Flying has become such a big part of modern society and I see so many patients that have unpleasant after-effects, particularly on international flights.
This weekend I went for 4 days to New York so tested my own tips to the best of my ability, with astonishing results. Some of these you might know, but I am sure there are some that will be new for you.
Hydrate well. We all hear we need to hydrate well. It is important to start this process at least 2 days before your flight. The air inside the cabin is very dry. Water is essential for all body functions. This includes energy and immunity.
Is there, though, a way to hydrate faster? I used elite electrolyte drops that contain all the major electrolytes and 75 trace minerals. It hydrates 4 x faster than just water. This means less frequent visits to the loo but with effective hydration.
Water is also very important to prevent water retention. This is the exact opposite of what we think happens. If you have water retention you often actually have too little water. Your body is trying to hold onto the little water you have and is holding the water back in your legs. So upping your water intake is essential. Take your own buchu tea with you on the plane (Tea leaves). Why not? Buchu helps water retention and drains the kidneys.
Also, remember sometimes feeling hungry really means you are thirsty. So first have some water before eating. Both these principles of hydration and thirst are applicable to everyday life.
What to do to stay healthy. The air on the plane is circulated so if there is one person that is not well then those viruses and bacteria will reach you. I dose myself up 2 days before flying to improve my immune system. Here is my top list of supplements: Vitamin D, Echinacea premium (acts as a natural antibiotic), Andrographis (acts as an antiviral).
Some people are very sensitive to drafts. I am one of those. Traveling with a beanie is essential for me. The other important clothing is a top that covers the back of my neck. You lose a large percentage of body heat through your head; one of the main acupuncture points for immune system health is also at the back of your neck. Any cold air, through draughts, “enters” your body there. The Chinese diagnosis for this is: “Wind invasion”. It feels weird packing these 2 items especially if you leave your home while the temperatures are in the high 20s and where you are heading is also in the 20s. Trust me on this one pack those 2 items for the flight.
Another essential thing to take with you is Ti-tree essential oil (pun intended). My favorite brand is Thursday Plantation. Fresh from Australia. If you feel a slight sore throat then take 2 drops on your finger and rub the back of your throat. Ti-Tree has anti-viral, anti-biotic, and anti-fungal properties. Doing this stops any of the bugs going down in your throat. Remember using neat essential oils internally generally is not advised, so don’t overdo it, and only use oil from a reputable source. You can safely put drops on a handkerchief and inhale every 2 – 3 hours to help to stop the bugs getting into your system.
Sleeping problems and adjusting to different time zones. Melatonin is released at night when it is dark and makes you sleepy. You can start to mimic the body’s natural rhythm, linking it to your destination. How to take: Take 1 Melatonin 1 hour before your new destination’s bedtime. Once you arrive at your destination continue for a few days until you are in synch with the new zone and fall asleep easily. You can do the same thing on your return trip.
Jin Shin Jyutsu Also increase the positive energies which would result from harmonising the elements, as well as the attitudes, related to each of the fingers, which one does by holding the fingers gently, one by one (the whole point of Jin Shin Jyutsu is the attitudes being associated with the fingers). By harmonising all the meridians, throughout the flight, you arrive at your destination in harmony with the new time zone.
JIN SHIN JYUTSU is the Art of releasing tensions that are the causes of various symptoms in the body. Our bodies contain several energy pathways (the same as the meridians in acupuncture) that feed life into all of our cells. When one or more of these paths become blocked, this damming effect may lead to discomfort or even pain. This blockage or stagnation will not only disrupt the local area but will eventually disharmonise the entire path or paths of the energy flow. Through Jin Shin Jyutsu our awareness is awakened to the simple fact that we are endowed with the ability to harmonise and balance ourselves (in rhythm with the universe) physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Plane food I have a patient who is a pilot who no longer eats the food on the plane and his chronic stomach issues have been resolved. The food might not what you are used to and can cause problems with your digestive system. Take your own food and some extra snacks so you can feel sufficiently satisfied and not need to eat the food you normally would not. Some examples are a small packet of dried fruit, nuts, biltong, fruit. This means you have the protein to balance your blood sugar and you have something sweet to satisfy your sweet tooth. And the fruit for energy.
And then the mindset. Think of your holiday as starting as you leave the house to get to the airport until we discover teletransportation!
HYDRATION CALCULATOR Calculate your daily fluid intake with this nifty link: click here