If you follow me on Instagram you know I just returned from a 14 day trip through the United Kingdom (UK).
The UK is seven hours ahead of Denver so I hit the ground running. There was one day in Edinburgh and one day in London that my Fit Bit recorded 20,000 steps (approximately 10 miles) of walking. I needed my circadian rhythms and biorhythms to catch up quickly from the time difference, but I also wanted my immune system and digestive system to stay healthy so my energy levels would remain optimal during the trip.
I felt great throughout and I attribute this to a couple bio-hacks I use. Dave Asprey the author of the Bulletproof Diet defines Bio-Hacks as: To use systems- thinking, science, biology, and self-experimentation to take control of and upgrade your body, your mind, and your life.
Here are my personal travel hacks:
1. Acupressure – Using manual pressure and massage to stimulate acupuncture points instead of needles. There are “holds” and sequences for various mental and physical ailments, but I have had great success using it on myself to re-set my body clock. In fact, this sequence works so well for me I essentially had no jet lag on either end of the trip. This is what I do:
- Before boarding at your departure gate reset the time on your watch to your destination point’s current time. Check your smartphone for a world clock too.
- While boarding your plane, reset your mental clock by visualizing yourself at your destination at the time of day it is there.
- Take your seat, relax and note the acupressure point corresponding to the current time at your destination. Gently apply pressure for two minutes to this point on both sides of the body while again visualizing yourself at your destination.
- Repeat every two hours, using the corresponding acupressure point, until arriving at your destination and for four hours afterward if you are awake that long.
- Avoid the tendency to look back on the time zone you came from. It is counter-productive to say things like, “It’s really 2 a.m. my time.” Instead, upon arrival walk outside and allow your body clock to adjust and acclimate to local time.
- Follow these steps again when returning home or traveling to your next destination.
I continued doing this for the next 24 hours upon my arrival and return. If I had trouble falling asleep any night during my trip, I would hold the acupressure point for the current time and I quickly fell asleep.
The other thing I do to help myself quickly acclimate to the local time zone is I take Walnut Bach Flower Remedy. I wrote a blog post about Bach Flowers awhile ago. Walnut Bach Flower Remedy helps the body and mind with transition (any kind), and traveling always creates big transitions when you go from time zone to time zone, city to city etc, etc.
I put a couple drops under my tongue whenever I thought about it and then took it when I was flying. Try it and see what you think. I think it helps me feel more at ease, relaxed, and able to quickly adapt to new environments when I travel.
2. Drink – I drink a ton of bottled water on the plane and throughout the day. Staying hydrated with at least 80-100 ounces of water each day can make a huge difference in how you feel when traveling. I also ask for a cup of hot water and squeeze fresh lemon into it at restaurants. This is great for digestion, hydration and pH balance. The other thing I carry with me is powdered electrolytes. I add a packet of electrolytes to my water when I’m on the plane. Electrolytes help the body stay hydrated and keeps energy levels up. They also provide minerals which can reduce achy, tired muscles.
3. Food – I ate haggis, scones (made from gluten), lots of authentic spicy Indian food and I didn’t have any stomach or digestive upset the whole trip. This is what I take:
Probiotic – Every night before bed I take this high quality probiotic.
Nutri-Biotic Defense Plus – Another anti-parasite, anti-bacteria, immune boosting product that I’ve used for years.
Olive Leaf – This is my go-to immune booster. I take two capsules every day when I’m on the road. Olive leaf has incredible healing properties ranging from anti-fatigue, anti-viral, anti-bacteria, anti-fungal. I take it during cold and flu season and definitely when I’m on and off airplanes on a frequent basis.
4. Infrared Saunas – I arrived back in Denver at 6 pm on Wednesday evening and at 10 am on Thursday morning I was sitting in an infrared sauna. I’m fortunate to have a chiropractor who has an infrared sauna in her office, so I use it frequently. Infrared saunas are great for detoxification (just the thing I need after a 9 hour international flight). They are also good for relaxation, anti-aging, cellular health, pain relief, improved circulation, wound healing, weight loss, and lowering blood pressure.
5. Skin Brushing and Rebounding – If you can’t find a sauna try skin brushing. I do this when I don’t have access to sauna therapy. I skin brush to help with lymphatic drainage, another important piece to staying healthy while traveling. The other thing I do on a regular basis and especially when I return home is rebound – jump on my mini trampoline for increased detoxification, circulation, energy and oxygenation. I rebound for 15-30 minutes every day. I’ve been doing this for about 18 months now and I’m sold on all the health benefits that come from rebounding.
6. Walking and Natural Light – As I mentioned above I walked a lot on this trip. I love walking in general but I think it’s important to get your feet on dirt, grass, or sand as quickly as possible after being in the air for extended periods. Walking outdoors is not only grounding but the natural light helps reset circadian rhythms. When I return home I sit in front of my light box every morning for 30 minutes as well. Light along with stimulating acupressure points is the easiest way to re-sync your body clock.
So that’s it. This is what I do. Different things work for different people, but these are the things that work for me. If any of them resonate or pique your interest give them a try next time you travel and let me know what you think.
P.S. I meant to take the No-Jet Lag Homeopathic but I totally forgot to buy it before I left, it gets rave reviews. Even though I haven’t tried it before, it is something I would definitely add and recommend in my Healthy Discoveries anti-jet lag tool kit as well.