November 2000 Ageless herbal newsletter
With the holiday season around the corner, a lot of people will be traveling to friends and family, or other holiday destinations, to have their well earned rest. Most of the time it will include air travel, and in some cases even long haul or international flights, which cross different time zones, with resultant jet lag - more on beating jet lag later on.
Since so many people feel out of sorts, even when traveling relatively short distances by air, we have decided to discuss this matter in today's newsletter, in preparation for a great holiday season.
When most people board a plane while on holiday, they are normally relaxed and in the mood to enjoy themselves - this normally includes having alcoholic beverages at times when they would normally not have anything alcoholic. But alcohol is not the only culprit - the seemingly innocent cup of tea or coffee can also influence you negatively.
Because of the increased air pressure while traveling on board a pressurized aircraft, alcohol sometimes has some strange effects on people who normally are not affected by it. But one of the worst "side effects" of having a drink prior to your flight, or while en route, is the diuretic effect it has on your body.
The pressurized air in the aircraft is already devoid of moisture, requiring your body to compensate for this lack - but with increased urination, the problem gets worse.
Remember - if you feel thirsty, you might be slightly dehydrated and need to take in fluid to balance the fluid in your body. DO NOT ignore it if you feel thirsty - but keep away from the drinks trolley and rather opt for a bottle of spring water. It might not be as interesting as having a "drink" - but your body will love it.
(It is also reported by people who drink excessively when flying, that they have a worse hangover than normal - the reason for this is the extra dehydration that they experience).
Coffee and tea also can have this effect to a smaller degree, and the best fluid to take while flying is pure bottled water with no added carbon. Having carbonated fizzy drinks can make you feel bloated and could in some individuals cause a stomach upset.
And talking about stomachs, try and keep your food intake to a moderately light meal - although most air carriers are not known for unforgettable meals, people are more prone to snack a lot while waiting for their plane to depart, as well as during the flight.
If you should get off the aircraft feeling bloated and uncomfortable, you might consider having a cup of herbal tea to help with it.
But keep in mind - if you take St John's Wort, you might become photosensitive, as a small amount of people do show signs of being far more light sensitive while taking this herb.
When we start looking at the negative effect that flying has on our skin and general looks, we must first realize that it is the drying effect of the air, which causes our skin to react that way. That is why cabin attendants with bad skincare, start to show aging far quicker, since they are exposed to the drying cabin air far more frequently.
When flying try and keep make-up to a minimum and follow a good skincare regime before leaving for the airport.
Spend time to properly clean, tone and most importantly moisturize your skin. While flying the moisture is stripped from your skin, and although the body gallantly tries to keep it moisturized from the inside, it can do with some help from the outside.
It is of paramount importance to keep your skin hydrated at all times. It might be good to look for a "heavy duty" type of moisturizer, or to regularly re-apply a lighter type of moisturizer. With a heavy type of moisturizer you could look at something like your regular night cream, since it is normally richer than your day cream.
You should take great care to keep the sensitive areas, like those fragile areas around your eyes, well protected, since they are the areas to show wrinkles and dehydration first. Our eye gel at http://www.ageless.co.za/eyegel.htm is great for keeping this area hydrated and for fighting wrinkles.
As soon as I get off a long haul flight, I normally treat my skin to a good exfoliation, to get rid of any dirt or grime that might have become lodged on my skin.
When you fly through different time zones, your body cannot adapt quickly enough to the new local time, and still tries to function on its internal body clock.
This normally does not happen when you only cross two time zones, or if you fly longitudinally, as the sun rises and sets at the same time - you for instance do not suffer too much flying from South Africa to London, but feel jet lag when traveling from London to Los Angeles or New York.
To combat jet lag, many different types of remedies are put forward, but an interesting web site can help you beat jet lag - please look at http://www.bodyclock.com. At this site they discuss the body's problem to adapt, and a novel way is put forward to beat it, by increasing your exposure to light at different times, to help your body get into sync again.
I personally prefer to take a daylight flight when traveling through different time zones, and treat myself to a long soak in a warm bath, followed by a good stimulating scrub when arriving at my destination.
My body's ill timed wants, like wishing for breakfast when it is supper time, I go with, if it is a short stay-over.
For a longer stay, try to, as soon as possible, fit into the daily rhythm of my new location - even if it means to stay awake when you are very tired, and to rather go to bed at bedtime at the new locations time.
Another common problem when flying is the retention of fluid in your tissues and muscles, as well as developing cramps.
We should keep in mind that aircrafts have extremely limited space, and to start walking the isles for hours on end will disrupt the work of the poor cabin staff, so try and rather keep your muscles and joints limber while seated.
Before doing these exercises during your flight, please check with your medical doctor if they are suitable for you.
Place one leg over the other and gently rotate your ankles 3 times in a clockwise direction, and then 3 times in an anti-clockwise direction. Change legs and repeat with other ankle.
While sitting upright, pull your shoulders gently towards your ears and relax them again. Repeat three times.
While sitting upright lean forward in your chair whilst pulling in your stomach, relax your stomach and sit back again - repeat three times.
Gently move your head towards your shoulder on the left hand side, bring it back to the upright position and repeat the motion to the right hand side. Repeat the exercise three times. (please do this gently and do not force your head any further than it can comfortably go.)
While sitting , cross your arms and place your hands on the opposite shoulder. Lift your elbows while breathing in deeply on the count of three, and hold your breath for a count of three. Lower your elbows, and exhale.
Please note - these exercises must be done gently, and if sore, stop. Check with your medical doctor before doing the exercises, or if in doubt about any aspects of your health.
Remember - your vacation should be a time for sun, enjoyment and relaxation. Plan your holiday well to cut out any stresses of a badly planned holiday, and is applicable, use some of the tips above to make your trip an enjoyable one.