Grow Youthful: How to Slow Your Aging and Enjoy Extraordinary Health
Grow Youthful: How to Slow Your Aging and Enjoy Extraordinary Health

Motion sickness / travel / sea sickness

What is motion sickness?

Symptoms of motion sickness

Prevention / treatment / remedies for motion sickness

References

What is motion sickness?

Motion sickness (travel sickness, kinetosis, sea sickness, air sickness, car sick) is when you feel sick if you travel by boat, ship, car, air or train, or if your body is subjected to other types of movement. After the movement begins, it can take from a few seconds up to many minutes before the nausea starts. Some people are more susceptible to motion sickness than others.

The conventional thinking is that motion sickness is caused by a conflict between your senses. Your vestibular system (a fluid-filled canal in your inner ear that controls your sense of balance) tells your brain that your body is moving, while your eyes, looking at your seat, cabin etc, tell your brain that you are not moving.

However Thomas Stoffregen (1) argues that the problem does not arise in the inner ear, but rather in a disturbance in the body’s system for maintaining posture. He argues that people become nauseated in situations where they have not yet learned strategies to maintain a stable posture.

Looking down into your lap to consult a map or trying to read a book while a passenger in a car can bring on motion sickness.

About one third of people are susceptible to motion sickness even in mild circumstances such as being on a boat in calm water. Two thirds of people are susceptible in more severe conditions.

Sudden jerky movements are worse for motion sickness than slow smooth movements.

After a couple of days on a boat or ship, most people get their "sea legs" and the problem disappears.

Symptoms of motion sickness

Prevention / treatment / remedies for motion sickness

Orientation
Food & drink

Environment & other suggestions

References

1. Thomas Stoffregen, Director, School of Kinesiology, University of Minnesota. September 2013.