What can I do/take to prevent puffy ankles after flying? Flight socks do not help...

What can I do/take to prevent puffy ankles after flying? Water retention tablets do not seem to help the puffiness afterwards.
I wear flight socks and do the recommended foot excercises during the flight but still have massive ankles and feet for 24-48 hours afterwards and have trouble wearing shoes.
This also happens on long bus journeys also. I am a size 8-10 and 34 years old, so not overweight at all. I eat healthily and this really gets me down and spoils my holidays or work trips...
Asked by smudgie

4 answers

Hi there :o) Obviously as a holistic therapist we can't diagnose illness/conditions. But you may have Oedma of the ankles (water retention due to the build up of intersistial fluid, or tissue fluid). Lymphatic drainage would be very beneficial for you as this treatment aids the extra tissue fluid to be 'stroked' upwards towards the groups of lymph nodes (around the knee, groin, stomach and armpit area) where it is drained. This is the very simple effectviness treatment explained! Make sure you do not sit crossed legged on the floor for too long (as this can slow down blood circulation), stand in one position for too long. Also before you go to bed stick two pilloes under your legs to elevate them tohelp the lymphatic system to drain the excess tissue fluid. You gently place both hands on the whold of your ankle and sweep upwards towards the heart, but do it very gently. It is better if you get it done professionally, you could also book with me and I can give you half price for your treatment! :)
Search Treatwell for Foot Massage near you
Hydration, hydration, HYDRATION!! And not just during flights but consistently every single day of your life :-)
Completely avoid wheat, caffeine, sugar and salt wherever possible.
Dry skin brushing with a firm natural bristle brush regularly before your shower combined with alternating hot and cold water applied to the affected area in the shower can be excellent for circulation and drainage.
You need to drink masses of water and as well as exercises walk up and down at least every half hour...(get an aisle seat..!)
Hi Smudgie
Probably there are some genetic reasons involved in your case, as well as lifestyle.
Does your mum, aunt, sister etc. have puffy ankles, varicose veins etc? Usually men do not suffer from it, due to us having more testosterone and less estrogen.
Even if that's the case, all is not lost! Lifestyle can improve or worsen genetic traits, so you still have control.
The contraceptive pill, constipation, other medications, lack of antioxidants (berry fruits, veg, spices, herbs), lack of protein in diet (fish, poultry, meat, beans, eggs), sugar, too much caffeine, alcohol, inactivity all cause water retention - these are the things to focus on. Just to let you know that it is not just what you are currently doing, you may have made poor lifestyle choices in the past for a few years and that weakened your blood/lymph vessels. Age usually does not cause problems by itself, the cumulative effect of years of poor lifestyle does.
I suggest you make the above lifestyle changes, eat more oily fish (especially salmon) and also use horse chestnut, red vine leaf and butcher's broom extracts, either in supplement or cream form. Creams rich in essential oils of mandarin, juniper, cypress, rosemary mint and caffeine also help (caffeine locally is beneficial, only if taken internally causes problems)! Our Lipo Actives cream contains most of the above ingredients - in high concentrations. You can check it out at http://www.lipotherapeia.com/actives.
Keeping your legs elevated when you lie down is also helpful, as are lymphatic stimulation massages and pressotherapy.
You can also do some simple calf exercises before, during and after flying. The gastrocnemius muscle is called the "second heart" for it's importance in helping to pump blood and lymph onto the upper body from the ankles and calves.
Self massage before, during and after the flight is not a bad idea either.
And keep wearing those flight socks - they still help a bit.
Hope that has been of help!