You’re probably aware that planes are germy places. And really, it’s to be expected of tight spaces that cram hundreds of people into them on any given day. At some point, you may have even caught a cold from a long flight. But with the right ayurvedic strategy, it’s easy to stay healthy while traveling.
How To Stay Healthy While Traveling With Ayurvedic Medicine
Vata’s main quality is movement, so ultimately, the movement of flying can be aggravating to the body.
Inside the cabin of the plane also happens to be dry and cold, which can weaken the immune system and leave you susceptible to illness.
So, here’s how to keep vata balanced before, during, and after your traveling experience.
5 Ways to Ward Of Illness While Traveling
1. Stay warm
Planes are always far colder than is typically comfortable. Yet many travelers seem to not dress for the occasion. Overexcited by the promise of a warm destination, many don themselves in shorts and flip flops on long hauls to the tropics.
But rather than dress for where you’re landing, dress for the journey. Your flight will be cold. Wear pants and a shirt that covers your chest. Bring snuggly socks, a sweatshirt, and maybe even a shawl or scarf, depending on how hot or cold you tend to run.
2. Oleate externally
That feeling of dryness after a long flight can be remedied with oil, the absolute best way to balance vata. Before leaving home, oleate externally. Ayurveda calls this abhyanga, or oil massage.
While it’s a treatment that you can receive from an ayurvedic therapist, you can also do it yourself. Ayurveda actually recommends doing this every day.
Warm some organic, unrefined sesame oil (found in the beauty section of health food stores) in a double boiler. Lay a towel down on the floor and strip down to your underclothes. Then, working your way from your head to your toes, slowly and gently massage your body using a generous slathering of oil. Use long, rhythmic strokes on the long bones and circular strokes on the joints. Let the oil absorb into your skin for 5-10 minutes, then wash it off.
Along with a pre-flight abhyanga, bring a tiny bottle of sesame oil with you on the plane. Apply it your ears, as well as to the soles of your feet, then slip your socks back on. Putting oil on these areas specifically pacifies vata.
3. Oleate internally
Given that your skin dries up on a flight, imagine what’s happening on the inside. Internal dryness can cause constipation, as you’ve probably experienced after a long haul. Pre-flight internal oleation definitely helps.
The night before your trip, drink a cup of almond milk with 2 teaspoons of melted coconut oil. You can even add a little fresh ginger, cinnamon, and turmeric to give it an immunity-boosting effect. This elixir lubricates the internal organs and prevents constipation.
4. Pack your lunch
Plane food isn’t the healthiest – it’s often microwaved, loaded with salt, and the choices are definitely lacking. Not to mention the prices! In short, it’s devoid of prana, or life force. Have you felt enlivened by an airplane meal? Probably not.
While you’re not going to get sick from airplane food, you can prevent yourself feeling awful by avoiding it.
Take the extra time to prepare your meals at home. Your food will have far more prana than what’s being served on the plane and will carry good, nourishing energy for your body. Go so far as to even bring your own tea bags, filling a thermos with hot water before you hop on the plane.
5. Close those eyes
While travel is certainly worth it, it’s quite disrupting to the body’s sleep cycle. Your bound to deboard a long-haul feeling sleep-deprived and groggy.
Try to align yourself with the local time as soon as you set off. Sleep accordingly, but also sleep when it comes—jet lag can’t be overcome in a plane ride’s time. Bring earplugs and an eye mask to eliminate sensory stimulation. Even if you can’t sleep, try simply resting your eyes and giving your body a chance to relax and reboot.
Avoid anything that could overstimulate you while you’re attempting to wind down, such as tablets, phones, laptops, or screens of any kind.
You can stay healthy while traveling. Oleate inside and out before beginning your journey, pack your lunch, stay warm, and get some shut eye on the flight. You’ll be amazed by how much easier traveling can become!
If you’d curious about learning more on how food and energy medicine can promote health and well being, here are a few words of wisdom from master practitioner, Donna Eden:
Have you ever caught a bug while traveling?
Or do you suffer from debilitating jetlag?
Tell us what strategies you use to bounce back!