Quick Relief from Post-Surgery Nausea

by Dr. David Williams
Filed Under: Nausea, General Health, Breathing, Digestive Health
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

Nausea after surgery is a commonplace concern. Fortunately, a simple technique appears to help. The key appears to be deep controlled breathing.

Researchers at the University of Connecticut Health Center Hospital were investigating the effects of aromatherapy on post-surgical nausea. They gave patients gauze pads that were moistened with either rubbing alcohol, an inert saline solution, or oil of peppermint. Each patient was instructed to breathe in slowly and deeply through their nose, then exhale slowly through their mouth, for three repetitions. The patient was then questioned two minutes and fine minutes later about any nausea.

To the researchers' surprise, after five minutes every patient reported at least a 50 percent improvement in their nausea. Obviously, the relief came from the deep breathing rather than from anything that was placed on the pads.

While the study focused specifically on nausea after surgery, I'd try it any time I felt a little queasy, whether from motion, illness, or whatever.

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