At the playground, I went on a swing – which I haven’t done for a while. I felt like I was losing my stomach every other second – definitely as dizzy as I used to be. I was squealing a bit and my middle child Esmée reminded me to “Look at your hand!” I did and after a few swings felt better and could enjoy it again.
One of my yoga students has been suffering from positional vertigo. This is a type of dizziness that occurs when a person rolls in bed, bends over, or looks up. It is caused by crystals in the inner ear that are out of their normal position. Her GP recommended she do something called the Epley manoeuvre on a regular basis to settle the crystals into their proper place. She is now much better.
The Epley manoeuvre is really simple to do and I find it astounding that you can actually heal something so delicate in your inner ear in such an easy way. Amazing!
As a child I enjoyed going on a swing for hours but as an adult the swing has been a rather sicky, dizzying experience. I have been going to playgrounds with my children (11, 7 and 4) for quite a few years now and each time I have tried the swing but no go – the forward arc is when my stomach feels like it has been left behind. I put it down to age and thought it would always be this way…
Today my middle child, Esmée, wanted me to go on the swing next to her and I thought I’d see if anything could make a difference to my stomach, so…I tried to look behind me while swinging to start with and that helped and then I tried looking at my hand as I swung and that definitely helped as well. I consciously relaxed and looked forward and to my surprise the lurching, dizzy feeling had gone! I then swung on for another 5 minutes or so and was still fine! I thought maybe this was a temporary reprieve due to the looking behind me, etc. – but after 30 minutes I had another go and still felt good.
Be interesting to see what happens the next time…
A little science as to why most adults don’t enjoy roundabouts, swings and general dizziness… Structures called otoliths in the vestibular labyrinth in the inner ear eventually degrade a bit as we get older. Otoliths help us know which direction is up and also to have a sense of acceleration. We can start to feel sick when they’re not working very well. Generally children can take a lot more dizziness because their otoliths work better.