hypnotherapy for travel sickness

Hypnotherapy for Travel Sickness

One of the many delights of practising hypnotherapy is the opportunity to help people and make a positive difference to their lives. Find out about how I worked with a patient who suffered from severe travel sickness as she was facing a family sailing holiday, and how hypnotherapy for travel sickness helped.

Hypnotherapy for Travel Sickness: A Case Study

Recently I received a phone call from a lovely lady who came to one of my self-hypnotising for health workshops. She had been using the technique to help with relaxation, and wondered if I could help her with hypnotherapy for travel sickness.

She suffers from severe travel sickness and a family sailing holiday was being planned that would entail both flying and then being on a yacht. And she was also worried that she would feel claustrophobic below deck on the yacht. What concerned us both was that because the family would be on a yacht for a week, whatever we did needed to work because her holiday depended upon it!

“We have teenage sons and I wanted to be with everyone on this active family holiday but was veryhypnotherapy travel sicknessworried as I have always had awful travel sickness. I have tried over-the-counter drugs but they didn’t work and made me feel drowsy. I really struggle on planes, feeling hot and sweaty and being sick just after landing, and if there is turbulence. And I have been sick on ferry crossings – I have a long history of this! After we booked, I pulled out of going on this holiday three times. Then my husband suggested I contact Lynne to see if she could help”. R.B. West Sussex

Whilst I couldn’t give a guarantee of success, I did promise that I would do my best and we would add in everything we could to help. I suggested we meet two or three times before her trip, and use an array of approaches as well as hypnotherapy for travel sickness, which together would combine to be enough to support her.

A Plan to Help with Travel Sickness:

1) ‘Box Breathing’ Technique

Focusing on the breath, awareness and slowing are part of ancient wisdom. I am sure a great many people knowledgeable in the traditions of yoga and meditation do not regard this as “news”, as they already know, it is very effective. There are many ways to tap into this, and one of the easiest I have found is a quick technique called “Box Breathing” [1].

This is really simple to learn – breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 4, breathe out for 4 and then hold again for 4. Just keep repeating the loop. This allows you to “hack into” your nervous system, in particular your Vagus Nerve. This nerve connects many of our key organs, including our heart, digestive tract and lungs.  It is involved with our hormonal balance, inflammatory responses, mood and ability to rebalance and restore ourselves after stress.  The Box Breathing aims to improve the ability of our Vagus Nerve to respond to, and reset after stress appropriately – maintaining a healthy equilibrium.

I suggested she practiced this daily for the few weeks before her holiday to aim to improve her general vagal tone. She could also continue to use this technique whilst away if she did actually experience travel sickness.

2) Hypnotherapy for Travel Sickness

Having discussed the value of using breathing techniques, we then moved into focusing on hypnotherapy for travel sickness. The scope and range of approaches we can draw upon in hypnotherapy is as wide-ranging and varied as the people who come to us for help. I always aim to tailor what we do to be in sync with my patient, and so created an individualised approach with hypnotherapy to help with her situation.

sea-sunny-water-ocean-yachtIn a gentle and relaxing hypnotherapy session, I guided her to visualise somewhere she felt happy and relaxed. We then focused on the ways in which she travels and moves, such as by train or when dancing, and feels absolutely fine. When her body can respond, adjusting to allow her to be comfortable. We allowed her system to update and reset to generalise this response in a way that was right for her.

We explored the relativity of different spaces and our perception of them to help her feel more comfortable below deck, rounding off with a ‘happy’ sneak preview of her holiday – feeling good and enjoying herself, and being exactly how she wanted to be.

I recorded this onto a CD complete with background music so that it would be a supportive resource for her to listen to before she went on holiday, and whilst she was away.

3) Topping up with NLP

At our next appointment we updated on her progress so far, and she was already feeling a lot better.

“After the first session I felt more positive about the holiday. I had been listening to the CD and also practising the breathing technique as often as I could…”  R.B. West Sussex

The next step was to reinforce that adapting mechanism that she successfully drew upon when she was on a train, even when it experienced “turbulence” going through sets of points at speed. That motion can be quite pronounced so it seemed like a good way to tap into her ability to regain her equilibrium quickly. We used a quick and easy NLP (neuro linguistic programming) process to build on and extend the ability she already has.

I suggested she practice the technique to help her system really strengthen this response. In addition, if she is then in a situation on the plane or yacht where it was “bumpy” to use this enhanced visualisation and “resetting” approach to remind her system that it can cope and make adjustments.

4) Adding in some Extra Measures in Support for Travel Sickness

flying travel sickness hypnotherapy Having taken a combined approach with hypnotherapy & NLP, we also added in some extra support measures given that she was going to be quite tested in this situation and somewhat stuck if it did not work! In the past some of these extras may not have been enough on their own, but may now be of more help as part of a package along with the NLP and hypnotherapy for travel sickness.

  • An individually tailored homeopathic combination for sickness
  • Nibbling crystallised ginger on the flight and yacht
  • Taking a supply of peppermint (and/or ginger) teabags for cups on the plane and at sea
  • Wearing Travel Seabands – fabric wristbands that gently work on the acupressure point for nausea

The Results

Armed with hypnotherapy, NLP, remedies, a breathing technique and a few useful extra supportive measures – off she sailed. When she returned, we caught up and I will let her tell you in her own words how it went…

“Without this I would not have gone or been able to get on the boat. It wasn’t easy but the different tools helped at different stages, and the combination of everything made all the difference – nothing has ever worked before.

sailing travel sickness hypnotherapyOn the plane the NLP technique really helped and I was not ill on landing. My son helped by reminding me about being on a train and I flew perfectly. I thought if I can be ok on the plane then I can manage being on the boat!

The sailing was quite full on, with the yacht tipping on its side. On one day there was a real swell and lots of people were ill. That was the only day I was sick. So I just went and found my hypnotherapy CD and listened to it, and reset everything and I was ok.

I used the Box Breathing all the time to help settle my system and really like that as tool to use in everyday life too. I used the remedies, ginger and teas throughout and by the end of the trip my Seabands were rusty!

I am glad I went and that I did it. Sharing the time and experience of that trip as a family. There have been massive benefits to this approach on the holiday itself, I used all the tools and can use them all again if I need to.”  R.B. West Sussex

Thank You

I really admire anyone for being prepared to undertake this kind of holiday with a history of severe travel sickness. And my client helped herself to achieve the most out of this process by being ready to apply herself to whatever we could use to help her overcome this. I am delighted that she was able to enjoy her holiday, and now feels she has more of a choice about the kinds of things she can do, rather than being restricted because of travel sickness. I really appreciate her support in sharing her story, so that it might encourage others – whether for travel sickness or in another area of their lives.

I hope you have found this post about Hypnotherapy for Travel Sickness to be of interest. If you feel hypnotherapy and my approach can help to you too, please contact me.

References and Resources

[1] Box Breathing – Healthline

[2] Ways to Stimulate Your Vagus Nerve (and All You Need to Know about It)

[3] What Happens in a Hypnotherapy Session?