Motion Sickness: The Why and How

Ever wonder why you get “car sick” when you’re trying to read Harry Potter for the 6th time as you road trip with your to Northern California? I sure as heck did, so I did some research.

About a third of the population suffers from motion sickness. Motion sickness can be described as feeling nauseous, sweaty, or just generally uncomfortable when you’re in a moving vehicle. No one has concrete evidence on why it happens, but I found an interesting theory.

So when your brother decides to take you out on a joyride in your father’s Mustang, you’re probably feeling sick from something called Sensory Conflict. Your eyes are telling you that you’re staying in one place but you’re ears are telling you you’re accelerating.

Wait, your ears? Yep, your ears.

There is a vestibular system deep inside your ear that detects balance and motion. While traveling on an airplane or a train, your eyes and ears are getting conflicting signals. That’s why you throw up on your dad’s nice upholstery! 🙂

We can guess what causes it now, but that’s no good to us unless we know how to cure it. Probably the best route to go is ginger. Chop some of it up, stick it in hot water, leave it for a bit, and then drink up! If you’re not a huge fan of the taste then I suggest to cut some up and swallow it whole from a spoon to get it over with. I try to not put anything in my body that can’t be found in nature so for other natural remedies you could try:

  • smelling lavender, peppermint or rose extract
  • opening a window and breathe in some fresh air. try sticking your head out the window like a doggie!
  • if you’re in a car, sit in the passenger seat
  • tequila!!
  • ^^^just kidding that’s probably the worst thing you could do.
  • give yourself a little massage. this is known as acupressure and you should rub yourself about two inches below your wrists

All these work pretty well but I’d say your best bet is the ginger.

So there you have it! Motion sickness is caused by your very own body not understanding what’s going on (nice job brain). I hope you use this new information to help you out next time you feel queasy on a train, boat, car, or airplane. Good luck!


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