Now that it’s summer, most people like to take a week or two off for vacation. They might travel with the kids, go out somewhere in the wilderness, or simply stay at home and watch some TV. But if you are getting treatment for something, what can you do if you are going to travel or be away from your acupuncturist? (Or, what do you do if it’s your acupuncturist going on vacation?)
The obvious option is to adjust your treatment schedule for a week or two, but that’s not the only thing you can do. Here are some other options:
- Switch to herbal medicine, even if only temporarily – Patients who are already taking herbs have the upper hand here – they don’t have to do anything different! Herbs offer an easy way to take your treatment on the road because they can be made into pills or powders that travel. In many cases enough of your herbal formula can be prescribed to cover for the time you’d be away. Plus, by taking herbs regularly you are getting treatment every day, rather than the typical weekly acupuncture visit. If you want to incorporate herbs into your care you will need a few weeks of time to allow for your herbalist to adjust your formula if it wasn’t written perfectly the first time, so it’s best to bring up this option 3-4 weeks before traveling if you want to take it.
- Have home-based care in place before your vacation – Taking charge of your own health by stretching, developing an exercise regime, making appropriate diet changes, and using self-massage or relaxation techniques is something everyone should be doing. The people who do these things get the most benefit out of treatment. Depending on the health problem, doing these things can be enough to fix the issue. For others it can be a way to manage through a short vacation or trip between treatments.
- Use acupuncture self-treatment methods – Some acupuncture treatment techniques can be done by yourself. Your acupuncturist can show you points to massage. Certain heat-based treatments can be easily done at home using tools that your acupuncturist can give you at the office. And certain points can also be given special needles designed to safely and securely stay in acupuncture points for 3-5 days at a time.
- Ask your practitioner for an interim person to see – Of course, if you’re traveling for an extended period of time, or going somewhere far, sometimes you just need a referral to a different practitioner in another area. Your acupuncturist should have no problem giving you another name if you need someone else to handle your care while you’re on the road.
Wherever you are going, there’s no reason you can’t keep your treatment going too. But as with any other aspect of vacation, it’s important to plan ahead with your acupuncturist so you both know what to do while you’re away. If you intend to travel, schedule your consultation now so you can take the proper steps.