I was traveling from Poland to the United States back in 2009. It was a long 10 hour direct flight from Krakow to Chicago. Visiting my family and attending my niece's wedding was a great way to spent a few mid-summer weeks. But, I was so tired and exhausted getting home that all I dreamed about was resting and sleeping.
The next day I woke up and I felt that my whole right arm was numb and tingling. Even with my therapist knowledge, my mind went to the worse case scenario
"What if I got stroke? How am I going to work? I use my hands for work all the time?" At that moment all I could feel is fear and stress flooding my body.
When my emotions calmed down and I could logically trace my steps back, I realized that the previous 24 were stressful on my body. I was sleeping on a long flight, without my neck supportive pillow and in a sitting position. Even though I did not feel any neck pain at the time, just arm numbness, awkward neck position can cause muscular tension and nerve impingement.
So, when we travel by train, bus, car, airplane or combination of all the above, preparing our body and planning ahead maybe one of the most important parts of the trip.
We want to enjoy our time, exploring old or new areas and not worry about our pain or popping pain pills.
So here are 8 helpful tips for a more enjoyable vacation time!
1. Before you decide to go and travel, which may require being out of your habits and routines, make sure that you actively stretch and balance your body. Use breathing, attention and awareness in connecting with your body.
2. Hydrate and hydrate your body. The fascia which is well hydrated is less likely to get injured because is it pliable and filled with water vs being rigid and dry.
3. Use supportive devices/ pillows for your back and neck during driving or on an airplane. Having a nice neck supportive neck pillow when you take a nap in a sitting position is crucial.
4. Sleeping and resting during travel times is as important as your connective tissue is healing and rejuvenating during sleeping time. Hotels beds may not always be as comfortable as our own. Use supportive pillows between your legs, which also supports your hips, pelvis and back. I like to use an eye mask during the night. It relaxes the optic nerve and provides for less light so your brain can produce melatonin.
5. Traveling with self- treatment tools can be a life saver. Using a therapy ball for 5-10 min and bringing breath and awareness into the painful, fatigued or tight spot, can make a huge difference releasing tension from the muscles.
6. Taking breaks, stops, small naps with breath and quieting the mind will re-set the body so it will serve you well for the next part of the trip. Many times we do not listen to the wisdom of the body and just push it with our mind as we need to be somewhere. Honor and listen to the body and it will serve you well. Listen for messages from the body. Ask it what it needs? Many times it needs rest, nap, laughter.
7. Keep your mind open, curious, present so you can enjoy every moment and create beautiful memories for yourself and loved ones.
8. Before you travel, schedule a MFR appointment so we can help you to balance your body, opening it up so it has more internal freedom. We will also point out your tight spots that may require self- treatment. Remember tight spots and your painful places many times are in completely different places in you body
ENJOY YOUR SUMMER!! LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL AND SO ARE YOU!! THE KEY TO A SUCCESSFUL AND BEAUTIFUL LIFE IS TO KNOW THYSELF.
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