Also known as motion sickness, seasickness happens when riding on a boat or a ship. Due to the rocking motion of a ship or boat on the water, one’s inner ear becomes unbalanced. This happens when the part of the brain, which controls the balance, becomes confused when the objects seen, such as furniture and pictures, change from being stationary to mobile.
Seasickness is characterized by cold sweat, upset stomach, fatigue, and usually ends up in vomiting and nausea. It affects many people, and sometimes it happen during the most inopportune times like when you are meeting someone on a yacht or spending your honeymoon on a cruise ship. Fortunately, there are many ways to manage or prevent seasickness from happening.
Stay in an Area with Less Motion
The middle area of a vessel has less motion compared to the stern and bow. Hence, stay close to this area and sit, relax, and take deep breaths of fresh air. If you are on a cruise ship, avoid staying in your room as much as possible, especially if your room is small as this can only aggravate your seasickness.
Divert your Attention
Redirect your attention by looking at the horizon. Since the horizon appears stationary and still, the brain will send signals to your inner ear, which then helps regain balance and relieves the seasick feeling.
Eat a Bland Diet
Though the cruise ship provides tempting foods, it is better to stick to plain or bland foods such as bread and crackers. You can also follow the so-called BRAT diet – banana, rice, applesauce, and toast. Avoid alcoholic drinks while sailing and only drink water and tea. If you experience vomiting, maintain fluid intake with sips of an electrolyte-containing beverage.
Ginger is known to be effective in providing relief for nausea. You can eat ginger cookies or take ginger capsules before sailing and make sure that you are consuming real ginger and not an artificial ginger flavoring. Also, taking frequent small sips of ginger ale with real ginger can significantly help in alleviating nausea.
Before the trip, you can purchase some over-the-counter medicines for seasickness. You can also ask for these medicines from the ship’s doctor. Or use anti-nausea patches, which are placed behind your ears to provide time-released medication for up to three days. It is best to talk to your physician prior to the trip and ask for prescription sedatives that can help combat seasickness.
Apply pressure to some acupressure points in your body such as your wrists. You can use motion sickness bands, which apply pressure to the nerve in your wrist to help relieve nausea. You can purchase these bands over the counter before your trip.
Steer the Boat
If you are out on a yacht with your family or friends, steering the boat can help you divert your concentration on something other than the feeling of seasickness. This allows you to look at the horizon and anticipate the movement of the boat.
Do Not Dwell on Feeling Sick
Avoid thoughts of feeling seasick. Keep your mind occupied on other things and stay active throughout the trip. This helps reduce the seasickness, allowing you to enjoy your trip.
Palpitations, decreased visions, difficulty swallowing, difficulty with speech, weakness in legs or arms, ringing in the ears, and headache are not symptoms of seasickness. If any of these happen and if the sea is not particularly rough and no one else is seasick, you should seek immediate medical attention.
This article was written together with Travis Guerrero, an avid health and nutrition blogger who loves sharing his tips so you can have a healthier life. They write this on behalf of Body Glove Hawaii and their great private charters. With a staff that’s understanding of people’s tendency to get seasick, they are sure to give you the best service possible. If you have a large group, make sure to consider their private charters!