What causes motion sickness?
Motion sickness is the result of your inner ear and visual senses becoming out of sync. It mainly occurs in people travelling by car, aeroplane or boat, but can also be brought on by playing video games or riding on amusement park rides.
Probably the most effective and widely used natural remedy, ginger is an ace at relieving nausea. It comes in many forms and can even help you after the effects of motion sickness have set in.
- Simply chewing on a piece of raw ginger root can be all your need to soothe your nausea. It might be best not to swallow it though as it can leave a strong after-taste.
- Ginger biscuits are another easy option, be sure to carry a packet whenever you travel long distances.
- If you are going on a journey and suspect you will feel ill, it may be worth making and drinking a cup of ginger tea before you set off. Add some slices of ginger root to hot water, steep for 5 minutes and strain.
- Ginger supplements are also thought to be very effective and can be taken before and during your journey. Always read the label and be aware that ginger may interact with certain medications.
The P6 pressure point (Pericardium 6) is located about 3cm along your wrist. It is widely thought to relieve nausea and stomach upset and many people swear by acupressure wristbands to ease or prevent their motion sickness. Sea-band seems to be the main producer of these special bands.
One of the easiest and most effective things you can do to prevent sickness whilst travelling, is to focus on a stationary object straight ahead of you. That may be a building of some kind way ahead in the distance. This will help your inner ear and visualisation centre to balance and should help to keep you nausea free.
The anti-spasmodic effects of the menthol found in peppermint, are extremely useful in combating all kinds of nausea. There are many different forms of peppermint, such as oil, tea, and hard-boiled sweets, so there is no excuse to be caught short!
- Make a tea with either fresh peppermint leaves or ready-made teabags. Steep in boiling water for a few minutes, strain the leaves or remove the teabag and sip slowly if you are already feeling nauseous.
- The scent of peppermint oil can be inhaled either straight from the bottle or from a handkerchief with a few drops applied. This should provide almost instantaneous relief from nausea if you are travelling.
- Hard-boiled sweets are handy to keep in your bag or the car. They are almost as affective as other forms of peppermint, so just pop one in your mouth before you set off and be sure to carry extra with you for throughout your journey.
When you become nauseous, you’re mouth produces extra saliva in preparation for vomiting. Saliva helps to protect your gums and teeth from your stomach acid. Eating olives when the symptoms first appear can reduce the amount of saliva produced (due to compounds called tannins) and so quite often eases the nauseous feeling altogether.
Ice water will keep you hydrated and if sipped slowly when you feel nauseous it can help to relieve your symptoms. Small amounts of water can settle your stomach and also help with regulating your temperature if you find yourself having a hot flush in the back of the car. When dealing with motion sickness, it helps to be cooler!
As stated above, it helps to be cooler when you are feeling nauseous. Winding the windows down to let in some fresh air and suck out the warm stale air can be all you need to do to get over your motion sickness. Concentrating on your breathing while sucking in the cool air can be a great distraction and within 5 to 10 minutes you can be back to your old self!
How to prevent motion sickness
For many people, motion sickness can be prevented in a number of ways. If possible, sit in the front seat of the car. Face forward, looking straight ahead and avoid reading. Make sure to open a window slightly so there is always fresh air circulating, and avoid eating or smelling foods with a strong odour.