How to Stay Healthy on Holiday

Maureen Cromey

by Maureen Cromey

An Acupuncturist and Chinese Medicine Expert

I recommend holidays to many of my patients. In fact I think a lot of ailments, and life’s ills can be cleared with a good break.... proper relaxation, lovely food, and gentle daily exercise away from stresses and pressures of home works wonders.

We discuss their holiday plans, where will they go, will they be very sporty, and will it be a foodie extravaganza indulging in exotic rich foods and wines?  They may be travelling long haul or driving for several days.  How does the weather contrast with home, will it be hot/humid/freezing? 

We expect a lot from our bodies, work them like crazy until physically and emotionally exhausted, then travel long hours to a different environment and time zone, a sudden change in exercise levels and diet which can be very demanding.  It is sensible to prepare for these changes.

Ideally it is best to set off on holiday in as healthy a condition as possible. This reduces the unwinding time needed before you can really start to relax and enjoy yourself. It is a good idea to de-stress a little before you go. Acupuncture reduces adrenalin levels and fatigue, and it helps the body clock to adjust to new time zones, research has shown that acupuncture has a very positive effect on melatonin production. The effects of acupuncture stay in the body for months so a treatment before departure will prepare the body for change.

I recommend remedies to help with the travel and environmental changes. Siberian ginseng is an Adaptogen, a metabolic regulator which increases the body’s ability to adapt to environmental factors. In practice this means that your body adjusts to changes (temperature, foods, humidity) quickly without feeling ill or out of sorts. It is recommended that this herb is taken for 12-14 days before departure.


Travel can be exhausting, very early starts combined with stressful check in procedures. In addition air is recirculated on flights, causing involuntary inhalation of viruses from our fellow passengers. It is easy to catch colds and flu this way. 1-2 g of Vitamin C before the flight and the same on arrival can greatly reduce the risk of respiratory infections. A lovely Chinese formula called Yin Qiao San wards off sore throats very quickly. Chinese medicine is wonderful for congested sinus, a few acupuncture points on the face clear sinus immediately and Cang Er San herbal formula clears congestion like magic. A dose before flying or diving stops pain associated with air pressure changes. Digestion can be easily upset and a daily dose of garlic which is antibacterial prevents a lot of sickness and infections. 

Holidays are great, make the most of them. Leave home in good health with reasonable expectations, a genial companion and comfortable shoes and you should have a great time.  Leave your troubles behind you, but not your common sense!


Maureen Cromey

Maureen Cromey is a highly respected acupuncturist with over twenty years of experience. She specialises in breast cancer both during and post treatment, nutritional advice, paediatrics, cosmetic and fertility acupuncture and is based out of Harley Street and Chiswick. www.goodacupuncture.co.uk
Get £50 off your first holiday