What if there was a simple way on how to avoid jet lag and it doesn’t involve drugs!
One of the major disadvantages of travelling around the world is the inevitable crossing of time zones. Consequently, this leads to suffering from jet lag. Wouldn’t you like to beat the side effects of long distance travelling – fatigue, insomnia, headaches, disorientation, crankiness?!?!
When I used to work night shift in the mining game, a fellow work mate told me about the Horary Time Cycle. She handed me a diagram. I followed the instructions and I couldn’t believe how much it helped me to quickly adjust my body clock from day-shift to night-shift and back again.
Then I thought why can’t I apply it to travelling – to adjust my body clock to the time zone I’m travelling to. So I gave it a go on a few flights and to my surprise I experienced no jet lag or very minimal.
In fact, on my last international flight last year, I applied the technique when I boarded the flight in Honolulu (Hawaii) and arrived in Perth (Western Australia) 16 hours later without any jet lag. I fell straight into Perth time after crossing 7 time zones and the international date line!
Dr Amaro, from Arizona USA, conducted studies on travellers over 12 years using the horary cycle to reset the body clock with an amazing 96% perceived success rate (ie. did not feel jet lag at destination). He also used the placebo effect by giving some travellers false meridian points and they all said they still suffered jet lag.
What is the Horary Cycle?
The Horary Cycle is an ancient Chinese medical philosophy. The principal behind the Horary Cycle is that we have 12 meridian points in our body (or acupressure points). Each meridian point goes through a 2 hour peak activation during a certain 2 hour period of a 24 hour day cycle. The theory is, if you stimulate by tapping the meridian to the corresponding destination time slot, the body clock is slowly being reset accordingly.
Basically you are connecting your body clock to the destination time zone as opposed to staying in departure city time zone. So by the time you arrive at your destination, your body clock has already adjusted to the new time zone.
Sounds confusing? Let me break it down for you. Below are pictures of the 12 meridian points on your body which the body reset technique uses.
Meridian point description
5 - 7 am
7 - 9 am
Below the knee.
9 - 11 am
Inner side of foot.
11am - 1pm
Palm of hand.
1 - 3 pm
3 - 5 pm
Outer side of foot.
5 - 7 pm
Inner back of leg.
7 - 9 pm
Centre of palm.
9 - 11 pm
11pm - 1am
Top of foot.
1 - 3 am
3 - 5 am
Inner wrist crease.
The body clock reset technique
I found online a number of variations on how to apply this technique. However, in this post I’ll only discuss the technique that was shown to me and I have thoroughly tried and tested it. It worked for my dayshift/nightshift job and I managed to avoid jet lag on all overseas trips since.
STEP 1: Amend your watch
While sitting at the airport or if you’re just boarded your flight, adjust your watch or smartphone clock to show the destination time.
For example, my flight from Honolulu to Perth departed at 10.00am, which was 4.00am Perth time.
STEP 2: Locate corresponding meridian
On the Jet Lag Eliminator diagram, locate the current destination time and the corresponding meridian point.
Tap 25 times each side with 2 fingers or a ballpoint pen on that meridian point.
For example, following from the example in Step 1, I located the 3 – 5 am time slot on the diagram which the corresponding meridian point is inner wrist crease.
STEP 3: Continue tapping around the reset clock
Now follow the meridian points in a clockwise direction, tapping each meridian point in sequence – 25 taps each side of the body.
STEP 4: Complete the cycle with starting meridian
Lastly, when you return to the starting point (in this example, the 3.00 – 5.00 am slot) repeat the tapping for the meridian you started with. This completes the cycle.
Now you can sit back, relax and enjoy the flight, on-board entertainment and food (or maybe bring your own food!).
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Other tips for body clock reset
- I always repeat the whole cycle at least two more times during the flight – halfway through the flight and when I arrive at the destination. It feels like I’m connecting the new time zone into my body.
- If you’re on an overnight flight, I also like to complete the whole cycle when its bed time at the destination and try to have a snooze. In the above example, as it was early AM back in Perth, I went straight to sleep for a couple of hours after take-off even though it was midday in Honolulu Then I woke up when they started serving food.
- Sometimes I may just complete the tapping for one meridian point only. For example, if I find I’m yawning but its daytime at my destination, I will tap the current active meridian point just to give the body clock a little jolt – a reminder to stay awake. Likewise, you can do the same when its night time at your destination and you want the body to sleep or snooze. You can even do the tapping every 2 hours if you wish.
- You can also use this technique even for short haul flights as minor jet lag can still occur in 2-3 hour time zone change.
If you prefer learning by watching rather than reading, I've created an instructional video, which you can view on YouTube by clicking below.
Download your own Jet Lag Eliminator
I’ve decided to call this body clock reset your Jet Lag Eliminator. You are free to download it and print it so you can take it with you on your next flight.
I have mine downloaded onto my phone.
Another option to avoid jet lag
If you find that the body clock reset is not working for you or need some extra help once you’ve landed, you can try some yoga exercises.
Check out the video by Yoga Moves for Every Body. Look out for two moves that are exceptionally helpful to combat fatigue from jet lag – so simple. Even helps reduce fatigue just from being on a long flight.
Add to your packing checklist
Add the Jet Lag Eliminator cheat sheet to your packing checklist now.
Print it out and put it in your travel wallet. Or download it onto your phone. Give it a whirl on your next flight and enjoy being more refreshed upon your arrival. Plus have a read of other things you can do on long haul flights to arrive refreshed.
Let me know in the comments below if you’ve had success with any type of body clock reset techniques. Or what are your own tips and tricks on how to avoid jet lag?