Dealing With Motion Sickness

Motion sickness and pole dancing are a common problem. Sometimes it's just certain moves that do it, sometimes it's a combination of specific moves that causes illness, or some cannot dance on the spinning poles at all.

As someone who suffers from extreme motion sickness I can share a bit with you.

First, if you suddenly experience motion sickness while pole dancing or even if you are new to pole dancing but have not been prone to motion sickness in the past, you may have some acute problem occurring. It could be the start of a cold or virus or inner ear infection. It could be a wax build up. If you've never had problems with motion sickness before, then you should definitely seek the advice of a physician before continuing to rule out medical causes.

Motion sickness can be also caused by
inner ear imbalances or disfigured structure of the inner ear
hormonal imbalances (such as during pregnancy or menopause)
poor ventilation
Vision problems ( had your eyes checked recently? )
circulatory problems (blood pressure, medication induced, excess salt in the diet, high cholesterol)

So in come cases there isn't at thing to do about it and in all cases, especially if the symptom is new, it should be followed up by a doctor. Some people just have a chronic balance disorder and can only do so much to alleviate the symptoms.

"Vertigo" is the dizziness but it can be severe enough in some people to result in nausea and even vomitting. Some people never get dizzy, only nauseas and some never get nauseas only dizzy.

What can you do?

Spotting is difficult if even possible - and in my experience impossible if the problem arises during spins. You cannot spot when you are the object moving around the center...spotting is done when you are the center of the spin.

Make certain to practice so that you are alternating directions during spins and moves around the pole. Also alternate your moves...combine transitional moves with not practice or dance with several spins in a row if you are prone to motion sickness.

Ginger helps a great deal as it slows peristalsis so it eliminates the queasy feeling but may not eliminate the dizziness. It's an odd feeling. Make certain to use pure ginger capsules. Ginger ale helps but it's not nearly as good.

Practice builds tolerance. You might also check into conditioning exercises like those developed by Dr. Sam Puma.

Distraction lessons motion sickness - I have a lot more problems with motion sickness when dancing alone than when teaching a class or dancing with others.

Low lighting to decrease the glare in the room.

Avoiding smoking before class.

Ensure proper ventilation and room temperature - fresh air and cool temperatures are best. Getting over heated will promote motion sickness as will strong odors like room fresheners, perfumes, etc.

The use of sea-sickness bands which work through acupressure can be effective for some people.

Check your local health food store for natural anti-motion sickness meds which do not cause drowsiness.

Eating small amounts of low-fat, starchy foods before class

And drink LOTS of water to stay hydrated but BEFORE the motion sickness comes on. Once you become sick, avoid putting anything in the stomach aside from ginger ale, cola, tea or crackers.

written by: Mary Ellyn Weissman
Reprint with permission only.