Essence & Qi Blog
Traveling this Summer? Make the Most of Your Vacation with TCM
It’s officially August! You have one more month for all your summer travel plans. Going on any camping trips this summer? Whether you’re going hiking for the day or taking a river tubing adventure, there are some traditional Chinese medicine items and tips that can help you get the most out of your vacation.
Whatever outdoors activity you’re planning, beware the mosquitos. White flower oil is a natural and effective treatment for bug bites, so be sure you have some in your backpack and use it generously. White flower oil is made from Chinese herbs and is a strong analgesic (pain reliever). You can apply it directly to skin, and one dab will relieve the itch of a mosquito bite. It can also be used as a preventative measure—try applying it behind your ears and on your elbows and knees before going outside. Mosquitos don’t like the smell.
If you’re taking an active vacation that involves hiking, swimming, or surfing, you might want to invest in some Zhen Gu Shui. Don’t be intimidated by the name, you should be able to find this Chinese formula in a health store or Chinese herb store. It’s great for treating muscle aches and pains. Apply directly to the area to relax and soothe the muscles.
Most summer vacations involve a hot climate. It can be tough to remain cool, and oddly enough a soup can help. Chinese mung bean soup helps cool your body from the inside out and will prevent overheating. According to Ayervedic medicine, mung bean soup balances the body and helps flush out toxins. Also, it’s easy to heat up over a campfire.
When you travel, your immunity tends to weaken, making you more susceptible to getting sick—especially when combined with the fact that you’re exposed to a multitude of germs as you travel. American ginseng is an herb that can be taken as a powder or as a tea. It helps boost your immune system and increases your energy. Make sure you feel your best to enjoy your time off!
In addition to the abovementioned supplies for travel, the ancient Chinese practice of acupressure can come in handy when you’re on the road. Acupressure is a technique of applying gentle pressure to specific acupuncture points with your fingers. It works much like acupuncture does, activating the qi (life force) at strategic points on the body to relieve pain and provide balance, but unlike acupuncture, no needles are involved and it can be done anywhere.
If you have a headache, try applying pressure to the acupuncture point called Large Intestine 4. This point can be found on the back of your hand, between your thumb and index finger. Use firm pressure and press the point for about one minute, gently pressing in a circular motion.
For sinus pain or head congestion, try the points called Large Intestine 20, Stomach 2, and Bladder 2. Large Intestine 20 has two points on your face, just outside the base of your nostrils. Stomach 2 has two points found on your face just below your eyes. Bladder 2 incorporates the two points between your eyebrows, right where each eyebrow begins. With two hands, you can simultaneously touch each of these points (three points on each side of the face). Try this several times a day for your head pain to recede.
With these easy-to-use, practical Chinese medicine tips, there’s no reason for common discomforts to get in the way of living in the moment and having the time of your life.