Nausea: a Disorder of the Senses

Nausea is one of those ailments that are hard to treat, to find the root cause. But in my course with the Taiwanese teacher on the twelve senses, nausea is a disorder of one’s sense of balance. There are different kinds and different levels of nausea. Some people feel nauseous standing or sitting, some feel nauseous walking. This reminds me of when I was small, I had a few incidents of feeling nauseous.

One of the incident was particularly memorable, and then when I experienced it again as an adult, in roughly the same kind of situation, and it felt like hell.

One day, when I was a kid, I was on a road trip with my relatives. We squeezed ourselves into a sedan, the car was nearly busting with human bodies. I sat on the side, next to the door, but my butt practically claimed almost no seat and my shoulders had to fold themselves in order to make myself as small as possible and my hands had to cling on to the front passenger seat in order to hold myself together in the moving car and me being tall had to make my legs short in order to fit into the tight legroom and my torso had to be held in a twisted position in order to counter-balance the rest of my distortion. Even a corpse sleeping comfortably in a coffin would feel sorry for me. On top of that, the air was too warm and stuffy, due to poor air circulation or poor air quality.

Then I got nauseous as the car was moving.

I remembered looking left right up down, because the only part of my body that was relatively movable in that position was my head, and it was trying its best to rescue itself from this miserable situation, and also trying to escape from the stuffy air that was making me unable to breathe, because I thought that was what made me nauseous.

I remembered kept tuning myself out of the cramped situation, to mentally escape that physical torture, and to keep praying that they would arrive at some destination soon so that I could get out of the car.

The rest of the crew seemed fine except for me, who couldn’t stand holding my body in an awkward position in a moving vessel for a prolonged period of time while being half suffocated. So I didn’t dare to complain, because I didn’t want to be the only one who had a problem, the only one who needed special care, the only one who couldn’t put up with what everyone else could. Psychological suffocation. Helplessness.

Then as we arrived at our destination I had to appear cheerful so as to be in the mood with the group excursion, instead of showing my gloomy face to dampen everyone else’s mood.

Practically all instances of my nausea happened in roughly that kind of circumstances–no sense of self in group. Another scenario where I tend to have nausea is when the energy flow in and around my head is stagnated, which is mostly cause by poor sleep, and it doesn’t bother me as much as long as there is no one next to me nagging me, telling me to do this and that, encroaching on my space–my sense of self.

My teacher’s explanation of nausea is that it is due to a disorder with one’s sense of balance, because when one’s sense of self is constantly being threatened, then one cannot sit securely and comfortably within oneself, which means one cannot sit or stand firmly in one’s role or existence or position, rather, one always has to go outside of one’s place to be someone else or do/say something that someone else wants. So that constant going out of one’s place eventually makes one lose one’s sense of balance, and therefore get nauseous.

In my case, I cannot be my physical self, I cannot rest my physical body comfortably by claiming the necessary space or even fresh air that it needs in order to relax and be still for a extended period of time. Instead, I have to contort and distort my body, to force it to rest in a posture that it is naturally not designed to feel restful in, and I cannot demand the situation to be any different, I cannot ask for what others would not allow, I have to be someone else and to do something that someone else requires of me.

No sense of self.

A very physical threat to my sense of myself.

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