Tips to give you motion sickness relief

Tips to give you motion sickness reliefMotion sickness is one of those afflictions which affect around a third of people at some point in their lives, so below are some tips to give you motion sickness relief. Even though scientists have worked hard to try to find the cause they still aren’t sure exactly what causes it. The most common theory is related to mismatched sensory signals received in your brain. Your eyes telling your brain you are stationary while the vestibular system in your ears are telling you brain you are moving up, down, sideways, accelerating, jumping or on a roller coaster, anything but stationary. The conflicting signals can get stronger if the eyes are looking at a stationary object like reading a book while travelling on a bumpy road.

Scientists think there may be an evolutionary explanation, in that humans have only been moving around in modern forms of transport in the past couple of centuries. Very small time frames in evolutionary terms. Previously humans would only experience this kind of sensory mismatch if they were poisoned by ingesting foods not meant for human consumption. In such cases the body would react naturally by vomiting out the offending poison to get rid of it.

Motion sickness affects everyone differently so there is no magic “cure all” treatment or motion sickness remedy. Having said that there are a range of remedies you can try to help relieve motion sickness if you are one of those that suffer from it:


Best motion sickness medication

There are quite a few different motion sickness medications that are available, some are available over the counter and some require a prescription. Also brand names vary from country to country. Whether you suffer severely or mildly with motion sickness it is best to seek advice from your doctor or pharmacist on which medication will be best for you given you may need to take into account your current medical conditions and any other medications you are taking.

 

This is not an exhaustive list but base products of the medications include the following:

Meclizine, Dimenhydrinate, Cyclizine, Cinnarizine, Scopolamine / Hyoscine, Hyoscine Hydrobromide, Promethazine. Your pharmacist in your country will tell you which of those requires a prescription but as already mentioned, seek medical advice from your doctor to determine the best one for you.

I personally don’t get travel sick much but sea travel sometimes affects me. I have used Kwells, a brand of Hyoscine Hydrobromide. I take one tablet the day before and one tablet an hour before boarding and that seems to do the trick.


Motion sickness patches

These are patches which are applied to the skin usually behind the ear or on the neck. The medication delivered to your body is Scopolamine which is a very effective treatment for motion sickness. Normally the patch is applied up to 24 hours in advance of your journey. However they do come with side effects, some quite serious, so talk to your doctor about whether your motion sickness condition warrants using these and only do so under their supervision.


Ginger products

There are several natural remedies you could try such as peppermint, fennel and chamomile tea but the one natural remedy that stands out above all others is ginger. As with the other herbal and natural remedies it won’t work for everyone but it is worth giving it a try. You can take ginger in a few different forms – raw ginger root, ginger candy, ginger tablets, ginger capsules or ginger cookies. Use as a preventative remedy, start taking it 24 hours before you trip and continue taking at regular intervals throughout the trip.


Wristbands

There are acupressure points on your body which when pressed can be effective in the prevention and relief of motion sickness. The easiest to locate acupressure points are located on your inner wrists and are called the Nei Kuan or P6 (Pericardium) points. These can be found by turning your hand palm up and placing your first three fingers on you arm with the third finger resting just behind the crease where your wrist meets you hand. The P6 point will then be under you first finger between the two main tendons that run lengthwise along you inner arm. It is this P6 point which wristbands are meant to press upon. Wear a wristband on both arms and be sure to locate the P6 points correctly using the above method or the wristband method won’t work. There are a variety of wristbands and bracelets available at any good pharmacy. The only way to find out if they work for you is to try them for yourself.


Stare at the horizon

One method I have used in the past and is particularly useful on ships during daylight hours is to stare at a fixed point on the horizon. This can also be used on road journey and during air travel. By fixing your eyes on a single point, a message is passed to your brain tricking it into believing you are not moving as much as you are. I once sailed through the Bay of Biscay off western France on a cruise ship in big seas and used this method to help while many others on board were suffering bad seasickness. Even though it may be cold outside, going out on the deck of a ship in the fresh air also helps and gives you something else to think about.


Dehydration makes it worse so drink water

Dehydration will exacerbate the symptoms of motion sickness so drink plenty of water. This is especially true during long haul flights which dehydrates your body due to the reduced humidity in the aircraft cabin. It is a good idea to avoid alcohol before and during your journey as this also dehydrates you and travelling with a hangover is not good as it’s likely you may feel nauseous even before starting out.

 

Eat light meals

Eat only easily digested light meals before your journey and if possible eat little and often during the journey. Don’t eat anything that is difficult to digest or heavy on your stomach before or during your journey, but an empty stomach is not good either, both can make you feel nauseous.

Modes of transport
Choice of seat or cabin is important

Try to make sure you sit in the seat which will experience the least amount of motion and offers the best view to the horizon.

For different modes of transport try the following seat locations:

A car – the front seat so you can look out of the front window.

A motorcycle – as a pillion passenger make sure you can see over the rider towards the front

A bus or coach – any seat towards the front, less bumpy and you can look out of the front window.

A plane – seats towards the front feel the least motion in terms of turbulence.

A train – only sit in seats that face forwards.

A ferry or cruise ship – site near the window facing forwards on a ferry and get a cabin in the middle of the ship below decks, but spend as much time as possible outside on the deck.

If you found the above tips to give you motion sickness relief helpful, please share so others can benefit from the post as well or if you have any questions or tips of your own on motion sickness remedies, leave a comment below.

Posted in Motion sickness, On the move, Top Tips For Holidays and tagged , .

Neil

I grew up in the UK and still live there today. Throughout my life I have travelled extensively in Europe, Asia, Australasia and US on holidays, mini breaks, business travel and longer travelling trips, so founded http://TopTipsForHolidays.com to help people by providing top tips for holidays and travel.

16 Comments

  1. I once went on a short cruise in Cyprus and I experienced sea sickness. That was my first time encountering such an issue and I wasn’t prepared.

    Talking about preparation, thanks for giving us what to have to deal with it on board. It’s a useful tip and I’ll keep that in mind by getting one before another cruise trip.

    Talk about ginger, it’s great that ginger cookie works although it’s not one item fits for everybody. I might get that one besides the tablet you prescribe.

    • Hi Tar,

      It’s worth experimenting to see what remedy works best for you. My article contains some motion sickness remedy suggestions. If you are really struggling with motion sickness problems it’s best to talk to your doctor and take whatever they prescribe.

      Thanks

      Neil

  2. I used to be so terrible with motion sickness, so thanks for these tips. What helped was medication. And then I switched to essential oils when I feel dizzy. I think its peppermint oil, if Im not mistaken. You’re also right about the choice of seat and looking straight in the horizon. 🙂

    • Hi Raquel,

      I think the thing to do if you suffer motion sickness is do what you did and use whatever works for you. I know peppermint oil is used for IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) as it is a good anti spasmodic and helps relax cramps in the digestive system so may well be good for motion sickness too.

      Thanks

      Neil

  3. Hello Neil

    Thanks for this information. As a man that owns his business and will begin to travel soon, I will keep all these helpful suggestions in mind while travelling. Now I’m not one to use medications but natural remedies is something I’ll be looking into.Thanks so much for this information.

  4. Hi Neil,

    Man… do I wish I would have read this article prior to this past New Years Eve. Before I tell you why… let me just say I have never had an issue with motion sickness. Growing up we basically lived on a boat… deep sea fishing. I LOVE riding boats and going over the waves. I have never however been on a Cruise before..

    This past New Years Eve some friends of ours invited us to go on a Gambling boat here locally. I didn’t think that I would need any medicine to keep me from getting motion sickness because like I said I have never been sick on a boat before.

    To make the story short. The waters were rough…within an hour after leaving shore… I started filling ill. I thought to myself… there is no way I am getting motion sickness.. then sure enough… the rest of the night I was carrying around a paper bag… and throwing up all night. Oh my husband and friends had a blast all the while I was sick. Thank you for sharing. I will definitely be bookmarking this site for any future visits out to the sea.

    • Hi Tanya,

      Sorry to hear you were unwell on your New Year’s Eve cruise trip. I have heard of other people getting motion sickness when they had never experienced it before. I am not medical but I suppose your body and the way it reacts to such situations can change over time. I would say that if you get motion sickness again badly, try a few of the suggested remedies, but if they don’t work for you it may be best to talk to your doctor to get medication prescribed that is right for you.

      Thanks

      Neil

  5. Hi Neil,

    I’m glad I came across your post! Some great tips you’ve got here.
    I’ve been an avid traveler for most of my adult life so transportation like buses, boats, trains and planes are common in my life. I’ve never had any issues with motion sickness since I was a child, but the last 8-9 months it started happening again for some reason. In fact I had it last night sitting in a normal city bus, which never happened before! It also doesn’t happen constantly, I was on a boat last month during a storm for example and I had no problems at all. On the other hand I was on a boat 2 weeks ago, no wind and blue skies and I started to feel ill. After your post I’m thinking it might have something to do with eating and that my digestion pattern is changing. Is this possible? I’m definitely going to try out your advice, starting with eating ginger products. 🙂

    • Hi Maarten,

      Did you notice if you had eaten too much or not eaten at all before the recent journeys where you felt unwell? Having too much to eat gives your digestive system too much work to do, while not eating can be equally bad for making you feel motion sickness. Try eating small amounts before the journey and if it’s a long journey eat small amounts often so your system can digest the food easily. Also try to take notice of what you’ve eaten during the day in the run up to the journey and if you feel OK eat that same thing again another time or avoid it if you feel unwell. If your problem persists or gets worse consult your doctor as they should be able to prescribe the correct travel sickness medication that is right for you.

      Thanks

      Neil

  6. Hi Neil,

    Fantastic tips! I personally suffer from motion sickness in a car. Before there was such a device as a TomTom or Garmin, I could barely read a map without getting car sick.

    Sea sickness is another one that I suffer from, a friend of mine suffers from it very badly. I’ll share your article with her so next time she travels, life will be a lot easier – and less nauseating!

    Thanks again!
    Laurine

    • Hi Laurine,

      I’m glad you found the motion sickness tips helpful and hopefully they will prove useful to you and your friend on your next car or sea journeys. Staring at the horizon or some other object a long distance away works well and of course is free, but if you are really suffering it may be best to consult your doctor and get the correct kind of medication prescribed that is right for you.

      Thanks

      Neil

  7. Hi Neil, I love your website particularly the home page is pretty much relax to view, so I have to stay there for a while before hopping to this page. Motion sickness can only trouble me on the cruise ship – I really hate this. I need some pill called Dramamine (sorry if I spelt it wrong) to make me feel better for this reason. It is strange that if I go Kayaking or embarking on small boat I won’t have motion sickness. Do you have any idea for this?

    • Hi Tinnakon,
      Thanks for your nice comments! Dimenhydrinate is the base medication mentioned above which is marketed as Dramamine (your spelling was correct) and many other motion sickness products. I am not a medical person but I think the reason you are OK on Kayaks and other small boats is that the motion sensed by your inner ear and the motion that your eyes see are in sync in terms of the messages passed to your brain. Where as on a large ship your eyes send messages that you are stationary, while your inner ear is sending messages there is lots of motion going on. These message conflict and make you feel sick. That is the common theory but as mentioned above even scientists are not exactly sure of the cause.
      Thanks
      Neil

  8. My wife gets motion sickness when reading in the car on long road trips. Would motion sickness medication stop her from feeling dizzy?

    • Hi Jonathan, yes my wife does too particularly when reading in the car. Reading is best avoided. She could ask her pharmacist to recommend one of the over-the-counter motion sickness medications to see if that helps. Otherwise she could talk to her doctor to give her one of the prescription motion sickness medications. Without medication one quick tip is to open the window to get fresh air and look out of the front window focusing on something as far off on the horizon as possible which usually helps.
      Thanks, Neil

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