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Air Sickness

How can I stop getting airsick?

Question

I suffer terribly from airsickness. I am not frightened of flying, but as soon as we have taken off I go green and get an immense feeling of nausea. I can't eat during a flight – whether it's for two hours or ten. The symptoms are aggravated by watching the in-flight film or reading. I have tried travel sickness pills, but they make my mouth dry. Do you natural remedies and cures for airsickness?

Answer

Many people suffer from this problem. Although you say you are not frightened of flying, I believe this is probably the root of the problem. Phobia about air travel has increased notably in the aftermath of 11 September, with reports of other air accidents and the constant potential for turbulence adding to the problem.

One of air travellers, main fears is that when accidents happen there are few survivors. When travelling by car, train or boat you have the option of jumping out if there is an emergency. On a plane, however, the only choice is to remain where you are. This, combined with some people's fear of heights, can make the situation desperate.

The classic symptoms of phobia are palpitations, rapid breathing (hyperventilation), numb or cold hands, tingling in the fingers, cold sweat on the forehead and - the problems you describe - nausea and loss of appetite. Some people suffer from diarrhoea and even involuntary urination. These symptoms are all indicative of fear - a panic attack.

Travel sickness drugs are unlikely to work in this situation. In fact, your dry mouth is another symptom of being afraid. Fear and similar emotions, including grief and rage, cannot be treated with medicines, although certain drugs, such as sedatives and beta blockers, may help control them. The most effective approach is to deal with fear through psychological therapies, such as neuro lingustic programming (NLP), hypnosis and Thought Field Therapy, meditation and physical exercises such as yoga, aerobics and pilates. All these train the mind to overcome phobias.

Natural Remedies and Cures for Airsickness:
You can also reduce the effects of this condition by planning ahead and taking measures that will help you to stay calm.

  • For 15 days before your journey, take l50mg magnesium, which calms the mind and restores confidence.
  • For a week before you travel, go to bed early and take Biorefax or Ashwanite at bedtime to relax and improve the quality of sleep.
  • Four to five days before you travel, make sure that you have packed and have organised things at home, so that there is no last-minute rush or panic.
  • Avoid foods and drinks that induce tension, including alcohol, coffee, excess salt, fried food, heavy meals, and sugary foods such as chocolates and sweets.
  • Drink two litres of still pure water daily.
  • Walk in the fresh air for an hour every day.
  • Practise retention breathing twice daily for 15 to 20 minutes each time: inhale for a count of three, hold your breath for three and exhale slowly to a count of six. Pause for three, and then start the cycle again. Initially, this may cause you to feel a little anxious, but with practice you will find it very effective.

On the day of your journey:

  • Just before getting on the plane, take ten drops of Valerian Tincture in a cup of water to calm you down.
  • When you get to your seat, practise retention breathing. Repeat this during takeoff. Drink sips of water. Try to take a personal stereo with you so that you can play a relaxing tape once the plane has taken off. Or tune in to easy listening or classical music on the in-flight system. Follow the same routine whenever there is turbulence.
  • Take lavender essential oil with you and sprinkle a little on a handkerchiefs o that you can inhale the smell whenever you feel nauseous. Or you can sniff a cut fresh lime, which has the same relaxing effect.
  • Massage your neck and shoulders using your thumb and fingers. Rub along the sides of your neck particularly. Do this several times during the flight for one to two minutes.
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