Carol Bauer, MD, F.A.C.S.Question: I am troubled by motion sickness when flying, riding in cars, and while on boats, but I prefer not to take drugs as a solution. Is there a natural way to treat this problem?
Many people know if they are susceptible to motion sickness and the best remedy in most cases is avoidance. If you cannot avoid train, plane, or boat travel, then you can minimize your exposure by sitting where the motion is felt the least. On a boat, try to reserve a cabin in the forward or middle part of the ship, or on the upper deck. On an airplane, sitting in the center over a wing can be helpful. When traveling by car, either drive or sit in the front passenger's seat.
Motion sickness can be worsened by strong odors. Avoid exposure to cigarette and cigar smoke, gasoline or diesel fumes, or sitting near others who are experiencing motion sickness. Try to eat only a light meal before traveling, and avoid alcohol and foods that are spicy or greasy. Finally, always try to face into the direction you are moving, focus on a distant stationary object on the horizon, and avoid reading while traveling.Carol A. Bauer, M.D. F.A.C.S., is Associate Professor of Otolaryngology at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.
Lauren Mathews, M.Ac., L.Ac., Dipl.Ac.
Acupressure can be very helpful. There are two trigger points that very quickly and effectively treat the nausea and queasy feeling associated with motion sickness. When there is tension in the stomach, it inhibits abdominal circulation, puts stress on the digestive tract, and can make you feel sick. These points relieve the tension in the abdomen, ground you to make you feel steadier, and eliminate nausea.
The first location, called P6, is located on the inside of the wrist, approximately three finger widths below the center of the wrist crease. Apply firm pressure with your thumb for one minute as you take a few deep breaths. Repeat once or twice.
The second point, called ST 36, is located below the knee on the outside of the shin. The correct spot should feel a little sensitive to the touch. Use either your fist or the heel of the opposite foot to rub that area briskly for 30 seconds.Lauren Mathews, M.Ac., L.Ac., Dipl.Ac., specializes in women's health issues at Front Range Acupuncture LLC in Denver, Colorado.
Oliver Leonetti, L. Ac.
Both Eastern and Western herbal traditions have long used ginger (Zingiber officinalis), to settle upset stomachs and aid in digestion. Ginger can similarly calm the dizziness, nausea, and vomiting associated with motion sickness. The effectiveness of ginger in reducing motion sickness is associated with its ability to regulate gastric secretions. Modern research involving ginger has demonstrated that it can even be more effective than some prescription medicines at combating the symptoms associated with motion sickness.
It is best to take ginger before beginning the activities that cause motion sickness. I recommend making a strong ginger tea at a ratio of 1 teaspoon of grated ginger to one pint of boiling water. If the ginger flavor is too strong, try using a pill or capsule form. Make sure you ingest around 1,000 mg. of ginger.
In Chinese medicine the dizziness, nausea, and vomiting associated with motion sickness all fall into the category of rebellious qi, or energy. This means that the qi is moving in the wrong direction, upwards when it should be going down. From the Chinese perspective, ginger bolsters the stomach and the earth element, directing the qi downward and helping to relieve the symptoms of motion sickness.Oliver Leonetti. L.Ac., is a partner at Inner Gate Acupuncture & Herbal Clinic in Portland, Oregon.