FTE Startup Hub member FLYWELL has launched a new ‘Self-care in the Air’ IFE wellness programme to help passengers manage stress and strengthen their immune system.
‘Self-care in the Air’ holds a unique space in the emerging airline content category of health and wellness, with a range of high-quality tutorials and topics/benefits covered.
In a 21st century world whose interconnectivity and ease-of-accessibility has created a new awareness around our shared destiny as human beings, the opportunities to progress and evolve have never been greater – but nor has the reality of us having to face very concerning shared burdens. Recognising problems – and dealing with the reaction to those problems – must quickly, in turn, lead to discussing and implementing solutions that are easily scalable and effective counter-measures.
With regards to ‘Self-care in the Air’, the goal is to help airline passengers to help themselves, on all physiological levels. There are no ‘cures’ offered through this easy-to-navigate IFE interactive platform – rather, it provides a diverse menu of basic-yet-powerful tools (across mental, emotional, and the physical spectrum of wellness) that puts a sense of control and self-empowerment back in the hands of individuals who may otherwise be feeling somewhat overwhelmed by current events.
The following analysis of specific offerings found in the ‘Self-care in the Air’ IFE platform menu will provide a greater understanding of how this leading-edge content is directly addressing the public’s concerns over health and safety in the travel industry. And, through the provision of tips, tools and techniques that provide ways of alleviating these concerns (via the viewer taking control of their own wellness choices), Self-care in the Air is performing a service that has the potential to change lives for the better.
The in-flight entertainment library of ‘Self-care in the Air’ has a variety of entertainingly-educational content that is built around ensuring that your immunity levels, respiratory system and lung capacity are all operating at full strength. This content provides specific breathing techniques, gentle stretch suggestions and guided meditations which can work together in order to lower those stress hormones (such as cortisol) that compromise your immune system, while simultaneously bringing oxygen-rich blood to various organs that can become overburdened during long travel times.
Charlotte Dodson, ‘Self-care in the Air’ Health Ambassador and Instructor, adds that, “performing relaxation exercises and listening to soothing music can both reduce cortisol levels; whatever helps an individual in managing their stress will prove beneficial to their overall health.”
“There’s a truth in laughter being the best medicine”, she says. “It’s hard to feel stressed when you’re having a good time, so finding an inner calmness that encourages a fun attitude can also lower a person’s cortisol levels. Connecting with things that make you happy – and contribute to you having a positive outlook – can also lower stress levels. Being in a state of happiness has other benefits too, such as lower blood pressure levels and a stronger immune system”.
Dodson continues: “A simple tip to ward off any unwanted guests is to generate internal warmth throughout your body – start with a basic ‘heating’ breath technique to boost your immune system; follow that with gentle, seated backbend stretches to expand lung capacity, alongside simple twist movements to squeeze out the digestive/elimination systems”.
Another benefit of the ‘Self-care in the Air’ program says Dr Jacques Durand, Aviation Medical Specialist and Leading Digital Health Expert, “is the positive impact to the Heart Rate Variability (HRV). Several studies have shown that heart rate variability decreases when someone experiences stress, anxiety, phobias, panic, depression, and, more generally, when someone experiences chronic fatigue like a business frequent traveler. This lack of flexibility and a rigid system can lead to higher chances of experiencing somatic pathologies and could explain, in part, the negative consequences of stress on the brain and cardio-vascular systems. By improving heart rate variability ‘Self-care in the Air’ will lead to a better physiological balance, by reducing the harmful effects of stress and chronic fatigue on our system.”
This series of immunological and respiratory-linked content also reminds viewers (through a series of prompts, video tips and written advice) that ‘we are what we eat’ – colds and flu can result from poor digestion or an energy imbalance originating in the digestive tract. Self-care in the Air’s onboard wellness guide provides passengers with ideas about how they can use their meal times to enhance their immunity: eat slowly and chew well in order to avoid bloating (and its negative effect on respiratory health) whilst encouraging your food to properly digest. Eating an antioxidant-rich diet is one of the best ways to optimise your immune system.
Each of the content ‘hits’ provided through the ‘Self-care in the Air’ IFE library will only take travellers a few minutes of participation and/or viewing time to “digest”, but the benefits are profound. And the holistic approach to wellbeing advice that’s offered is unique to this IFE platform: try a smiling organ meditation; follow a guided visualisation to soothe a sore throat; ease a congested respiratory system with plenty of water to lower a fever; increase your vitamin C intake to boost your energy levels and immunity.
Now is the time for concerned and hesitant travellers to incorporate all of these ‘Self-care in the Air’-delivered measures into their itinerary in order to improve their greatest wealth – their health.