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Motion Sickness (cont.)

Self-Care at Home

Some people who have had multiple and severe experiences with motion sickness have been helped by physical therapy that uses recurrent head movements and visual cues to replicate the environment that induced sickness, but this is not a common form of treatment. This is based upon the principle that habituation to certain movements and motions (getting accustomed to the type of motion) can occur, leading to a decrease in motion sickness over time when repeatedly exposed to the same movements.

Clinical trials have yielded mixed results concerning the value of acupressure (pressure at the P6 acupressure point on the anterior wrist, located three fingerbreadths proximal to the proximal wrist fold). Manual pressure or pressure using a bracelet or wrist band has been reported to be effective for motion sickness in some studies, but other studies have failed to show a benefit.

Due to the characteristics of the vestibular system, the brain senses motion in a frame of reference centered upon the earth rather than on the individual. Therefore, keeping the eyes fixed upon the horizon or land while on a ship or boat can reduce motion sickness. Likewise, when in a car, individuals prone to motion sickness should sit in the front seat and gaze out the window rather than looking at a book, map, or computer.

Taking 1-2 grams of ginger orally has been used as an alternative medicine to prevent motion sickness. Studies both in experimental motion sickness and in naval cadets at sea have found that ginger, taken in advance, has reduced the symptoms of motion sickness. It is believed, however, that this benefit is due to the effects of ginger on gastric (stomach) motility rather than suppression of sensory input.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/24/2014

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