Dr. Wilson’s Tips for Healthy and Stress-Free Travel
June 19, 2017 | Published by Dr. James L. Wilson
Travelling – whether it’s a drive to the next city or a flight to another country – is inherently stressful for your body, even when the trip is enjoyable. In addition to usual the felt stresses of planning, getting there on schedule, navigating your new surroundings, and protecting your health, there are a number of physiological changes that can make the experience of being in a moving vehicle unpleasant and physically stress your body.
Your senses (inner ears, eyes; skin pressure receptors, muscle and joint proprioceptors, and central nervous system) control your sense of balance by reporting the orientation and direction of movement of your body to your brain. The typical nausea and dizziness of motion sickness happens when the incoming sensory information conflicts. For example, in a plane in flight, your inner ears and proprioceptors sense the motion, but your eyes only see the stationary cabin interior.
Some of the discomforts of travel are also caused by changes in electrolyte and fluid balances in your body and brain causing local swelling, stiffness and headache. Dehydration, which often results from travel, can cause headaches, lethargy, constipation and general malaise. Being aware of and taking measures to minimize these changes will allow you to arrive at your destination feeling fresher and less stressed.
Here are some tips for safe and healthy travels this summer (and beyond):
- Get enough rest. Sleep supports both the stress system and the immune system. Going into a trip rested and healthy increases your stress resilience.
- Wash your hands frequently. This is still one of the best ways to prevent the spread of disease.
- Drink plenty of water. This keeps the mucus membranes in your nose and throat hydrated and able to resist bacteria and viruses.
- Eat healthy foods. Don’t use vacation as an excuse to eat all things sugar, which also impairs your immune system.
- Travel with immune support. Herbs like echinacea, oregano and thyme can aid an immune system under attack.
- Learn to roll with the punches. Travel invariably brings unknowns and surprises. By accepting these changes as part of the adventure you keep your stress—and the resulting immune changes—to a minimum.
About the Author: With a researcher’s grasp of science and a clinician’s understanding of its human impact, Dr. Wilson has helped many physicians understand the physiology behind and treatment of various health conditions. He is acknowledged as an expert on alternative medicine, especially in the area of stress and adrenal function. Dr. Wilson is a respected and sought after lecturer and consultant in the medical and alternative healthcare communities in the United States and abroad. His popular book Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome has been received enthusiastically by physicians and the public alike, and has sold over 400,000 copies. Dr. Wilson resides with his family in sunny Tucson, Arizona.
Categorised in: General Health