|How to Beat Jet Lag Naturally, Part 1|
|Tuesday, 31 July 2012 00:00 | Written by Tonya Kay | Blog Entry|
It's a miracle. That’s what I think every time the wheels pull away from the tarmac—and I feel the upward lift take hundreds of humans, their luggage, jet fuel, reheated meals and a sky bus weighing as much as 88 tons off the ground.
This bird was born to fly. As a young child I frequently tripped from Michigan to California with my mom to visit my dad, who was working on the left coast. I enjoyed the getting-somewhere part immensely even as a three-year-old. I've toured a cumulative five years of my adult life on music tours or in theatrical productions and there wasn't a day I didn't get a kick out of the getting-somewhere part then, too. A dear friend of mine who reads astrology charts quite poetically and accurately, upon gazing upon my illustrated star map for the first time, burst out in a chuckle, "You're never gonna slow down!"
Or sit down, or settle down. I'm never gonna stay put long and I'm glad I've surrendered to that fact. Because after accepting that I was going to be a lifetime traveler—a professional globetrotter of sorts—I really started to take it seriously. I started to pay attention to how traveling—specifically flying on an airplane—makes me feel. Because, after all, I'm always getting somewhere. And I'd prefer to arrive feeling great right away.
So how does air travel make me feel, now that I pay attention? Dehydrated. Ungrounded. Stiff. Restless. Confined. Queasy. And jet lag is the amplification of all these maladies, plus radiation exhaustion and pituitary-gland confusion. I'm assaulted with radiation from the sun and the on-board wifi. I'm stressed out by turbulence and/or the tired, bratty toddler. I'm violated by recycled air and preheated meals. Help! How am I supposed to land ready to explore?
The effects of jet lag are discernible whether your flight is five or 22 hours, like the one I am on today. (As I type these words I’m flying from Los Angeles to Bangkok to volunteer my help to the endangered Asian elephant and live with an indigenous jungle tribe via eco-tourism programs set up by Elephant Nature Park. But I’m not worried because over my years of globetrotting, I’ve devised techniques to combat jet lag naturally. I’ll use them again this flight so that, two days from now, I can wake up in Chiang Mai, ready to experience all it has to offer. And I’d like to share them with you.
Twenty-four hours before a flight, I begin taking the stress off my digestive system by juicing for 12 hours, then water-fasting for the following 12. For the entire duration of the flight—in this case, 22 hours!—I eat lightly and make sure I have fresh carrots or some other root vegetable, to encourage any energies seeking grounding to find 'root.'
To combat stiffness from my very own seat 60E, I do a little chair yoga. Just like the senior-citizen exercise programs on daytime TV—where women twist and rotate in a seated position while men roll their shoulders from a walker—I am the host of my own chair yoga class and… it helps! Roll your head; lift and drop your shoulders; arch and contract your upper back; wiggle your fingers, wrists, ankles and hip sockets. Then meet me in back, near the lavatory/kitchen, where there's a little more space for quadriceps and hamstring stretches, hip flexor and rib-cage circles, and a few minutes of bouncing lightly on our toes to stop the lymph from pooling and keep the chi moving upward. I do my seat stretches every time I think about it and make a rule to get up and out of my seat every two hours for at least 10 minutes of walking/stretching in the back. It is essential to stretch before you feel stiff!
Also, consider combating stiffness with homeopathy. Twenty-four hours before a flight, I begin dissolving four Arnica Montana 6c pellets in my mouth every five hours. Once on board, I bump that up to three pellets every two hours. Between stretches, rotations and Arnica, I have successfully stepped off a 24-hour flight without a pain in my body. Following this regime is really worth it.
See more tips in Part 2
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