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Pleiades's picture

Autogenic feedback training (AFT)

So I too have been thinking a lot about motion sickness lately. I’ve got a few friends who suffer a ridiculous amount when we sail, where I have never been sick (knock on teak). I was initially interested in what kind of personality correlated with who gets sick and who doesn’t, however all the information predicted I would get sick because it is generally the obsessive/anal people who are the ones that fall ill. So I continued without faith, and found something called autogenic feedback training, which is used frequently by NASA to help prevent their astronauts from getting space motion sickness. It is also used for people suffering from migraine or tension headaches to control peripheral blood flow and reduce forehead and/or trapezius muscle tension and training cancer patients to reduce the nauseagenic effects of chemotherapy. As far as I can tell, the patient is hooked up to bodily monitoring devises and basically watches them is able to control otherwise autonomic bodily functions (I couldn’t find a great definition I think because the method is patented). Studies show FTE subjects reported fewer or no symptoms at higher rotational velocities than subjects in the control or promethazine groups. The primary physiological effect of promethazine was an inhibition of skin conductance level. The AFTE group showed significantly less heart rate and skin conductance variability during motion sickness tests administered after training. So basically AFT is your I-function telling your autonomic systems (normally outside the I-box) what to do, and its better at it than drugs! So back to personalities, I think that people who have good control over there bodies and who can make their I-function tell there bodies not to get sick are the ones who don’t fall ill.

So perhaps the explanation about riding rollercoasters and not getting ill is that since you think you should enjoy the motion, it doesnt register as wrong and your I-function is able to controll the rest of your body. Personally I very much enjoy the up and down motion of a boat. Along this note, haveing crewed on a ship where we take landlubbers out to sea, we were told NEVER warn people about sea sickness. EVER. The more they think they are likely to get it, the more likely it will become that you will be cleaning up there puke (which is no fun).

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