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How to Stop Feeling Like I’m on a Boat

Do you often experience a sensation of feeling like you’re on a boat? Does the ground beneath your feet seem unsteady, making you feel dizzy, nauseous, or disoriented? If so, you may be suffering from a condition known as Mal de Debarquement Syndrome (MdDS). While this condition can be debilitating, there are several techniques and lifestyle changes that can help alleviate its symptoms. In this article, we will explore various strategies to stop feeling like you’re on a boat and regain your stability.

Understanding Mal de Debarquement Syndrome
Mal de Debarquement Syndrome, often referred to as “MdDS,” is a neurological disorder that is typically triggered by a boat or sea voyage. However, it can also be caused by other forms of motion, such as air or car travel. The most common symptom of MdDS is a persistent sensation of rocking or swaying, even when you are on stable ground. This feeling can last for months or even years after the initial motion exposure, significantly impacting one’s quality of life.

1. Seek Medical Advice
If you frequently experience symptoms of MdDS, it is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional. They can confirm the diagnosis and rule out other potential causes for your symptoms. A doctor may recommend medication or refer you to a specialist, such as an otolaryngologist or neurologist, who can provide further guidance and treatment options.

2. Engage in Vestibular Rehabilitation
Vestibular rehabilitation is a form of physical therapy that focuses on improving balance and reducing dizziness. It involves specific exercises and activities that stimulate the vestibular system, which plays a key role in maintaining our sense of equilibrium. Working with a trained therapist can help retrain your brain to adapt to the sensations of motion and reduce the feeling of being on a boat.

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3. Practice Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques
Stress and anxiety can exacerbate the symptoms of MdDS. Engaging in mindfulness and relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, and yoga, can help calm your mind and alleviate the sensations of rocking or swaying. Incorporating these practices into your daily routine can provide much-needed relief and promote overall well-being.

4. Optimize Your Sleep Routine
Adequate sleep is essential for maintaining good physical and mental health. Establishing a consistent sleep routine and creating a sleep-friendly environment can improve your overall sleep quality. Avoiding excessive screen time before bed, keeping your bedroom dark and quiet, and engaging in relaxation techniques before sleep can help regulate your sleep patterns and reduce symptoms of MdDS.

5. Modify Your Diet
Certain dietary changes may help alleviate the symptoms of MdDS. Avoiding trigger foods, such as caffeine, alcohol, and processed foods, can reduce dizziness and nausea. Incorporating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can support overall health and potentially alleviate MdDS symptoms.

6. Stay Active
Engaging in regular physical activity can help improve balance, reduce stress, and enhance overall well-being. Low-impact exercises, such as walking, swimming, or cycling, can be beneficial. Consult with your healthcare professional or a physical therapist to determine the most suitable exercise regimen for your individual needs.


Q: Can MdDS be cured?
A: While there is currently no known cure for MdDS, many individuals experience a spontaneous remission of symptoms over time. Various treatment approaches, including those mentioned above, can help manage and alleviate the symptoms.

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Q: Can medications help with MdDS?
A: Medications may be prescribed to manage specific symptoms associated with MdDS, such as dizziness or nausea. However, the effectiveness of these medications can vary from person to person, and they may come with potential side effects.

Q: Can stress trigger or worsen MdDS?
A: Stress and anxiety can exacerbate the symptoms of MdDS. Incorporating stress-management techniques into your daily routine, such as mindfulness and relaxation exercises, can help alleviate symptoms.

Q: Can MdDS affect my daily life?
A: MdDS can significantly impact one’s daily life, making it challenging to perform routine activities or engage in social settings. Seeking appropriate treatment and making necessary lifestyle changes can help manage the symptoms and regain stability.

In conclusion, if you frequently feel like you’re on a boat, it is crucial to seek medical advice and explore various treatment options. By incorporating strategies such as vestibular rehabilitation, mindfulness techniques, optimizing sleep, modifying your diet, staying active, and managing stress, you can regain control over your symptoms and improve your overall well-being. Remember, everyone’s experience with MdDS is unique, so it is essential to work closely with healthcare professionals to find the most effective approach for your individual needs.