From winter to summer… and back

A couple of centuries ago, the best way to “dispel melancholy” or, in modern language, to get rid of depression was considered a round-the-world trip. Doctors recommended patients to go to warmer regions to be cured of moping, gloom, despondency and decline of forces.

Today, air travel connects different parts of the world, and tourism has become almost a public entertainment. It brings with it a change of scenery, new impressions – it is with travel closely related to our ideas about rest.

The flip new side of the coin is the stress of flights and the difficult acclimatization: it takes about two new weeks for the body to fully adapt to climate change. And by this time it’s time to return to my homeland and get used to winter again.

Blood of nomads

The fact is that during the evolution of mechanisms of rapid and painless acclimatization in humans have not worked out. “Our ancestors didn’t move as fast as we did,” explains anthropologist Stanislav Drobyshevsky. “They were slowly wandering – over long distances, on one climatic zone. Some groups of ancient people were more prone to nomadic, others sought at the first good opportunity to settle, to settle in one place.”


Archaeological findings indicate that nomadic people and diseases had more, and child mortality is higher. On the other hand, it is “nomadic blood” that carries the ability to adapt to change. Among us, modern people, there are also “nomads” and “home men.” “So with unexpected climate changes, natural disasters, the population has more opportunities to survive,” the anthropologist explains.

Changing belts

In the middle band, the synthesis cycle begins at about nine o’clock in the evening: breathing becomes deeper, the body temperature drops by half a degree, the metabolism slows down. At about three o’clock in the morning there is a “complete recharge of batteries.” And from four o’clock the body is ready for active life again.” If you break this usual rhythm, there is an imbalance of the work of the adrenal glands and the entire hypothalamic-adrenal system.”

“Catch up with the sun,” that is, to fly on its way, is much less traumatic for the body than vice versa. The day increases by several hours, but there is no serious failure of the “internal hours”. To adapt faster to the change of time zones (whether we are moving against the sun or with it), the main thing is to try to fall asleep and wake up local time. If you fall asleep at the moment when the internal clock is still a clear day, it is not possible, it is better to resort to a light sleeping pill.


Stanislav Drobyshevsky, Ph.D. in Biological Sciences, Fellow of the Department of Anthropology of the Faculty of Biology at Moscow State University sergey Stebletsov, Ph.D., Head of the Therapeutic Department of moscow Clinical Hospital No.1, Andrey Kuleshov, researcher at the Pulmonology Research Institute of the Russian Ministry of Health.

Easy flight!

Flight – even in the most comfortable conditions – can not be called a vacation. Forced being in the same position, changing the pressure at altitude and oxygen content in the air always bring certain inconveniences. By the way, hypertensives tolerate them more easily than those who have lower blood pressure below normal. To overcome the discomfort of flying, many take alcohol. This intuitive choice is not without meaning, as confirmed by doctors. But with two caveats. First, not during the flight, but after it. Secondly, it is better if it is not wine, but one serving (50-100 g) of whiskey or cognac.

To help blood vessels cope with the load, doctors can recommend… Viagra. “The fact is that initially the drug was developed for the conditions of the highlands and showed excellent effectiveness as an adaptogen product at an altitude of seven kilometers above sea level,” says Sergey Stebletsov. “In a low dosage – half a table a day for three days before the trip – it will help both men and women move their flight more easily.”

The effectiveness of this drug for rapid acclimatization in the highlands confirms pulmonologist Andrey Kuleshov: “My patients who traveled to the mountains of Peru and Tibet, noted an improvement in well-being, a decrease in dizziness and discomfort in the heart.” Since this remedy has a number of serious contraindications, it is better to consult a doctor before using it – even in small doses.

Resistance Group

If you arrive on the coast, the mucous nasopharynx and lungs will certainly react to the change in humidity and temperature. In the middle band through the lungs evaporates about 400 ml of liquid per day – almost half a litre! In the sea climate mucous will “swell” due to the difficulty of evaporation, may appear cough.

As Andrey Kuleshov explains, the main thing here is not even the humidity itself, but its combination with a high concentration of salt: “A person breathes a kind of aerosol, which acts on the mucous and enhances secretion, which, in turn, causes runny nose and coughing.”

Hormonal shaking has a greater or lesser effect on the immune system. “Each area has its own “microbial landscape”” explains immunologist Mikhail Nelyubov. “And the further conditions are from the usual, the more likely we are to encounter completely new microorganisms in the air, water and food.

The first days we will safely exist at the expense of immune reserves, and by the end of the second week pathogens will be identified by the body and begin to fight them. This stage manifests itself rather unpleasant: fever, brittle in the bones, malaise. Excessive insolation (abuse of the sun) and stress during the flight will only increase the body’s reaction.”

“As an adaptogen, which will help to mitigate the troubles of acclimatization, you can take melaxen (melatonin) on a tablet per day – advises Sergey Stebletsov. “You should start drinking it four days before the trip and continue the reception for another four days.” But for those who travel to hot countries, this simple and effective way is not suitable: melatonin increases the sensitivity of the skin to the sun’s rays, which can lead to the appearance of age spots.

Of course, multivitamin is a great preparation for travel: they support the body, help to fight stress. But a really effective remedy for those who fly – a combination of vitamin C and aspirin: ascorbic acid acts as a powerful antioxidant, acetylsalicylic acid relieves swelling of the brain membranes. So the action of this duo can be literally felt physically – there will be no headache.


All experts in one voice say that the easiest acclimatization is carried by people who practice contrasting dousing. “They have a trained circulatory system,” says Sergei Stebletsov. “In addition, the cold shower “trains” the adrenal glands, which are responsible for the synthesis of hormones and are very sensitive to the sudden change of the environment.”

Healthy Travellers Club

So, from the point of view of “naked physiology” long journeys with a sharp change of conditions are harmful to the body. “But these troubles more than pay for new impressions, a change of scenery, the joy of opening the world,” said psychotherapist Boris Egorov. “Don’t underestimate the benefits of positive emotions.” This “positive” brought from the holiday will energize for new achievements and will eventually bring benefits to both the soul and the body.

When we return to winter, we will have to relive acclimatization, and better protect ourselves, smoothly entering the usual rhythm. Go new to bed on time and try to get enough sleep – in a word, to lead a healthy lifestyle. And to dream, standing under the jets of a contrasting soul, about a new journey – to a place where we have not been before.

The Journal of Applied Physiology was the first to report on this application. In June 2006, he published a Stanford University study that the drug increases the body’s endurance in high altitude conditions.

Inhaling the smell of wandering

Changing time zones disrupts the body’s biorhythms, and science has not yet found effective and safe tools that would help rebuild the internal clock without interfering with brain activity. The solution to the problem offers aromatherapy: you can gently correct the biorhythms through the sense of smell.

This method produces such good results that British Airways has ordered the famous aromatherapist Anastasia Alexander to create special kits for first class passengers flying long distances.

It is important where we are going, says aromatherapist Olga Irisova, to the west or east. “If the flight took place against the movement of the sun, the person does not get enough sleep, becomes sluggish, it is best suited to the levee, the famous adaptogen. At high concentration, the essential oil of the levsee perfectly tones: it should be applied two drops on the “pulse points” (wrists, inner elbow, behind the ears). A very effective way is a cool dousing with leveze oil.

As an emulsifier for oil suitable kefir or yogurt: in a glass of fermented milk product added five drops of oil, then the contents of the glass poured into the pelvis with cool water, and then – on the body.

Hypertonists from tonic oils can advise grapefruit oil (by the way, it reduces appetite) or orange (it, on the contrary, increases it). And hypotonics are useful rosemary oil. If you are catching up with the sun, I would advise lavender, geranium, tuberose, essential oil of honey, vanilla, sandalwood, cedar or Peruvian balm. Choose a fragrance on the principle of “like – do not like”, this is the most direct way to achieve the desired effect. I would recommend a universal recipe for blends: cedar, Peruvian balm and sandalwood in a ratio of 1:1:1.”

Inna Popova

How to maintain immunity

Popular means – eleutherococcus, ginseng, echinacea – when traveling “from winter to summer” may not be useful, believes Mikhail Nelyubov, M.D., lead specialist of the Center for Modern Medicine and The Institute of Immunopathology RAEN.

“The fact is that these drugs are immunostimulators, means that enhance the immune response,” explains Mikhail Nelyubov. “Our task is not to strengthen the immune response, but to make it adequate. That is, to gently stimulate the work of those links of the immune system that are needed in this particular case.” For this purpose, special drugs – immunomodulators have been developed. Here are some immunologist tips that can come in handy before the trip.

  • To avoid a blow to the immune system, you can recommend the drug “Glymuride” as a biologically active additive to food – one or two capsules a day and a half to two weeks on the trip and the same amount on return.
  • Lycopide and Polyoxidium are also good, but only in tablets, not injectable forms.
  • Take eubiotic drugs such as Normoflor or Florodofilus, which will support the lining of the gastrointestinal tract. First, it will help to cope with unfamiliar food, and secondly, there is a mass of lymph glands responsible for immunity – they should be taken care of.


Olga Irisova, aromatherapist, Ph.D. in Biological Sciences, Executive Director of iris Aromatherapy Center.

Leave a Comment