Dawn Boomerangs

The dreaded Seasickness

An unfortunate part about cruising that has the potential to make life incredibly uncomfortable.
The information below is for informative purposes so please make sure that you check with a medical professional before you take any sort of medications or remedies that have been mentioned. If you intend to bring medications with you please check with Australian Customs website for what you can and cannot bring into Australia, particularly fresh ginger.


sea·sick·ness

n.
Motion sickness resulting from the pitching and rolling of a ship or boat in water, especially at sea


Wikipedia

Seasickness is a form of motion sickness characterized by a feeling of nausea and, in extreme cases, vertigo, experienced after spending time on a craft on water. Some people are particularly vulnerable to the condition with minor stimulus, while others are relatively immune, or become immune through exposure. It is hazardous for scuba divers who, through dehydration following vomiting, are at increased risk of decompression illness.

It is common wisdom that this annoyance is caused by the rocking motion of the craft. Indeed when we run, dance or ski, we give to our abdominal parts a much more intense shock, without any major side effect. Consequently most people tend to concentrate on the inner surroundings, or close the eyes and try to sleep. This will cause the worst effect of the disturbance.

The real cause is in the mind, which receives conflicting signals: while the eyes show a world that is still, our body, and in particular the equilibrium sensors located in our ears, send signals of a moving environment. This discordance causes the mind to send to the whole body a general alarm signal, in order to stop all activities, in particular the most complex of all: the digestion process.

Prevention and remedy

The only, and quite simple way, to re-synchronize the signals is a conduct that will help our eyes to send the proper information of the movement.

First of all, try to sit outside. If inside, stay in a position where you can see though the windows on as many sides of the outside world as possible.

Focus on the horizon, turning the head repeatedly on both sides. Contrast the tendency of the eyes to focus on the objects nearby. Soon you will experience the alternate switching of the reference system from that of the ship, where this is still and the windows show moving pictures, to that of the outside world, in which the horizon is perfectly still and the contours of the ship, out of focus, move much like if you were standing on a huge surfboard.

If you can stabilize on this latter reference system, the disturbance will disappear almost immediately.

There are behavioural methods to help the synchronization of the senses, such as being fully aware of the movements of the boat and anticipating them. It may help to imagine you are actually driving the ship: put you hands on the front seat as if it were a steering wheel, and make the accompanying slight movements of the whole body. Avoid reading, watching TV, and even talking to neighbours. After some time, depending on the individual, the mind will be oriented, and it will be possible to resume all normal activities.

Drugs are not effective for everyone, moreover they treat the effects not the cause. However, the following is a list of those that are most commonly prescribed or taken:

Over-the-counter medications such as Cinnarizine/Stugeron and prescription medications such as dimenhydrinate, scopolamine and promethazine (as transdermal patches and tablets) are readily available. As these medications often have side effects, anyone involved in high-risk activities while at sea (such as SCUBA divers) must evaluate the risks versus the benefits. Promethazine is especially known to cause drowsiness, which is often counteracted by ephedrine in a combination known as “the Coast Guard cocktail.

Ginger capsules are also considered effective in preventing motion sickness.


Links

The Ginger People is a site that I stumbled across while researching travel sickness cures they have a wide variety of products you can purchase online in the USA, Australia and Europe, just go to the site and click on the flag for more info.

Pretorious Travel Sickness

Natures Sunshine Ginger

Natures Own Travel Well

Puritans Pride Ginger Root

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