With the convenience of air travel, more and more people are taking advantage of flying greater distances. These long flights have a very real effect on the body. During a long flight, such as across the U.S. from one coast to the other, or a flight to Europe, the physiological functions of the body are thrown out of kilter. The body becomes imbalanced.
The body has a certain rhythm in which it operates during a twenty four hour period. This is called the "arcadian" rhythm. During this cycle the body experiences slight changes of temperature, minor changes of sodium and potassium in blood levels, and changes in hormone secretions. Because of rapid time zone changes these normal functions are disrupted. How long it takes to return to normal function after a long flight depends on the individual. Some common symptoms of jet lag include: dry mouth, racing pulse, disorientation, insomnia, and often a loss of appetite.
Flights from the west to the east are more taxing. Evidence reveals that the traveler's ability to perform tasks is lower after long distance travel. It is best not to make important decisions soon after arrival.
To minimize the effects of jet lag while on the airplane, avoid alcoholic drinks, as these, along with a pressurized cabin, dehydrate you; sleep or rest as much as possible. Also try to sleep at the end of the journey rather that doing a lot of work immediately.
Full body shiatsu relieves the stress of travel better then anything else. Especially press the acupoints on the neck, shoulders, and head, GB 20 and GV 20, Yintang and Taiyang.
Eat simply and be rested before the flight. Order non-dairy vegetarian meals when you make reservations for your trip. And for your stomach's sake, bring brown rice balls or sushi on the airplane with you. Brown rice is satisfying and allows you to remain feeling light rather then stuffed. With some airlines it is best to avoid the meals altogether.
After arrival at your destination, the rule of eating simply should be adhered to for at least one day.