Treating Motion Sickness with Chinese Medicine

This is something I deal with occasionally, but when it happens, I ruin a whole day. Since Chinese Medicine looks for the source of the problem, I thought it was time to explore this topic. I hope it helps my audience as well.

A definition of motion sickness is nausea caused by motion especially in a vehicle. Many people experience a great deal of symptoms including nausea, this is what I want to address today.

Traditional Chinese Medicine considers motion sickness a pattern of disharmony. In TCM the body is regarded as an integrated whole. A pattern creates disharmony or disruption in the body’s system.

There are 3 patterns which can create motion sickness. The symptoms associated with each pattern can give us clues as to the cause of the disruption.

The patterns are:

  • Phlegm

    symptoms include a feeling of muzziness of the head, dizziness, nausea, feelings of oppression in the chest. Other signs are a wiry pulse and a sticky coating on the tongue.

    The usual cause of phlegm condition is spleen weakness and deficiency. The spleen is responsible for transportation and transformation of body fluids. When the spleen is impaired, the fluids stagnate and become phlegm. The lungs and kidneys may also be involved in treatment since they transport body fluids, but the spleen is the focus when beginning treatment.

  • Spleen Deficiency with Dampness

    Symptoms include edema, diarrhea, urinary problems, sensation of heaviness, insomnia, tiredness. This condition can also create hepatitis, cystitis or vaginal itching, candida infection, vaginal pain, loose stools and vaginal discharge.

  • Phlegm in the lower burner

    Symptoms are vertigo, coughing, shortness of breath, vomiting frothy saliva, and throbbing pulsations just below the belly button. The lower burner is part of the triple burner or triple warmer, the lower third of the torso.

    All these conditions are treated with Chinese herbs. There are so many types of phlegm and different conditions that treatment should be under the care of a licensed acupuncturist. Once the body’s imbalance is addressed, discomfort and suffering can greatly improve.

To prevent motion sickness

  • Take medication 1-2 hours before traveling.
  • Choose the right seat.
  • Don’t read while riding in a car
  • Lie down if feeling sick
  • Get plenty of fresh air
  • Avoid a big meal before traveling.

Treating Headaches with Small Intestine Meridian

The function of small intestine in digestion is to separate the clear digestive fluids from the turbid, or the pure from the impure. This can also be related to our thoughts and emotions, clearing the unclear or cloudy thoughts from the right course of action. The heart meridian, which is also part of the fire element, is associated with the mind and thinking. The emotion associated with small intestine and heart meridians is happiness and joy. Imbalance in these pathways can create mania.

Balancing the small intestine meridian (energy) can be extremely helpful in treating symptoms such as tension headaches, sore throat, back pain, neck pain dizziness and earache.

The small intestine point SI #3, which is located on the outer edge of the hand (see diagram) is an important point for treating these imbalances. Small intestine points can also help clear heat from the body, as in fever.

Some foods to support the small intestine are:

  • fermented foods
  • probiotics
  • organic apples
  • raspberries
  • green beans
  • peas
  • carrots
  • celery

Avoid cold food and drinks if you are having digestive issues. If your digestion is weak your body must work harder to break down the food. This will create excess heat or inflammation.
People who have excess heat can eat tomato, eggplant, green beans, and peach.

Digestive Health During Summer

In Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic Medicine, the digestive system is of vital importance to good health. The Chinese feel that most, if not all illness originates in the gut.

The Chinese Calendar lists the time between July 12 – August 21 (for 2021) as Major Heat. This is the best time, according to TCM “to purge winter diseases from the body” and to prepare your body for good health during the cooler months of fall. Winter diseases usually involve trapped cold and dampness in the body. To heal this condition, we need to find a time when both our body and the environment are hot, and Major Heat is that time.

The recommendation for this time of year is to avoid cold foods and drinks, room temperature is fine. I know it sounds strange to us, but the internal temperature of our bodies is anywhere from 96- 98 degrees, and to break down our food during digestion our body needs to heat it up. If it must work harder to warm and break down the food, that extra heat will become inflammation inside the body. Inflammation can create a lot of problems from sore joints, to bloating, to stomach discomfort, to headaches.

Eating cold foods can also upset the balance of heat and cold in the body and weaken the digestive fire needed to break down and digest your food. If the digestive fire is weak then cold and damp conditions can take hold.

I have been following this protocol for months now. I’m working with an Ayurvedic Practitioner called Zhermen Roman and I’ve noticed miraculous results. One example of which is my right knee which no longer swells and is stronger. In western society, we don’t think of food as medicine but what we eat has a profound effect on our health.

People who have excess body heat can eat tomatoes, eggplant, green beans, and peach.

Epoch Times, July 21, Chinese Medicine Advises Not to Drink Iced Beverages or Chilled Food/Moreen Liao

Zhermen Roman,

Feeling Stuck? Large Intestine Meridian Can Help

The fall season is the time of the metal element in Chinese Medicine which is associated with Lung and Large Intestine energy pathways. Large Intestine helps us to let go of that which is no longer needed physically, emotionally and spiritually. “Consciousness and meridian energy are deeply connected. The Large Intestine’s metal energy is concerned with matters of prosperity and self protection.” It also organizes the useful from the useless and governs discernment and discretion.

When our Large Intestine energy is strong and balanced, we are organized physically and clear headed. If the LI is unbalanced our thinking becomes clouded and our judgment is impaired. Physically you may become constipated which is associated with bottled up emotions. Two areas of life which may be affected are money and relationships.

To keep a healthy balance maintain proper nutrition (fresh fruit and vegetables, healthy protein and fats and plenty of water) and have your energy balanced. There are also deep breathing exercises that help to improve circulation, digestion and constipation. For more information on these exercises consult

Support for Spleen and Stomach Energy

We’ve been talking about Indian Summer and spleen and stomach meridians which are associated with it. To promote healthy spleen and stomach energy avoid chronic worrying and over thinking which can negatively impact stomach health. Our digestive systems process our internalized thoughts and emotions along with our food.

Foods to support stomach and spleen energy

  • Yellow or orange foods (sweet potatoes, yellow squash…)
  • Foods harvested in late summer
  • Root vegetables
  • Consume mostly warm or cooked foods and beverages
  • Eat dinner by 6 or 7 pm- this gives your body time to digest before retiring for the night.

Signs of possible spleen or stomach imbalance include:

  • Bleeding gums, bad breath
  • Muscles that cramp or tire easily
  • Craving sweets
  • Chronic over thinking, especially negative thoughts
  • Constant worrying and anxiety

Balancing your energy, staying hydrated, proper nutrition and exercise will go a long way to promoting health.