Being seasick is absolutely miserable, and there is no way to stop the motion until you’re back on land. Until the motion stops, there is very little that can make you feel 100% better.
Seasickness is a form of motion sickness and is thought to be caused by the visual and/or inner ear disorientation resulting from the moving ship competing with the body’s natural inclination for balance.
But, seasickness is not caused by motion alone. Scientific studies have shown that people can get seasick from suggestion alone – they can convince themselves that they will get seasick, and they will. Or they can stay busy and focused on other things, and not get seasick.
Because seasickness can be caused by suggestion, one of the worst things is to be around other people who are seasick. Seasickness can be contagious – a sure-fire way to get seasick is just by watching other people being sick.
Here are some ways to tackle seasickness:
- Tackle your brain. Tell yourself you don’t get seasick before you leave. Sometimes taking a natural herbal remedy acts like a placebo – it doesn’t actually have a physical effect, but because you have taken something you convince yourself you won’t get sick.
- Watch the horizon. Closing your eyes, going into a cabin, or focusing on the inside of the boat can be the worst thing to do once you’ve embarked. Looking out to the horizon can help the visual disorientation and reduce the symptoms of seasickness. But better not to get seasick in the first place.
- Be smart about what you consume. Don’t drink alcohol on board, and don’t have a big night before. Chew gum – the chewing can help the inner ear. Eat only dry salty food, like Saltines, other dry biscuits, or my favourite: Vegemite on dry bread.
- Wrist bands. There are two types: magnetic and acupressure. They work on applying pressure or magnets to a certain point on your arm which can help (or act like another placebo).
- Keep busy. Taking the helm can be one of the best cures for seasickness – you keep your eye on the horizon, you can anticipate the waves, and your are keeping busy. If you can’t drive the boat, then keeping busy with other things to take your mind off your body can also help.
- Natural remedies. Ginger is a well known natural remedy to stop nausea. Taking a ginger tablet, chewing ginger, sucking a ginger lozenge, or drinking ginger tea can all help.
- Drugs. There are many over-the-counter drugs for motion sickness. A lot of them can make you drowsy, so test a few until you find what works for you. Or go to your doctor for a stronger treatment for vertigo, or get a specific mix made by a pharmacist specially for you: Bova chemists.