Can Massage Help You Overcome Jet Lag

Nina J. Friday, January 31, 2020

When you travel and your time zone shifts more than two hours, especially going east, jet lag is often a constant companion. Moving around day and night really confuses your body’s biorhythm. The more time zones you cross, and the more stops you make, the worse it gets.

The best thing to do when you know you’ll be traveling long distances is to have a half to full day period of time to adjust. This way you can start adapting your sleep-wake cycle, body temperature, blood pressure, digestion, and other bodily functions to the new time zone.

Jet lag is a phenomenon that occurs when you travel across time zones so quickly that your body is not yet accustomed to the change in time. It is especially apparent when you relocate to the other side of the globe where time differences are 11-13 hours from your regular schedule, and the disparity is night and day. While you may be used to being up at 4 pm in the States, it may feel a bit strange to have that same energy at 4 am in China.

Jet lag disrupts the body on a major scale, causing fatigue and digestive upsets, memory lapses, nausea, insomnia, swelling, irritability and lethargy – known under the umbrella term, ‘time zone change syndrome’.

Staying awake. A quick jog. Chugging water. These are a few of the most common jet lag cures that might have been offered up to you after you’ve thrown your body for a loop during an overseas flight. But did you ever think about booking yourself a massage?

Massages can instantly help fight jet lag by stimulating parts of your body that are used for syncing your circadian rhythm. Specifically, massages stimulate the lymphatic system which is responsible for maintaining the balance of body fluids, boost your immune system, and help circulate nutrients to vital organs. 

Getting a proper massage can effectively deal with your body’s waste and help get rid of shoulder tension and puffy ankles and eyes which are all symptoms of a stressful day of travel.

Additionally, massages help relax the body, physically and psychologically. Massage allows your body and mind to unwind, reset and can enable you to find your circadian rhythm naturally. Any headaches and muscle pain acquired from the plane ride can also be decreased with a single session!

There are many types of massages with different benefits. If you would like more information on massages or would like to order a massage, check out the rest of I Love Massage website.

When you arrive at the destination force yourself to stay awake and go to bed at the local bedtime. However, before going to bed you should again get an Aromatherapy Massage.

The best option for this will be a mobile massage where a massage therapist will come to you for the appointment. This has the advantage that immediately after the massage you can go to bed and the massage will have helped you relax and sleep.

We all know that massages are relaxing, but over and above that, they offer physical benefits. Reflexology and Aromatherapy massages are particularly effective against jet lag. Reflexology Massage targets the central nervous system and the pineal gland. Stimulating this gland increases the production of melatonin, which is needed for a healthy sleep-wake cycle.

Meanwhile, aromatherapy uses essential oils that relax the mind and body. Inhaling them helps soothe the limbic system, regulate the body’s heart rate and balance blood pressure, all of which translate to a healthier sleep-wake cycle.

Combined with Swedish Massage or Thai Massage, aromatherapy can be an super effective way to encourage your body and mind to adjust back to your normal routine.

Ways to reduce Jet lag:

Before you travel
• get plenty of rest
• relax before going to bed and follow good sleep practices
• gradually change your sleep routine – start going to bed and getting up an hour or two earlier or later than usual (in line with the time of your destination)

During your flight
• drink plenty of water
• sleep if it's a normal time for sleeping at your destination
• use an eye mask and earplugs if they help you sleep
• keep active by stretching and regularly walking around the cabin

After you arrive
• change your sleep schedule to the new time zone as quickly as possible
• set an alarm to avoid oversleeping in the morning
• go outside during the day – natural light will help your body clock adjust
• book your Jet Lag Massage session

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