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Keeping Healthy While Flying

Advice for travelers who want to stay healthy on those long, cramped airplane flights.

Hydrate Your Skin continued...

Because the nasal mucous membranes can dry out, she suggests either taking a saline solution to spray inside the nose or using "ghee," or clarified butter, that one can take in a small container to apply directly into the nostrils.

Raichur also suggests massaging key sinus points on the face - they're located on either side of the nose, by the nostrils, on the cheeks at the mid-nose point, at the cheek bones, and at the temples. One can also dab essential oils diluted in carrier oil onto the pulse points for relaxation.

Bolster the Immune System

For Laurie Steelsmith, a licensed naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist who practices in Honolulu, it's very important for people to protect their immune systems while they're airborne. "You're in a closed environment with really dry air and a lot of ill people from all over the world," she says. "You're a walking open door."

Steelsmith is the author of Natural Choices for Women's Health: How the Secrets of Natural and Chinese Medicine Can Create a Lifetime of Wellness. "When you're under stress, your body pH is going to become more acidic," she says.

Avoid sugar-laden food and drink. "From the Chinese perspective, sugar creates dampness and phlegm, which can lead to an environment where viruses and bacteria thrive," Steelsmith says. "It creates a petri dish in your sinuses and the back of your throat."

Plan Your Plane Trip Before You Board

The best time to think about tackling that plane is well before boarding, when one can attend to details about remedies and food and water to bring. "We need to know how we're managing our lives and not creating chaos," says Steelsmith. Killing oneself to catch a plane by cutting a schedule impossibly close is not worth it, if it means that one's resulting physical and mental state is not strong enough to resist the microbial and other challenges of the airplane ride itself.

"Use foresight to plan ahead," advises Steelsmith. That - and a couple of liters of water - can ensure that passengers arrive at their destination in a healthy enough state to enjoy their vacations.

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