Motion sickness in freediving

Tips for freedivers to Deal with Motion Sickness

This problem can be a significant hindrance for freedivers, affecting their performance and overall experience. Understanding how to manage and prevent motion sickness is crucial for any freediver who wants to enjoy their time underwater fully and how to stop motion sickness after it starts.

Understanding Motion Sickness

It occurs when the brain receives conflicting signals from the inner ears, eyes, and muscles about the body's movement. Symptoms include dizziness, nausea, and vomiting, and it start quickly during unstable conditions. The cause of these symptoms is often a sensitivity to the boat's, buoy of platform motion, and they persist even after the motion has ceased, which is why knowing how to stop motion sickness after it starts is essential.

Pre-dive Preparation

Preparation is key in how to deal with motion sickness. Taking non drowsy sea sickness medication, such as Dramamine, is a common preventative measure. It is best taken before the onset of symptoms, so when to take Dramamine before a boat trip is usually about 30-60 minutes prior to departure. Remember, you should always consult with a doctor before taking any medication!Additionally, engaging in relaxation exercises and ensuring a good night's sleep can help prepare your body for the journey.

Choosing the Right Dive Location and Conditions

When selecting a dive location, consider the water conditions. Calmer seas are less likely to cause this problem. If you're prone to it, check the weather forecast and sea conditions beforehand, and plan your dive for the best day possible.

Proper Gear and Equipment

Using the right gear also make a difference. Ensure that your wetsuit fits well and doesn't constrict your neck or abdomen, as this could exacerbate nausea. Moreover, understanding how to keep from getting seasick includes staying well hydrated and fed with light, non-greasy foods.

Breathing Techniques and Equalization

Breathing techniques play a crucial role in the preparation for freediving. Diaphragmatic breathing before a dive can help achieve a state of calmness and relaxation, which in turn reduces the level of stress during surface preparation. Focusing on deep belly breathing — inhaling to lift the abdomen and exhaling to lower it — helps to soothe the mind and prepare the body for diving.

In addition, it's very important to master ear pressure equalization techniques, such as the Frenzel maneuver. Unlike the Valsalva maneuver, which relies on abdominal muscle contraction to equalize pressure, the Frenzel technique involves using the throat muscles and the tongue. This is a gentler and more controlled method of equalization, which helps avoid discomfort and pain in the ears during pressure changes while diving. Proper mastery of the Frenzel technique will help you more effectively equalize the pressure in your ears at various depths, making your dives more comfortable and safe. As part of the freediving courses at Apnetica Freediving School, we study these techniques in detail.

Surface Intervals and Relaxation Techniques

During surface intervals, it's crucial to stay relaxed and avoid focusing on moving objects, as these actions can be a trigger. Instead, look at the horizon to reorient your sense of balance. It's also essential to consider what to take for motion sickness on a boat. Besides medication, natural remedies like ginger can offer relief without causing drowsiness.

Tips for Motion Sickness

Here are some actionable tips for travel sickness and motion sickness:

  • Medicine: Choose the best non-drowsy medication, like non-prescription Dramamine, and remember to take it before symptoms start. Bear in mind that taking any medication should always be coordinated with a healthcare professional!
  • Hydration: Can you drink water underwater? While freediving, no, but staying hydrated before and after is crucial.
  • Relaxation: Use relaxation techniques and breathing exercises to help prevent the onset of the problem.
  • Symptoms Management: Be aware of the symptoms and how to fix sea sickness once it starts. Lying down and closing your eyes can help.
  • Treatment and Cure: While there's no absolute cure, treatments can significantly reduce symptoms and help you rid motion sickness.


In conclusion, the key to managing it as a freediver is preparation, choosing the right conditions, using proper gear, mastering breathing techniques, and knowing how to respond if symptoms arise. With these tips for motion sickness and a bit of planning, you can focus on the beauty of freediving without the discomfort and enjoy with freediving!

Above all, bear in mind that while the surface may be a dance of tumultuous waves, a descent to the mere depth of 10 meters transports you to a realm of profound peace and serenity. It is in this underwater sanctuary that the chaos above is silenced and the pulse of the ocean's heart becomes clear. So, arm yourself with meticulous preparation and embrace the challenge. Plunge into the depths with determination, and etch an indelible dive into the canvas of your memories, undeterred by the tempest above.

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