In my recent travels, I discovered that I had motion sickness. It surprised me to learn the onset of this phenomenon can be during adulthood. People who were sensitive to motion sickness at a young age may grow out of it.
I’ve always been able to handle roller coasters, swings and even cruises. Everyone of course has different thresholds. It wasn’t until the speedy and rocky speedboat the other week nailed me. I was nauseated and dizzy. Typical motion sickness! I had to remedy the situation since I knew I had 2 more hours to go until I reached port.
There are multiple sensory systems that register movements including inner ears and eyes. Also included is something called proprioceptive input which is the sensory feedback in your joints that tell you where your body is in space. When the senses send mixed messages to the brain the body’s reaction is that ill feeling.
An example is a rocking boat not not registering in the brain as this experience but ‘decoding’ it as ‘get rid of this internal bug!’
Symptoms vary. Most often motion sickness is characterized by stuffy, sweaty, dizzy, nausea, and even feelings of lethargy.
Even as I attempted to be mindful about the specific experience I experienced most of the above feelings. This called for action.
These are the alternative methods I trailed and work for me:
The lingering warm, spicy sensation from sucking ginger candy on the back of my throat and while digesting soothed and eliminated nausea feelings. It also thinned out the air I was breathing in.
Ginger gum, on the other hand, was not effective. Once the flavor ran out I was swallowing air while chewing. This made those motion sickness feelings worse!
This is a small elastic bracelet that also is referred to as accupressure bracelets. Beads push on certain pressure points on the forearm near the wrist. Nausea feelings were less but didn’t make it go away.
This is an occupational therapy strategy. Joint compressions organize sensory stimuli. The medical terminology for this is proprioception. To do this you apply quick pressure, or compression, on a joint then release it. This instantly cured motion sickness but it’s a controversial remedy.
Occupational therapy practitioners go through training and certification to manually provide this therapeutic modality correctly. The current YouTube videos on this technique demonstrate errors in facilitating it except for this one. One of GIG Design’s team members is certified in this technique so I exercise caution as I share this remedy. It was genuinely the most effective, therefore it would be a disgrace to not divulge it’s effectiveness.
To use this technique properly seek an occupational therapy professional who was trained by joint compression pioneer Patricia Wallbarger.
Try it: lightly grasp one of the midsection of your hands with the other. Something like awkward hand-holding without intertwining the fingers. Now gently pull the hand away from the arm for one second then release it. Think of this motion as opening the wrist joint to let it take a breath.
Joints compressions are facilitated by someone on the shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees, and ankles. The focus is on gross motor (bigger movement) joints instead of the small ones, like knuckles.
Another set of joints that create a gross motor group is the spine. To facilitate compressions on the spine is by interlacing your fingers then place them palm down on top of the head. Sit upright then gently apply downward pressure on the skull and release. It’s a quick 1-second compression.
The greatest of all was deep inhalations and exhalations of fresh air. As I looked into the horizon while deep breathing I was exercising the vagas nerve – the largest, most effective stress reducing and self-medicating remedy of them all. All it takes is the act to stop, breathe deeply as much as time allows. What more can you ask for…and it’s free!