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Travel healthy with traditional Chinese medicine

For travellers planning a year-end overseas trip, nothing dampens the holiday mood more than illness.

So how can you truly enjoy your well-deserved vacation?

Senior physician Huang Chun Xiang of Eu Yan Sang TCM Clinic shares his tips for travelling with peace of mind.

Boost your immunity before the trip

If you are not a fan of seasonal flu shots, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is a good alternative, but do consult your physician at least a week before jetting off.

You will be prescribed herbal medication tailored to your body constitution and your destination.

For kiasu travellers, you can complement your flu shot with TCM medicine as well.

Just inform your doctor and TCM physician beforehand and ensure at least a two-hour gap between consuming Western and TCM medication.

For a general immunity boost, consider adding cordyceps, lingzhi, wild American ginseng and tian qi into your dishes.

Conquer travel ailments

Here are some of Mr Huang's top travel tips:

  • Hydrate and take food with high fluid content to prevent travel constipation.
  • Avoid sleeping during local daylight hours, like when travelling on tour buses, to keep your circadian rhythm regular.
  • Take along some ginger tea to reduce discomfort from stomach bloating and indigestion. To maintain healthy immunity levels, you can take TCM supplements such as lingzhi cracked spores.
  • To relieve nausea and motion sickness, massage your nei guan point. This is located on the inner forearm, three finger breadths below the wrist and in between the two tendons. Give it a good rub for three to five minutes.
  • To reduce jet lag, massage your bai hui point. This is at the intersection of the midline of your head and the line joining the top of your ears.

Rest and recover

Fatigue, sore legs, insomnia and even a mild flu may be par for the course after returning from your trip.

Catching up on sleep and exercise and returning to a balanced diet will naturally return you to the pink of health.

To speed up your recovery, you can consult a TCM physician who will then offer the most suitable treatment, such as tuina, herbal therapy, acupuncture or cupping.