seat on the bus and the top half of the deck on the boat. On a sea voyage, you would want a cabin in the front or center, close to the water level, to sleep and then spend as much time as possible doing activities on the upper deck.
Food and beverages: Staying hydrated and eating lightly is ideal because an empty or full stomach can make symptoms worse. It is recommended to avoid spicy, fatty and acidic foods.
Essential oils: Ginger is often used to relieve motion sickness. Many people have found chili, mint and citrus oils useful as hard oils or sweets.
Acupuncture and acupressure: Acupuncture and acupressure wrists can help prevent or minimize the symptoms of motion sickness. Acupuncture treatments (usually given bilaterally at PC 6, ST 36, and LI 4 pressure points) have been used to prevent and minimize the symptoms of motion sickness. And acupressure wristbands — PC 6 that provide manual stimulation or electrostimulation — are roughly three fingers wide below the inside of the wrist — to help manage motion sickness.
Habit or habit: There are a number of emerging habit techniques — from vision tracking to full-motion simulators — to help condition the body to reduce or eliminate the symptoms of motion sickness. Treatments provide movement stimulation that causes motion sickness. So it’s likely to be at least unpleasant. But if stimulated repeatedly over time, the body can climate itself to significantly reduce or eliminate symptoms. You can find more information about these options through your healthcare provider or physical therapist.
Pharmacy: Over-the-counter antihistamines are widely used to prevent and treat the symptoms of motion sickness, although people often do not like sleep which is a side effect. For other pharmaceutical options and for severe cases of motion sickness, prescription medications may be provided by an authorized health care provider.
This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, and is not intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. To the extent that the advice of a physician or physician appears in this article, the opinions expressed are the opinions of the said expert and do not necessarily represent the opinions of the goop.