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How to Beat Motion Sickness


People who suffer from motion sickness don't have to grin and bear it; there are medicinal and nonmedicinal ways to quell the queasies. But sometimes it takes trial and error to find the best remedy, says Stern.

"It is important not to travel on an empty stomach," says Stern. "Any small, low-fat meal should help. Fat is very bad. Fat, greasy meals bring about changes in the body that will contribute to the development of nausea. Take along food for snacks to eat every couple of hours."

Stern recently completed a study showing that a high-protein liquid drink is better than a high-carbohydrate liquid drink for reducing nausea. "It used to be thought things like crackers were best [for nausea], but from our work we have decided that protein would be even better," he says.

"If you are going by car, if you can be the driver, I can almost guarantee you won't get motion sickness," says Stern. "The next best thing is to sit in the passenger seat, look out the front window a lot, so that you see the curves coming up in the road, you see the stop sign, etc.

"Wrist bands help a lot of people by applying pressure to the P6 point according to traditional Chinese medicine. That point supposedly controls nausea," says Stern. If your body adapts to the wristband and you start feeling symptoms again, Stern advises using your thumb to put pressure on the spot, which is located on the inner arm about 1.5 inches above the crease of the wrist, between the two tendons there.

A new FDA-approved device, called the ReliefBand, sends a small electrical current through the same spot. The band sells for $125 through online retailers.

Stern has been involved in some of the studies on the band. "It has been very helpful for people with motion sickness and morning sickness, and now it is being tried on people undergoing chemotherapy," he says.

As for which approach -- pressure or electrical current -- works best, Stern says it is "quite individual."

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