Infomation about Motion Sickness

Motion Sickness

What Is Motion Sickness

Motion Sickness, which is extremely common, is a disturbance of the inner ear.  A person experiences Motion Sickness when traveling by plane, car, boat, or train, and he or she begins to feel woozy.  When the brain receives conflicting messages about motion and the body's position in that specific space, one commonly experiences Motion Sickness.  These messages are sent from your body's sensory organs, which include skin receptors, the eyes, the inner ear, and muscle and joint sensors.  Most people who experience Motion Sickness learn early on in their lives.  

Signs Of Motion Sickness

Motion Sickness commonly results in an upset stomach, but it is possible to experience symptoms that are more severe, including nausea, dizziness, or cold sweats.  It is very common for people with Motion Sickness to experience headaches, and they may also become pale.  All of those symptoms are possible, and so are the ones listed below: 

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Trouble maintaining balance
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Increase in saliva production
What Causes Motion Sickness

People experience Motion Sickness when there are conflicting messages between their senses.  If you are on a rollercoaster that spins and does loops, the eyes see one thing, the muscles feel something else, and the inner ears sense something different.  The brain cannot handle all of these mixed signals, which is why you end up feeling dizzy or sick.  Unfortunately for people with Motion Sickness, they don't have to ride rollercoasters to experience that feeling.  Risk factors that induce Motion Sickness can include:

  • Riding on a train
  • Flying in a plane
  • Children (between the ages of 2-12)
  • Pregnant women (they have a higher likelihood of inner ear disturbances)

Dherbs Approach...adjusting your diet is always key!

Natural Remedies
  • In a 2015 study that was published in Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance, participants practiced diaphragmatic breathing while viewing a virtual reality simulation of a boat on rough seas.  The results indicated that those who practiced diaphragmatic breathing had a steadier heart rate and hardly felt any Motion Sickness when compared to those who breathed normally.  You can learn how to do this breathing via online videos. 
  • Using pressure points to provide relief is a common practice for people with Motion Sickness.  Many people with this problem use wristbands that apply pressure to the acupressure point that is known as nei-kuan.  When pressure is applied to this point, many people report fast relief of symptoms.
  • If you feel like you are getting nauseous or sick, you need to equalize your sensory cues.  The best ways to do this will depend on your mode of transportation.  You should sit in a front facing seat in a car to rely on the same movement cues as the inner ear when driving.  If you are traveling by boat, it is beneficial to keep a fixed gaze on the horizon because it is steady.  The more efficiently you can manage sensory congruence, the less likely you are to become sick. 
  • If you regularly experience Motion Sickness, you may want to stock up on ginger root.  Ginger is commonly used to remedy nausea, but research on whether it prevents Motion Sickness remains inconclusive.  Anecdotal reports note that ginger helps to calm upset stomach and can reduce the urge to vomit.  Ginger lozenges, ginger tea, or tablets can be beneficial to keep with you at all times. 
  • People with Motion Sickness may be able to remedy the problem through desensitization therapy.  To do this, simply expose yourself to short bursts of activities that cause symptoms, and slowly work up to longer periods of exposure.  If reading a book on a train makes you nauseous, try to read for five minutes and then put the book down.  Repeat this five minute interval over several sessions and then you can increase the time to 10 minutes, 15 minutes, and so forth.  The body eventually gets used to the activity and you may become desensitized.
  • Foods and beverages play a big role in the development of Motion Sickness symptoms.  For instance, alcohol, fatty foods, foods with strong odors, heavy foods, spicy foods, or foods that make you feel bloated can worsen symptoms of Motion Sickness, or make them appear quicker than usual.  
  • Whether you are driving in a car, riding a train, or a passenger on a motorcycle, it is also beneficial to synchronize your body with turns to reduce Motion Sickness.  Any turns can set off symptoms, but it helps to tilt your head into turns, according to a 2016 study that was published in Ergonomics.  
Things you should eat
  • Ginger
  • Bananas
  • Homemade Applesauce (no preservatives)
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Brown Rice
  • Steel Cut Oats
  • Almond Butter
  • Lemons
  • Vegetable Broth
  • Green Apples
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