Our guest is Robyn Benson, an expert in Chinese medicine with over 24 years of clinical experience. Robyn runs the Santa Fe Soul Center for Optimal Health in Sante Fe, New Mexico, which focuses on holistic and preventative healthcare treatments. She is also an author and her latest book is The Healthy Conscious Traveler: 8 Pathways to Smart and Effortless Travel.
In today’s podcast Robyn shares with us:
- The fundamentals of Chinese medicine
- What to look for in a Chinese medicine practitioner
- Tips for staying healthy while traveling
What are the six must-have supplements when you travel? Find out at the 21 minute mark.
An Introduction to Chinese Medicine
Chinese medicine is the oldest continuous form of medicine in the world. What sets it apart from other forms of healthcare is its truly holistic focus. As a result, it is not only effective in treating diseases, but is also a valuable tool optimizing your overall health. The philosophy behind Chinese medicine integrates health measures with healthy diet and lifestyle habits, which provide solutions for long term health and disease prevention.
When you first see a practitioner, you can expect to have your overall health assessed in the following ways:
- Pulse Checks – There are 26 different pulses on the wrist that give the practitioner a blueprint of your health, including insight into your liver and kidney function.
- Tongue Check – The appearance and color of the tongue can point to a number of health concerns. A red or dry tongue is associated with someone who is pushing themselves too hard, while coated tongues often point to phlegm congestion.
- Abdominal Palpation – Touching the abdomen gives the practitioner an idea of how well your digestive system is functioning, as well as the health of your gallbladder and liver.
The Three Treasures
These three essential energies are the cornerstones of traditional Chinese medicine. Having a balance of all three in your body is an indication of good health.
- Qi – An invisible energy that exists in our body
- Essence – An energy we are born with that affects our skin and bone structure
- Shen – A spirit associated with vibrant skin and glowing eyes
What to Look for in a Chinese Medicine Practitioner
Qualifications for practitioners of Chinese medicine vary by state. Robyn recommends finding a practitioner with at least 3 to 4 years of education and a lot of clinical experience. It’s important that your practitioner also uses a comprehensive and integrative approach, as this whole-body approach is fundamental to Chinese medicine.
The key to staying healthy while traveling is to hydrate. Robyn recommends hydrating yourself well up to three weeks before international travel. This includes not only drinking water, but also eating a high water content diet (e.g. lots of fruits and vegetables). Once you’re on board a plane, drink lots of water and get up at least once or twice every two hours. Avoid food served on planes and instead bring your own healthy snacks and supplements.
Six Supplements to Take When You Travel
- B-Complex Vitamins
- Vitamin C (at least 4g per day)
- Vitamin D (at least 5g per day)
- Fish Oils
Healthy Foods to Eat When You Travel
- Kale chips
- Organic nuts
- Sardines in olive oil
- Powdered protein supplement
- Coconut flakes
- Dark chocolate (85%+)
Links to Check Out
Robyn Benson began studying Chinese medicine in 1989 and has treated over 80,000 patients to date. An adventure enthusiast and world traveler, she is also the founder of Sante Fe Soul Center and a best-selling author. Her latest book is entitled The Healthy Conscious Traveler: 8 Pathways to Smart and Effortless Travel.