Travel can be exciting, invigorating, refreshing, fulfilling, and mind-broadening. It can also be highly toxic – a price that people are still prepared to pay, but what can they do to minimize it?
Many have told us that travel had caused them physical upsets, such as flu-like feelings, sluggishness, and multiple digestive discomforts.
In other words, they experienced classic toxic-overload symptoms.
After a recent trip, did you feel irritable, fatigued, listless, dehydrated, and even mildly depressed?
Did you experience headaches, stomach aches, digestive upsets, fatigue, and emotional upsets, mentally agitation, restless sleep, low concentration, dizziness, or feelings of heavy-headedness?
Did you simply feel out of sorts?
Travel and toxicity
When you travel, you exchange one environment for at least two more: first, the travel environment itself, such as planes, ships, trains, and cars, and second, your ultimate destination. Depending on how extreme your travel plans were, ranging from a two-week stay at a five-star health spa to a three-month trek through the Himalayas, you were still living, albeit for a limited time, in a different environment and experiencing different food, water, air, and levels of hygiene. As you begin to return home again, you encounter the outgoing travel environment all over again.
While you were away, you will have been exposed to a variety of toxic substances and chemicals; several that your body may have never been exposed to before and has no defence for. So this can leave you feeling physically debilitated.
When you were away
Food – when away, we all tend to eat foods that we would never eat at home. So what was in the water used to wash the fruit and vegetables in your restaurant meals?
Water – the quality of the water in your tea, coffee, and soups will not be the same as you have been used to. What else did you drink?
Air – Maybe you were exposed to recycled air or toxic indoor and outdoor air, such as cigarette smoke (see Smoking – undoing the damage), perfumes from personal care products and air fresheners, and exhaust fumes (airplane, cars, buses, and cars.) Was your breathing affected at any time while you were away?
Often you can’t help what you are exposed to when out of your normal daily routines and your own familiar environments. Especially when on vacation or business travel, we tend to be more liberal and carefree about what we eat or drink.
Then there’s the jet lag – if you travelled by air, your sleep-wake patterns would have been disturbed. You may feel drowsy, tired, irritable, lethargic and slightly disoriented. The more time zones that are crossed rapidly, the more severe jet lag symptoms are likely to be.
Our natural circadian rhythm, our sleep-wake pattern, can be altered. Our natural rhythms for eating and working times and even our hormone regulation may be out of synch. We do not feel as if we are fully present to what is going on around us.
Toxicity and jet lag often have the same symptoms … maybe more than a coincidence?
Many people, particularly young people, can shrug off the immediate after-effects of travel. However, it is likely that you, or someone you know, was not able to do this quite so easily.
The potential sources of toxicity would be many, as noted above, especially if you did not prepare your own food.
Preparation – when you go
Water – when changing environments, drink plenty of fresh, clean water. The more hydrated you are the better you feel, helping you to flush out the stress hormones all those environments and events create.
Relaxation – consciously relax your body and muscles periodically throughout the day. Mellow out.
Vitamin D – take sunshine breaks. Expose yourself to light. Be brighter inside. Even 10 minutes in the sun can make you feel more refreshed. We are essentially electrical beings so we need light to feel good.
Fresh fruit and fiber – eat lots of fresh foods such salads, raw and fresh juices, fruits and veggies! Eat more fiber to keep the bowels regular, doing the same for the bladder by drinking plenty of water.
Fresh air – Spend as much time as you can in beautiful, clean nature environments. Bless your body with healthy air, water, and food especially when you get home to speed up your recovery.
Exercise – Even if you are on vacation!
When you get back
If you still experience a residual after-effect of travel, a key solution is to detoxify. Toxicity robs you of energy because your body is struggling inside, dealing with all sorts of foreign chemicals that may be harmful. Your body wisdom and energy has been diverted from heal and repair to defence mode. No wonder you feel tired!
When you clear away the accumulated toxic substances inside you, your body can begin to breathe freely, and restore your vitality, glow, and ability to “get up and go!” It will restore your balance and help you to be more present – feeling good and full of energy.
Your body can now focus on its primary job of keeping you alert, awake, alive, healthy, and in top form!
Topics: Stress, Toxins, Fatigue, Toxicity, Sleep problems