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Massage Today
February, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 02

Leaving on a Jet Plane

By Barbra Esher, AOBTA CI. Dipl. ABT & Ac. (NCCAOM), LAc

I just came back from the airport, and judging by the crowds, it appears that more people are comfortable with flying again! With $300 fares to England or $600 to Japan, how can we resist? Make sure to clip this article if you think that wanderlust may take you more than an hour or two outside of your time zone.

A client who is headed off to a faraway destination might appreciate you passing on these tips!

12-Hour AM Cycle, from midnight until noon. - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark 12-Hour AM Cycle, from midnight until noon.
  12-Hour PM Cycle, from noon until midnight. - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark 12-Hour PM Cycle, from noon until midnight.

The secret to getting over jetlag is to reset your bodyclock to the time of your destination. Our body has a circadian rhythm in which different meridians are more active at certain times of the day. Our bodies know when we need to wake up, eliminate, eat, study, etc. We can use acupressure points to tell our body when we need to do these things at different times due to time zone changes. This simple technique will save you many muzzy-headed days while your body tries to figure out what is going on. Make it easy on yourself and energetically tell your body where it is on the globe and what it needs to be doing!

Time table. - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Each of the 12 meridians has two hours when it is strongest. There are certain points on each meridian called Horary points that resonate with that meridian in particular during that time of day. Points relate to each of the Five Elements on each meridian but the Horary points are the element of that meridian's element. For example, Lung is Metal, Lu 8 is a metal point so Lu 8 is the Lung meridian's Horary point, the Lung meridian's, "be all you can be" point. So Lu 8 is the point that you want to stimulate during the Lung time of day of the place you want to reset your bodyclock to.

As soon as you reach the airport and have settled in and are waiting to get on the plane, reset your watch for the time at your destination. For example, if you are going from New York to San Francisco and it's 7 a.m., set your watch for 4 a.m. and visualize that indeed it is that time. Some like to imagine a Luis Bunuelish clock with hands turning quickly backwards but I like to feel that time of day. For 4 a.m., I picture the quiet darkness getting ready to reveal dawn. While I am doing this, I press Lu 8 for about two minutes with either the edge of my thumb or a retracted ballpoint pen. As I am pressing the point, I am breathing deeply with intention and in my mind, I am in San Francisco at 4 a.m., the Lung time of day.

Illustrated location of Horary points - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Location of Horary points, left to right: Lung; Pericardium; Heart; Small Intestine; Triple Heater; Large Intestine; Spleen; Kidney; Bladder; Gall Bladder; Stomach; and Liver. Continue this way for the next 24 hours or longer if you are still in airports and changing planes. (I will never forget my "bargain" flight to Japan that took 36 hours!) You don't have to remember to stimulate the point exactly in the middle of the two-hour time period, although those with the technical know-how to set their watch to remind them will have an easier time of it. (That type of technology is beyond me!)

Seasoned traveler Pamela Ferguson has an entire self-shiatsu routine to be performed at regular intervals during your flight. If you start to feel claustrophobic, look above your head, expand into that space and stretch. Squeeze the back of your neck and the top of your shoulders. Knuckle-rub right below the outside of your knee. Take off your shoes and rub the bottom of your feet and ankles. See her Self Shiatsu Handbook for detailed instructions of this wonderful routine and may more self-care techniques.

Throughout your whole trip, remember to drink lots of water to keep yourself well-hydrated. Avoid alcohol and coffee. When you arrive, make sure to walk outside in the moon or sunlight to adjust your biological clock. Be absolutely sure not to look back on the time zone you are coming from until you are ready to return. The worst thing to do is say, "Well, in my time it's 2 am." You'll be undoing all of the reprogramming you're working on!

Using this technique, I have flown half way around the world without missing a beat. I remember calling my son when it was noon in Thailand and midnight in Maryland back home. I walked around the street markets and temples until 7 pm (still pressing my points), went to sleep that night and got up early for class the next morning refreshed. Try it and see what a huge difference it makes the next time you travel!

Click here for previous articles by Barbra Esher, AOBTA CI. Dipl. ABT & Ac. (NCCAOM), LAc.


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