I’ve recently been away and what I have found out, is that you can take the chiropractor out of the Lushington Chiropractic clinic but you can’t take the clinic out of the chiropractor. What this means is that no matter what I was doing I still looked at everything with a chiropractic perspective. What I’m going to do is take you through some of the thought processes that I went through during my travels and it might give you some inspiration to look at things with a chiropractic mindset.
At the airport
The first thing was the airport. Airports are one of the most stressful places I have ever been, so dealing with this stress is really important. I found that the best way to do this is just to be early. My wife is particularly stressed at airports and we have to be there well in advance to calm her down. The realism is that it is a lot easier to get through airports these days and a lot quicker in general. You can now do online check-in, the bag drop is easier and security is pretty much just the same.
The other thing to watch out for is obviously your bag. If you are going long haul then you will usually have a pretty heavy bag so the way you lift it and the way you wheel it is important. Most people these days do have a suitcase that you are able to wheel and this is definitely something that I recommend, still with these there are also times that you are going to have to lift them. When lifting you bag make sure that the weight is close to you and that the place you are lifting it to is also close. Try not to swing it onto the place that you are putting it as this gives you less control and overall requires more force. When loading into a boot of a car always put it as close to you as possible and then if you need to push it further into the car rather than trying to put it there straight away. The opposite applies when getting it out where you should pull the bag closer to you and then lift it out.
Before your flight
One of the things that annoys me at airports are the seats. I am very particular about seats and the posture that we have on them, just ask my wife about when we went sofa shopping. Whenever I’m buying new chairs or a sofa the main thing I will look for is that it is ergonomically good for me. This is why when I go to the airport it can be quite irritating as most seats are really quite uncomfortable. What I try to do at the airport is not sit down too much because the realism is that soon enough I’m going to be sitting on a plane anyway. Sitting followed by sitting is not necessarily the best thing for us. I personally am not a shopper at the airport but will probably have a glance around just to keep moving. In reality everything is really overpriced and I would not intend to buy anything in the airport apart from food or a coffee, well hot chocolate in my case.
When we were on our way back and we stopped off in Melbourne, we were at the airport for a good 4 hours. As we’d already been off the plane to wonder around and we were both feeling the need for a shower, we decided to look into the airport lounges, we were flying with Emirates so we went up to their lounge and realised that it really was quite expensive and basically for the business and first class passengers for which it is already included. They did however recommend us to another one which was associated and it was 35 Australian dollars each, but for this we had four hours where they provide you with a towel, shampoo and shower gel so you can have a shower and also you have a separate section where you can sit where the seats are much more comfortable than downstairs, a separate Wi-Fi which is a lot quicker and also you get a buffet of food and drinks where you can eat as much as you like. There is also alcohol available but before a long flight I would not recommend this as it tends to dehydrate the body. We were going to go and get food and realistically we would have spent less money than this but it was definitely worthwhile for the great selection and the increased comfort. This is not something that we would do regularly but before a long-haul flight I’d highly recommend it. It was so much better for us and certainly something we would do in the future.
On the plane
The next difficult thing is getting your seat right on the plane. I always feel embarrassed to put my seat back as I feel that this will affect the person sitting behind me, obviously that doesn’t stop the person in front of me putting their chair right back. On long-haul flights you are provided with a cushion and I believe this is supposed to be for your neck but I always use it in my lower back and pop it in the small of my back to help to give me the extra support and give me a better posture, you can always ask for a spare cushion as well which you can then use for your head, I like to take a neck pillow just to help support my neck in the rarity that I do fall asleep. Having a slightly reclined position has been shown to reduce the pressure on the disc in the lower back but this then changes if your low back is rounded and you’re slouching.
Regularly getting up is important as it helps to get the blood flow going and get the muscles working. If you do not move enough on a long-haul flight this does increase your risk of deep vein thrombosis. There are some exercises that I tend to do when I’m on a long-haul flight which I found really help. It really surprises me when I see people on these long-haul flights and they do not get up for the entire flight. This to me can be quite dangerous and it is important that you do get up and move around. I personally believe that it would be a good idea for there to be a treadmill on planes so that people can walk but the feasibility of this is not that high. If you would like to see the exercises that I do on the plane then have a look out for my next blog on aeroplane exercises.
After your flight
Most long-haul flights have a stopover somewhere and this is where lots of people miss the opportunity to have a break from sitting and move around a bit. Often you are tired so it is very tempting to jump on that escalator and sit in those chairs but I always make the effort to take the stairs and walk around instead of sitting as not long from now I’ll be sitting on the plane again. This helps to get the blood flowing and switch the muscles back on the help to protect you from injury, this is something that I highly recommend.
One of the things that we also did was get a foot massage when we arrived in Thailand. This was a fantastic experience and certainly something that our feet were very happy about after this long flight.
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