Traveling can be a nightmare for persons suffering motion sickness. This does not have to be the case though as there are different methods on how to get rid of motion sickness that can help. They include making simple changes on what you eat, where you sit in the car or the bus as well as consuming natural motion sickness remedies. Where it is severe, medication can do. Desensitization therapy can also help eliminate motion sickness permanently. We explore these in depth below.
Motion sickness is a term used to refer to a combination of unpleasant symptoms experienced while traveling. Depending on the mode of transport being used, motion sickness may also be referred to as car sickness, air sickness, sea sickness or travel sickness.
The vestibular system, which is what helps the body regulate balance and motion, and the vision system send corresponding signals to the brain for interpretation. However, while on motion, there is a disruption of this synchronization. As a result, there is a conflict between what your eyes see and what your inner ears sense. A mismatch in the sensory signals arises causing motion sickness. Some of the symptoms exhibited as a result include:
- Pale skin
- Increased sweating
- Increased production of saliva
In some people, additional motion sickness symptoms may include:
- Extreme tiredness
- Rapid shallow breathing
Motion sickness is most common in women in their periods, people who suffer migraines as well as children between the three and twelve years. In most cases, the symptoms improve as the body gets used to the situation.
There are some people though who will experience the sickness throughout the journey. To help deal with these, there are a number of options available on how to get rid of motion sickness.
How to Get Rid of Motion Sickness
Eliminating motion sickness requires you to put into place remedies that will help avoid or eliminate the symptoms discussed above. Below are some easy options on how to get rid of motion sickness that you can put into place to help you enjoy your travel.
1. Set your Eyes on a Fixed Object
Setting your eyes on a fixed point or a stationary object can help eliminate motion sickness. This is best used by people experiencing general nausea and mild dizziness while in a car or on a bus. Focusing your eyes outside a car on the horizon or fixed object helps the eyes register movement. This is as opposed to when your eyes are fixed inside the car making it seem like there is no movement. If you can, sit in the front seat to enhance this.
2. Choose your Seat Wisely
To ensure there is no conflict in the mind, it is important to choose a seat where you can help the mind, eyes and inner ears synchronize what is happening. To get rid of motion sickness on a boat and after a cruise, stay towards the middle since this is where there is least rocking and keep your eyes on the horizon. In case you are traveling by plane, don’t stay at the back as this is bumpier. Get one above the wing at the front middle.
3. Watch What you Eat
Watching what you consume before and during travel can help prevent motion sickness. Avoid alcohol, smoking, foods with strong odors, fat rich, heavy and spicy food as they may worsen motion sickness symptoms. Instead, settle for bland foods. Toasted bread, rice, bananas and applesauce are all great options.
4. Distract Yourself
Getting a distraction will help keep your mind off the movement and thus calm you down. This can be achieved by listening to music. Sucking on ginger lozenges or using aromatherapy scents such as lavender and mint could also help. Reading as a mode of distraction is not recommended as it could worsen it.
5. Close your Eyes
Motion sickness occurs when there is a conflict between what your eyes see and what the inner ears register. This is in such times as when the inner ear senses movement but the eyes do not register the movement. To reduce the sensory input and thus eliminate the conflict, keep your eyes closed. Lying down can also help achieve the same.
6. Motion Sickness Wrist Bands and Bracelets
These make use of acupressure which according to Chinese medicine can help balance the disharmony causing motion sickness. The motion sickness wrist bands offer a hands free option for conducting acupressure.
They have a small bead attached to them. This helps to exert pressure on the wrist constantly. In addition to getting rid of motion sickness from travel, these gadgets can be used to eliminate motion sickness experienced while playing fast paced video games, after a ride and on roller coasters.
Motion sickness medication is best used by those who experience severe sickness. There are over the counter medication such as meclizine and Dramamine meant for this. A scopoline motion sickness patch can be administered to healthy adults experiencing severe and prolonged sickness. There also are motion sickness medicines for kids that can be prescribed by doctors.
These medications can cause side effects such as dry mouth, and drowsiness. They are best administered 30-60 minutes before when you think you might suffer motion sickness episodes.
Natural Remedies for Motion Sickness
In case you are wondering what to take for motion sickness, there are plenty of natural remedies for motion sickness. They help eliminate the queasiness leaving you to enjoy the voyage. Here are some effective ways on how to get rid of motion sickness naturally.
Ginger is antiemetic and thus helps to prevent nausea. It also aids in digestion thus reducing related problems. It is one of the most popular methods on how to get rid of motion sickness naturally.
- Prepare ginger tea by slicing a ginger root and putting the slices in two cups of water. Boil this for 10 minutes, strain and add honey to taste. Drink this half an hour before traveling to avoid motion sickness.
- You could also swallow half a teaspoon of freshly chopped ginger 30 minutes before the onset of your journey.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar helps to balance the pH levels in the body. This effect can help you manage motion sickness.
- To a cup of lukewarm water, add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and a tablespoon of honey. Stir up the mixture and consume it 30 minutes before your journey begins.
- In case you are already experiencing sickness, rinse your mouth with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with half a cup of water. This will settle your stomach, control nausea, stop further vomiting and freshen your breath too.
3. Pepper Mint
Menthol in pepper mint helps to calm stomach muscles. This helps ease nausea as well as lessen motion sickness.
- Add a tablespoon of dry peppermint leaves to a cup of boiling water. Steep for 30 minutes, strain and take it before embarking on your journey.
- Slowly suck on peppermint candy on your journey. This can help even when the queasiness has set in already.
- Saturate your handkerchief with peppermint essential oil and keep on smelling it to fight motion sickness.
Lemon juice has citric acid that can help in settling the stomach and thus ease vomiting and nausea when traveling. The smell of lemons can also help in suppressing motion sickness.
- Squeeze wedges from a single lemon into a glass of lukewarm water. Add a tablespoon of honey and sip the mixture before the onset of the journey as well as during.
- Alternatively, suck on a lemon wedge at regular intervals when traveling.
Olives are a perfect remedy for motion sickness that causes excessive production of saliva. They contain tannins which reduce saliva in the mouth naturally. This reduces the likelihood of becoming nauseated or throwing up. Before setting off, eat a few olives and in case the feeling of getting sick catches up with you, keep eating some olives until the feeling goes away.
Another way on how to get rid of motion sickness naturally is by using licorice. It has anti-inflammatory properties that quell motion sickness by soothing the mucus membranes in the stomach. This way the fatigue and the urge to vomit are eliminated during travel.
- Add a teaspoon of dried licorice root to half a glass of boiling water. Let it steep for five minutes, strain and drink the tea 30 minutes before traveling.
- You could also chew licorice candy to avoid feeling sick.
How to Get Rid of Motion Sickness Permanently and Forever through Desensitization Therapy
Desensitization therapy is used as one of the cures of motion sickness. It involves exposing yourself to short bursts of activities that are likely to lead to motion sickness symptoms before gradually increasing the duration.
In case reading a book causes you to experience nausea, read for five minutes before putting it down. Do this on several occasions before increasing the reading time to 10 minutes. With an increase in the time, your body learns how to accommodate the traveling activities.
Web MD: How to Beat Motion Sickness
NHS: Motion Sickness
One Medical: Tips to Overcome Motion Sickness