By guest blogger Mao Shing Ni, DOM, PhD, ABAAHP, LAc; author of the bestselling book Secrets of Longevity.
Summer is a big season for traveling. Here are some ways to keep your health and longevity intact on your journey.
Flexibility is Key to Stress-Free Travel
Travel can be stressful. You may miss a connecting flight, or find out your bus isn’t leaving today, or that somehow your hotel reservations got misplaced.
Before you give in to stress, keep this in mind: travel is often unpredictable, and the easiest way to overcome the stress of encountering an unexpected sticky situation is to adopt an attitude of flexibility. Remember that everything that happens—bad or good—is all a part of your travel adventure.
If you find yourself in a particularly stressful place, take a few deep breaths, and try to put the problem in perspective so you will be ready to face the next step.
Time Out for Renewed Energy
Traveling is exciting, and brings with it a new scene around every corner. It is easy to become so busy with your travel agenda that you forget to take care of your needs. Constant time with people can become a drain on your energy.
So give yourself a breather! A little rest can go a long way—even a 15-minute nap or meditation session by yourself can reinvigorate you. Try this Dao-In massage to hit the reset button on your energy: Take one of your heels and rub it against the sole of your other foot, until you feel heat in the massaged foot. Then reverse position and repeat with your other heel. This will stimulate blood flow into the lower extremities (great for tired travel legs!).
Avoid the Ailments of Travel
Nothing puts a damper on a vacation like illness. Here are some strategies for dealing with common travel woes:
Combat motion sickness with ginger. Whether you take it in tea form, powdered, or as capsules, ginger alleviates digestive distress. As an added benefit, the anti-inflammatory properties of ginger can help inhibit the onset of migraine headaches. If you know you are prone to motion sickness, begin a ginger treatment a few days before your trip, and continue to use ginger throughout your travels.
Take dandelion for TD. When a traveler’s diarrhea episode strikes, drink plenty of liquid to avoid dehydration, and make tea from dandelion root. You can bring along a few tea bags and drink one cup three times a day.
Soak in some sun and wash off jet lag. Our body’s biological clock or circadian rhythm is tuned by light from the sun. In order to quickly restore your body’s clock while crossing multiple time zones, get into the sun without your sunglasses for as little as 30 minutes, as soon as you arrive at your destination if it’s daytime.
Be sure to drink a lot of water and stay physically active. If you arrive at night, take 1 milligram of melatonin, a natural hormone produced by the body’s pineal gland, one hour before bedtime, to help you reset your clock.
Build your immunity before you travel. Taking an herbal supplement can also help increase your immunity to protect against pathogens while you are traveling. My family’s herbal formula Perpetual Shield includes white mulberry twig and black sesame seed to increase your ability to recover from illnesses and protect you from getting sick.
I hope you have happy, healthy travels!
May you Live Long, Live Strong, and Live Happy!