Woman feeling motion sickness

Motion Sick? Not with These Tips

Updated December 5, 2016 . AmFam Team

Here’s some insight to what causes motion sickness, and how to cure it without relying on medicine.

The best part of reaching a destination is sometimes the journey itself. Flying so high you can touch the clouds, sailing vast blue oceans to distant shores, driving the scenic route just to get home. Yes, how you choose to travel is half the fun — unless you’re prone to motion sickness. But why let that stop you? With these tips, you can calm motion sickness and get back to enjoying the journey.

It’s all About Perspective

Let’s say you’re on a boat. Your ears may pick up sounds of movement, while your eyes may not see it. This can cause your brain to receive conflicted information and result in motion sickness.

Relocating to the center of the boat where there’s less movement provides a better chance of calming nausea. The same can be applied to other modes of transportation. On an airplane, sitting over the wing is where you’ll experience the least motion. On a train or a bus, facing the same direction you’re moving can help your senses synch up. If relocating isn’t an option, focusing on a fixed point, like the horizon, can help eliminate distractions.

Calming Consumption

A lot of foods and drinks help ease symptoms of motion sickness, as well as many natural plants, herbs and essential oils. Just find what works best for you, but be sure to check with your doctor first, if you’re pregnant or on medication.

Ginger has nausea preventing properties and aids in digestion. Try ginger root in tea, Ginger Ale or ginger candy. Aromatherapy can also be calming. Dab a bit of ginger oil on a cloth for smelling. Licorice has anti-inflammatory properties that soothe the stomach and reduce the urge to vomit.

Licorice root can be used to make a tea, or simply eat licorice candy, if it’s a taste you enjoy.

Peppermint eases nausea because menthol calms stomach muscles. Similar to ginger, peppermint candy and tea are helpful, and the scent of peppermint oil is soothing. Try putting it into a car diffuser for the whole family to enjoy on the road.

Lemon has citric acid, which settles a queasy stomach and eases vomiting. Suck on lemon slices in intervals, or mix a little lemon juice and honey in water for a drink. Lozenges and the smell of lemon oil are also options.

Olives contain tannins, which reduce the production of excess saliva, and as a result, the urge to vomit. Eat a few olives before you take off, or the second you begin feeling queasy.

Crackers, like saltines, absorb excess acid in the stomach and helps get rid of that sick feeling. Other bland foods like bread, bananas, apple sauce and rice can also help.

Therapeutic Techniques

Simple DIY techniques that don’t require consumption include lying down, practicing controlled breathing and listening to music. None of which will get rid of motion sickness, but they will provide calming distractions from the mixed signals being sent to your brain.

Desensitization therapy requires you expose yourself to activities that bring on your motion sickness in short sprints. As you adapt, the sprints should get longer and longer until you’re no longer effected.

Acupressure can be performed on the wrist using fingers or by wearing acupressure bands. Though it’s not proven to work, acupressure seems to provide a placebo effect for many. The idea is that it balances the body’s energy flow.

There’s no shortage of motion-sickness remedies which means you don’t have to experience a shortage of fun. Turn on some music, stuff a handful of peppermint candies into your bag, fill your mug with your favorite herbal tea and set off on a journey, nausea free!

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