December 20, 2019

Written by Hannah Sutton

Are you planning to do some jet-setting these holidays?  Do you want to avoid the dreaded jetlag?  Here is a simple and effective method you can use to reset your body clock using acupressure.

What is Jetlag?

Jetlag occurs when crossing time zones as it upsets the normal circadian rhythm of the body. Symptoms & severity varies from person to person and may last from 1 to 10 days but it doesn’t seem to affect children aged 5 & below. It is generally estimated that it takes one day of recovery for every time zone crossed.

Chinese Body Clock & Meridian Flow

Energy or Qi (pronounced chee) circulates through the 12 meridians/channels of the body every 24 hours. Our bodies are like clockwork and each meridian has a two-hour period when the Qi is at its peak time before it moves to the next meridian.  If you can reset your body clock to the time of your destination location while you travel the body will not experience the symptoms of jetlag because you have reset the general circulation of your Qi.

You can achieve this by stimulating specific acupuncture points every two hours of your journey as you fly across international time zones  You should then arrive at your destination feeling connected to the new time zone rather than the time of your departure location. This method is useful for any length of trip.

This same approach can be used on infants/toddlers who suddenly become out of sync swith day/night & workers who frequently do rotating shifts. In this case you would stimulate the acupoints for the the normal time of day corresponding to the general circulation of Qi.  Stimulate the respective points every two hours moving through the cycle.


1. Upon boarding the aeroplane determine the current time of day of your destination eg. If flying from Melbourne to London, flight departing Melbourne 1.00pm Thursday and it is 2.00am Thursday in London.

2. Since each two-hour time zone on the Chinese body clock is attributed to a specific meridian, the jet lag formula begins by stimulating the acupuncture point which is active at the time of your destination eg. 2.00am London corresponds to the Liver meridian, thus you stimulate the point for the Liver Meridian (LV1). See table below & pictures below.

3. Repeat this formula every two hours of the flight as you move through the time zones. Therefore two hours into the flight it will be 4.00am in London, thus you simulate the point for the Lung meridian (LU8). Continue this example every two hours until you reach your destination.

4. For the best results it is a good idea to stimulate all 12 points for the entire 24-hour cycle ending where you began ie. Liver Meridian. Should you sleep through several meridian activation times, don’t stimulate the points that you missed.  Simply carry on by stimulating the point that correspond to the current time of your destination from when you have woken.

5. Remember always stimulate the acupoint for whatever time it is at your destination location.

How to Stimulate Acupoints

Option 1 – Stimulation may be achieved by inserting press tack needles (tiny needles attached to adhesive tape) on both sides of the body with moderate stimulation. Press tacks should be retained for 5 to 7 minutes.  These can be obtained from your acupuncturist who can instruct you how to apply them to the body and dispose of them correctly
Option 2 – Non-invasive acupressure using pointed instrument such as a ballpoint pen. Stimulate points on both sides of body with a short/fast tapping method 100 times on each point.

**To make the process easier inflight  you can locate and mark each point with a permanent marker before your flight**

Other common sense advice: –

  • Drink lots of water! Keeping hydrated is crucial. Also, hydrate the skin with a spray bottle.
  • DON’T drink coffee, tea, alcohol & juice. Stick to water.

Peak Organ/Meridian Activation Times and Acupoints:

Time Organ Acupoint Time Organ Acupoint
1 – 3am Liver LV1 1 – 3pm Small Intestine SI5
3 – 5am Lung LU8 3 – 5pm Bladder BL66
5 – 7am Large Intestine LI1 5 – 7pm Kidney KI10
7 – 9am Stomach ST36 7 – 9pm Pericardium P 8
9 – 11am Spleen SP3 9 – 11pm Triple Heater TH6
11am – 1pm Heart HT8 11pm – 1am Gallbladder GB41


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