Feeling Travel Sick? Your Brain Thinks It’s being Poisoned

Travel sickness may only affect the unfortunate few but it can ruin their holidays and put a dampener on their travel companions. As if they haven’t suffered enough, an academic now believes that its because modern transport tricks the brain into thinking we’ve been poisoned!

His theory is that our bodies have not yet evolved to cope with the body being moved but not performing movements itself. The result is the brain thinks the body needs to remove a toxin and hence induces vomiting.

Unfortunately his theory as to why it happens hasn’t suggested a cure that prevents it from happening. (So best keep this new theory to yourself when sitting next to someone suffering from travel sickness. Explaining to them that their bodies think they’re being poisoned probably isn’t something they’ll want to hear).

Given how many people suffer around the world its not surprising that all sorts of cures have been put forward; some involve medication, some are more natural and some are, frankly, bizarre.

Amongst the natural remedies, ginger emerges as the clear leader. Other natural cures we were intrigued by was listening to your favourite music, drinking peppermint tea, eating pumpkin seeds or sliced apple, dabbing cold water behind the ears and eating a light meal high in protein before the trip (it apparently helps to calm your stomach).

For those of you who like your gadgets, you’ll be pleased to hear that there are several wearable devices on the market that claim to beat the nausea blues.

An Israeli start up company recently invented a neck brace (apparently it looks like a cross between a cervical collar worn after a whiplash injury and an airplane travel pillow). According to its inventors ‘the brace transmits pulses to the brain through both the median nerve at the back of the neck and the inner ear’s vestibular… The customized frequencies sent to the body and brain help reduce symptoms of motion sickness’. Enough said.

And the bizarre ones? ‘Sitting on brown paper’ struck us as the oddest along with ‘hanging a chain off the back of the car’.

On second thoughts, we think we prefer the ginger.


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