There’s a lot to be said for the good old days when people got around mainly by foot power. Cars, boats, and airplanes may get us there faster, but our stomachs don’t always appreciate the difference. Nearly everyone has motion sickness from time to time, and some folks can’t even ride across town without sitting by an open window.
Motion sickness is essentially caused by breakdown in communication. Your eyes are telling your body that you’re barely moving, while your other senses know very well that you’re rocking along. The brain doesn’t like the confusion, and it responds by sending nausea signals.
If you’re prone to motion sickness, you’ll never stop it entirely – you certainly won’t be first online to try the new roller coaster at the amusement park. But doctors have found a few ways to help your various senses work together and also to keep the stomach calm.
Here is what some doctors advise.
Stay active. If you’ve ever taken a long road trip you know it’s the passengers and not the driver who get car sick. Researchers have found that keeping your brain busy is one of the best ways to stop the queasies. An obvious solution is to put yourself in the mind active. Some people play mental games, while others identify license plates. The busier you are, the more stable your stomach will be.
Scan the horizon . Wherever you’re sitting, it’s a good idea to let your eyes scan the horizon. Giving your brain the big picture view can help keep nausea at bay.
Settle your stomach with ginger . Long used by sailors to keep their stomachs calm, ginger has been shown to be as effective at stopping nausea as some over the counter drugs. Ginger tea is effective, although many experts recommend taking ginger supplements, which you can get from health food stores. Take a few capsules before leaving and continue taking them as you travel, following the directions on the label.
Put something in your stomach . Researchers have found that an empty stomach becomes very irritable and unstable and much more prone to nausea. Before getting in the car on the boat, stop and eat something first. You’re better off eating easy to digest carbohydrates, such as rice and potatoes, than high fat foods, which are hard to digest.
Press for relief . Some experts believe that putting pressure on a certain point on the wrist, called on acupressure point, will help stop motion sickness. The point is located in the middle of your wrist, palm side up, about three centimeters above the crease. When your stomach starts acting up, exert gentle pressure for as long as it takes to get relief. You can even buy elastic writs bands (called SeBands) that automatically press on this point. The bands are often sold in boating supply stores.
Close the book . Some people are lucky enough to be able to read when they’re in motion, but most folks who are prone to motion sickness find it’s about the worst thing to do. Your eyes see the book and send a message that you’re sitting still, but the other senses know otherwise – and this can lead to motion sickness.