Motion Sickness: Do those wristbands really work?
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.
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.