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:
As symptoms build, the following may occur:
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:
Herbal Products that Prevent Motion Sickness without Drugs: