After a long plane ride, the first few steps on solid ground are always wobbly, if not painful. Especially on those dreaded overseas flights, we endure the cramped seats, the general discomfort, and the occasional screaming baby to reach our vacation destination. Perhaps the worst part of a long-distance flight is the feeling of numbness and stiffness in the feet, which can lead to a condition called thrombosis–the formation of a blood clot in the legs due to lack of movement.
So for all of you enduring a long plane ride during these last few weeks of summer, here are some tips from Ravi Roy and Carola Lage-Roy’s Homeopathic Guide for Travelers: Remedies for Health and Safety. Make sure you take their tips on how to prevent thrombosis, or “Tourist Class Syndrome.”
Preventing Thrombosis, or â€śTourist Class Syndromeâ€ť
Sitting within the confines of a limited area without much movement for an extended period of time impairs blood circulation and causes the blood to accumulate in the feet and lower legs. This can lead to blood clots, especially for members of the high-risk group. After the flight, these blood clots can be released and carried to the heart, lungs, or brain with deadly effect. There were sixty-one sudden deaths in 1986 at Heathrow Airport in London; eighteen percent were caused by a lung embolus. This danger lurks not only on long flights in tourist class, but also in overcrowded buses and cars. The phenomenon was first noted in 1940 in London in the underground rail- way stations during the extended air raids.
IMPORTANT: The high-risk group consists of older people, pregnant women, overweight or very tall people, especially those who donâ€™t exercise, and people who drink and smoke.
To reduce the risk of thrombosis, reduce the amount of concentrated protein you consume three days before the flight and eliminate gluten (wheat). Drink a small glass of sauerkraut or grapefruit juice two to three times a day. Drink more, especially warm herbal teas. Get plenty of exercise. In addition, follow these helpful hints during the flight itself:
Wear loose clothing; avoid socks with tight elastic. Get up and walk a few steps every so often.
Drink a lot! Take herbal tea and water with you, so you arenâ€™t restricted to what is available on the plane. Avoid coffee and alcohol.
Smokers, before traveling, should restrict smoking as much as possible.
Carry out the following exercises every one to two hours: Take off your shoes and put your feet flat on the floor. Pretend to grasp something with your toes while pressing them hard against the floor. This increases the circulation to the brain and is refreshing. Next, exert pressure on the heels and then bend the foot upward so that the thighs are very tense. This increases the blood circulation in the legs.
–Ravi Roy and Carola Lage-Roy, Homeopathic Guide for Travelers