Nausea and headaches
Nausea is not a disease; it’s mostly an unpleasant symptom with feelings of being about to vomit. By throwing up, the body attempts to eliminate the cause of nausea and get back to balance. I get nausea symptoms because of two primary reasons. The first is a reaction to a disturbance in one of my body systems. The second is directly from digestion issues which may be caused by: food poisoning, stomach flu, blocked intestines, overeating, fasting, and other digestion irregularities.
In these cases, I use a breathing tool that excites me, prolonging my inhale compared to my exhale.
Digestion-related nausea relief tool
- Exclusively nose breathing.
- Diaphragm engaged to maximum amplitude.
- Inhale slowly in 3-parts, filling my lungs.
- Exhale and add an audible
- Repeat for a few rounds.
This tool is ineffective when the cause of nausea is a disturbance in one of my body systems, like a splitting headache, migraine, concussion, overconsumption of alcohol, and motion sickness.
As a child, I got motion sickness when riding a car, which was most unpleasant. I was offered to bite into ginger, my father would open the windows to allow fresh air in, and my mother suggested different breathing sequences to make me feel better. But all that didn’t really help.
My eyes, ear fluids, and internal organs report to my brain if my body is static or in motion. That allows my brain to take better-balancing actions. When, for some reason, there is a conflict between the indications of the sensors, my brain gets ‘confused.’ As a default reaction, it triggers nausea, which is a call for action.
Children are smaller than adults, and when they ride in a car, they don’t tend to look out the window. As a result, the signals sent from their eyes indicate that the body is static. However, other sensors, like ear fluids, indicate that the body is in motion.
Biting on ginger, fresh air, and calming breathing are all good actions, but what would have probably helped most was making sure that I looked outside the window when the car was in motion.
People living for a long time beside a railroad track stop hearing the passing trains. They develop a cancelation mechanism and get used to it. Likewise, we get used to carsickness as we get older.
But wait, how come when adults take a rollercoaster ride with kids, their stomach churns and hop to their throats while kids tend to enjoy it immensely?
When my kids were young, they loved visiting the Tivoli amusement park where we lived, so we all got a year pass. The rollercoaster there was their favorite attraction. They would roll down with it, lift their hands, and scream their lungs out while descending. I avoided taking the ride with them and watched them from a distance. I didn’t enjoy ‘having a blender in my stomach.’ They would board it again and again.
A kid’s brain is probably better than an adult’s at handling short-term indication conflicts. But when riding a car, the conflicts are long-term. Furthermore, when the rollercoaster drops, adults instinctively hold their breath. Kids, on the other hand, vocally express whatever they feel. Holding the breath induces stomach-churning, whereas exhaling with a scream reduces it.
So when the time comes, and I’ll ride with my grandchild on a rollercoaster, I’ll scream out like a kid; otherwise, I will probably shit like a baby.
Seasickness is more complex than carsickness; when sailing, there is forward motion, and simultaneously, the boat may rock from side to side, up and down. So that adds more indications that the brain needs to factor.
People sitting on a rocking boat intuitively tend to synchronize their breathing with the tempo of tilting; they breathe with the vessel’s tilting motion. Unfortunately, this synchronization induces motion sickness.
Sailors discovered that when the boat rocks at a tempo close to that of their normal breathing, that’s when nausea hits them. However, if they intentionally breathe at a tempo different than the rocking of the boat, the onset of nausea is delayed significantly.
There is less rocking at the boat’s center than at the periphery. Therefore, staying at the vessel’s center can help in case of motion sickness. But more than that, intentionally choosing a different breathing tempo than that of the rocking is what does it.
I now moderately consume alcohol and do it mostly when I socialize. But in my younger days, the word ‘moderate’ was not always in my Vodkabulay. I would sometimes drink to the point of having a next-day hangover. The symptoms of over-boozing linger long after the last sip. They include headache, nausea, vomiting, excessive thirst, increased sensitivity to light, sleeping difficulties, and a ‘spinning reality.’ In short, hangovers are no fun.
A breathing tool for alcohol detox may shorten the recovery time from a hangover by rushing the elimination of alcohol from the bloodstream. It’s also a sobriety accelerator. However, like other breathing tools, it’s best to be careful and not overuse this tool and get in the body’s way when it attempts to balance.
I alternated between hyperventilating like in the exercise spine breathing and then resting.
Hangover relief and sobriety tool
- I sit up with a straight back.
- Hyperventilate by volume and speed, similar to Spine breathing exercise, excluding the breath holds.
- Inhale deeply, erecting my spine while pushing my body backward with the help of my palms pressing my thighs. The head tilts to the back, and the chin moves away from the chest as the chest expands.
- Exhale while bending my spine forward and placing the back of my hands on my thighs, palms up. My chin moves towards the chest as the chest collapses.
- Continue until I get to the ‘hyperventilation sensation start’ on the tip of my tongue.
- Next, I lay down for a while, allowing my body to balance.
- Repeat for a few rounds.
Remarks and details
Under the influence of alcohol, it’s challenging to identify hyperventilation sensations because they overlap with the effects of alcohol, for instance, dizziness. However, tongue sensations are sometimes a bit more definite to me than the rest.
Headaches come in different varieties; what is common to all is a feeling of discomfort in the head. I feel a common headache as a uniform inner tension. These headaches often result from accumulated stress, shortage of ‘food fuels,’ dehydration, and other similar triggers.
I rarely get a common headache, but I try to breathe it off when I do rather than reach for an aspirin. First, I make sure I’m hydrated and have enough electrolytes. A homemade electrolyte that I use is sugar+salt+lemonjuice. Then I breathe through my nose, circularly in equal parts, adding a soft “Ahhhh hiss” to both my inhales and exhales. This breathing helps me get back into balance. I don’t overdo it for too many breathing cycles and allow my ‘breathing app’ to get me back to balance.
Common tension headache relief tool
- I sit on a chair with a straight back.
- Exclusive nose breathing.
- Circular breathing in equal parts.
- Inhale slowly, producing a soft “Ahhhh hiss” sound.
- Exhale slowly, producing a soft “Ahhhh hiss” sound.
- Repeat for a few rounds.
Remarks and details
Other forms of headaches, such as migraines, characterized by pulsating inner sensations and possibly disturbed vision or headaches felt in specific areas of the head, are best treated differently than common headaches. A relaxing breathing tool, in these cases, is often more effective.
Additional possible causes for headaches are concussions or other inner pressures on the brain. In these cases, it’s best to avoid using breathing tools.