The Sailor on Shore

The story “The Sailor on Shore” provides patients with instructions on how to deal with dizziness by optimising their sense of balance, for example if they are suffering from seasickness or travel sickness. A spirit level can be used as a metaphor in place of the nautical instrument referred to in the story.

“I’ve just come off a ship after spending five days out at sea,” explained the woman. “My head is trying to make me believe that I’m still out on the waves. Everything is swaying and rocking from side to side.” “I once visited a naval museum,” answered the man. “I saw a candle holder there which was specially designed to hold candles upright all the time, even out on the open sea. It consisted of three interlocking rings which were connected to each other but which could each rotate independently of the others. The outer ring hung on a chain and was positioned vertically, and the next ring was also positioned vertically, but at right angles to the first. The last and innermost ring was positioned horizontally, and supported the actual candle holder, whose centre of gravity was below the ring. No matter how much the ship swayed and rocked, the rings moved in such a way that the candle stayed upright.” “I’m not dizzy any more,” said the woman.

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