There are many causes of dizziness. The dizziness I am referring to here is the motion sickness some people experience in the early stages of practicing the spin.
If you experience dizziness you are not alone. Fortunately most people find their symptoms improve with time and practice.
According to Transport Canada (Source: Transport Canada - Handbook for Civil Aviation Medical) ..."Up to one third of military flight trainees become air sick at some point in their training, yet only 1% are failed because of this problem. Desensitization programs that gradually increase stimulation have successfully helped trainee pilots to eventually adapt to the motion created by their aircraft."...
Many people find that regular practice of the spin has the same desensitization effect. Spinning gets easier the longer you practice it.
Extract From"The 10-Minute Rejuvenation Plan" (Random House, USA) by Carolinda Witt: ..."The symptoms of motion sickness occur because your brain receives conflicting information from your sensory systems. These senses send information to your brain about the position and movement of your body, and include your eyes, the sensors of the semicircular canals in your inner ears, and the somatosensory receptors in your skin, joints and muscles. A mismatch in sensory information causes a conflict between what is seen or felt, and your previous orientational experience. When this happens, the body responds with the symptoms of dizziness and motion sickness. For this reason, using the correct technique during the spin is crucial."...
Improve Your Spin Technique
- Slow Down. Don't try to spin too quickly too soon - give your body time to get used to the motion.
- Do Fewer Repetitions. It is not uncommon for some people to take 6 months or more to build up to 21 repetitions of the Spin. We have known fit people including Yoga Teachers & Practitioners, who experience dizziness in the early stages of learning the Spin. Do only as many repetitions as you can without becoming uncomfortably dizzy. Gradually add repetitions over a period of weeks or months until you can do the required 21 easily. Everyone experiences some degree of dizziness after spinning - which is why we carry out Energy Breathing & the special focal techniques we use in the T5T® (The Five Tibetans & Energy Breathing Program) method. These methods encourage dizziness to abate before we carry out Rite No 2. Regardless of which method you perform, ensure all dizziness has disappeared (to prevent nausea) before continuing your practice.
- Continue to build repetitions of the other 4 Rites in the recommended manner (3 x in your 1st week then add 2 x per week until doing 21 reps in around 10 weeks time). You will eventually catch up with the Spin, even though it takes a while longer.
- Fine Tune Your Movement. Dizziness is often caused by incorrect technique (any movement that is not smooth & connected). The way you step your feet, hold your body & keep your arms outspread all impact on the evenness of your movement. Refer to any of T5T®'s hardcopy books or their e-Book, "Are You Performing The Five Tibetan Rites Correctly? Discover All The Secrets, Tips & Hints To A Successful & Rewarding Practice” for in-depth information on technique.
- VIP. Keep Your Spin Movement Contained Within A Small, Level And Obstacle Free Area. Before increasing your spin speed, check that you are not wandering across the floor during the movement. You need to be able to spin within a small controlled area - to avoid stepping onto irregular surfaces and to prevent you from coming into contact with any obstacles. Uneven surfaces will make your spin movement wobble, increasing your dizziness. If while spinning; you change your gaze to look at an object you have collided with – you will become extremely dizzy and may even fall.
- Remember to Breathe! People often hold their breath while spinning which reduces the oxygen supply to the brain and increases the likelihood of dizziness. Constantly remind yourself to breathe normally while doing the Spin. Get into a habit of taking a breath before commencing to spin to remind you to breathe.
Natural remedies for dizziness
- Lemon and Ginger. Before you spin, drink a small glass of hot or cold water with some freshly squeezed lemon juice and a small slice of fresh ginger. This often helps with nausea.
- Peppermint tea is also good for soothing the stomach.
- Take a supplement of Ginkgo Biloba or feverfew. These may help prevent dizziness, but if you are taking medication check with your doctor first.
- Fresh Air. Spin in an area with plenty of fresh air - stuffy rooms do not help!
- Special Acupressure Point. After spinning, circle your fingers and thumb around your wrist approximately three fingers-width below the wrist folding line, between the flexor tendons. When you find a slightly tender spot, press your fingers and thumbs in towards each either. This point is called the Nei-Kuan acupressure point. According to traditional Chinese Medicine, pressure on this point has the effect of harmonizing and balancing the Yin and Yang of the Qi (life energy, so it can again flow unhindered. Pressing on this point can also help reduce dizziness and nausea - often within a few minutes. You can also purchase motion sickness bracelets with a magnet or button that presses on this point.
- Avoid. Do not eat a heavy meal or drink alcoholic beverages before spinning.
- Limit your intake of salt or caffeine. They may impair the circulation of your blood, as will smoking.
- Learn to manage stress. Doing The Five Rites will help greatly with this.
Some exercises you can do to help prevent dizziness
These exercises help strengthen your body's balance systems. They can also be used to help prevent motion sickness.
- Look up, and then look down. Repeat this movement several times whilst increasing the speed from slow to rapid. Now look from left to right, going from slow to fast as before. Repeat these eye movements several times a day.
- In a sitting or standing position, toss a tennis ball from hand to hand. Follow the arc of the ball with your eyes.
- Place a stable chair next to a wall so you can reach out and touch it if needed. Sit on the chair with your feet flat on the floor. Focus your eyes on a target three to six metres (10 to 20 feet) away while you stand up slowly and then sit down again with your eyes open. Repeat this several times, and then try the same exercise with your eyes closed (lightly touching the wall for security if and when needed).
- Clear a path next to a wall or behind a sofa. Walk backwards and forwards alongside the wall or sofa several times. Then, by holding onto the wall or the sofa, close your eyes and repeat the same exercise several times.
Practitioners Who May Be Able To Assist
- Chiropractor or osteopath. If your upper neck vertebrae are not correctly aligned, faulty nerve signals may give rise to dizziness. Manipulation may be able to correct this.
- Naturopath. Low blood sugar can contribute to dizziness. A visit to a naturopath to review your eating habits may be beneficial.
- Homeopath. You may be able to obtain a homeopathic remedy for dizziness or nausea that works on the basis of “like cures like”. For example: If you had a runny nose and watery eyes you might be given a small highly diluted homeopathic remedy called Allium Cepa made from red onion. Red onion when cut, will produce the same symptoms of a runny nose and watery eyes. When you take a dose of Allium Cepa your body is stimulated into healing itself to stop the runny nose and watery eyes.
- Kinesiologist. Will work with your body and energy systems to identify the cause or contributing factors to your dizziness. Treatments are then based on restoring your body and energy systems to optimal health. This is achieved simply and painlessly by removing imbalances from injuries, pain, illness, stress and emotions that are stored in your body.
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Copyright (c) 2005 Carolinda Witt - author T5T - The Five Tibetan Exercise Rites (Penguin/Lantern 2005) and The 10-Minute Rejuvenation Plan (Random House/Three Rivers Press 2007)