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Motion Sickness: Do those wristbands really work?

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If you love to travel, but are prone to motion sickness, your dream trip can become a nightmare in a hurry. Learning what works best for you is the key.

Designer fashion motion sickness wristbands come in a variety of styles and prices. Click the image for details on these designer bands.

True Confession: I am prone to motion sickness. Hard to imagine that a seasoned traveler like I am turns green in rough seas or long bus rides, but it’s true. Always been that way; always will be.

My kids know that putting me in one of those flight simulators or any non-moving device that has a roller-coaster type of movie showing will pretty much finish me for the rest of the day. I’m going to need to lie down in a cool, dark place and recover.

Few things can ruin a trip faster than motion sickness

One of my worst challenges was flying in a little 4-seater over the Nasca lines in Peru. Our pilot, who was squeezed into the plane shoulder-to-shoulder with me, seemed to delight in making acrobatic aerial maneuvers that pitched us back and forth as we peeked down at the giant figures on the Earth’s surface. I kept it together, but convincing my stomach to hold onto my lunch of lomo soltado was a real challenge.

On the plus side, I once finished a massive and delicious meal on a pitching cruise ship. After dinner, I hurried to my stateroom, and managed to, uh, make room for the midnight chocolate extravaganza in a most unpleasant way. Trust me, the food tasted much better on the first leg of the journey than it did on the return.

Pills, potions and pressure points

So, rest assured, I’ve experimented with all manner of remedies and precautions. Dramamine, Bonine, candied ginger. You name it, I’ve tried it … all with varying degrees of success.

Then I saw the motion sickness wristbands. Hmmm, an acupuncture approach. Maybe those would work. With a cruise coming up, I quickly ordered up a pair. They arrived in time and I soon found myself on deck wearing what appeared to be sweat bands on my wrists and looking as if I was up for a rousing game of tennis. But, hey, if they helped, I didn’t mind.

Motion sickness wristbands

The bands featured a pointy nub that, according to the instructions, was to be placed on a certain pressure point. I wasn’t certain how my stomach was going to react, but my wrists sure hurt like crazy. Maybe the discomfort in my wrists was to force my mind to focus on the pinpoint pain and not the rumblings in my belly. Whatever, I was willing to endure some discomfort to avoid the debilitating effects of seasickness.

To be honest, the bands didn’t help me. I ended up resorting to pills to calm my queasy stomach. But others have reported great results. Maybe it’s the placebo effect. Maybe their pressure points are more or less sensitive than mine. Maybe I’m just different from the other guys. I don’t know.

Do what works for you.

I am aware that these devices have been tested and tested. Even Mythbusters put them through the paces. For those in need of scientific evidence, there’s a study in a refereed medical journal about them.

In the end, it doesn’t make any difference if it’s a bitter pill to swallow, a stick-on patch behind your ear, or something up your sleeve. The only thing that matters is that your trip isn’t ruined by motion sickness.

As for wristbands, if they work for you, then use them. And, honestly, I don’t think it matters whether they are the expensive designer models or the cheap bands available at the local drugstore. If they keep you from hugging the commode, then great.

I just wish they’d worked for me.

  1. I personally love the motion sickness bands. I discovered them during my third pregnancy and they certainly did wonders. As for setting out on the high seas, that is just around the corner for me and with my bands in hand I am well prepared for the adventure.

  2. Marybeth says:

    The bands work great for me for car rides, flying, skydiving, and while i’m on my brother’s boat. I also bring ginger ale along with me and mint gum. However, i went on a cruise and by the second night they didn’t help. I ended up getting the patch that you place behind your ear and it worked great for me. Unfortunately, i felt a little ‘medicated’ but it was worth it. also, you can try acupuncture and see if that helps.

  3. pete issokson says:

    I like your web site very mucho. Lots of great articles of great places to visit. I’d very much like to have a site as nice as yours.
    Keep up the great work, and hope to see you on one of these beaches one day.

  4. I believe the wrist bands work. I still felt a little sick once in a while but I didn’t get sick like I used too. It would happen for five seconds and go away., for a hour or so. On a boat for 7 hours didn’t have to take anything enjoyed my time. The next day I felt bad

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