Monday, May 23, 2011
Travel Sickness: Alternative Help
I've been in travel mode the past little while and therefore have been watching others traveling as well. Some people do it better than others. With the first day of sunshine and blue sky we've seen in awhile, I'm also reminded that it is tourist travel time as school starts to wind down and summer begins. In my part of the world, that means people sign up for boat tours and ferry crossings. Many families pack cars and R.V's for adventure. If however, your stomach, or even worse another family members' stomach, doesn't hold up well to this sense of adventure- read on. There are alternative therapies for motion or travel sickness.
From the homeopathic world, Nux Vomica is the remedy to first consider for nausea caused by motion sickness. The remedy is derived from the Quaker button plant. As with many homeopathic remedies, the plant itself is poisonous. The plant is sometimes referred to as the vomiting nut. For the preparation, seeds of the plant are ground into a powder and the mixture is successed and diluted.
People that typically benefit from nux vomica are often pretty intense individuals. They tend to come from the workaholic clan and believe in working hard and partying hard. They tend to overdo things. This can be translated into their vacation plans. They may insist on long adventures that take people past the point of comfort. They have been known to indulge in rich or unfamiliar food, often drink lots of coffee and alcohol, and can become so wound up they find it difficult to sleep. If your personality type matches with that of the nux vomica description, this remedy may be helpful for a number of complaints including bachache,influenza or colds, coughs, sore throat, headache and any number of gastrointestional symptoms. Even if the personality type is not an exact match, you may find the remedy helpful for the symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and light-headedness that are typical of motion sickness.
Nux Vomica can be helpful for the constant nausea of travel sickness as well as nausea that progresses to vomiting. The nausea may be accompanied by a faint feeling. The vomiting is often worse due to over-eating and is often described as feeling like food poisoning. As well as being known as a cure for travel sickness, Nux Vomica is also often referred to as the "hangover cure" and can be helpful for such symptoms of over-indulgence.
Nux Vomica is sometimes sold under the name colubrina. It's a great remedy to have in your first aid kit and your travel bag. Nux Vomica is taken in the typical fashion of any homeopathic. For more information on this check out an earlier blog post at http://pixiedusthealing.blogspot.com/2011/04/homeopathic-remedies-dose-and-frequency.html
From the Bach Flower essence collection, Scleranthus may be helpful for travel sickness complaints. Bach flowers are not matched to physical signs and symptoms the way homeopathic preparations are, but instead correspond to emotions. There is however, often, maybe always, a link between emotions and physical complaints. Scleranthus is indicated for people that are feeling indecisive, uncertain, and can't choose between two things. Scleranthus is indicated when you are out of balance, and travel sickness is typically caused by those issues of imbalance. People are often out of their comfort zone when traveling. In fact, the point of travel is often to experience change and adventure. Sometimes that type of change is difficult to manage and you may find yourself unable to figure out whether you are actually hungry or not, what you want to eat or drink, whether you should be sleeping or driving, or taking the plane or the boat. These swinging emotions can affect your stomach to the point of feeling nauseated. For this type of complaint, Scleranthus may be helpful. It can bring you back to a sense of poise and balance where you are able to make decisions, stand firmly on your feet and stop the swinging motion of the waves! For more information on Scleranthus, check out the earlier post
Finally, there is yet another alternative for travel sickness: wrist bands. I was first introduced to these bands over fifteen years ago when I was working as a flight medic. There is nothing quite like the enclosed space of a small helicopter bobbing up and down, or twelve hours in a non-pressurized fixed wing craft through some dubious take off and landings, to test the composure of your stomach. A lot of flight personnel considered their wrist bands as standard uniform issue and wore them religiously. These bands are marketed under a number of different names but they pretty much all look alike. They have a stretchy elastic band with a button device on the band. You place the band, according to the instructions provided, on your wrist and the button acts as a acupressure device applying pressure to stop the nerve impulse that suggests your stomach might want to release it's contents. For some brands you are instructed to wear one on each wrist, other companies claim one band is enough. You can find these devices in almost any drug store. They are often in tourist gift shops, particularly those close to ferry crossings or water sports, and always in airports.
None of the above treatments will cause drowsiness, although some will help you sleep better if you want to! None have any side effects, and it is safe to operate machinery when taking any of the above, assuming you have the talent to operate such a device in the first place! Do some experimenting. Find what works for you. Listen to your body and enjoy your holiday!!