• zelechowski mathieu

Physio Osteopath Air Travel


The winter season 2017/2018 is off now in Courchevel. In my case I’m still working as a physiotherapist osteopath but in a different way. I’m Traveling now the world for my clients which means that I’m flying in and out a lot. This post is not really about physio or osteopath topics, and got nothing to do with skiing in Courchevel, it’s more about my off season traveling experience. As I am flying a lot at the moment, I just want to share on that post some facts about air travel.

Just prior to get on the computer writing, I just read a funny article about a Chinese passenger who was feeling too hot and opened the emergency exit door before takeoff, causing the airliner slides to inflate and disrupted airport operations. Talking about those emergency exits seats, I strongly advise to book them when traveling, the reason is quite simple as passengers got to escape through those spaces they have to have more space according to aviation safety rules. Meaning that if you seat there you will have more leg space therefore a more comfortable flight. This is especially true on Airbus A320. Being a physio osteopath, I know the risk of thrombosis that can occur during long haul flights, those seats will give you the ability to move your legs, move your ankle and keep the blood flow going. On top of that those seats are located right on the wings which means that’s where the planes movements are less likely to be felt. A last word on seats, if you are worried about flying, in case of a plane crash the safest place to be is in the tail of the aircraft.

You might have noticed that airlines always offer tomato juices for their passengers, why is that? It’s because of altitude, cold temperature of the air cabin, grey lighting causing a third of our taste buds to get numb. We are therefore losing our food taste; tomato juice is salty which gives more flavor. And it doesn’t stop there, to satisfy passengers, airlines are adding 30% salt in our plates, British Airways is by the way looking on Japan’s famous Umami so called the fifth taste to boost flavor to our inflight refueling food.

Fatigue is an issue during and after flight, one cause despite jet lag is dehydration, it’s a consensus in the scientific world that to keep hydrated during flight, you need one liter of water every 6 to 8 hours of flight. Another research suggests that human body is losing 1,5 liters of water on the first 3 hours of flight, leading to fatigue, headache, and nose bleeding.

Due to recycling air within the cabin and dryness (as low as 5%) you are more likely to catch a cold to an astonishing 100% chance. I wouldn’t fly with a doctor mask, but it can be a solution.

My last physio osteopath job in Dubai which is the opposite of Courchevel in terms of climate, made me fly there for a week. I’ve experienced prior to landing being on hold by air traffic due to airport congestions. I had some explanations about the procedure. So, as you arrived air traffic can for different reasons put your airliner on hold in the air. It’s a designated pattern, quite precise, each plane turns in circle at a precise altitude meaning you got layers of planes on top of each other waiting for a clearance. The lowest plane on the “sandwich” is the first one to land when cleared to land. I was always wondering why the plane when on hold was flying straight then turn then straight and so son. So, the pattern looks like a sprint running field and each path 2 turns and 2 straight lines have a minute-long duration. 4 minutes in total and then landing.

I left Courchevel about 20 days ago and flew so far to 3 countries to work as a physio and osteopath. As I’m gonna fly a lot this upcoming year, I will continue to write about air travel, tips, health issues. Hope you enjoyed the article.

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