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Motion Sickness Therapy

This page is primarily intended to be a reference for patients who have been referred for therapy for motion sickness 

Timothy C. Hain, MD Page last modified: June 3, 2015

Motion sickness exercises

Motion sickness is mainly treated with habituation. This means repeated exposure to motion, in an attempt to reduce brain responses as well as make it less provocative of anxiety and more predictable.

Habituation is the method used by the military to treat motion sickness in aviators (Sharma and Aparna, 1997; Ressiot et al, 2013; Lucertin et al, 2013; Golding and Gresty, 2015). Sophisticated motion paradigms including both head movement and visual stimulation, are reported to be very effective (Dai et al, 2011). The response rate in highly motivated subjects (i.e. military personnel) is generally about 75%.

Video wall

Method

Treatment should be "batched", meaning that treatment should be done every day, and not once/week or less frequently. Response to treatment correlates better with the number of treatments than the vigor with which the treatment is delivered (Golding et al, 1995). Motion stimulation should be gradually "progressed", starting with as little movement that just triggers dizziness or nausea, and gradually increasing each day.

Medications:

No studies are available regarding the effect of medications on this type of protocol. This reflects the author's experience and "common sense" neurophysiology.

References:

Copyright August 3, 2016 , Timothy C. Hain, M.D. All rights reserved. Last saved on August 3, 2016