Insomnia Help Deerfield IL

Q I travel a lot for work and notice two problems, particularly when I fly: My skin gets incredibly dry and my digestion really suffers. What can I do to take care of myself when traveling? A According to Ayurveda, the traditional healing system of India, the universe is comprised of five basic principles, which can loosely be translated as space, air, fire, water and earth.

Michael Jay Westmoreland, MD
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Robert W Hart, MD
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Dennis Hoffman, MD
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Tips for Insomniacs - Antioxidant Sources

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Q I travel a lot for work and notice two problems, particularly when I fly: My skin gets incredibly dry and my digestion really suffers. What can I do to take care of myself when traveling?

A According to Ayurveda, the traditional healing system of India, the universe is comprised of five basic principles, which can loosely be translated as space, air, fire, water and earth. Space represents the potential for manifestation. Air represents movement and change. Fire is the power of transformation. Water reflects the attractive forces that hold things together, while earth represents the boundaries of objects and things. These five great elements combine to form three biological mind-body principles, or doshas, known as Vata, the movement principle composed of space and air; Pitta, the digestion principle made up of fire and water; and Kapha, the protection principle bringing together water and earth. These three codes of nature govern our physiology and psychology.

Traveling by air is an inherently Vata-aggravating experience and may result in irregularity, dryness, anxiety, insomnia and difficulty with concentration.

Ayurveda suggests a few tips to balance Vata when you’re on the go. Drink plenty of warm, non-caffeinated beverages. Make up a thermos bottle of gingerroot tea (1 teaspoon grated ginger per pint of hot water) to take with you on the plane. On the morning and evening you travel, apply almond or sesame massage oil to your skin. Eat less while traveling, seeking out warm soups rather than salads and sandwiches. Lubricate your nasal passages with a tiny drop of oil placed into each nostril.

When you get to your destination, as soon as possible take a warm bath. Drink warm liquids and try immediately to align with the rhythm of your destination city. If it’s lunchtime when you arrive, eat lunch. Maintaining optimal biological rhythms even while traveling is the best way to counter the aggravating effects of travel on Vata and reduce the symptoms that reflect it.

Q I know how important antioxidants are for my health. I would prefer to get as many as possible through food sources rather than supplementation. Can you suggest an easy way to choose the most beneficial foods?

A Almost every biological function requires oxygen, which supplies electrons to run the machinery of the body. An oxygen molecule that has released its electron becomes a free radical or reactive oxygen species (ROS). When a free radical forms, it becomes irritable and immediately seeks to replace its missing electron. It will do this by stealing an electron from any local protein, fat or DNA molecule. The resulting damage from this free-radical attack contributes to a wide range of illnesses, including heart disease, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.

Antioxidants are molecules that willingly donate their electrons to free radicals. Vitamin E, vitamin C and beta-carotene are the best known of these natural ROS neutralizers. Nutritional science i...

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