Motion sickness is a common condition, hitting about one in three people when they’re on or in a moving object.
It happens because your brain can’t process the information it senses, whether it’s from the eyes, nose, smell, or touch. So, you don’t have to feel the movement for your brain to notice it.
Severe motion sickness causes symptoms like dizziness, vomiting, sweating, and nausea.
Some people have extreme motion sickness, and it makes it dangerous for them to drive because their symptoms can kick in and cause them to hit another car or a person. And if you know you’re susceptible to this condition, it can keep you from exploring the world and trying new things.
Conquering your motion sickness is possible, though. When you’re ready to travel and expand your horizons in other ways, try these natural tips to prevent motion sickness symptoms.
1. In-the-Moment Fast Fixes
You know when it’s too late, and your motion sickness is kicking in. At that point, you can’t avoid it, but there are a few tricks you can do to keep it from turning into a full-blown attack.
If your problem is starting because you’re a passenger, see if the driver will switch positions. Many people with motion sickness can drive just fine, but riding with someone else is hard.
In other situations, wherever you are, look in the direction you’re going. It keeps your brain from being out of whack with your senses, especially visually and in your inner ear. Sitting or standing toward the front of the vehicle often helps this disconnect as well. If you’re outside, look for the horizon line or another object that isn’t moving.
Fresh air or a fan in your face is a good way to get your brain focusing on something other than the strange sensations. Try to stay away from strong smells, especially cigarette smoke. Since your body is already dealing with sensory overload, smells can push you over the edge.
There are some scents that actually help with motion sickness, like ginger, lavender, peppermint, and chamomile. If you have any essential oils, inhale from the bottle.
It’s okay to eat something light, like crackers or bread, or drink a carbonated beverage or water. These items can soothe your stomach, whereas heavy or greasy foods will make it worse.
2. Prep Your Body
If motion sickness is something you’re familiar with, you may notice when the symptoms are coming on early. This gives you time to prep your body and soothe your brain.
Start by putting away your phone and other screens or books. Trying to focus on anything causes extra stress on your mind.
Then, squeeze the inside of your left wrist with your right hand. This is an acupuncture technique used for motion sickness, but you can do it yourself. You’re looking for the point between the tendons in your wrist, called the nei-kuan point. Squeeze for 5-10 seconds, then switch wrists.
If moving is possible, switch your position. Sit if you’re standing, or lay down if you’re upright. The difference in altitude can put your brain back in control.
3. Preventative Techniques
Chronic motion sickness requires more in-depth help. If you travel a lot and deal with this problem on a regular basis, you need a long-term technique.
Some studies show that vitamin deficiencies, particularly B12, can trigger motion sickness. Talk to your doctor about getting your blood work checked. You might benefit from regular B12 sublinguals or injections.
Other vitamins and supplements that help reduce nausea and vomiting are B6 and magnesium. These are found over-the-counter. You may not be getting enough in your diet.
But if all of these remedies aren’t enough to combat your motion sickness, consider biofeedback therapy. In this technique, a specialist connects sensors to your body to measure your vitals. The therapist teaches you ways to control your responses to stimuli, and you use those tools when your motion sickness threatens to take over.
In some people, their symptoms are so severe that medication might be necessary. There are OTC and prescription meds your doctor can prescribe to help you conquer your motion sickness.
If your issues don’t go away when the motion stops, or none of these natural methods work, it could be time to see your physician. There might be something else causing the problem.
Don’t let your motion sickness issues keep you from living your best life. Use these techniques to reduce or prevent your brain from getting confused about the senses around you, and say “yes” the next time someone asks you to travel with them!