Summer holidays are perfect for unwinding and escaping and we all hope to enjoy our breaks as much as possible. Last month I wrote about how to manage holiday tummy bugs and look after your digestive system whilst travelling. One of the other problems with jetting off to far flung destinations is jetlag: that uncomfortable feeling of being awake when you should be asleep, asleep when you need to be awake, having little or no appetite and generally feeling disorientated and out of sorts!
From the Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective, jetlag is an expression of your natural rhythms being out of balance. In TCM Acupuncture, the body’s rhythms flow in a 24 hour cycle, with certain organs utilising more Qi (your natural life force energy) at different times of the day.
For example, levels of Qi are high in your stomach between 7am and 9am, and this is the best time to eat breakfast. Equally, it is advisable to be asleep between 11pm and 3am as Qi is focused in your gallbladder and liver, helping your body to detoxify whilst you sleep.
Moving between time zones throws this flow of Qi out of sync: your body may think it is breakfast time but in reality it’s the middle of the night when your plane arrives home and you certainly don’t feel like eating breakfast!
Chinese Medicine tells us that certain organs and systems in the body are affected by jetlag more than others: your bowels, digestive system and sleep rhythms seem more prone to upset which explains why jetlag mostly disrupts sleep, appetite and bowel habits.
Acupuncture is such an individualised treatment and as such, will help each person according to their unique symptoms of jetlag. If possible, it can help to come for your acupuncture session within a day or two of arriving back home. This way I can use needling to support your whole system and alleviate your jetlag symptoms.
Other ways to reduce the severity of jetlag include:
Would you like to feel relaxed and calm when travelling?
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