“That’s not flying, that’s just falling with style.” Woody from Toy Story, regarding Buzz Lightyear
I flew from Shanghai, China to LAX today and the turbulence on the flight was wonderful. Strange comment, I know. Think about it: you are on a plane, in an uncomfortable seat for upwards of 12 hours. Your legs cramp, feet swell, neck gets tight or worse yet you get a “crick” in the neck, tension starts to build between your eyebrows and you just want off of this glorified flying tuna can! You don’t do a whole lot of moving for long stretches of time, you try to watch a movie, eat, sleep.
Now imagine you are in that same uncomfortable seat, you use the cranial support flaps on the seat’s head rest to stabilize your head so that it can’t flop down on either shoulder, it is cradled in the exact position that you want. You stretch your feet out as much as you can under the seat in front of you (this works splendidly if you are 5 foot two inches tall or in First Class), relax, inhale and think happy thoughts. The plane starts shaking violently from left to right. If you completely release any tension in your body and don’t try to fight the turbulence, just let it take you, this left and right shaking can be extremely relaxing instead of utterly nauseating. Seriously.
I did a progressive relaxation of my entire body by squeezing and pointing my toes, then relaxing them with an exhale, tensing up my calf muscles, then relaxing, tightening my quads then letting them release, squeezing my butt cheeks then completely sinking into the seat and so forth, with every single part of my body, every limb and, most importantly, my face. When I was finished with that little exercise, I totes melted into my formerly miserable airplane seat! Yea, my airplane seat! And the turbulence knocked and rocked me to sleep. This is a true story.
If you have to be on a plane, and you gotta be in that God-forsaken seat, and you gotta stay put for like a half a day, trust me you want mad-crazy turbulence. It feels like a karate chop massage – but in a good way. Once you get over the whole “plummeting-to-your-death-in-a-fiery-blaze-of-oh-shitness-then-subsequently-being-lost-at-sea-but-possibly-getting-a-made-for-TV-movie-about-your-last-tragic-moments-starring-Halle-Berry-or-Jennifer-Lopez-as-you” fear, it is the next-best thing to an actual massage. For reals.