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Beating motion sickness

Last update: Jul. 9, 2015, at 12:06 pm

Summer vacation is finally here! And this year you’re rewarding yourself with a trip with family or friends.

If, like many Quebecers, you suffer from motion sickness, car rides can quickly become your enemy. Here are a few practical and natural tips to help you limit unpleasantness and enjoy your vacation to the fullest.

First, why do car rides make us dizzy?

When we’re in a moving vehicle, our inner ear and related organs are affected. There is a disconnect between the stimuli our brain expects and those perceived by the inner ear—which is responsible for balance. This sends the brain scrambled signals, and that’s when symptoms like nausea, discomfort, and vomiting occur.

Enough theory! What can be done about it?

Ground rules

  • Take the front seat. Vehicle movement is generally less abrupt in the front. If you have to ride economy class (in the back seat!), sit in the middle. There may be less room, but you’ll have a view of the entire horizon, which will help keep your brain from getting mixed up. You can also offer to take a turn at the wheel. Being in control of the vehicle can greatly diminish the effects of motion sickness. Bonus: your fellow driver(s) will thank you!
  • Mind your senses! Avoid reading—save your book or any fervent texting for your final destination. Look straight ahead instead of watching vehicles going the other way. As for your nose, ventilation is very important—open the windows and politely ask your dear old aunt to refrain from smoking.
  • Eat light. Before hitting the road, steer clear of supersized combo meals. Eat easier-to-digest light meals or snacks.
  • Get a good night’s sleep. Fatigue and lack of sleep can increase nausea. A pit stop for a short nap will help relieve your woes.

Tested for you by our team!

Just for you, our fearless team has tested various remedies and accessories that seem to help eliminate motion sickness. Of course we can’t guarantee the results, which can vary from person to person. Not convinced? Try them out yourself!

  • Anti-static strap: Maybe you’ve seen a strap dragging on the ground behind some cars. These straps eliminate static electricity inside the car that apparently causes nausea. You can find them for sale online and from auto parts retailers.
    Verdict: No car sickness!
  • Ginger capsules: A number of studies have shown that ginger is effective in fighting nausea. And it doesn’t cause drowsiness like anti-nausea medications can.
    Verdict: Does eliminate nausea, but stimulates the appetite! Bring a snack for the road.
  • Fabric softener sheet: Apparently, sitting on a dryer sheet can be effective in controlling static electricity, thereby eliminating nausea.
    Verdict: Doesn’t work at all.
  • Peppermint essential oil: Among its many other known properties, this natural product aids digestion and alleviates nausea.
    Verdict: A drop applied above and below the navel helped relieve motion sickness for about three hours. Be careful not to apply too much—the strong minty odour might be too much!

What do you do to beat motion sickness?


Other topics of interest:

Desjardins Insurance refers to Desjardins General Insurance Inc. in Quebec and to Certas Direct Insurance Company in Ontario and Alberta. Certain restrictions, exclusions and limitations may apply.

Ajusto is available from Desjardins Insurance. ® Ajusto is a registered trademark of Desjardins General Insurance Inc., used with permission by Certas Direct Insurance Company. The discount does not apply to certain endorsements and additional coverages. It will be automatically applied to the premium at the time of renewal. Ajusto is only available in Ontario and Quebec.

All information is provided for information purposes only, and Desjardins Insurance cannot be held liable for it. We recommend using caution and consulting a property and casualty insurance agent for comprehensive, personalized advice.

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