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What is Motion Sickness

Motion sickness is dizziness, nausea and possibly vomiting that occurs when traveling in a moving vehicle such as a car, boat, or airplane.  Each form of transportation seems to have its own specific term (car sickness, sea sickness, altitude sickness) but all refer to the same problem.  The term “motion sickness” will be used throughout this material to refer to all of these forms of sickness.  The specific terms will be used only when the material is unique to that form of sickness. 

Motion sickness is usually just a minor annoyance and does not signify any serious medical illness.  Symptoms are often treatable and, even when not treated, the symptoms go away shortly after the motion stops.  However, severe cases and those that become progressively worse deserve the attention of a physician with specialized skills in diseases of the ear, nose, throat, equilibrium, and neurological systems.   


What Causes Motion Sickness?

Motion sickness is a conflict between your senses.  The brain relies on messages from your inner ear, muscles, and eyes to tell it how your body is moving. When any of these systems send different messages, you can get queasy.

Some examples include:

·         If you're reading in the car, your inner ear knows you're moving, but your muscles think that you are sitting still and your eyes don't see anything moving because they're looking at the page.

·         On an airplane or in the cabin of a boat or ship, your inner ear senses the motion, but your eyes only see the cabin, which looks stationary.  Your body may sense rolling motions that you cannot see from inside a cabin.

·         Conversely, during a "virtual reality" simulation, your eyes perceive movement that your body (inner ear and muscles) does not experience.

These conflicting signals end up at the nausea center of the brain and motion sickness is the result.

Motion sickness can be understood in more technical terms.  Our brains and body rely on the vestibular apparatus, the three semicircular canals of the inner ear, to maintain our balance.  Each canal detects our position within a certain plane of space, also known as our spatial orientation.  This allows us to move around in a three-dimensional world while remaining balanced. 

Each of the three canals is responsible for detecting a particular plane of space (up/down, left/right, front/back).  Within each of these canals are small calcium deposits that are called otoliths (ear stones). Anytime we move out of a particular plane of space these little stones move and nerve transmissions send signals to our brain.  In most situations of movement, this is not a problem for the brain to handle. However, in some situations in which movement is chaotic (like in a boat, car or airplane) the brain may misinterpret the nerve transmissions.  For some this may eventually cause queasiness, nausea and possibly vomiting.

As noted earlier, our sense of sight can contribute to our brain’s confusion about our position and movement.  Some smells can also contribute to the onset of nausea and vomiting, so it’s best to avoid nauseating odors. 


Symptoms of Motion Sickness

Motion sickness produces a whole range of symptoms, of which nausea and vomiting are the most severe. Symptoms generally follow a path of increasing severity.  Abrupt vomiting without early warning or the presence of other symptoms is rare, usually only occurring in space flight and other zero-G situations.

Early indications of motion sickness onset may include:

bullet Pallor (paleness, especially in the face)
bullet Headache
bullet Increased salivation and swallowing
bullet Eructation (the medical term for belching and burping)
bullet Flatulence (the medical term for passing gas)
bullet Feeling Faint
bullet Feeling cold and clammy
bullet Breaking out in sweat, especially on the upper lip or forehead
bullet Yawning and drowsiness OR feeling giddy or restless

 As symptoms build, the following may occur: 

bullet Upset stomach
bullet Nausea (the sensation associated with anticipation of vomiting)
bullet Emesis (the medical term for vomiting)
bullet Retching (unproductive vomiting movements or dry heaves).



Prevent Motion Sickness


Motion sickness occurs for many people while riding in cars, airplanes, boats, trains or amusement rides.  They often feel queasy or nauseous and get a headache.  Children are more likely to get motion sickness than adults.  The most common age for children to get motion sickness are ages 3 to 12.  Women are at higher risk than men especially during menstruation and pregnancy.


When a person is in a vehicle that moves continuously and forcefully, the organ of balance in their inner ear is affected, causing motion sickness. Motion sickness is likely to happen if a person is also worried about having an attack, if the air is stuffy or filled with fumes, or if the person has just eaten a big meal. Just looking at food can make motion sickness worse.

In motion sickness, a discrepancy exists between expected sensory stimuli and those that are actually perceived by the brain. These unexpected signals translate into a confused message by the brain, leading to the development of symptoms. Generally, symptoms disappear once the brain adapts to the new pattern of motion.

Symptoms and Complications:

Mild motion sickness may cause a headache and make someone feel a little uncomfortable with mild nausea. In bad cases, people may become very anxious, sweat or salivate a lot, become pale and nauseous, and start to vomit. There are no serious complications to worry about.

How to Prevent Motion Sickness without Drugs:

One way is to exert a gentle pressure on the P-6 accupressure point, located on the underside of each wrist.   This pressure actually blocks the nausea/vomiting signaling process between the brain and stomach.  

Accupressure Products that Prevent Motion Sickness without Drugs:

  1. The ReliefBand is an active device that stimulates the P-6 accupressure point with low-level electrical pulses across two small electrodes.  These electrical pulses will stimulate the P-6 accupressure point blocking the nausea/vomiting signal process.  The ReliefBand is FDA Cleared for relief of motion sickness.  This active device works on more severe cases of motion sickness.
  2. Magna Band is a passive wrist band with a magnetic button that is worn around the wrist.  The button is positioned on the P-6 accupressure point on the underside of the wrist.  This pressure will stimulate the P-6 accupressure point blocking the nausea/vomiting signal process.  This passive device works well for minor symptoms of motion sickness.
  3. The Sea Bands is a passive wrist band with a button that is worn around the wrist.  The button is positioned on the P-6 accupressure point on the underside of the wrist.  This pressure will stimulate the P-6 accupressure point blocking the nausea/vomiting signal process.  This passive device works well for minor symptoms of motion sickness.

Herbal Products that Prevent Motion Sickness without Drugs:

  1. Motion Eaze: Motion Eaze uses natural oils applied behind the ear to relieve the symptoms of motion sickness (40 applications).
  2. Sailor's Secret Premium Ginger is a natural choice for travelers today.   Recent studies have shown that the root of Ginger, a food-safe spice, may be as effective in treating symptoms of motion sickness as other drug treatments with little or no side effect.
  3. On The Move is a blend of peppermint, ginger root, licorice root, valerian root, catnip and cayenne.  These natural herbs are combined to relieve the symptoms associated with motion sickness.
  4. Gin Gins hard ginger candy is the natural way to relieve motion sickness.  Take them with you wherever you go and enjoy them whenever you feel nauseated
  5. Queasy Pops: Queasy Pops are effective due to our special formulation of essential oils from natural herbs and aromatherapy.

Homeopathic Solutions

  1. Sea Sik is a Homeopathic Oral Spray remedy for motion or sickness. Just spray under you tongue for relief of sea or motion sickness.  Nothing to swallow(40 Applications)