Are you one of those boaters that gets seasick? Have you tried various medicines and they only make you feel worse? How about the technique where you plug one ear and close one eye? Read on for a unique seasickness solution for sailors.
Going out for an enjoyable sail isn’t fun when your hanging over the side puking your brains out but it doesn’t have to be this way. It might sound too easy to be true but I’m going to share with you a potential solution that just might change your life.
I’m Kim and I’m here to help make your passages more enjoyable and your boating life more amazing.
So what is the seasickness solution for sailors?
It’s to have options, test all the options and discover what works best. By knowing all the options available you can systematically try each one to determine what’s going to work for you.
That would be my standard logical response.
Heck – I’m the Checklists For Sailors author. I put everything into a checklist. Incidentally, not only do I have a seasickness checklist in my checklist guide but I actually have a whole other guide just on preventing seasickness.
But what I’m about to share with you is not in any of my guides and it has absolutely nothing to do with a checklist.
So, if you’re reading this you might be thinking that you’ve tried everything already – nothing works.
Well, I suffered terribly for four years of our cruising life but on my fifth year my seasickness disappeared almost completely. I’ve now had a couple of years of sickness free sailing and wow has it make my life so much better. And my husband and daughter are much happier to have me functioning like a human while sailing.
You might think that you’ve found a way to manage your seasickness and that’s the best you should expect. I used to think that too but I some how proved myself wrong. I seriously don’t get seasick anymore. And if I do feel a bit queasy, usually because I moved my head too fast, I do a couple techniques and I’m feeling great immediately.
And perhaps you think that you got carsick when you were a kid so it’s just part of who you are. I also got carsick – I had to always have a bag and change of clothes when we went on long drives.
Anyway, I’m going to explain the way I got rid of my seasickness.
And it’s such a simple seasickness solution for sailors that you won’t believe me. In fact, I’m sure you’ll think I’m nuts. That’s okay. I’m fine with that. I will have a smirk on my face when you eventually email me saying that you can’t believe it worked for you too.
But let me tell you what I tried throughout the years. I tried every pill possible – over the counter and prescription. At best they would put me to sleep and at worst I felt terrible and for way longer than the voyage.
I tried preventative things like not drinking coffee, or having alcohol the night before. I didn’t eat heavy foods.
Of course, I looked at the horizon, did some helming and even used special glasses that were supposed to help trick my brain. I used the watch that sent electrical pulses into my body and the neck brace that did similar.
I used audio/sound therapy and had a book of affirmations to say to myself. And the list went on.
Nothing worked. And the seasickness was intermittent. It didn’t always happen. Sometimes it would be calm and other times it would be rough.
When we crossed the Atlantic Ocean I took a set of pills from New Zealand. One was caffeine and the other was an antihistamine pill. After seven days the fluid in my ears and tubes turned solid. The pain was excruciating. I couldn’t hear for weeks and I still haven’t been able to dive again since the trip (2015).
So…what seasickness solution for sailors eventually worked?
The first thing I did was to become very conscious of what I was thinking and feeling before setting off for a passage. In the past I was nervous and I felt my muscles tighten. Especially my shoulders. They would shrug up. I wouldn’t want to eat and I didn’t breath very well.
We moved our boat around quite a bit so I knew what to do.
I wasn’t anxious because I was afraid to move. I was very competent with leaving a marina, pulling up anchor or leaving a mooring. I wasn’t afraid in a logical way. I didn’t even really know that I was getting so tense until I started to pay attention.
After being this way for years it dawned on me that I was running an unconscious program. We are sailing to X that means I start to feel Y. The tension was automatic and it usually started before we left.
Then one day I had one of those weird woo woo things happen to me.
At the time I had no idea how it was going to impact me and I certainly didn’t know that it would solve my seasickness issue.
I sat in the cockpit knowing that we were about to leave. Simon and I were only moving the boat from an anchorage into a marina so it was a very short trip. Just the same, I watched my body start to tighten up. It’s as if I was above myself looking at my body and thinking, ‘Why the heck are you doing this?’ I deliberatly paid attention to my thoughts and body.
I remember thinking, ‘If I’m going to carry on sailing I don’t want to feel this way anymore. What’s the point?’
Next I got up and started walking towards the anchor. Half way up the port side I heard myself say, ‘I am free. I am free. I am free.’ I then was looking at myself from above and I saw what looked like a taco shell unwrap from my whole body and fall to the deck.
In an instant my body felt light and easy.
My shoulders dropped, I felt like a cloud and it’s as if a switch went on. I pulled up the anchor and felt like a foreigner in my body. I felt good. I felt giddy.
Then I totally forgot about the incident and went on with life. A week later we sailed out of the marina and headed north for an eight hour sail. Everything was great. About four hours into the sail it suddenly dawned on me that I felt great.
I mean – I felt really great. Was it a fluke?
No fluke. We then sailed several times more and in some rough seas. I felt a bit queasy but I just stood up, got some fresh air on my face and used the stomach acupressure point for seasickness. Within seconds I was fine again. And I’d also say, ‘I am free. I am free. I am free.’ My need for a seasickness solution for sailors was over.
Side note – the stomach accupressure point is about three fingers above your bellybutton. You just push and can feel a bit of a pulse. It’s supposed to stop the stomach from telling the brain that there is an upset in the tummy.
When I said ‘I am free.’ My shoulders would drop and I’d feel light.
From time to time, if I go down below and it’s too choppy, or I get disoriented I will feel those old feelings of illness sneak in. But then I say, ‘NO’! I get fresh air, move about, do my stomach thingy and I recover within seconds.
And this isn’t the craziest part of my story.
The craziest part is that everyone I tell this story to later calls or emails me to say that they’ve managed to let their taco shell fall off too and no longer experience seasickness.
Maybe they don’t have the whole visualization of the taco shell but one woman told me that she felt as if I gave her permission to stop feeling seasick and so she did. I think she realized that she had a choice.
Is that really what it boils down to? A choice?!
So what do I think that I am free from? I think it’s fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of not having control. Fear of living. Fear of dying. Fear of making a mistake. Fear of being awesome.
When I say ‘I’m a free’ I deliberately don’t have fear in the sentence. I am not free from fear because if I have ‘fear’ labeled then it is present. I am simply FREE.
So…try it out. First pay attention to your body and if you’re holding tension anywhere. Really become present and scan yourself. Holding the tension in mind say, ‘I am free’ three times or 10 times or a 100 times.
What do you have to lose with this seasickness solution for sailors?
And if that doesn’t work, then may I suggest that you purchase our Checklists For Sailors guide? Heheheheehe.
My method might seem too woo-woo for you so if you want a checklist of all things you can try to help prevent seasickness, grab my guide. It also offers cleaning lists for the whole boat (below and above deck), passage planning blueprint and pre-journey/post-journey checklists, sailboat maintenance, safety, medical and more.
Seriously, if you don’t have my checklist book yet, it really is a gamechanger. What makes my checklists so special is that my husband and I have spent 7 years testing, modifying and perfecting them so that you don’t have to go through the pain and expense that we have. Our Checklists will help you to have a less complicated and more enjoyable boat life. They will also help you to save loads of money by being proactive rather than reactive.
Click the link here to get Checklists For Sailors guide and please email me when you try the ‘I am Free,’ method as I’d like to hear more success stories!
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Any Other Solutions To Offer?
Please leave your comments below – even if they are woo woo 🙂