Try these 5 Ayurveda treatments the next time you cruise the sky
Even though it’s incredible that we can fly all the way to the other side of the world, being airborne most certainly takes its toll on us. Durning the flight, our body undergoes significant physiological stress. We experience decreased oxygen levels, dehydration, constipation, and diminished circulation. Our bodies and minds often leave a flight feeling less than optimally healthy.
Fortunately, there are Ayurveda treatments that can help us avoid most of these symptoms. These tips and strategies are extremely approachable and time-tested to provide relief.
Here are a few significant things that happen to our bodies when we fly
- Exposure to Sickness
We are 100 times more likely to catch a cold on a flight. The cabin atmosphere is extremely dry, allowing air-borne infections to spread quite easily throughout the cabin. Gross, I know, but a legitimate fact and one far too many people have fallen victim to when traveling by plane.
The exhaustion most of us feel after flying is partially from the emotional exhaustion of traveling. The main culprit for why we physically feel ‘pooped’ is due to lower oxygen levels while flying. Our bodies circulate less oxygen because air pressure on a plane simulates somewhere around 8,000ft of elevation.
We lose a lot of water content when we fly. Our bodies are exposed to a significantly dryer atmosphere, causing us to experience dehydration on a cellular level.
4. Gas and stomach pain
As the plane rises in elevation and cabin pressure drops, the gas in our intestines expands. This is why it’s so common to feel stomach pain when traveling by air.
5. Lack of circulation
Blood circulation goes down the tubes when we fly. Unfortunately, most air travelers do not have the luxury of moving around more than a few times during long flights to aid in a healthy circulatory blood flow. The longer the flight, the more intense the lack of circulation becomes. And if you have a window seat on a crowded flight, there’s less of an inclination to move around much to avoid disturbing other passengers, especially if they’re sleeping.
Most of us can agree, nothing is eventful about arriving to your destination and experiencing an amalgamation of jet lag, indigestion, exhaustion, and/or an airplane bug.
These Ayurveda treatments help with avoiding throwing our bodies out of balance and our immune systems into the microbial cesspool
- Proactively Strengthen Immunity
Always travel with an immune support tincture. I strongly suggest an echinacea and goldenseal blend. My favorite is Gaia Herbs Echinacea and Goldenseal Supreme.
Bring along a 3 oz bottle of your favorite oil. Not only does oil help to hydrate our skin, but it’s also quite effective in combatting nasal dryness. Oil is one of the most effective Ayurveda treatments and essential oils are used for a variety of ailments. Exposure to sickness is quite high on planes and one of the main culprits is our dry mucous membranes. Our mucous membranes are one of our bodies’ greatest defense mechanisms against harmful microbes. Nasya oil is a great product to support this function (Sesame oil based with a dozen delicious herbs steeped inside). This oil is also great to use on a nightly basis, even when you’re not traveling.
- Handling Exhaustion
When taking long flights, do your best to catch some shut-eye. Arming yourself against exhaustion means you need to let your body and mind rest. Herbal sleep-aid tablets such as I Sleep Soundly from Banyan Botanicals are wildly popular because they work. Use your time wisely and rest so you can enjoy your destination with gusto.
This is a big one. Hydration is quite the challenge when air traveling. Did you know by the time you feel the physical sensation of ‘thirst’, you’re already dehydrated? Our thirst mechanism does not signal us quickly. Focus on drinking those fluids even if you don’t feel especially parched.
As little as 1% dehydration negatively affects our moods, attention spans, memories, and motor coordination. Why is this important? Well, our blood thickens and concentrates, making it harder for the cardiovascular system to maintain appropriate blood pressure. So yeah, it’s pretty important to stay hydrated, especially when in flight. Aim for half of your body weight in ounces. Yes, it’s a lot, but you can do it and it is habit-forming.
IMPORTANT STRATEGY: Avoid coffee and booze on flights. If you know you just aren’t going to be compliant with one or both, compensate with sufficient water consumption. We all understand ‘vacation mode’ but don’t sacrifice your hydration. That way you can fully enjoy the experience.
- Expansion of gas
Since we’re already focusing on increasing fluids, let’s kill two birds with one stone. Come prepared with tea bags in your carry-on. Peppermint, green, and senna tea are best for aiding in digestion, calming our nerves, encouraging circulation, keeping us hydrated, and keeping queasy stomachs from being overly uncooperative. Green tea is even more hydrating than water, so drink up!
- Circulation Stimulation
Unfortunately, there are no specific Ayurveda treatments that can control the effect that air-travel has on your circulation. Nothing can. However, you can proactively set yourself up for success in a very simple way. While waiting at the gate, move everything. Your muscles, bones, tendons, joints, and cartilage will thank you endlessly. Yoga is a great way to offer stimulation and restoration for the body and mind while traveling. Be that weirdo in the corner stretching and flowing. You’ll be the one to enjoy your flight and fully delight in your destination.