Sea Sickness & Wristbands – How Do They Work

white cruise ship on sea under white clouds and blue sky during daytime

Sea sickness is an unfortunate condition that affects a large number of people. Sea sickness can occur in any number of situations, such as on an airplane, in a car, on a boat, or on rides at an amusement park. For some people, sea sickness does not even require actual movement; Some people will experience sea sickness in response to perceived or anticipated movement. Sea sickness typically ends when the motion (or perception of motion) has ended.

Physically, sea sickness is caused when there is a conflict between the signals sent from the eyes, inner ear, and the rest of the body. Sometimes the conflict is subtle; for example, when one is inside the cabin of a ship, there may be no visual perception of motion, but the inner ear, which controls balance, detects the rocking of the boat. The symptoms of sea sickness can include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, increased salivation, headache, paleness of the skin, and cold sweats.

There are two types of wristbands that may be useful in reducing sea-sickness. These bands are relatively inexpensive, and readily available on the internet and at retail outlets.

The first type of wristband uses pressure points to alleviate sea sickness. These bands are made from knitted elastic. The materials are tough, long-lasting, and washable. Typically, there are no buckles or clasps, and the elastic allows them to be used by people of all ages and sizes. These bands can be used on children as young as 2 years old. They work through plastic studs sewn into the elastic that place pressure on the “Nei Kuan” pressure point, and specifically work to reduce nausea and vomiting. In addition, these bands are thought to help with nausea due to pregnancy, anesthesia, and other causes, such as chemotherapy. One of the most popular commercial brands of this type of band is called the Sea Band. These bands can be worn before sea sickness symptoms set in to prevent sea sickness, or they may be worn after symptoms start to reduce the duration and severity of the symptoms.

A second type of sea sickness wristband works by sending gentle pulses of electricity into your body. These pulses help to interfere with the nausea messages that your body is sending to your brain. They run on small lithium batteries, and are waterproof and shockproof. These types of bands are not recommended for use by children. These bands use a leather strap which is adjusted to your wrist size.

These wrist bands may be a viable alternative to sea sickness medications. The medications developed to help with sea sickness are often not a viable option. For many people that experience sea sickness, the traditional medications, such as the Scopolamine patch or Dimenhydrinate (Dramamine) are not acceptable solutions. The drowsiness that accompanies these medications can often result in a person not being able to enjoy the activity that triggers sea sickness in the first place. More than one sad traveler on a cruise has missed a good portion of his trip because she was either too sick or too tired to participate.