How To Combat Dizziness & Nausea On Spin Pole
Do you suffer with dizziness or nausea on spin pole?
It's a very common problem in the pole community, so you'll be pleased to know you definitely aren't alone!
In today's article I'll be revealing 7 tips most commonly used to combat dizziness when you switch to spin mode.
What You Will Learn
- Why We Get Dizzy
- How To Prevent Dizziness & Nausea
- How Each Prevention Works
- How To Control Your Spins
Why Spin Pole Isn't As Easy As It Looks
Thanks to a misleading Reddit feed that recently went viral, many people (mostly muggles), are under the impression that when we use spinning poles we are cheating!
Spinning pole and static pole each have their own challenges but in the case of one handed spins for example, spin pole is a lot harder.
It takes more strength and grace to perform and control the same moves that you would do on a static pole when you're using a spinning pole.
So the idea that people now think spin pole is some kind of easy option because it 'spins for us' is really quite annoying.
Usually, beginner pole dancers will use a static pole to practise the basics, spins, climbs and strength training before trying anything on a spinning pole. That's because spinning poles have a huge amount of momentum and G-forces to contend with.
They require a lot more skill and strength to control.
Not to mention the fact that many of us suffer with motion sickness or dizziness once that pole starts to spin, and it's pretty dangerous if you're upside down on the pole!
So if that's something you struggle with, let's take a look at the best ways to avoid dizziness and control motion sickness.
Why Do We Get Dizzy?
Before we get into the best ways to stop dizziness on spinning poles, it's a good idea to understand why we get dizzy in the first place.
Some people experience dizziness more than others, even from standing up too quick!
So if your first experience of feeling too dizzy has come from using a spinning pole, you've done well so far.
Our body uses the vestibular system in our inner ear to sense whether it is moving, still, upright or lying down. When it comes to motion, there are three semicircle canals that contain a fluid called endolymph and other hairlike nerve cells.
When your head moves, the endolymph fluid stimulates these sensory nerve cells to send signals to your brain, this is how you know which way you have moved.
So when it comes to dizziness using a spin pole, you should find that the longer you spin for, the more you get used to the feeling.
This is because once you have started spinning and the brain has received the signal that you are moving, the endolymph fluid begins to move at the same pace as you spin, which means it no longer stimulates those nerve cells.
When you stop spinning however, you may get dizzy again, because the endolymph continues to move when you have stopped which stimulates those hairlike cells in the other direction.
It's this signal to the brain that you are still spinning when you have actually stopped that causes you to feel dizzy.
So firstly, let's take a look at how to control that dizzy feeling when you get off the pole.
How To Control Dizziness After Spin Pole
Dizziness is very common, and has a very simple fix once you get off the pole. It is different to nausea and motion sickness, which we'll take a look at further on.
If you are extremely dizzy when you finish your spin pole routine or combo, all you need to do is spin in the opposite direction!
Take a look at this cool picture created by Leen Isabel over at Pole Dancing Adventures -
Try it out, and see if it works for you.
Now though, what if you're feeling too dizzy to even continue your combo or routine? Are you feeling dizzy before you've even stopped spinning?
Here are a few tips to help with that...
#1) Spin Both Ways Before You Start
Make sure to do one spin to the left and one spin to the right a few times before you get stuck into your routine.
Allow your body to adjust to the spinning before you attempt to go upside down on your pole, as this just adds to those motion signals sent to your brain from the inner ear.
If you are performing an entire routine, remember to add sections that allow you to change the direction of your spin so that you aren't spinning for too long in one direction. That way you'll feel less dizzy as you dismount.
#2) Control Your Spins
Another common reason for getting too dizzy before you've even stopped spinning is because you are spinning super fast and out of control.
Learning to control your spin speed takes time as you become more familiar with how to slow down and speed up the pole with various poses and tricks.
A lot of people moving from static pole to spin pole will still be using a lot of momentum at first, but this isn't needed with a spin pole. A very gentle push off from the floor works great!
Once you have gotten used to starting off a little slower, you can speed up or slow down the pole using your body.
The tighter in towards the pole you pull your body, the faster it will spin. If you extend arms or legs out further away from the pole it will slow you down.
It's a learning curve because putting too many closed moves together will cause you to spin faster and get dizzy, but another problem we all come across when we first try spin pole is not being able to spin at all!
If you're performing too many extended moves such as butterfly, superman, jade split etc, you will find you either stop or start to spin far too slow to show off your moves in a combo.
When you do get the hang of your speed on spin pole, another important thing to remember is to take your time. Give each move at least one full rotation before you change to the next one.
#3) Give Yourself Time
This solution probably isn't what you want to hear.
It's not a quick fix but if you continue to train past the dizziness and don't give up on spin pole, with time you will get used to it.
Figure skaters have been training through the same g-forces with their spins for hundreds of years and though they do experience dizziness, generally they say that a lot of training allows them to ignore it and carry on.
Essentially they hide their dizziness from the audience, smile and carry on!
The way they train up to this point however, is something that we can mimic in our pole training.
Beginners will start off doing only one or two spins and slowly build up to more, starting out with easier ones before moving on to faster and more dizzying ones.
They will also often use dance moves at the end of very long spins that give them a bit of a break while the dizzy feeling passes.
With years of practise this way, they are able to work past their dizziness so that it doesn't affect their routines.
So how do we incorporate this into our pole training?
Practise regularly and allow yourself time to get used to the new feel of things on spin pole and add a few minutes of practise to the end of your sessions.
Use floorwork to give yourself a break from spinning in your routines and most importantly...
Even if you are a very advanced pole dancer everything is going to feel very different on spin pole. Go back over your basic spins, basic inverts and tricks.
Just because you can do something on a static pole, that doesn't mean you will be able to do it on a spin pole. It won't work out that way.
Start with only a couple of spins and slowly build up to more spins and longer sessions to improve your tolerance.
Make sure to practise everything on both sides and spinning in both directions as you learn to control your speed.
How To Combat Nausea On Spin Pole
Now that we have covered all aspects of dizziness on spin pole, I want to go over how to deal with motion sickness.
Although they are connected, motion sickness is a different problem altogether and comes with different solutions.
If you're feeling nausea when you use spin pole this section should give you some ideas to help.
What Causes Motion Sickness?
Motion sickness is caused by a mix up in signals to the brain from your inner ear and your eyes.
For example, if you are on a plane or in a car and your body senses movement but your eyes don't see any movement, this can cause a feeling of nausea.
That's why people with motion sickness prefer to take a window seat of a plane or front seat of a car, or if you're at sea you're told to focus on the horizon.
This is also why some advice I've seen online for helping motion sickness can actually make things worse.
Sometimes this is because an online thread of advice about spin pole will contain people's remedies for both their dizziness and their motion sickness.
It always seems to fall under one topic but what works to cure someone's dizziness may not help if you're feeling nauseous and vice versa.
If you're feeling dizzy but not nauseous, sickness remedies won't help.
So let's take a look at some of the top ways you can control feelings of nausea on spin pole...
As I mentioned earlier some advice you might find online can in fact make things worse, or even be impractical for pole dance.
Spotting when done correctly, can help when you have feelings of nausea on spin pole, but there is so much conflicting opinion on how it's done and it does sometimes seem to be a case of different strokes for different folks.
I decided to take a look at the theory behind motion sickness to figure out what would work best.
Some people will say to focus on a fixed point in the room and keep turning your head back around to it to trick the senses into believing you aren't spinning.
Firstly, this method of spotting prevents dizziness - not nausea. Secondly, as with figure skaters, this tip just isn't practical.
We spin so fast on the pole that we couldn't possible keep up and whipping your head around like that on spin pole would surely give you whiplash, not to mention ruining your lines and flow!
The second method of spotting I've seen suggested is more common for pole dancers. With that said, it's also a good way to make things worse.
This advice would be to look at the pole or a part of your body while you are spinning, so that you have a static object to focus on.
Remember what causes nausea though? That's right, if your ears sense movement but your eyes don't see movement, that can lead to motion sickness.
Which is why although this method is great to help with feelings of dizziness, you might still come away feeling a little sea sick!
So when it comes to where we should look when we're spinning around upside down, what should you do?
We can't trick the senses when we are going so fast, and we can't spot a static object if we suffer from motion sickness.
What we can do, and what I do which has always worked for me, is to entirely forget about where you are looking.
Try not to focus on anything in particular with your eyes and focus more on what you are doing with your body. Concentrate on each move, pointy toes, elegant hands and just forget about trying to focus your eyes anywhere.
So assuming that the first 'easy option' hasn't worked for you and you're still coming away from the pole feeling green, I would recommend acupressure to combat motion sickness.
While you might have heard about acupuncture which is a therapy which uses needles, acupressure is different in that it is a reflex therapy which relies on massaging pressure points.
The theory behind acupressure is that stimulating the right points with pressure, needles or heat releases endorphins which relieve pain. This causes the muscles to relax and aids recovery.
You can teach yourself where to find these pressure points and then apply pressure to relieve your symptoms.
While this may seem a little impractical while you're trying to hold on to the pole, I came across a neat little invention to keep the right pressure points down to help relieve feelings of nausea while you pole.
These are actually designed to be travel sickness bands, but they work great for pole too!
Ginger has been used for medicinal purposes around the world for centuries, and one of the things it is famed for relieving is nausea.
There are two main chemicals in ginger that relax the intestinal track; gingerols and shogaols.
These reduce nausea and inflammation according to clinical studies and although research hasn't yet shown how, it is believed to have an effect on the brain and nervous system to control nausea as well.
Peppermint is also great for helping an upset stomach, so a nice ginger and peppermint tea should make sure you keep that motion sickness at bay!
I hope some of the tips and remedies in this article help you to combat any problems with dizziness and motion sickness while you are getting used to spin pole.
As a last resort for nausea, if you have tried all of the methods above and none of them seem to be working you can try over the counter motion sickness tablets such as Dramamine or Bonine but be aware that these can make you drowsy.
I wouldn't recommend them unless your nausea is extreme and isn't relieved by anything else.
If you have tried any of the tips above or any that aren't mentioned here, leave a comment to let us know what has worked for you!