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Stay Healthy When You Travel

Don’t you just hate it when you reach a destination, only to be taken ill? Whether you’re there for work or pleasure, being ill in a foreign land is absolutely no fun.

According to traditional Chinese medicine physician Ang Xiang Ling, from the Eu Yan Sang clinic at Bukit Batok, illness often strikes people who travel overseas for work. There are various reasons that can cause them to fall ill when they reach their destination:

  • not having enough rest prior to the trip due to work commitments
  • unhealthy eating habits, eg. going overboard at buffets or going on a crash diet
  • change in eating habits at the destination
  • low humidity inside aeroplanes can lead to illness in people who have coldness in the lungs, prone to phlegm dampness or deficiency in yang and heatiness
  • reduced mobility during the trip

3 Types of Illness-Prone Body Constitutions

According to Physician Ang, the following three scenarios make one prone to illness:

1. Stagnation of qi

Who gets it: working adults who are under a lot of pressure

Symptoms: irritability, difficulty falling asleep, constipated, depressed, reduced appetite, fatigue, low concentration, slow to react

Causes: emotional stress, lack of sleep, quarrels

Preventions: have sufficient rest before a trip, keep spirits high during the trip, take part in more outdoor activities

2. Deficiency of yang

Who gets it: people who are uncomfortable in humid weather, suffer from insomnia, and who pass hard stools

Symptoms: a sore throat, headache, constipation, insomnia, heat sore

Causes: extreme fatigue, insufficient rest, diet that’s high in heat and spice

Preventions: sufficient rest, avoid staying out late, consume more fresh vegetables and fruits on the trip

3. Deficiency in qi

Who gets it: Those who catch a cold easily and recover slowly, people still frail after a major operation or illness

Symptoms: reduced appetite, fatigue, low energy, prone to motion sickness and nausea

Causes: fatigue, insufficient or excessive rest, lack of nutrients in diet

Preventions: light meals with controlled portions at fixed times, sufficient nutrients and exercise, have fresh ginger handy in case of motion sickness

Post-travel Conditions

Should you develop symptoms at your destination, here are some solutions Physician Ang recommends:

Symptoms: headache, dizziness, swollen red eyes, hypertension, acne

Suggested solution: take luohan fruit tea

Symptoms: fever, headache, coughs

Suggested solution: take wolfberry-chrysanthemum tea

Symptoms: insomnia, headache, constipation

Suggested solution: apply tuina on meridian points such as ophryon, inner pass and hegu



This is an adaptation of an article, “Travellers’ Woes”, which first appeared in Issue 10 of NATURA magazine.



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