Recently, Peru program participant, and former Mountain Spirit board President Elizabeth Sofish, PhD reminded me of a technique that seemed to help her with jet lag. I actually tried it before I left New Zealand for Peru last month. The technique along with the “No Jet Lag” homeopathic pills seemed to really do the trick. Here’s an introduction, then the technique which Betsy described to me.
The following was pulled from naturodoc.com:
Intercontinental flights are known to cause a phenomenon known as “jet lag.” Travelers and airline crews have complained of extreme fatigue, nausea, headaches, memory problems, attention lapses, clouded thinking, sleep and appetite disturbance, increased susceptibility to infections, depression, anxiety, and other problems.
Chinese medical philosophy talks about a Horary Cycle. It is thought that energy circulates through the main acupuncture meridians or energy pathways in a very specific order.
Recently, an informal study was conducted by a group of acupuncturists that were traveling from the United States to China. They divided into two groups. One group acted as a control and went about their normal business. The other group used acupressure treatments on their Horary Points while traveling.
The control group experienced jet lag symptoms lasting from 3 days to 2 weeks. The group that treated themselves with acupressure experienced no jet lag symptoms at all; in fact, they could perform at normal levels immediately. On the return trip, the groups switched and the results were similar.
No one is exactly sure why jet lag occurs. Perhaps it is a phenomenon that confuses your pituitary gland (the master endocrine gland) and the pineal gland by abnormal changes in exposure to daylight. In any event, acupressure does seem to be able to control jet lag symptoms.
The following techinque diverges a bit from what is described above. This is what was told to me, and I followed it which seemed to work:
1) Just under the arm pit, on either side, find a pressure point that seems a bit sensitive to the touch. This is about 3-5 cm below the arm pit. Press on the point for 60 seconds.
2) Flick the bottom of your earlobe, on the same side as the pressure point, three times with your finger. Do this the evening before the flight. This evidently resets one internal clock, according to Sofish. It seemed to help with my extended flight from New Zealand to Peru.
Should anyone have either prior experience or wish to report back on this technique, please comment. As a side note, I ran across this interesting site that might have a few more answers regarding jetlag and accupressure.