The keys to taking care of your body while traveling are hydration, combating insomnia, and body comfort. We’ve asked some of our expert team how to best support the body through travel. Here is what they said:
Katherine Casey, Acupuncturist: These three acupressure points will help support your body through jet lag and travel weariness:
Stomach 36: Stretch legs out in front of you and place a pillow under your knees. Place the fingers of your right hand directly under the left kneecap. Just under the little finger, about a thumb’s distance from the shin bone you will find a little hollow place. That is S 36. Apply gentle even pressure for about a couple minutes and repeat on the other side.
Xin Bao 6: Find the wrist crease on the palm side of the left hand. Measure 2 thumb widths from the crease. The point is located between the tendons. Apply gentle pressure with the tip of the thumb for a minute or so. Repeat on the other side.
Ren 6: Lie comfortably on your back. Place the first 3 fingers of your left hand directly below your navel. With your right hand, place your index finger directly below your navel right next to your 3rd finger. Massage this point for a couple of minutes.
Jane House, Yoga Teacher: When you come back from a trip, remember that there are 2 parts to a really good yoga practice: the physical, and what I call telling the truth. Physically, prioritize getting sleep, listen to your body, and allow a couple of days on either side of the trip to settle back in and recalibrate before you go back to your usual schedule.
A yoga posture that is especially helpful is a gentle forward fold, where you stand with your sitting bones on the wall, walk your feet forward 12-18 inches from the wall, and then bend forward. This has elements of child’s pose as you lay along your thighs, allowing you to breathe into your back a bit. Also helpful are gentle twists, inversions, downward dog, and cat-cow for spinal releasing.
For the second part, Telling the Truth, find a person that can hear you and is present for you where you are. Have a conversation about your trip and anything that shifted, or realizations, or experiences. Trips can often rearrange us a little and it is very grounding to connect with your people when you come back.
Liz Workman Mead, Ayurvedic & Nutritional Counselor:
Take Ashwaganda, which is a rejuvenate and helps with the way travel throws off the body’s biochemistry. Take it the night before and then while traveling, especially to help sleep. (available at HaLe’)
Take Triphala, which helps fix constipation, assists with detoxification, and regulates the bowels. (available at HaLe’)
Drink lots of water, and in summer, put things in the water like cucumber or mint to help cool your body.
Do dry massage: take a dry washcloth before you get in the bath and start at your ankles, brushing up toward the heart to get circulation going. This is especially good for when you’ve been sitting a long time.
Janice Cathey, Bodyworker: Biochemical processes don’t move as fast as we can travel, so the body needs support in catching up.
Help reset your sleep cycle with exposure to natural sun for at least 20 min. Using a natural sleep aid such as melatonin can also help.
Balance the hips and release the neck and shoulders because those can get compacted during travel.
We need to stay more hydrated than usual. Coconut water and bottled spring water are especially good.
Diet-wise, eat bananas and maybe some nuts. Avoid fatty foods, spicy foods, dairy, and caffeine.
Take an epsom salt bath with a little lavender or something in it that rejuvenates to help with travel weariness.