Minimizing Stress While Traveling In A Plane

Minimizing Stress While Traveling In A Plane


Travel can be a time for much-needed stress reduction, but it can also cause some added stress on your body. Traveling by plane can be especially challenging to your system due to several factors including, recirculated air, increased stress, proximity of people, radiation exposure and impaired digestion. While this list makes air travel seem less attractive being aware is the first step to minimizing the effects!

Things To Consider While Flying

  1. Hydrate: Airplanes recirculate the air frequently, which keeps the cabin from feeling stagnant but also promotes some of the drying effect many notice while traveling. The humidity on the plane is usually below 20% (humidity in your home is around 30%). I typically try to get Fiji water before I get on to the plane because it is typically much cleaner than drinking the water on the plane and tends to be the best available choice at the shops in the airport. If you're pressed for time and need water, ask your flight attendant to hold the ice airplane's ice machines are notoriously dirty since they are handled by several people per day and cleaning schedules vary.

  2. Fast: I realize for some eating is one way to fight the boredom of long flights, but many find that flying seems to increase their gut discomfort (gas, bloating, etc). The added stress of flying causes digestion to slow (THINK: if your body thinks it's being chased by a bear…stressor… it is going to be less concerned with digesting your foods). Researchers at Beth Israel Medical Center also found that fasting can help reduce the effects of jet lag. They note that "food is as essential for survival as sleep and can influence circadian rhythm as much as light/dark patterns do." If you can't control the rising and setting of the sun while traveling, why not control your dietary intake?

  3. Boost your immune system: Recirculated air, questionable disinfecting practices, and large numbers of people in a small space are all reasons to protect yourself from potential pathogens. This can be done with the use of essential oils like Theives. You can also take other immune boosters like echinacea, vitamin C, zinc, probiotics, etc.

  4. Protect yourself from radiation: Radiation can have cumulative effects in the body and while you may not get much per flight (amount depends on the length of the flight), it can account for up to 11% of annual exposure according to the CDC, with the average person taking 2-5 flights per year. As you reach higher altitudes there is less protection from radiation due to the air getting thinner, with lower air density there is less ability to deflect the cosmic rays (radiation from space), causing less atmospheric shielding. One especially powerful way to protect yourself from the radiation is glutathione this is one of the most powerful protectors of the body and aids in detoxification.

We hope you find this helpful, if you are looking for a functional medicine provider in the Memphis area please feel free to contact me at (901) 726-4523.

If you are near Boulder, Colorado check out Dr. Ginger Wolfe, DC (
If you are in Newport Beach or Sherman Oaks, California check out Dr. Nik Kambourakis, DC.


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