Holiday Tips for Air Travelers
By Nina Anderson
Overeating, parties, lack of sleep and stress are common occurrences that set the stage for vacation or holiday illness. Travelers who fly during winter holidays, add jet lag, fatigue and fear of flying to the reasons for hibernating until spring not to mention flight delays, lost bags and days spent at the airport because of a snow storm. Unless people are dedicated long-distance drivers, they will fly home for the holidays.
Snow storms and lost bags are beyond our control, but we can make traveling more pleasant by staying healthy, avoiding jet lag and curbing our fears. I spent 30 years either as a pilot or as a passenger, and I realized that many cases of pucker power could be avoided if we all knew what was really happening in the airplane. I'm sure that even the frequent flyer gets white knuckles when the turbulence keeps them from working on their laptop. We sit in the back and trust whoever is flying the airplane to tells us everything is OK.
In the book, The Backseat Flyer, a humorous explanation is offered as to what all those bumps, grinds, whistles and whirrs are that constantly divert your attention during take-off, landing and while you are sleeping. Education is a wonderful thing in that fears may dissipate once you know what to expect. Fear of flying grips a good percentage of the flying public, but most people are too embarrassed to fess' up!
The symptoms associated with fear are real (sweaty palms, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, claustrophobia) so don't let them pin your fear on psychological insanity. The inside of an airplane is no place to get a panic attack. Since you are unable to get away from the reason for the fear, we suggest you try a flower remedy. It works in seconds, right in the middle of a panic attack and stops it cold. The combination flower remedy tincture I use is called Fearfulness. It contains Aspen, Blackberry, Cherry Plum, Garlic, Mimulus, Red Chestnut and Rock Rose.
If you aren't afraid, but just apprehensive, you can try another flower remedy combination that combines Agrimony, Aspen, Bottlebrush, Impatiens, Red and White Chestnut and Chamomile. Since panic attacks begin in our emotional thought patterns and our mind, it seems logical that we should treat the cause, not just the symptoms. There are also herbal tinctures you can car-ry with you that reduce anxiety such as Elixir of Passionflower; Skullcap, Lemongrass, Kava Kava and Valerian Root. combined with Wild Lettuce.
Since many panic attacks can be caused by a release of adrenaline, sometimes caused by low blood sugar, it is important to eat before a flight. The meal should be of protein (meat or vegetable) and carbohydrates. No sugar should be taken before or during the flight as sugar spikes adrenaline responses. This includes soda and alcohol which provide sugar highs. Caffeine also can provide a response similar to an adrenaline rush, therefore, colas or coffee are not good beverage choices.
Once you have conquered your fear of flying, you may have to contend with jet lag. Many people don't know the symptoms of jet lag, except that you seem to either want to sleep all the time or experience annoying insomnia. The Backseat Flyer lists some less well known symptoms such as anxiety, body aches, dehydration, dry cough, disorientation, headache, impaired vision, impatience, inability to concentrate, loss of sexual impetus, memory loss, nausea and swollen feet. Since they may last up to three weeks, these are not really symptoms you want to have on your holiday trip.
Jet lag is relatively easy to address with a few key single homeopathic remedies including Arsenicum album, Crataegus and Ginseng. The latest and trendiest fix for jet lag is to carry your own personal light box. To quickly effect a remedy you must reset your circadian rhythms and reset your body clock. The most important regulator of these is the daily alternation of light and darkness. In plain English, our bodies are controlled by our internal clocks that base everything on sunrise and sunset. By exposing yourself to a light source 20 times brighter than normal indoor lighting at specific times, you can reset your body clock within one day. This new technology can also reduce the SAD Syndrome (seasonal affective disorder). Many of these light boxes are so compact you can carry them on the airplane.
Another reason to remain on the ground is avoidance of the barf bag. Air sickness is as miserable as sea sickness. Air sickness is caused by the inability of the mind to make sense out of what the eye sees and what the ear feels. You are flying in the clouds in a tube where the structure looks like it should be vertical. Instead your ears tell you that your body is leaning at 30 degree angle. In the middle of this confusion is your stomach, which doesn't like the discrepancy and prefers to get rid of its contents in rebellion.
There are certain drugs that can prevent airsickness but natural alternatives are equally as effective. A homeopathic remedy for vertigo (ear/eye inconsistencies) is Tabacum. Ginger has been used as an old home remedy for sea sickness and car sickness and is perfect for air sickness. Ginger tea or ginger powder on the tongue is best, but ginger cookies will do in a pinch. Other effective herbs in combination are Ginkgo Biloba Leaf, Passionflower, Clove Buds, St. Johns Wort, Lavender Flower and Hyssop Herb to name a few. These remedies should be taken for five days prior to travel to be most effective. If you become nauseous on the plane, see if someone has peppermint. Oil of peppermint without the sugar is best, but not many people carry that aboard, so search out peppermint gum or candies.
A great help to stomach upset is to take along some digestive plant enzymes. These should be part of your immune system travel kit, but they also have the ability to settle your stomach. There are herbal combinations that supply nutrients to help balance the body's equilibrium and reduce trauma in the stomach. Herbal formulas that contain liquid extracts from Ginger, Cassia, Clove Bud, Hyssop, Black Caraway Seed, Nutmeg, Peppermint and Red Poppy flower can do the trick.
Airborne germs can give you that after-flying cold. Since you can't avoid the germs, the best course of action is to fortify your immune system for a few weeks before you fly. This means adding antioxidants such as vitamin's E, A and C to your sup-plement regime. We also suggest as a daily measure, taking electrolyte minerals, and an essential fatty acid supplement such as flax and adding enzymes to your cooked food to improve nutrient absorption.
If you really want to kill that cold germ once you suspect that it has infected you, try an herbal antibiotic. Echinacea with Goldenseal Root that comes in a tincture or a tea and is an excellent way to get rid of a cold fast without using drugs. Beyond taking supplements, there is a high tech device that you can wear around your neck that will keep the germs away from you. This device employs three technologies, electron impact decomposition, magnetic field enhancement and corona discharge ionization. It is akin to wearing a personal air purifier and may zap the germs before they can reach you.
Another high-tech device that you can carry in your pocket helps reduce the fatigue from sitting for hours on end without moving. The elemental diode helps to rechannel the electromagnetic fields (EMF's) that circulate in the airplane because of the hundreds of miles of wiring that lies behind the cabin wall. These EMF's compromise your body's electrical pattern and contribute to headaches and fatigue. By putting a diode in your pocket you can leave that tired feeling behind and spring off the airplane full of holiday cheer.
In The Backseat Flyer, we suggest you pack an emergency travel kit when you fly. The items suggested will not only fortify your immune system against getting that cold from a sneezing passenger, but it will prepare you for any of the maladies that are associated with traveling by air. We can't fix your holiday hang-over or return your obnoxious tie, but we can help your flight to be more fun and healthier.
Nina Anderson was a commercial pilot for 30 years prior to her entry into the alternative health field. She is the author of 11 books. The Backseat Flyer, a humorous look at life and health above the clouds is available at bookstores or by calling (800) 903-3837. (See book review)
- Mineralized Water
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