Ugh! The young lady sitting in the seat behind me snorted as I threw up for the third time. My stomach twisted. My head spun. I felt frustrated and completely out of control. The entire incident had me thinking: Why do some people suffer from motion sickness while others don’t? What is its cause? What possible cure do science and culture provide? Is there a way to completely get rid of it? The pathology of motion sickness is discussed in detail under the following subheadings:
- Motion sickness explained
- Symptoms of motion sickness
- Home remedies for motion sickness
Motion Sickness Explained
About one-third of the population suffers from motion sickness. Scientists can’t explain as to why some people have extreme episodes of motion sickness while others don’t. It is probably a developmental fluke.
Motion sickness is a condition in which a discordance occurs between the visual and vestibular systems of the body. The visual information gathered by your eye contradicts the sensory input provided by the fluid in your inner ear. Hence, the brain is perplexed by the disagreement between the two systems. In order to make this mechanism clear, we should study an example.
- You are traveling in a car and talking to your friend sitting beside you. In this condition, your eyes notice only the interior of the car constantly. They don’t detect any motion. Therefore, they signal to the brain that you are not moving.
- On the other hand, the fluid in your inner ear tells it that you are. Remember that this fluid maintains balance and senses movement. If you are moving, it makes use of physical laws to determine your speed, distance covered and destination.
- As muscular activity is an indicator of movement (like in swimming, running, walking, and doing other sports), the brain contacts the muscles for a possible explanation. The muscles side with the eyes.
- Now, our wise guy is confused and for evolutionary reasons, it comes to the conclusion that you have been poisoned. Wow! You have gone all Socratic on Mr. Brainy.
- Finally, your brain responds to this neurotoxin (that your jealous stepbrother added in your cereal!) by inducing Nausea, headache and getting rid of everything you recently ate. This explains the vomiting.
Symptoms Of Motion Sickness
The symptoms of motion sickness are listed below:
- Dizziness and confusion
- Sopite syndrome
- Hyperventilating and belching
- Acute awareness of stomach
Home Remedies For Motion Sickness
Take Control Of The Situation
Not being in the driver’s seat can make you feel helpless during an episode of motion sickness. According to research, the driver feels little or no symptoms of motion sickness as compared to the passengers because his brain is involved in other motor functions like turning the wheel, controlling the gears and watching the road. It is better to be in the driver’s seat if you wish to avoid sickness. Nevertheless, sitting in the seat next to the driver can also lessen symptoms. If you seat in one of the back seats, you must gaze at the horizon instead of the seat in front of you. You may also want to try the window seat and look out of the window.
Take A Nap
If you are at sea in a windowless ship, it might be helpful to shut your eyes and go to sleep. Your eyes don’t have a changing landscape by which it can detect motion. So, taking a nap might distract your brain. It will also stop you from magnifying your illness.
Acupressure is a therapeutic technique that makes use of the concept that the total energy of the body flows along specific pathways. This Chinese method suggests pressing special acupoints on the body to clear blockages. To get rid of motion sickness, you should press your wrist with three of your fingers. Focus on the spot below the wrist crease. In this way, you can soothe nausea and stomach sickness. Additionally, you can also buy pressure point bands that will do acupressure for you on long journeys.
Tilt Your Head To The Side
Some physiotherapists recommend tiling your head to the side if you feel like you are about to puke in a car. You feel sick because your brain can’t tell whether you are still or moving. But if you tilt your head, then the muscles yell loud and clear, ”Person Mobile!”
Try a dietary cure
Before setting for Paris or wherever it is that you have to travel to, try eating the following foods to reduce motion sickness:
- Ginger as it prevents stomach illness. You can also try ginger capsule, ginger ale or candy if you don’t like the taste of raw ginger.
- Olives because they suck up all the saliva. No salivation means no vomiting.
- Peppermint as it controls stomach disturbances. You can take peppermint in various forms. You can eat a peppermint snack, drink peppermint tea or even sniff peppermint oil.
- Lay off strong tea, coffee or chocolates before the start of the trip. Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid a heavy meal
- Dry crackers may also be suitable in calming down that turmoil brewing inside your stomach.
Have containers and large-sized plastic bags that can be used if you regularly suffer from motion sickness. It may be handy to have an ice cream container nearby if your fellow passenger has a history of motion sickness. Also, these items will be useful for storing soiled clothes. You can also protect the upholstery with removable washable covers.
If you can’t keep it at bay, then you need to try some prescription or over-the-counter drugs like:
- Scopolamine (an adhesive patch placed behind the ear)
These drugs may have side effects like drowsiness so you may want to travel with a friend during your first trial.
Don’t Read This Article While You Are Moving
Depending on the mode of transport, motion sickness may also be referred to as seasickness, car sickness, airsickness, and simulation sickness. If you are prone to motion sickness, it is not a good idea to read a magazine or a book while traveling. Because staring at a piece of paper affirms your eyes that you are not moving – an affirmation that can seriously ruin your trip. So lay off that tablet and take a nap. Also, don’t look downward while traveling. Not only does it make you look dejected, it can also cause a reflex that leads to vomiting.
Travel sickness can be mentally and physically tiring. It can be very hard to look after yourself when you are alone on a plane and your stomach has decided to toss his cookies. But if you follow the above-mentioned precautions and remedies, we assure you a less eventful journey!
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