I love traveling. Yet, sometimes the haunting reminder of jet lag, and motion sickness from my last trip, has me reconsidering those vacations across the pond. I don’t know about you, but I am not a fan of the spacey feeling you get from being away from the ground so long. I find that getting back to a regular schedule is always a battle.
Before you leave, which is when I hope you are reading this, is the time when you are planning for strategies you can use. Here are some useful tips to support you and your family during your vacation travels.
Jet Lag Strategies
Travel Timing Strategies. While I agree it seems like you lose less time when you travel over night, if possible traveling in daylight-to-daylight is better. The sun helps to set our circadian clock. When we are exposed to light in the middle of what our body considers night it has a greater impact on our circadian cycle (Duffy, 2009).
Flight Strategies. As soon as I get on a plane, I’m ready for a nap. However, napping during daylight and then waking up when its dark is going to through you into a jet wash for days. If you do need to nap on the flight try to limit it to 30 – 40 minutes maximum. Try to limit nap time to no longer than a nap at home. This avoids confusing your body to think it is settling in for its nightly rest.
Homeopathics. A safe, gentle system of medicine used for thousands of years. These traditional medicines work in many people to relieve symptoms of jet lag. Homeopathics are safe for children and pregnant women.
- Arnica – is useful for relieving exhaustion associated with travel. Dosing: two times a day on day of departure and arrival and use every 2 hours during flight (if awake)
- Cocculus – when you feel like you are still in motion and it makes it difficult to sleep
- Gelsemium – when the body feels exhausted and heavy (even the eyelids) helps to lift the sense of paralysis from flight
Earthing/Grounding (Zucker, 2010). When our body is prevented from checking in with the earth and gravity, it gets disoriented. This is part of why even when we land our bodies feel like we are still moving and flying.
So, how do you earth/ground? Kick off your shoes and walk around barefoot in the grass or sand for 20-30 minutes. Make it fun. Dance around and celebrate that you are on vacation (or arriving back home). If weather makes it difficult to get at one with the earth, some people recommend lying on the floor for 20 minutes. Try to create a large surface area with your body that can connect with gravity.
Motion Sickness, Nausea and That Not So Good Feeling in Your Tummy
By boat, car, flight, bus, or even in those 3D movies, that nauseous feeling is very real and can be very debilitating.
The good news is there are a number of strategies to battle motion sickness, and you have a year full of adventure travels to figure out which one(s) work best for you.
Nutrition. B vitamins play an effective role in helping to treat nausea from morning sickness as well as motion sickness. It is good to start nutrients at least 3 days prior to departure. Some people find taking B vitamins on an empty stomach can induce some nausea so it is always best to take them with food. Whether you ingest them as supplements or support them as food products, these vitamins have been shown to help reduce nausea.
- B6 (Pyridoxine) – rich sources of B6 include brown rice, peanuts, avocados, bananas
- B1 (Thiamine) – is critical for the nervous system and brain functioning individuals lacking in B1 may feel more anxious and irritable. Sources of B1 include: pork, beans, nuts and seeds
- B-Complex – you can select a broad spectrum B-Complex, be sure it includes B6 and B1
Botanicals. Carminative herbs can help to relax the body stopping abdominal/intestinal muscle pains, contractions and gripping pains, while reduce gas discomfort.
- Peppermint – having a soothing peppermint tea, or dropping 2 – 3 drops of essential oil in water
- Ginger – taking some ginger tea, or ingesting a few ginger root capsules
- Chai Tea – Cardamom, ginger and cinnamon are all carminatives helpful in relieving nausea
Homeopathy. Many people find a good matching homeopathic to their symptoms can help to resolve them right away. Not sure which one to choose, try and recall how you (or your children) felt on during their last period of nausea. You can also combine a few of the remedies together and cover all basis.
How to take remedies for nausea:
Dissolve 2 pellets in water (approximately 1 cup). Stir to help break them up, or drop in a water bottle and shake. The amount of water doesn’t matter too much. Continually sip this while feeling unwell (every 10 minutes). Alternatively, you can dissolve the pellets under your tongue if the idea of drinking water is too much.
|Cocculus ** Most Common Remedy for Nausea – can be taken 2 days prior to prevent motion sicknes||Vertigo with motion sickness. Loathing food, car or seasickness, even watching moving objects. Better with swallowing|
|Borax||Upset by downward motion (elevator, airplane, stairs, rocking, lying down). Better with pressure, holding their side, and open air.|
|Bryonia||Nausea and vomiting with slightest motion, even looking at moving objects. Pressure like a stone in the stomach. Thirst for large amounts.|
|Ipecac||Horrible nausea, hanging down sensation in the stomach. Much salivation. Offensive Breath. Unrelieved even temporarily by vomiting. Nothing gives relief|
|Petroleum||Air, sea or motion sickness. Nausea with accumulated water in the mouth. Better from eating, lying with head high, in warm air.|
|Sepia||Horrible nausea and empty sensation in stomach. Nausea from the thought of food.|
|Tabacum||Deathly nausea, patient appears green or very pale. Weak and sweating with nausea and faintness. Dreads motion. Better with fresh cold air, closing eyes.|
- Does your child love to be held? Try adding an ice pack to base of skull and solar plexus for 20 minutes to relieve nausea.
- Read or listen to music while riding.
- Try to keep eyes from outdoor scenery as it flashes past.
- Sip steamy, hot drinks or hold moist hot towels against the nose when riding. Especially if dry air in vehicle dries out nasal passages.
You can place ear seeds or the traveling copper bands on the acupuncture point PC6. This will help to release tension and should also help reduce nausea.
Starting from the wrist, measure down with three fingers as shown in the picture to the right. Where your third finger touches the middle of your wrist is the acupoint.
You can take the ear seed (similar to a poppyseed on a piece of tape) and apply it here with firm pressure, pressing against it can also help. You may find this mildly uncomfortable.
Only apply enough pressure to interrupt the normal blood flow but not too much that it causes pain. You can leave the seeds here until the fall off. Hold this pressure point and gently knead your thumb in a tight circular motion for about 2 minutes. Do this to both wrists and you will feel your anxiety and nausea descend immediately.
- Duffy, Jeanne F., and Charles A. Czeisler. “Effect of light on human circadian physiology.” Sleep medicine clinics2 (2009): 165-177. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2717723/#R122
- Zucker, Martin. “Earthing the Most Important Health Discovery Ever?” Townsend Letter, May 2010. http://www.townsendletter.com/May2010/earthing0510.html
Need Specific Strategies for Your Family?
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The Author, Christina Carew, is a naturopathic doctor who practices strategic medicine in Toronto.
As a medical investigator she focuses on finding the biomedical reasons for symptoms that are often unique to each patient.
She helps her patients remove the obstacles that stand in the way of living a healthy vibrant life. Christina focuses on empowering patients to make informed decisions on their health journey.
Note: This blog provides general information and discussion about medicine, health and related subjects. The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed health care worker.