Sleep Increases Your Recovery From Depression

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A new medical study shows what we can all intuitively feel —

— that when we are in a depression, we truly need deep, restorative sleep to recover.

 

 

It’s okay to sleep more when feeling depressed — in fact, a recent study released in June 2017 showed that patients who were medically treated for depression but did not sleep well were three times less likely to actually recover from depression.

And sleeping 7 hours or more nightly actually tripled the rates of full remission in depression.

Here’s more:

 

The Study:

(presented at the 31st Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep SocietiesAbstract 0335):

  • Researchers followed 104 adult patients with Major Depressive Disorder and insomnia.
  • All patients had a sleep study done as a baseline at the beginning of the study.
  • Patients were treated with 16 weeks of antidepressant medications and half were treated for insomnia using cognitive behavioral therapy.

 

The Results:

  • 62% of patients who received help for insomnia and got at least 7 hours of sleep nightly had their depression fully resolve, compared to only 18% of patients sleeping 5 hours a night and 42% of patients sleeping 6 hours a night.
  • The recovery rate was directly proportional to the amount of sleep the patients were getting
  • In other words, more sleep = higher chance of recovery in depression
  • Less sleep = refractory depression that persisted despite Rx treatment for depression.
  • Getting 7 or more hours of sleep a night MORE THAN TRIPLED the chance of healing depression (compared to patients who got 5 or less hours of sleep a night.)

 

The Bottom Line?

 

If you have depression that is refractory to treatment, examine your sleep.

Sleeping less than 7 hours a night may put the odds of recovering from depression against you.

And physicians:

 

Look at your patient’s sleep patterns and recognize that sleeping poorly at night might be a risk factor for refractory depression despite long term treatment.

 

If you think about it, this is not really surprising news…

…sleep has been shown in the medical literature to affect everything from anxiety to dementia to bone strength to lung health and even heart health!

 

Here are some posts I’ve written on sleep that you may find helpful:

How Sleep Affects Your Heart Health

Missing Just One Hour Of Sleep Skyrockets Your Risk Of Depression, Anxiety

Sleep: An Easy Way To Prevent Asthma

The Easiest Way I Know To Fall Asleep Faster

Poor Sleep Equals Weight Gain, Even For Children

Insomnia? 6 Unusual But Effective Ways To Deepen Your Sleep Tonight

Sleep A Key Factor In ADHD

Sleep Dramatically Impacts Your Weight

Poor Sleep Linked to Alzheimers: 9 Ways To Fix It.

 

And below I list some other articles I’ve written on how to help resolve depression holistically.

These tips can all be used even if you are already on a Rx antidepressant (but it might help you avoid going on one if you can try these treatments first!)

 

Articles on resolving depression holistically:

5 Things You Can Do To Naturally Lift Depression

The One Thing You Can Do Daily To Lift All Types Of Depression… Naturally

Good Moods Are Contagious In Teens (And Prevents Depression)

Resolving PTSD, OCD, Tobacco and Drug Addiction Too

Is Stress Is Making Your Antidepressant Ineffective?

Inflammation Depresses Mood (Here’s How To Reverse It)

A Supplement So Good For The Brain It Can Prevent Psychosis

Up This One Mineral To Up Your Mood

Probiotics An Alternative To Antidepressants

 

Want to go deeper?

Want to know why sleep is so helpful and healing, specifically for depression?

 

 

It’s during sleep that you finally deeply fully truly access your crown chakra and let go… getting into repair and recovery mode.

Here are some questions to ask yourself, to see how relaxed and open your own crown chakra is:

 

  • Do you tend to be harder on yourself then you would be on others?
  • Do you take things out on yourself, of feel responsible for things that are out of your control?
  • Do you suffer from insomnia?
  • Loss of pleasure in the small things?
  • Lost the spontaneous laugh you used to have?
  • Loss of fulfillment in your career?
  • Not sure of your true life’s purpose?

 

If any of these things sound like you, let yourself off the hook and open to the possibility that it is simply a matter of rebalancing your crown chakra.

 

You are being so very hard on yourself when what you are actually doing is functioning the very best you can under extremely difficult energy dynamics.

You are on the right path, you just feel disconnected to it because of a disconnect in the way the energy is flowing through your body.

But you can absolutely get back into a relaxed flow.

Want to learn how to activate your crown chakra more and more so that sleep becomes more restorative and powerful, and your health improves from head to toe?

 

My Chakra Healing Class starts in just a few weeks…. I’ve been waiting all year to run it.

I only run it once in all of 2017 and the time is now!  As of writing this blog post, I have 4 spots left!

Chakra Healing Live Class!

 

I look forward to working personally with you, activating and opening each chakra — especially that pivotal crown chakra that affects our sleep and mood and mental state so very very much — and supporting you in finding your very best health yet!!!

Daily uplifting articles and encouragement, weekly live Q&A phone calls and much much more…

 

Find out more and hold your spot here.

xoxoxo, Laura

 

 

Trauma Earlier In Life Ups Risk Of Surgery Later… Here’s Why

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A new study shows what we can already *feel* —

— that trauma in childhood affects our physical health as an adult.

 

 

Our cells, organs, tissues, physical body holds on to the effects of emotional trauma and this energetic tension literally changes how our body is able to function.

I’ve written previous blog posts highlighting this, how our body’s health is an expression of our emotional well being, in articles such as:

 

 


Today’s medical study shows an association between trauma in childhood resulting in an increased risk of having surgery to remove the reproductive organs as an adult.

In other words, earlier trauma significantly impacts the sexual health and reproductive health of a woman and culminates later in life to increase their risk of having major surgery.

 

The Study (published June 7 in the British Medical Journal):

 

  • 256 patients were studied: 128 women who underwent ovarian and uterine removal operations before age 50 and before entering menopause were paired with 128 age-matched controls.

 

  • Patients had to have medical records that dated back to at least age 15 and researchers used epidemiological studies to access medical records with direct documentation of events that gook place up to 40 years prior to the ovary/uterine removal surgery.

 

  • Using data on reports of abuse, violence, neglect, verbal, emotional, physical or sexual abuse that occurred  between birth and age 19… these childhood traumatic experiences were then stratified and validated with the patients directly.

 

The Results:

 

  • Researchers found a statistically significant correlation between women who had ovarian and uterine removal surgery as an adult and verbal abuse, emotional abuse, physical abuse, substance abuse in the household as a child, and suicidal ideation or suicide attempts.

 

  • Women who had considered or attempted suicide were more than twice as likely to have their reproductive organs surgically removed as an adult than their matched controls.

 

  • The highest rate of statistical significance was childhood physical abuse, with patients who had the surgery being almost 6 TIMES AS LIKELY to have had physical abuse as a child.

 

The Bottom Line:

Traumatic experiences in childhood may cause epigenetic changes that increase the chances of having the reproductive organs removed as an adult.

 

More studies are needed to determine whether bringing an awareness to the fact that the pelvic pain, fibroid growths, excessive bleeding, etc… leading to surgery may stem from experiences in childhood and young adulthood, and to see if getting support to deal with prior traumas can help mitigate symptoms and decrease the need for pelvic surgery entirely.

 

 

I hope these studies are conducted soon.

Because often, the removal of the reproductive organs is not a definitive solution to pelvic pain…

…as the dynamic behind the pain cascade has not been adequately addressed.

This study is a very vivid reminder that what happens to us affects our physical body.

 

What happens to us emotionally, what happens to us when we are under stress, what happens to us when we are betrayed, neglected, sexually abused, or mistreated shows up in painful ways that you can’t ignore as an adult.

If there is one thing I know after working with patients on both a physical and an energetic level for all of these years, it’s that there is a heck of a lot more to a physical illness than just what is physically going on in the cells and tissues of the body.

Health is an expression of who we are and what we have gone through over our entire lifetime.

 

This example… of how childhood trauma can make it much more likely that you might have your reproductive organs surgically removed later on… is just one of many ways that the body processes life events and modifies our physical body in order to process and release it.

Trauma, in this case, held in the sacral chakra area, can give rise to sexual and reproductive issues.

Trauma on any level can give rise to physical health issues in many different areas of the body.

From the root chakra all the way up to the crown chakra, I’ve seen health issues arise as a healing response to past trauma and stressors over and over again.

This is literally why I spent years creating my Chakra Healing Class.

In this class, I go through how the body handles and processes (and heals and releases!) energetic dynamics so that you can understand and make sense of what your body is trying to tell you.

Symptoms and illnesses are the body’s way of speaking to us.

I’m listening.

And together we can figure out a way to align the energy of your emotional and physical body so that we can optimize your health.

 

 

 

Click over here to find out more about how much I would love to work with you in my upcoming Chakra Healing Class

…enrolling right now, class starts in just a few weeks!

xoxoxo, Laura

 

 

 

Resolving PTSD, OCD, Tobacco and Drug Addiction Too

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A recent medical study came out looking at the natural supplement N-Acetylcysteine (NAC for short) in healing the brain after trauma…

…with fantastic results.

 

NAC is a potent brain antioxidant and protector — found essential in the healing of the brain after impact injury (such as concussion) so researchers wanted to investigate if this supplement could actually help heal the brain after different types of mental injury as well… such as PTSD and addiction.

It’s not often that a holistic supplement is studied this extensively and found to have such robust positive outcomes, yet it’s not something that I’ve heard a lot about in mainstream medicine.

So today, let me highlight 3 key medical studies that show just how powerfully healing it can be to take an NAC supplement for brain health:

1.  Healing PTSD

 

The Study (published in the Journal Of Clinical Psychiatry, Nov 2016):

  • Researchers enrolled 35 Veterans with PTSD and substance use disorders in a double-blind, randomized, controlled trial of NAC supplementation
  • Patients received either 2,400 mg of NAC or placebo daily for 8 weeks, all patients received cognitive behavioral therapy as well.

 

The Results:

  • The severity of PTSD symptoms improved significantly with use of NAC over placebo (32% improvement, only 3% improvement with placebo and cognitive behavioral therapy alone.)
  • Drug cravings also significantly improved with use of NAC over placebo (81% decrease in mean drug cravings with NAC, 32% decrease with placebo and therapy alone.)

 

Why?

  • The nucleus accumbens region of the brain, an area affected in both PTSD and substance abuse disorders, is rich with glutamate synapses.
  • NAC increases the amount of glutamate in the nucleus accumbens region and has previously been show helpful in the treatment of cocaine, tobacco and marijuana addictions.

 

And now we know… even PTSD  can be significantly helped with NAC supplementation, even in the face of substance abuse disorders.

 

2.  Treating OCD

Another recent study showed that NAC supplementation is useful in treating even moderate-to-severe obsessive compulsive disorder.

 

In this study, published in the Journal Of Clinical Psychiatry in April 2016, researchers created a double-blind, placebo study that enrolled 44 patients with moderate-to-severe obsessive compulsive disorder and treated half with 2,000 mg of NAC (or a placebo) for 10 weeks.

 

The results?

 

 

Compared to placebo, NAC significantly improved scores on two independent Obsessive-Compulsive scales.  NAC significantly reduced obsessive and compulsive behaviors, including decreasing hair pulling and skin picking forms of OCD.

 

Next up?

3.  Smoking cessation

NAC was studied for its role in helping smokers who have been resistant to other forms of therapy, quit smoking.

 

Researches enrolled 34 patients in a randomized, double-blind placebo study.  Half received 3,000 mg of NAC daily (1,500 mg in the morning and 1,500 mg in the afternoon) and half received placebo.  All patients received behavioral therapy targeted at smoking cessation.

 

The results?

 

 

More than twice as many patients taking the NAC supplement were able to quit smoking entirely, when compared the the placebo group.  Almost half of the smokers on NAC were able to completely quit smoking (47%) compared to only 21% of the patients who received the placebo along with therapy.

 

 

So the Bottom Line:

Supporting the brain with NAC supplementation helps heal everything from physical injury to traumatic experiences leading to PTSD to addiction disorders… even severe OCD and die-hard cigarette smokers.

 

You all know that mental health is rooted in the physical, right?

It’s not just *in your head* but a physical change in the brain that is causing that craving, or that urge to wash your hands or pick at your skin, or the impulse to reach for that next cigarette, that created that post-traumatic nightmare that you had, or causes you to startle easily, or to get that next panic attack.

Trauma and stressful life events literally change our brain chemistry and change our brain functioning.

Through the use of NAC, we can help heal the trauma and release the subsequent behaviors that keep us feeling trapped in mental illness or addiction.

 

 

The key is, not to ignore stress and trauma.

 

It’s 100% TOTALLY NORMAL to have brain changes in relation to having experienced life changing events.

It shows that you are aware, open, experiencing life and responding to it.

Your brain is ever evolving, ever-changing, ever adapting.

Some of the adaptations show up in the form of seeking relief from the stress… in the form of PTSD response patterns, cravings and addictions, and self soothing behaviors.

These brain changes are all unhealthy adaptations to unhealthy stressful life experiences that you’ve had to go through.

And they can all be helped.  You don’t have to suffer.  You absolutely can heal.

And new research is showing that even if you do not have overt psychiatric signs and symptoms after big life transitions, even just experiencing the stressful event at all — no matter how well you feel you coped with it — affects your brain: stress is linked to a higher risk of dementia.

 

In other words — stress on the brain has long term effects, not just the immediate effects such as PTSD or substance addictions.  Long term effects like memory loss, dementia, and even Alzheimers… showing up decades later.

 

A recent study estimated that each stressful life event you experience declines your cognitive function equivalent to about 1 to 4 years of aging.

 

Presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference on July 16, 2017, the study looked at over 1,300 healthy adults and were assessed for 27 different lifetime stressful events (such as divorce, death, illness, bankruptcy, job loss, childhood trauma, war combat, physical assault, sexual assault, and many other universally stressful life events.).

Every two years, researchers had these patients return for six domains of cognitive function to be analyzed and documented.

Over time, results showed that patients with larger numbers of lifetime stressful events had worsening brain function later in life, with decreased thinking speed and decreased mental flexibility.

Another study presented at the same conference showed data revealing that depression is linked to Alzheimer risk as well.  In this study, over 800 participants were followed for 25 years to see if there was a correlation between depression diagnosis early in life and an Alzheimers diagnosis later in life.

Researchers found that experiencing even a mild depression almost doubled the risk of Alzheimers later in life.  And having severe depression made that diagnosis much more common — tripling diagnosis rates.

 

Here’s the important part:

While you can’t prevent traumatic life events from happening to you, you absolutely 100% can minimize the impact it has on your brain and on your future cognitive ability.

 

One thing you can do?

Take NAC supplements for a few months after traumatic or stressful events.

Another thing you can do?

Realize that disease is simply the effect of stress being released through your body’s cells, tissues and organ systems.

 

That is all that disease really is!

From a tension headache to a PTSD response to full blown dementia… the body has these physical responses because it is being affected by, and trying to process and release, STRESS.

If we can relax into allowing the stress to move through us, and off gas… we can mitigate so much of the resultant changes stress has on our body.

If you get tension headaches, if you suffer from addictions, if you tend to have OCD, or depression, or even just a family history of dementia that you would like to buffer yourself from as much as possible…

…one of the best things you can do is to get into the habit of addressing and releasing stress instead of resisting it or fighting it.

 

 

To me, all of the issues we’ve been addressing today are related to the Third Eye Chakra and are proof that the amount of energy that flows through the third eye (in the middle of your brain!) and the way you handle third eye chakra overwhelm affects the health of your brain.

 

I would love nothing more than to walk you through how to have a healthy third eye that is resilient to stress and long term brain changes.

Join in my upcoming Chakra Healing Class right now (spaces are limited as the class is very personalized!) and together we can go through every single chakra level and make sure your are open, off gassing, and healthy so that you can face whatever life challenges and stressful events come your way with resiliency and balance.

 

I have seen clearly through my past 17 years of practice as a physician that disease is a manifestation of our life experiences… and how we process and heal from the energetic insults that bombard us each day matters.

 

Stress.  Trauma.  Depression.  Anxiety.

These are states of the body and mind that have long term physical effects on us.

 

Energy and experiences are one and the same as tissue damage and disease burden.  There is nothing that is purely physical, there is nothing that is purely energetic.  Rather, our energetic experiences literally change our physical body.

Looking at the energetic health of our body is one way to stay on top of the physical effects stress can bring.  This is why to me, looking at the intuitive and energetic states of the body is as important to me as a physician and a healer as looking at lab findings and a physical exam.

I believe they are both so interrelated that we can not, and should not, separate our energetic burdens from our physical ones.

 

 

That is why I have spent years creating my Chakra Healing Class — this is the most intensive of all of the health classes I lead.

 

This one course covers our entire body, from head to toe, on an energetic level.

There is absolutely no health topic that can’t be addressed in this class.

Each week we have a live Q&A phone call where I answer every single one of your health questions from both an energetic health and a physical health angle.

 

Join me to reserve your spot today… I can’t wait to get started with you!

Class begins in just a few weeks…

xoxoxo, Laura

 

 

 

3 Steps To The Healthiest Mouth (And Less Headaches Too)

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A few months ago, I wrote an article that highlights how the balance of bacteria in your gut can make a difference in your mood, your memory… even treating autism!

Today’s medical study highlights this delicate balance even further.

 

Could it be that the bacteria that live in your mouth affect your body’s health?

Turns out, the answer is yes…

…the bacteria in our mouth can actually trigger migraine.

Here’s how:

 

Nitrates have long been revealed as a headache trigger — found in foods like red wine, chocolates, processed meats and some cheeses, migraine sufferers have long been cautioned to avoid foods containing nitrates.

This latest study might explain why some people get triggered to have a migraine when consuming nitrate laden foods, while others can eat large quantities without fear of an impending headache.

Turns out, migraine sufferers have significantly more types of bacteria in their mouth that processes nitrate into nitrite (nitrate, nitrite and nitric oxide reductase genes) than those who don’t get migraines.

More bacteria releasing nitrites into the person’s mucosal membrane, means more potential for migraine trigger.

 

There are two types of headaches that nitrates can trigger:

  1. an immediate headache (usually more mild) within an hour of consuming nitrate laden foods
  2. or a delayed-onset headache (typically a severe headache, or migraine) 3 to 6 hours after consumption of nitrates.

 

The fact that migraine sufferers have more bacteria in their mouth that is processing these nitrates into nitrites and increasing their absorption would likely increase the incidence of both types of headache, although more studies are needed.

 

The Study (published in mSystems October 2016):

  • Researchers sequenced bacteria from over 170 oral samples of patients.
  • Patients were healthy, between the ages of 20 and 69 years old, had a body mass index between 18.5 and 30, had no history of IBD, diabetes or any antibiotic use within the past year and were either diagnosed with migraine or were classified as non-migraine sufferers.

 

The Results:

  • Researchers found significantly more bacteria that could convert nitrates into nitrites (nitrate, nitrite and nitric oxide reductase genes) thereby increasing those patient’s burden of nitrite exposure.
  • Notably, streptococcus and pseudomonas bacteria were significantly increased, both which are able to reduce nitrate to nitrite.

 

The Bottom Line:

Bacteria play an important role in our health, and in this case, even can impact the amount of pain we feel or the days we lose due to migraine headache.

 

 

Although everyone has millions of bacteria, and hundreds of different species living on and within them, it’s the type of bacteria and the quantity of that balance that can often mean the difference between illness and health.

I personally get migraines several times a year and so did quite a bit of research into finding out what I could do to balance my oral flora and reduce my own chances of getting my next migraine.

 

And guess what?

I found a toothpaste that combines a probiotic and prebiotic designed specifically to enhance the microbiome of the mouth.

I’ve got it waiting for you right here because I’m so in love with this toothpaste after personally using it that I wanted to carry it for you in my shop.

 

It’s part of an awesome holistic, non-toxic tooth whitening and repairing kit.

Because it is natural for our enamel to yellow as we age, it is an instant boost to your appearance to whiten your teeth… making you look years younger.  I like it even more than plucking my eyebrows for an instant makeover!

Here is how I boost my whitening and support my oral hygiene naturally:

 

1.  Start by oil pulling.

 

I talk about oil pulling with coconut in more detail here… but I basically take a small scoop of coconut oil into my mouth and swish it around my teeth for a few minutes.  The oil works to soften any plaque build up on your teeth, and is a FABULOUS healthy fat for your body so the more your oral mucosa absorbs, the better!

Any tarter build up will get softer and easier to remove, your teeth will definitely get whiter and your body will be happy happy happy with the extra coconut oil exposure.

 

2.  Swish with a Hydrogen Peroxide Mouthwash.

 

I use this as a pre-rinse before brushing — I just use a little bit and swish all around, letting it foam all over my teeth and my tongue.  I spit out the hydrogen peroxide but leave the foaming bubbles in my mouth… and follow with this:

 

3.  Brush with a baking soda tooth powder.

 

I just have found that for teeth whitening, the combo of hydrogen peroxide with baking soda is AH-MAZ-ING.  And the added bonus of not having to worry about any additional fluoride exposure is liberating.

If you are using a fluoridated toothpaste, please think again.  Fluoride is thinning to your bones and whether you are 20 or 70 you really want to protect the strength and long-term density of your bones.  And honestly, medical studies show it’s not that great for your heart either… as I blog about here.

 

So that’s it, folks!

Every morning I brush with the Probiotic Toothpaste

and

every evening I do my 3 step Holistic Mouth Routine (Coconut Oil, Hydrogen Peroxide, Tooth Powder) and I have a healthy white smile that’s always ready to go!

 

Want to simplify even further?

I’ve get the entire kit waiting for you right here.

And I’d love to send it to you.

 xoxox, Laura

 

 

What You Eat Is Making Your Anxiety Worse

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Today I wanted to share some foods that are medically proven to worsen anxiety, and some foods found to help lift anxiety.

 

Did you know treating anxiety actually adds years to your life span?

More on that in a moment.

But first, let’s not worsen or trigger your underlying anxiety with the wrong foods.

Nutritional psychiatry is a real thing — using nutrition to treat mood disorders can transform your life and make huge shifts in your ability to function and even thrive, despite having a predisposition towards anxiety.

 

Two foods that might be worsening your anxiety:

 

 

1.  Gluten —

This medical study followed anxiety in patients with celiac disease after being placed on a celiac free diet.

Researchers followed these patients for an entire year, and found the rate of anxiety dropped significantly… from 72% of patients having high levels of anxiety at baseline down to only 25% of patients having anxiety after going gluten free.

The control group had no change in anxiety levels after a year, and interestingly, depression rates did not change at all.  This transformative lessening of anxiety after going gluten free was very impressive and suggests that a gluten free diet can improve anxiety, but may not impact depression.

Although now we need continued research to see if the same reduction in anxiety is true for non-celiac patients, I can completely understand why gluten might trigger anxiety and why going gluten free may help alleviate it.  As I reported years ago that gluten is an irritant to the central nervous system and can even induce brain fog and add to dementia risk.  Read more on that here.

 

2.  Sugar —

A huge meta-analysis correlated blood sugar control in diabetics with anxiety.

Researchers found that when patients were hyperglycemic, they had significant spikes in anxiety levels.

This after research in vivo showed that rats who binged on sugar became anxious and rats fed sucrose had significantly more anxiety than rats fed honey. 

Again, it would be very helpful to have more medical studies confirm if this reduction in anxiety happens with non-diabetic patients, but since sugar is so inflammatory for the body and immune suppressive as well, reduce sugar as much as possible and see if this helps reduce your anxiety levels too!

 

 

Two foods that can help relieve anxiety:

 

 

1.  Fish —  

As I blog about here, omega 3 fatty acids offer a calming effect on the brain.

In fact, this medical study showed that taking Omega 3 fatty acid supplements dropped anxiety rates by 20%!

Krill oil (like this high quality supplement) is an easy way to boost your intake of Omega 3s.

 

 

2.  Fermented foods & probiotics —

As I blog about here, the link between the body and mind starts in our gut.

In fact, this interesting study showed that patients who ate fermented foods actually lessened social anxiety.

If you don’t enjoy yogurt, kefir, kombucha or fermented foods routinely, get started on a high quality probiotic supplement like this one.

 

And a few more tips about eating:

 

 

1.  Eat regularly —

I’ve found in my past 17 years of practicing medicine that patients who do not eat consistently and routinely have more anxiety and even panic attacks when they are skipping meals and/or not eating enough grounding protein and healthy fats.

If you tend to get panic or anxiety symptoms, look over your eating habits and be certain you are actually getting enough protein and healthy fats to keep your body feeling grounded and stable.

Make sure your home and work areas have nutrient dense foods such as nuts, cheese, yogurt, nutritional rich veggies like avocado and coconut, chia seeds, granola bars with nuts and seeds in them, and other easy to grab foods.  Start your day with an egg or other protein rich food.

Don’t skip breakfast!

2.  Hydrate fully —

The symptoms of dehydration can give you the same symptoms as anxiety — racing heartbeat, cloudy thinking, overwhelm, muscle fatigue, etc…

If you feel anxiety coming on, take a few deep breaths and drink a big glass of clean filtered water.

 

 

3.  Make sure you are getting enough minerals, especially magnesium.

Just like with dehydration, being mineral deficient can trigger anxiety symptoms too… especially shakiness, muscle tension and irregular heartbeat.  Your muscles (including your heart!) and your central nervous system absolutely need minerals to function.

I highly recommend magnesium replacement if you tend to feel anxious, get trigger points or other areas of muscle tension, have difficulty relaxing at night, grind your teeth or have restless legs, or any other difficulty allowing your body to unwind.

Nightly magnesium bath soaks or topical application of magnesium lotion, as well as trace mineral drops in water throughout the day can do wonders to settle a hyper-irritable central nervous system and soothe a tense musculoskeletal system.

 

Don’t ignore anxiety.

There is no reason to suffer, accelerate aging, or even shorten your lifespan because of untreated anxiety.

Did you know that addressing and treating anxiety actually slows the aging process and reverses the damage that anxiety does to your body?  It’s true.

Published February 5, 2015 in the British Journal of Psychiatry, researchers found that anxiety increases the rate of aging AND that treating anxiety helps reverse the aging process!

 

 

Telomeres are complexes of DNA that cap the ends of your chromosomes.  They shorten with age.

The length of your telomeres are considered a direct indicator of cellular and biological aging, because telomere shortening is accelerated when the aging process is accelerated.

This has been shown in other disorders such as depression, stress, increased cortisol levels, oxidative stress, higher levels of inflammation and now… anxiety conditions.

 

The study:

 

  • The study looked at 1283 patients with active anxiety disorders, 459 patients with a resolved anxiety disorder, and 582 control patients with no psychiatric disorders… over 2,300 patients total.
  • The average age was 42 years and 66% of the participants were female, 34% male.

 

The Results:

  • Telomere length typically shortens by about 14 base pairs a year.
  • Accelerated aging was found in all anxiety disorders including social phobias, agoraphobia, panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorders (GAD).
  • Even after controlling for sex, weight, health, lifestyle factors, smoking, drinking, etc… patients with active anxiety disorders had significantly shorter telomeres than those without anxiety (by 75 base pairs on average — over 5 years!)
  • BUT!  Participants who had their anxiety disorder adequately treated had telomere length almost the same length as their non-anxious counterparts… only a 7 telomere difference (about a 6 month difference.)

 

This shows the incredible resilience of our body to stress, disease, and trauma!!

 

  • After the anxiety was alleviated, telomere length returned to almost the exact length that non-anxious patients had!
  • And the longer the patient has been anxiety free, the closer it was in telomere length to those who had no history at all of any anxiety disorder.

 

Just as it is never too late to stop smoking (because there are immediate health benefits as the body immediately starts to repair) it is NEVER too late to address anxiety… as the body is fully capable of reversing the aging effects of anxiety on our DNA.

 

So this is yet another study to prove:

Our psychology has a direct effect on our physiology.

 

In other words… our emotions and state of mind matter.

As I write about here, our outlook impacts our physical body.

 

This latest study showed an average life span shortening of about 5 years or more just due to anxiety.

And a near complete reversal by addressing that anxiety.

 

Add years to your life by getting help when you need it.

Don’t ignore anxiety.  Anxiety is extremely common and there is a lot of support out there just waiting to help you.

I’ve blogged about anxiety quite a bit because just like many of you, I’ve had my own share of anxiety and have learned how to work with this energy to optimize my own health and the health of thousands of my patients who have anxiety struggles.

 

Other blog posts I’ve written over the years to the help decrease your anxiety:

1.  Crisis Navigation — use the power of your emotions to feel your way through a crisis

2.  Acupuncture — one of the best tools to release pent-up anxiety

3.  Surrender — to recover from stress and trauma faster, drop your resistance

4.  Deep Sleep — sleep is absolutely necessary for increased daytime resiliency

5.  Exercise — boost mood and decrease stress through exercise

6.  Protect your sense of hope — it’s your most valuable healing tool. 

7.  Decrease your anxiety when Googling health information or seeing a physician a the doctor’s office: specific tips for navigating health info online and in the office (blog + video).

8.  The top 5 ways to navigate an immediate crisis and protect your health.  A crisis is an opportunity for transformation… here’s how (video).

 

I really hope these resources help!

I truly believe in the power of positive, uplifting, empowering health information.

Positivity, support, wellness tips, encouragement, fun…  all of these things make a difference and ACTUALLY IMPACT LONGEVITY… adding years to your lifespan!

 

xoxox, Laura

 

5 Things You Can Do To Naturally Lift Depression

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Yet another medical study continues to verify that probiotics absolutely robustly treat depression.

 

Researchers found that only 4 weeks — just ONE MONTH — of probiotic therapy significantly lifted depression, decreased anhedonia, reversed sleep disturbances… and that these improvements were still  sustained months later.

These results are so impressive because probiotics had zero of the adverse side effects that prescriptions antidepressants do and can safely be taken indefinitely.

The Study:

(presented at the 13th World Congress of Biological Psychiatry on June 19, 2017)

  • 10 patients with major depressive disorder in a current episode of depression were treated with a probiotic containing two strains: Lactobacillus helveticus R0052and Bifidobacterium longum R0175.
  • Clinical symptoms were assessed at baseline and again after 2, 4 and 8 weeks of probiotic treatment: including mood, anhedonia, anxiety, sleep disturbance.
  • In addition, molecular markers of inflammation were assessed, sleep studies were followed, and tryptophan and serotonin levels were documented.

 

The Results:

  • Every single parameter improved significantly, with mood having the most robust immediate response:
  • mood raised by 55%
  • anhedonia improved by 20%
  • sleep quality improved by 33%
  • … and all after only one month on the probiotic!!!
  • Additionally, these results were maintained or continued to improve by the two month assessment

 

The latest statistics estimate that about one in every ten Americans now takes an antidepressant, and antidepressants are the third most prescribed form of medication.

 

Yet side effects cause about 60% of patients to discontinue their prescription antidepressant within the first three months of use.  Probiotics had none of those Rx side effects… which can be very severe, including: vomiting, severe headaches, increased suicide risk, sexual dysfunction… not to mention the chemical exposure and dependency on obtaining repeat prescriptions from your physician.

Probiotics are safe, effective…

…and even better…

…available without a prescription.

 

Earlier studies suggest that the gut microbes in depressed individuals are decreased in both amount and in variety.

If the natural flora of the gut is diminished in depression, then restoring the natural vitality and variety of healthy organisms in the digestive tract might be a very powerful way to improve outcome in depression (and other mood disorders, such as anxiety.)

 

Sp… starting probiotics is one easy way to naturally treat depression.

Here are 4 more holistic ways to feel better ASAP:

 

 

1. Sleep One More Hour

 

A study (presented at the American Academy of Neurology 2017 Annual Meeting on April 27, 2017) reveals that even a minor sleep disturbance (even a shortage of just one hour of sleep!) can significantly up your risk of mood disorders such as depression and anxiety.

The Study:

  • Researchers looked at data collected from over 20,800 adult participants
  • Participants were 50% women, 50% men, and an average age of 47.5 years old.

The Results:

  • Sleep duration was inversely associated with mental health.
  • Each hour of sleep made a statistically significant difference in the rates of depression, hopelessness, nervousness, restlessness and fidgeting.
  • Getting just one hour more of sleep significantly alleviated every single one of these symptoms.
  • These rates compounded with each additional hour.  Getting two hours less sleep TRIPLED the rates of nervousness and hopelessness, and almost QUADRUPLED the rates of depression and restlessness.

 

Wow! If only one hour more sleep is shown to help treat depression, hopelessness and anxiety, we really need to take sleep seriously.

It’s no longer enough to just get by on fumes, stressing out your adrenals and hoping to just catch up your sleep deficit over the weekend.  Yes, we know chronic sleep issues are no way to live… increasing rates of Alzheimers and increasing severity of asthma attacks and upping ADHD symptoms and more.

But now we know, as little as a 60 minutes less sleep at night significantly affects mood and mental health too.  We need to do everything we can do to maximize how restorative every minute of our sleep is, every night.

My fav way to get better sleep?

Sleep grounded.

 

EEG studies of brain activity show that connecting to the soothing energy of the earth instantaneously shifts our brain wave patterns and reduces ambient stress levels.
Effortlessly getting into the relaxed but alert alpha brain wave pattern, which is seen in deep meditative states and restorative sleep states, is one of the hallmarks of grounding.
Deeper, more restorative sleep at night puts us in a zone of healing, which helps support everything… from treating mood disorders to decreasing your risk of dementia to boosting metabolism.

 

2.  Light Therapy

 

We all know that getting morning light each day significantly improves seasonal blues (or winter depression.)

But a new study shows that light therapy lifts depression — even depression that is NOT seasonally related — *more effectively* than antidepressant drug therapy.

 

 

The Study (Published in JAMA Psychiatry on Nov 18, 2015):

  • 122 patients being treated for depression randomly assigned to either a 30 minute session of light therapy or a placebo device alone, a combo of light therapy plus an antidepressant medication, or a combo of the placebo device and antidepressant medication.
  • The depressed patients had to have a major depressive disorder lasting at least 45 weeks or longer.
  • Light therapy was a 30 minute a day exposure to a fluorescent light box as soon as possible after awakening in the morning.

 

The Results:

  • After only 4 weeks, depression assessment scores were significantly better than baseline assessment in both groups using the light therapy (either with Rx or without a Rx antidepressant.)
  • Notably, the lightbox therapy was actually significantly MORE effective than drug therapy in treating depression.

 

Light therapy can be used safely in conjunction with medical treatments (including Rx medications) so if you are on an anti-depressant, augment your treatment with light therapy and it’s possible you can work with your physician to decrease dose!

And if you are not on an antidepressant but suffer from depressed mood, whether seasonal or not, consider getting 20 – 30 minutes of light therapy every day for a few weeks before giving those antidepressants a try.

 

The best light therapy box is waiting for you right here.

Portable, full strength, LED, zero UV rays, clinically proven effective.

 

 

3.  Vit D Supplements

 

A study (published in the November 2011 issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings) showing that low levels of Vit D is significantly linked to increased risk of depression.   And the important thing to note about this particular medical study is that the researchers found that the link between low Vit D levels and depression was even higher in patients who had a prior history of depression. 

What does that mean?  It means if you have a history of depression, it is extremely important for you to be sure to supplement with Vitamin D, or be certain to get daily exposure to natural sunlight.

Even in those who did not have a prior history of depression, Vitamin D levels were low across the board… with 50.7% of ALL study participants having low Vit D levels.  This suggests that at least half of us, regardless of mood, are already low in Vit D.

So far there have already been two studies that both show that after treatment with high doses of Vit D (thereby achieving an elevation in serum Vit D levels) depressive symptoms declined or resolved entirely.

And especially important for those with a history of depression or a family history of depression… it’s great news that higher Vitamin D levels can actually help decrease risk of future depression.

 

4.  Zinc Supplements

 

On December 15, 2013, the medical journal Biological Psychiatry published the results of a huge study that found overwhelming evidence of a link between zinc and depression.  Researchers looked at  17 different studies that measured peripheral blood–zinc concentrations in over 1600 depressed patients and 800 control patients.

The research showed that mean peripheral blood–zinc concentrations were not only lower but that zinc levels correlated with how severe the depression was.   The most severe depression was associated with the greatest deficit in zinc levels.

Looking at both animal studies and pre-clinical and clinical trials, researchers found that zinc added to antidepressant therapy produced more rapid and more effective improvement in symptoms of depression than without zinc supplementation.

 

These 5 holistic treatment options:

  • probiotics

  • grounding

  • light therapy

  • vitamin D &

  • zinc supplementation

 

can all be safely and effectively combined to help treat your depression and can also safely be used in combination with Rx treatment for depression.  

 

 

So please know, there are lots of all natural ways to support your mood and please forward this info on to any friends or loved ones who could use the extra support.

Not too many physicians know about these holistic ways to help treat depression and many don’t realize that these extra steps can make a world of difference to their patients who are not being adequately treated through a conventional approach alone.

 

 

With great faith in your natural healing potential…

xoxox, Laura

 

 

 

 

Sea Salt Spray Heals Diabetic Ulcers

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As I blogged about last week… I love treating skin issues.

I love taking care of skin, and I love supporting skin healing.

As a physician, skin is like magic to me.

 

In medicine, we see the miracle of skin repair all the time:

 

  • You can cut it during surgery, and it will grow back together within a week.
  • You can scrape it to take a biopsy, and it will re-establish an intact barrier within days.
  • You can puncture it with a needle, and it will fill back in to stop bleeding within a matter of minutes… sometimes seconds.
  • Skin is miraculously quick at creating new cells, removing old ones, repairing structural damage, and re-establishing blood flow.

 

In science, we have yet to be able to re-create anything half as magnificent as real skin, even in the most advanced laboratory on earth.

Nothing can truly substitute for your skin.  For this, we should be on our knees grateful to our skin.  This is completely aside from the physical appearance of our skin.

This is just that our skin allows our survival… it lovingly cares for us when we don’t even give our skin a second thought.

But what about when we do have a wound in our skin that is not healing?

This is a common medical issue for diabetic patients, so a recent medical study on a holistic way to treat non-healing skin ulcers really grabbed my attention.

 

The Study (published in Wounds, Feb 2017):

  • Researchers enrolled 10 patients with diabetic foot ulcers and monitored healing over a 12 week period.
  • Patients sprayed their diabetic foot ulcers three times daily with a sterile sea salt spray (Oceanzyme Spray.)

 

The Results:

  • The patients using the sea salt spray had an average of a 73% reduction in wound area (which is a major amount of healing) and two of the 10 had 100% full healing within the 3 month time period.

 

The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) estimates almost 30 million Americans have diabetes, and that diabetes costs the US about $250,000,000 dollars a year.

The cost of treating a diabetic foot ulcer alone can be over $25,000, as many diabetic foot ulcers need prolonged treatments that including dressings, topical Rx, surgical interventions, even amputation.

 

Finding out that an all natural, no-Rx-needed salt water spray heals skin ulcers that well is absolutely so exciting in the world of holistic medicine…

…but maybe not so exciting for pharmaceutical companies!

 

Want yet another holistic approach for treating wounds?

 

A study published on April 12, 2012 in the International Wound Journal showed that when honey was used on all types of wounds, it:

  • promoted healing
  • minimized necrosis
  • minimized the amount of skin that sloughed off the wound
  • reduced wound size
  • decreased affected area around wound

 

I’d be happy to use honey as a topical dressing even if it only had a small chance of helping… but it made a significant, measurable improvement in over 84% of wounds!!!!

 

We are talking:

  • post operative wounds
  • general skin wounds
  • infections
  • burns
  • ulcers
  • pressure sores and more!

 

 

Honey has well-known antimicrobial benefits, doesn’t spoil, is easy to have on hand and is portable (no refrigeration required!) so it really makes perfect sense to use as a wound dressing in children older than 12 months old.

 

First be sure to flush out any wound with lots of water… for a long period of time.

Then, depending on wound type you may consider a topical antihistamine, anti-inflammatory, or antibacterial dressing, and then honey.

Of course, be sure to have deeper or larger wounds evaluated by a physician.

 

For diabetic foot ulcers, combining the two medical study results into one treatment plan, I would recommend:

  1.  Spraying the ulcer generously with sea salt spray
  2.  Gently dressing the ulcer with a thin layer of manuka honey
  3.  Then covering with a sterile bandage.
  4.  Repeat three times a day and have wounds monitored by your in-person physician for signs of infection.

 

Want more holistic, medically proven ways to naturally support the health of your skin?

I’ve created an online class just for you:

My 5 Day Skin Happiness Makeover — which runs next month!

 

 

The class comes with a complete holistic skin care toolkit…

…a goodie bag filled with all the items you need to play with my very favorite skin care tools every day of the course and beyond!

 

The goodie bag is so awesome that you could literally throw out every skin treatment, cream and lotion and potion that you have in your bathroom right now and start totally over with only the very best, most supportive, totally holistic products that I am going to personally send you!

 

The course culminates in a live Q&A phone call where I will answer every single one of your skin care questions PERSONALLY.

Ask me anything!

I will tell you exactly what is going on with your skin and how to help, medically and holistically and intuitively.

 

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Join right now to reserve your spot in this

by-reservation-only special skin care makeover!

 

xoxoxo, Laura