Do you know why you suffer from motion sickness? It happens when your brain receives conflicting messages from the other systems in your body. When you are riding through a storm and your airplane is being tossed about by air turbulence, for example, this sets the stage for some mixed messages being sent to your brain. Your eyes don’t detect all the motion happening outside of the plane because all you see is the inside of the airplane, which remains stable. Then your brain receives messages that do not match with what other parts of you are sensing. This makes you airsick. Or you might be sitting in the backseat of a moving car reading a book. Your inner ears and skin receptors will detect the motion of the car traveling, but your eyes see only the stationary pages of your book. You then notice you become carsick.
So why do you feel queasy when you get motion sickness? The theory is that your brain tries to resolve this conflict between vision and balance by responding as if you had been poisoned. When your inner ear transmits to your brain that it senses motion, but your eyes tell the brain that everything is still, the brain comes to the conclusion that you are hallucinating. And that this hallucination is the result of being poisoned. So your brain then induces vomiting to clear the supposed toxins from your body. Which all chalks up to not much fun for you!
Is there anything you can do to help your body deal with motion sickness? First of all, try these simple tricks:
–If there’s a window, look out it. Gazing at the horizon in the direction of travel will help to send coordinated signals between your eyes and brain.
–If you are traveling by ship, request a cabin in the forward or middle of the ship or on the upper deck.
–If traveling by plane, ask for a seat over the front edge of a wing. Once on board, direct the air vent towards you.
–If traveling by train, take a seat near the front and next to a window. Make sure you face forward.
–If you?re traveling by car, sit in the front passenger’s seat, or drive yourself if you can.
–Keep your head still. Rest it against the seat back. –Close your eyes. Let your inner ear and nervous system send the signals to your brain and keep your eyes out of the equation. Better yet — try to nap.
–Know the triggers. Hunger, anxiety, and unpleasant odors like cigarette smoke can all aggravate motion sickness.
As far as natural remedies go, pack some crystallized ginger on your next trip and chew on it if you start to feel queasy. Ginger is a natural remedy for nausea and vomiting. Or bring along a thermos of ginger tea. This will help calm an upset stomach as well. In one clinical trial, 13 volunteers with a history of motion sickness were subjected to tests. The volunteers were assessed for nausea symptoms after having been pretreated with ginger or given nothing at all. It was found that ginger helped to significantly reduce feelings of nausea.
Buy ginger in supplement form and try taking two 500-mg capsules an hour before you travel.