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Holistic Treatment Success for Mal de Debarquement Syndrome

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Medically Reviewed Fact Checked

Last Updated on September 1, 2022 by Carol Gillette

Alternative to Meds Editorial Team
Medically Reviewed by Dr Samuel Lee MD

Holistic Treatment Success for Mal de Debarquement Syndrome

Alternative to Meds Center is excited to report our holistic treatment success for Mal de Debarquement Syndrome ( MdDS ). Since Hippocrates first mentioned the condition in early medical literature,1 we’ve come a long way. It’s not at all uncommon to experience a couple of hours of subjectively perceived motion after a boating trip or a lengthy flight, for example. As the Mal de Debarquement Foundation says, MdDS makes you feel like you’re still on the boat! What is rarer is that for some, these sensations do not abate and can linger for months without treatment.8,9

The center provides a holistic approach to discovering and addressing the originating causes of unwanted symptoms. Sometimes prescription drugs have been used to suppress these, but not eliminate them. Treating debarkment sickness with benzodiazepines or antidepressants is sometimes resorted to, but opens the possibility for addiction and other undesirable outcomes.7,9 Where necessary, we offer inpatient comprehensive medication withdrawal tapering. Prescription medication is not typically effective in the long-term treatment of MdDS. You may have been led to believe that the only answer to your mental or physical health symptoms lies in prescription medications. This is FALSE! Many holistic treatment approaches are available. Are you caught in a routine of visiting doctors and taking prescription drugs, but you are still suffering? Read the success story below written by a client who came to us on prescription medications with MdDS symptoms and who left our care free of symptoms and medications.

Symptoms of Mal de Debarquement can include:
  • Lingering sensation of personal motion after travel by ship, car, train, plane, etc.
  • Bobbing, swaying, rocking sensations though the body is not actually moving
  • Unsteadiness
  • Anxiety
  • Emotional distress
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Short-term memory loss

Struggling with Medication Issues, Mental Health Problems, or MdDS?

Mal de Débarquement Syndrome, also known as disembarkment Syndrome or MdDS, is an uncommon condition of lingering perceived movement after disembarking from an ocean cruise, extensive auto, air, train, or boat travel, or other movement experience. Mal de Débarquement is a French phrase that means disembarkation sickness. The main diagnostic “tell” is a rocking, swaying, or bobbing sensation, also described as similar to the spinning sensation of vertigo. Some people develop MdDS unexpectedly when they have not experienced a prior motion event, some have reported symptoms after surgery, and others are simply puzzled why this happened. It has been established that the condition is found more frequently in women than men.2 Mal de Debarquement Syndrome symptoms include a feeling of motion that is typically associated with imbalance, fatigue, and cognitive impairment and can include short-term loss of memory, lack of ability to remember words, and lack of ability to multi-task. Surprisingly perhaps, these sensations tend to abate when the person gets back into motion again, but the symptoms return whenever they wish to be still, as in sitting or trying to sleep. There are reports of the condition only returning when in motion, and abating when still. Sometimes the condition appears to be episodic, starting and stopping at what seem to be random times. It is no wonder that this relentless sensation of “land sickness” can be debilitating and frustrating to practitioners and patients alike.

We Provide Scientific, Safe, Holistic Treatment for Mal de Debarquement Symptoms

symptoms of MdDSCommon symptoms of MdDS include visual disturbances, dizziness, migraines, headaches, anxiety, and confusion. It is also documented that some patients have described ear-related symptoms such as tinnitus, hyperacusis, pain, and even decreased hearing.3 The severity of symptoms varies substantially between patients but can be quite disabling. In some cases, MdDS can continue for years. The cause is unknown, and misdiagnoses are fairly common.4 Prescription medication is usually prescribed for MdDS, however, is usually not considered effective beyond reducing the stress caused by having these strange lingering sensations.5 At Alternative to Meds Center, we may be able to offer an answer to MdDS with medication tapering, holistic medication alternatives, and naturopathic mental health treatments.

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Don’t Fall into a Cycle of Prescription Medicating and Doctor Visits

The symptoms of MdDS are often increased by mental health problems, medication, drug or alcohol addiction, lack of sleep, stress, crowds, sudden movements, flickering lights, busy or enclosed areas, and loud sounds. The syndrome is felt to be under-reported in the medical literature, where relatively few cases have been researched. If you feel that you may have MdDS, we may be able to help you overcome the syndrome by balancing mental health and providing effective alternatives to prescription drugs.

We Employ Holistic, Drug-free Approaches to Stabilize the Brain and Body

Traditional medicine notes that medications such as benzodiazepine clonazepam can suppress brain circuits and nerves involved in balance but that these medications do not appear to provide permanent relief. As the recommended medications for this syndrome do not typically provide lasting success, Alternative to Meds Center may be able to offer effective alternative options besides medication and subsequently alleviate the symptoms of MdDS.

Our professionals get to the bottom of why you started having symptoms.

Alternative to Meds Center achieved holistic treatment success for Mal de Debarquement Syndrome using chelation to remove heavy metals from the body and detoxification methods to remove neurotoxins, such as built-up pesticides or other chemical burdens. Through repairing the nervous system and providing other beneficial Disembarkment syndrome treatments, restoration of balance became possible. We use lab testing to determine not only toxicity but levels of vitamins, and minerals, so we can design and implement nutrition and dietary therapies to assist the transition back to stability.

All aspects of treatment are customized to meet each client’s exact needs.

holistic MdDS treatmentsAlternative to Meds Center’s objective is to achieve lasting relief from medication and mental health problems. While providing comprehensive treatment for medication tapering and mental health, we may also be able to present holistic treatment success for Mal de Debarquement Syndrome. To offer effectual, lasting solutions for mental and physical health, each of our clients is provided with an entirely individualized therapy program. Alternative mental health adjunctive treatments for medication withdrawal and mental health concerns include exercise, nutritional treatments, diet corrections, massage, yoga, meditation, acupuncture, supplements and vitamins, sauna, and lab testing to find any underlying issues. A pilot study in 2015 showed acupuncture provided immediate relief for symptoms of dizziness and vertigo.10

Medical care, educational classes, and compassionate staff deliver world-class treatment in a luxurious residential facility. Aftercare programs are also provided to make sure that clients are capable of continuing a healthy, happy life when they leave our care.4

We can help you address mental and physical health without drugs. Trained counselors are here to answer all of your questions.

“I’m Jason and for 23 years I’ve been on very strong narcoleptic drugs to control my obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and Tourette’s syndrome. The doctor’s convinced my family and I that I would need to take the drugs for my entire life, this was incredibly discouraging to me. Two months ago, Alternative to Meds Center was introduced into my life. The director, Lyle, was very confident that he would be able to taper me off of my meds safely and implement a holistic, natural regimen. My first thoughts were that he was totally crazy. For 23 years, there hasn’t been one day that I’ve lived without them, and vitamins were supposed to help? At first I thought this was outlandish, but took a very deep breath, went into it and kept an open mind. Every day for my whole life, I have felt like I have to take these medications or else! When growing up amongst friends and my peers it was difficult to feel “normal” because none of the other kids had to take potent sedatives every single morning. When my taper was completed, my results were astronomical. I didn’t feel sedated or like a zombie for the first time in my life. My personality turned positive, happy, and optimistic. And get this, the Vitamins actually did work. I thought this was never possible … ever. My OCD and Tourette’s syndrome symptoms had dissipated and I was also medication free, thank God! One and a half months later, I entered into a different program. After beginning the other program, the program supervisor chose not to allow me to have my vitamin packs. When I stopped taking them, Tourette’s syndrome came back with full force, and my head was literally spinning without control, I was a mess. I brought this to Alternative to Meds Center, and they put me immediately back on my vitamins and once again, the Tourette’s was gone. Being off of my medications was a dream I have had for many years, and the Alternative to Meds Center has made that dream possible for me. This is a real miracle, as far as I’m concerned. For anyone who is plagued with similar situations as I’ve been, I would recommend that they go through this process. It is very effective and really does work.”  ~Jason G.

1. Saha K, Fife T. “Mal de debarquement syndrome- Review and proposed diagnostic criteria.” Neurol Clin Pract 2015 Jun; 5(3):209-215 PMID 29443215 [cited 2022 Aug 29]

2. Contributing authors Vestibular Disorders Association and Jeffry kramer MD, Mercy Hospital Chicago, published in Rare Disease Database (NORD) “Mal de Debarquement.” [publinshed online] [cited 2022 Aug 29]

3. The Hearing Review, “Classification of Audiovestibular Symptoms Related to Migraine, part 2, Mal de Debarquement Syndrome.” 2002 [online] [cited 2022 Aug 29]

4. Mucci V et al., “Mal de Debarquement Syndrome: a survey on subtypes, misdiagnoses, onset, and associated psychological features.” J Neurol. 2018; 265(3): 486-499 PMID 29305644 [online] 2018 Jan 5 [cited 2022 Aug 29]

5. Canceri J, et al.,”Examination of Current Treatments and Symptom Management Strategies Used by Patients with Mal de Debarquement Syndrome.” Front Neurol. 2018; 9: 943 [online] 2018 Nov 12 PMID 30483208 [cited 2022 Aug 29]

6. Saha K, Cha YH. Mal de Debarquement Syndrome. Semin Neurol. 2020 Feb;40(1):160-164. doi: 10.1055/s-0039-3402740. Epub 2020 Jan 27. PMID: 31986543. [cited 2022 Aug 29]

7. Hain TC, Cherchi M. Mal de débarquement syndrome. Handb Clin Neurol. 2016;137:391-5. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-444-63437-5.00028-5. PMID: 27638086. [cited 2022 Aug 29]

8. Van Ombergen A, Van Rompaey V, Maes LK, Van de Heyning PH, Wuyts FL. Mal de debarquement syndrome: a systematic review. J Neurol. 2016 May;263(5):843-854. doi: 10.1007/s00415-015-7962-6. Epub 2015 Nov 11. PMID: 26559820; PMCID: PMC4859840. [cited 2022 Aug 29]

9. MdDS Foundation MdDS makes You Feel Like You’re Still on the Boat [published online 8.21.17] [cited 2022 Aug 29]

10. Chiu CW, Lee TC, Hsu PC, Chen CY, Chang SC, Chiang JY, Lo LC. Efficacy and safety of acupuncture for dizziness and vertigo in emergency department: a pilot cohort study. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2015 Jun 9;15:173. doi: 10.1186/s12906-015-0704-6. PMID: 26055400; PMCID: PMC4459064. [cited 2022 Aug 29]

Originally Published Sep 19, 2018 by Diane Ridaeus

This content has been reviewed and approved by a licensed physician.

Dr. Samuel Lee

Dr. Samuel Lee is a board-certified psychiatrist, specializing in a spiritually-based mental health discipline and integrative approaches. He graduated with an MD at Loma Linda University School of Medicine and did a residency in psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. He has also been an inpatient adult psychiatrist at Kaweah Delta Mental Health Hospital and the primary attending geriatric psychiatrist at the Auerbach Inpatient Psychiatric Jewish Home Hospital. In addition, he served as the general adult outpatient psychiatrist at Kaiser Permanente.  He is board-certified in psychiatry and neurology and has a B.A. Magna Cum Laude in Religion from Pacific Union College. His specialty is in natural healing techniques that promote the body’s innate ability to heal itself.

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Holistic Treatment Success for Mal de Debarquement Syndrome
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Nothing on this Website is intended to be taken as medical advice. The information provided on the website is intended to encourage, not replace, direct patient-health professional relationships. Always consult with your doctor before altering your medications. Adding nutritional supplements may alter the effect of medication. Any medication changes should be done only after proper evaluation and under medical supervision.

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