Disrupted Day/Night Rhythm Increases Mental Illness Rates

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A new study shows that disruption of a normal day/night rhythm takes an enormous toll on your mental health.

Do you have a circadian rhythm disturbance?

 

You might if you are restless or active during the night, or are inactive for long periods during the day.

That’s all it took to significantly increase odds of mood disorders, cognition issues, and decreased over all wellness.

If you feel this might be an issue for you, read on.

 

The Study:

  • Published May 15, 2018 in Lancet Psychiatry, researchers analyzed data from over 91,000 people wearing wristbands to record activity for 7 days straight, around the clock.
  • Periods of rest and periods of activity were recorded, and examined against rates of mood disorders, cognition and general wellness of the participants.

 

What the researchers found:

  • Disruption of day/night circadian rhythm (increased activity during the night and decreased activity during the day) resulted in:

increased risk of major depression

increased risk of bipolar disorder

greater mood instability

higher levels of neuroticism

higher feelings of loneliness

lower feelings of happiness

lower health satisfaction

slower cognitive function

 

Because mood disorders have a common onset during adolescence, it’s a little bit scary that in this digital era most teenagers have a significant disruption of circadian rhythm due to staying up late at night on computers, smart phones, reading from tablets, and watching TV.

Is this circadian rhythm disturbance, that is basically mainstream at this point, increasing our society’s risk of bipolar, depression, feelings of loneliness, neuroticism, cognitive decline and more?

This study suggests that the answer to that is yes.

So… double check your circadian rhythm and shore up your sleep hygiene to decrease your own risk.

Whether you are a teenager or not… and whether you are the parent of a teenager or not… it’s worth double checking your circadian rhythm to proactively decrease your risk of subsequent depression, mood disorders, feelings of loneliness, dissatisfaction with health, and cognitive decline.

So to that end, here is a list of my Top 10 favorite holistic ways to support your brain function, to help you get a better night’s sleep and get back into a health sleep/wake cycle:

 

1.  Melatonin — the hormone that signals it is time to sleep for our body, our melatonin levels naturally decline with age.  If you find it hard to naturally  fall asleep, try boosting your own melatonin levels with a low dose melatonin supplement.

 

2.  GABA/L-Theanine — GABA is very soothing to the brain and if you are have trouble with anxiety or racing thoughts at bedtime, you might feel the calming benefits of supplementing with a product containing L-Theanine, which crosses the blood brain barrier and converts to GABA to help relax over active thoughts.

 

3.  Probiotics — the mind/gut connection is completely underrated.  Decreased gut flora has been linked with anxiety and probiotics are now shown to be a very effective treatment for both anxiety and depression, and as a bonus, they boost immunity.

 

4.  Zinc — low levels of zinc are linked to depression.  If your multivitamin doesn’t have zinc in it, consider supplementing your zinc levels with a supplement.

 

5.  Magnesium — Magnesium is very relaxing and because it helps your muscles relax and release, it is a wonderful nighttime drink.  On nights when I am feeling tense (especially helpful for anyone who grinds their teeth at night or has restless legs!) I enjoy a hot cup of water with a teaspoon of Natural Vitality’s Calm magnesium drink, found in my online dispensary here!

 

6.  Other supplements that protect your brain — if dementia runs in your family, I highly recommend these two supplements.  Omega 3 fatty acids, which preserve brain volume, and Resveratrol supplements, which stop plaques from growing in Alzheimers disease.  Blueberries have also recently been shown to give memory a boost in mild cognitive impairment… if you don’t get enough berries on a daily basis, you could supplement with blueberry supplements to help boost your memory function as well.

 

7.  Decrease EMF exposures in the bedroom.  Decreasing the disruption to your health at night by decreasing your EMF exposures — removing those you can remove, decreasing those you can decrease, and shielding from those you can’t do anything about — will help your body truly restore it’s health during sleep.

Hop over here for a blog post I wrote that gives you a free printable checklist on decreasing your body’s EMF exposures… especially crucial if you suspect you are EMF sensitive.

 

8.  Use A Light Box to correct your circadian rhythm naturally!  Effective to not only boost your daytime energy levels (making you more active during the day) but a light box will also help you sleep better that night… naturally, without taking any mediations or supplements at all.

Perfect for those who don’t want to risk any untoward side effects from taking pills, a light box does more than just correct your circadian rhythm, light boxes have been shown to directly treat depression as good as a Rx medication and even boost libido.

 

9.  Block Blue Light from reaching your eyes.  Ok I’m a mother of two teenagers (oh my how the time has flown) and it’s just completely unrealistic for me to expect them not to use their computers at night to complete homework assignments, or use their phone at night to arrange plans with friends, or to use their televisions at night to catch up on their favorite TV shows or (in my son’s case) watch their favorite sports teams play.  That said, you can make the glow from these screens less disruptive to circadian rhythm simply by the compromise of wearing blue light filtering glasses, like these.

 

10.  Sleep Grounded — To take your sleep resonance to the next level, you can combine your brain’s healing alpha sleep state with the Earth’s energy directly by grounding the body when sleeping with in indoor grounding product.  Increased time spent in alpha brain wave patterns equals greater time in the restorative healing phases of sleep and the healing processing time of sleep, which is when dreams occur.  This is why dreams often increase in intensity when we sleep grounded.  While we sleep, we cycle through alpha sleep states and REM sleep states and each time we do we are held in beautiful resonance with the Earth’s healing energy.

This is one of the reasons why getting a good night’s sleep impacts our entire body from head to toe… because high quality sleep does everything from preserve our brain volume and function to enhancing weight loss!  I have invested a great deal of time and research creating the highest quality, most reliable, washable, and ethically respectful (crafted by hand right here in the USA!) grounding healing tools.

Tools like my eco-friendly Grounding Mattress Panels — the ultimate in grounding all night long using the highest quality eco friendly fabrics (like organic cotton and hemp along with medical grade stainless steel to ground you for years and years and years without fail!). Wash as often as you like with no loss of conductivity!

Or my Grounding Organic Fitted Sheets, or even my Grounding Pad… soft, flexible, reliable grounding, complete with a machine washable cover.

Upgrade your nighttime grounding experience with the world’s best medical grade grounding products right here.

 

I hope this information helps you positively impact your circadian rhythm, helps you boost your central nervous system, boosts your mood, your sleep, even decreases your feelings of loneliness long term.

A good night’s sleep is absolutely crucial to maintaining wellness — one thing is for sure, your body needs good sleep to function!

xoxox, Laura

 

P.S. Want some more sleep support?

Watch this video on additional holistic ways to help your sleep that I made a couple of years ago for you below!

 

 

 

 

Is It Better To Diet Or To Fast Intermittently?

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Two years ago I told you about a medical study that showed fasting for 13 hours (or more) overnight decreased breast cancer recurrence by more than one-third, which was awesome news.

In that study, researchers found that not only did cancer recurrence rates drop, but also the longer the participants fasted at night, the lower their HbA1C levels fell as well.

 

 

This begs the question — if fasting at night helps to lower HgA1C levels, could intermittent fasting help treat patients with Type 2 Diabetes?

 

To answer this question, researchers conducted a new study specifically looking specifically at diabetic patients.

They enrolled 137 adults to be randomly assigned to either a program of intermittent fasting two days a week or to a continuous calorie restriction diet.  Their weight, caloric intake, HbA1C levels, lipid profile and more were followed for an entire year.

The results of this study were published in the JAMA Network on July 20, 2018.

 

The Study:

 

  • Adults with Type 2 Diabetes were assigned to either fast two days a week or to follow a continuous calorie restricted diet.
    • Fasting group:  Two days a week caloric intake was restricted to 500 – 600 calories a day, and eating their normal diet the other five days a week.
    • Diet group:  Calorie intake was restricted to 1200 – 1500 kcal/day every single day.
  • Participants were followed for an entire year, and monitored to see what changes these two diet plans made to their weight, body mass and fat composition, HbA1C levels, lipid levels and more over the long term.

 

The Results:

 

  • Both groups had an equivalent reduction in HbA1C levels over the course of one year — each enjoying a drop of about 0.4% in their HbA1C levels.
  • Both groups required less oral hypoglycemic drugs over the course of the year, and the intermittent fasting group was able to use significantly lower insulin amounts than the daily dieting group.
  • Both groups had a significant weight loss: participants who dieted every day lost an average of 11 pounds during the study and the group who intermittently fasted lost an average of 15 pounds during the study.
  • Both groups had an equivalent decrease in body fat.
  • Both groups has similar rates of glycemic events during the study.
  • Both groups had equivalently lowered serum lipid levels.
  • Both groups had a similar compliance rate, with similar drop out rates.

 

What’s the bottom line?

 

If you find dieting difficult, but you want to lose weight or to lower your HbA1C levels… fasting two days a week and eating normally the other five days a week is every bit as good as dieting every single day, and may even result in a bigger weight loss!

 

 

So that means, it’s your personal preference in what you can stick with more easily:

If it’s easier for you to fast twice a week and eat your normal food intake the other 5 days a week — do that!

If it’s easier for you to maintain a daily calorie restriction every single day to lose weight — do that!

 

I find it’s easier to fast every few days than it is to worry about restricting my calorie intake every single day.

So if you are struggling with a diet and have not yet tried picking two days a week to fast, give this a try and know that you will enjoy the same results as if you had dieted every single day… or perhaps even better results!  Woot!

As a physician I feel this has major implications in relieving the anxiety that is associated with calorie restriction and strict diets.  I also feel that this is a wonderful way to maintain your ideal body weight, boost metabolism and prevent metabolic syndrome, naturally help treat diabetes Type 2, and probably has applications to other diseases such as PCOS, hypothyroid, and other hormone and/or weight related diseases.

 

Some guidelines for a two-day-a-week fasting diet (sometimes called a 5:2 diet):

 

  • You can pick any two days to do the fast, as long as they are not consecutive (i.e. don’t fast for two days in a row)
  • On fasting days, stick primarily with drinking water and one or two small meals that total 500 -600 calories.
  • Most people start the day with a small meal, stay well hydrated all day long, and have a small dinner.
  • An alternative to this is to stay well hydrated all day long, drinking a few small fresh pressed juices as well, and end the day with a small dinner.
  • If you are currently taking medication to treat diabetes, such as insulin or oral hypoglycemic prescriptions, consult with your physician to have these medications adjusted to minimize glycemic events.

 

 

 

Some foods that can fit easily into a 500 – 600 calorie fast day:

  • water and more water!
  • black coffee
  • herbal tea
  • yogurt and berries
  • fresh pressed juices
  • soups and soup broth
  • salads with oil and vinegar dressing
  • steamed veggies
  • hard boiled egg
  • small portion of fish
  • almonds, cashews or pistachios
  • a tablespoon of peanut butter
  • oatmeal

 

 

 

Now you guys already know that I have a nice broad definition of what defines a healthy weight.

 

I believe you can truly be healthy at almost any weight and the only weight that I would consider treating medically is BMI’s that are over 35.

So for most of you who are healthy but just concerned about a few pounds, I would comfort you and remind you that not only is being overweight healthier than being underweight, medical studies have shown that it actually gives you a survival advantage.  

So today’s medical literature review isn’t so much about losing weight as it is about finding an easier, simplified, more holistic way to keep HgA1C levels down and to decrease the stress associated with the traditional, strict diets that conventional physicians might insist on.

 

Today’s medical study shows… you have more flexible options that are every bit as good as being on a strict daily diet.  This is more about relaxing into what serves you more than fitting into a particular BMI category.

 

For more ideas on maintaining a healthy weight, you might enjoy these blog posts I’ve written for you:

 

 

To your innately resilient health!

xoxoxo, Laura

 

How To Get The Purest Ground Connection

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I get thousands of emails asking me about grounding in areas where there are EMFs present

(which, let’s face it, is basically everywhere.)

 

The truth is that the very thing that makes grounding so powerful is that we are fully conductive human beings with every single cell in our body completely and totally conductive and ready to receive the earth’s healing energy.

And the very thing that makes us so susceptible to EMF exposures is that we are fully conductive human beings, with every single cell in our body completely and totally conductive, which means we are affected by the electromagnetic fields around us.

This is all one united field of medicine, a field that I am now calling Conductive Medicine.

The health of our bodies absolutely depends on us uniting these two issues, not dividing them.

 

 

To stop grounding because there are EMFs around is to remove the biggest source of power and resilience and healing potential right out from under you…

…cutting you off from the healing flow of your own conductive health.

You don’t want to isolate yourself even further from the earth…  especially when EMFs are bombarding you day and night!

What you want to do is support your conductive health AND protect your conductive health.

 

Both, not one or the other.

 

Your conductive health actually is your biggest asset in healing!

We support our conductive health by grounding.

We protect our conductive health by decreasing EMF exposures… and shielding what we can’t decrease.

These two approaches are both wonderful, powerful, awesome, positive things we can do, and they overlap in beautiful ways… covering us from both angles, not dividing us.

 

To divide the two, and have EMF experts try to take away the healing modality of grounding is to cause division and fear where there is none, and to artificially remove something that is absolutely critical to the longevity of the human body.

But on the other side, to have grounding experts completely ignore that EMFs affect us at all is to stick your head in the sand and only recognize one arm of conductive health.

This division is not good.

 

I am here today to tell you that protecting our conductive health (by shielding and buffering EMF exposures) while boosting our conductive health (by grounding) is a completely compatible combination and absolutely the best thing you can do to support you body’s long term well being.

 

So that said, can we make the ground connection even more pure?

 

Is there anything we can to do really preserve the clarity of the ground connection to the earth when EMF fields are ever increasing?

Until now, the answer was no.

But I can see the horizon and it is card to breathe my friend… the environment is getting covered in more and more toxic e-smog as we speak.

 

So today, I am so so so damn excited to tell you…

…now there is something else available, something that filters and shields your ground connection to the earth, protecting you better than ever before.

 

Enter: the PureGround filtering cord,

proudly made right here in the USA, not bulk manufactured overseas like other grounding cords!

 

 

I wanted to provide you an easy way to use your grounding tools as nature intended, unaffected by the inevitable presence of surrounding EMFs.

Or as affected as little as possible at least!

It’s the ultimate way to bring the field of Conductive Medicine into a peaceful merger.

Watch this video below to see why those of us who are electrosensitive and want to have our ground connection shielded from ambient electrical and magnetic fields in our environment absolutely can:

 

 

 

(click here to watch this video on YouTube)

(click here for more information on the PureGround cord)

 

 

If you have a grounding tool with a standard grounding cord that is not filtered and not shielded… should you stop using it?

 

Absolutely not.

The standard grounding tool is what has been used in all of the medical studies on grounding over the past three decades and still, patient after patient, person after person, year after year, prove… the human body clinically benefits from being grounded.

All of my grounding tools still come with a standard cord.

I am using a standard ground cord too right now, as these new cords are available for pre-order but won’t ship until they come in stock in December!

So never stop grounding!  Your current cord is awesome.

 

But for those of us concerned about the ever increasing strength of the electromagnetic fields on the horizon…

… and for those of us who are particularly electrosensitive, upgrading to a filtered and shielded cord makes sense.

Reserve your PureGround cord right here before they sell out!

 

 

By supporting your conductive health (with grounding) and protecting your conductive health (with shielding) we can get these two powerfully healing approached united, so that they can both ultimately work together to support your innate, robust health.

And now we can ensure that your grounding experience is the most pure ground connection possible by upgrading your standard grounding cord with the new PureGround filter grounding cord.  

You can clip this cord onto any grounding tool that is conductive and it will work!

Compatible with all of the grounding tools I’ve ever sold, as well as any grounding tool sold by other companies…

…simply clip to the edge of the conductive part of any grounding tool and it will be powerfully grounded!

So anyone can use it.  Whether you get your grounding tools from my website or a different one.

Anyone can feel even better than they do right now.

Isn’t that what healing and healing is all about?

No more division.

No more fear.

Just positive action and double the healing.

 

Share this these resources and this new cord with everyone you know who is electrosensitive and let’s unite these two approaches under one umbrella of Conductive Medicine.

Woot!

xoxox, Laura

 

 

Yet Another Study Showing That Overweight Is Healthier Than Underweight

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A new study, this time looking at breast cancer, found the same thing that several previous studies have revealed:

it’s better to be overweight than underweight.

 

The latest study, published in JAMA Oncology on June 21, 2018, found that a higher BMI was associated with lowered breast cancer rates.  Especially if the BMI was higher in early adulthood, there was a reduced risk of premenopausal breast cancer.

 

The Study:

 

Researchers collected data from over 750,000 premenopausal women throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

Looking at the BMI of women ages 18 to 54 years old and following their subsequent breast cancer diagnosis, researchers found:

  • The highest BMI group had over 4 times lower rates of breast cancer than the lowest BMI group.
  • This inverse relationship between higher BMI resulting in significantly lowered breast cancer rates was particularly strong for hormone receptor positive breast cancers.
  • Young women (ages 18 to 24) who were obese (BMI greater than or equal to 35) developed breast cancer 4.2 times less often than women who were underweight (BMI lower than 17.)

 

The Bottom Line:

Young women (ages 18 to 24) who were underweight went on to develop premenopausal breast cancer over 4 X more frequently than women who were obese.

 

This study was very large — almost one million patients — and was a rigorously analyzed.  Considering breast cancer is the most common worldwide cancer diagnosis for women, particularly young women, this is very important news indeed.

Researchers estimate that every 5 unit increase BMI (an approximately 22 lbs increase) decreased cancer rates by about 23%… so about 1 percentage lower risk for every pound.

Paradoxically, postmenopausal breast cancer rates go up with higher BMI, although in light of this new study we need to confirm this with larger scale studies on post menopausal breast cancer rates, like the size that this one was.

This study wasn’t the first to show an advantage to increased BMI in association with cancer, as I have previously blogged about.

Published Oct 2016 in the Journal Of Clinical Oncology, researchers examined body mass (BMI) and metastatic renal (kidney) cancer survival rates.

They found that obesity actually predicted improved survival in metastatic cancer… improving both the progression free survival rate and the over all survival rate!

 

The Study:

  • Researchers looked at over 1,900 patients from the International Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Database Consortium and another 4,600 + patients from kidney cancer clinical trials over a ten year period… from 2003 to 2013.  That’s over 6,500 patients total.
  • Patients in the higher BMI category (above 25) survived approximately 38% longer and had longer remissions than those with lower BMIs (below 25.)
  • Surviving almost 40% longer, especially with metastatic cancer, is a very big deal.  Stage 4 (metastatic) renal cancer carries a 5 year survival rate of only 8%.  Extending survival by up to 40% is more than any single chemotheraputic agent has ever been able to do with this disease.

 

The Bottom Line:

Higher BMI patients have markedly better survival rates for metastatic renal cancer than lower BMI patients.

 

The fact that obese patients have better outcomes in metastatic cancer is a real thing — this study had large patient numbers, was reproducible in different cohorts, and is statistically significant.

The numbers are so large and so significant that now physicians are encouraged to take the patient’s weight into account before sharing information on prognosis with their patients.

Of course, anything that shows there is a WIDE diversity to what is considered a “healthy weight” is totally hidden by the media.  That makes sense, as the weight loss industry is a 20 BILLION dollar industry IN THE UNITED STATES ALONE!!!

So, of course the media wouldn’t want you to actually feel good about your current weight or feel there was any advantage in the slightest to having a higher BMI.

 

 

But as I previously blogged about several years ago, an important medical study revealed that mildly obese patients have yet another survival advantage…

…surviving lift threatening infections.

 

Published in August 2014 in Critical Care Medicine, researchers looked at the data of over 1,400 elderly people hospitalized with severe sepsis (requiring ICU care) and compared their body mass index (BMI) with clinical outcomes 1 year after discharge.

The results revealed a 25% improved mortality rate in severely obese, obese and overweight patients compared to normal weight patients… proving that heavier weight allows the body to survive overwhelming bacterial infections, even at advanced age.

 

The bottom line:

Obesity seems to have a survival advantage in sepsis, cancer prevention, and even in metastatic cancer.

 

Researchers further acknowledge that “small excess amounts of adipose tissue may provide needed energy reserves during acute catabolic illnesses, have beneficial mechanical effects with some types of traumatic injuries, and convey other salutary effects that need to be investigated.”

Effects like surviving cancer, surviving infections… and surviving in general.

Because here is another medical study you are unlikely to have heard about (unless you follow my blog, because I reported this to you as well, years ago!) but it is true:

 

Published January 2, 2013 in JAMA:  

After looking at data on almost 3 MILLION people, researchers found that if you are overweight you actually have LESS over all risk for dying then someone in the “normal” weight category.

 

And even if you are mildly obese, up to BMI of 35, you have a death rate that is exactly the same as people in the “ideal weight” category (check out the chart below to figure out where you fall.)  Only severe obesity was associated with an increased risk for death.

This study was a meta-analysis of 97 different published studies that included more than 2.88 million participants. 

Compared to ideal weight individuals, overweight individuals had LOWER mortality rates than ideal weight participants, and those with Grade 1 obesity had no increased risk (having roughly identical death rates as the ideal weight participants.)

Only participants who had a BMI of 35 kg/m2 or HIGHER (significantly into the pink zone on the chart below) had significantly higher mortality rates:

 

BMI Chart created by Vertex42.com. Used with permission.

 

So… if losing those last 10 pounds isn’t actually going to help you live longer… what defines your “ideal weight”?

What defines your ideal weight is how you *feel* wearing the body you wear each day… your energy level, your flexibility, your capacity to get around, your mood, your ability to connect meaningfully with others, your ability to enjoy the things you want to enjoy each day.

When you are in balance energetically your body will choose the weight range that is ideal for you, so purposefully trying to gain weight into the overweight range or lose weight into the underweight range doesn’t support your energetic health best, unless this range is your natural balance.

 

The take home message here is that if you are told you are overweight, this does not mean you should be focusing on losing weight.

The real focus should ALWAYS BE on feeling as healthy and vibrant as possible.

 

This means focusing on muscle tone.

On heart strength.

On endurance.

On lung capacity. 

On bone mass. 

On energy levels. 

On restorative sleep at night. 

On happiness. 

On quality time with loved ones. 

On meaningful relationships. 

On spiritual strength.

 

The only patients that should even be at all *thinking* about losing weight are patients with a Body Mass Index of over 35 kg/m2 or higher — those are folks significantly in the pink zone in the above chart… and no one else!!!

And even if you are at 35 BMI or higher?

Focusing on energy levels, bone mass, restorative sleep and such will create a path of natural weight loss anyway.

 

scale

So my recommendation is NO ONE should be focusing on weight, only on health.  And now you have the science to back that up.

Feel better?  Good!

This is my entire goal and the reason I do what I do.

I want every single person who crosses my path to feel BETTER after working with me then they did before.

Whether it is just reading the thousands of free holistic healing articles on my website, whether it is getting my free newsletter in your inbox (just sign up in the box in the upper section of the right side bar on any page of my website,) whether you have taken an on-line health class with me, or whether you’ve used some of my favorite holistic healing tools

 

…a sense of relief, a sense of life unfolding how it was meant to unfold, a sense of purpose…

…these are your divine rights as a human being and it is my mission to help give you validity to reach for this through your physical health, every single day.

 

Here for you in the journey….

xoxoxo, Laura

 

 

11 Essential Health Questions To Ask Yourself Every Fall

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All of the hurricane preparedness this past weekend has me with preparedness on the mind.

So it’s the perfect time for me to run my annual fall & winter preparedness blog post!

 

 

 

We are in mid September now, and the fall Equinox is this Saturday.  And for so many of us, shorter days and longer nights means a dip in our mood.

Fortunately, there are lots of great things to do to get prepared as the seasons change.

Of course there are things like pulling out your sweaters and boots and knitting a scarf or two and planting a winter garden and getting the fireplace cleaned that you might look forward to this fall.

But one thing that I get every year, and absolutely never look forward to, is a drop in my energy level and mood as the days get shorter.

So I want to share with you today my annual fall post — a collection of 11 important, personal things that I do to prepare my body now for a smooth transition to winter.  It works.  Give any or all of these a try and let’s have your best fall yet!

 

11 Essential Fall & Winter Health Questions:

 

1.  Do you have a way to stay grounded, even as the weather outside gets colder?

 

Make your plan now for how you can still get outside and soak in the fresh air, sunlight, and healing earth energy even as the temperature falls.

Getting outside in even the cloudy grey days for a mid-day walk is better than staying inside even under the brightest artificial lights.

Even if the sun appears not to shine, your pineal gland senses the light in the environment and needs this pick-me-up to function best this fall and winter.

Make a commitment to get morning or mid-day light (sunshine if possible!) every single day.

Slip off your shoes for a few minutes, or, if it’s too cold, just use your fingers to hold onto a tree that is grounded in the earth.

I even have grounding gloves waiting for you so you can keep your hands inside a warm glove and still be grounded while touching a tree branch, cement, a rock, the earth.

Same with socks that allow you to be grounded through your feet without ever exposing your toes to the cold!

And grounding blankets (limited quantities!) that ground you while wrapping around you in warmth!

Or, maybe this is the year you invest in a way to sleep grounded indoor all winter long… supporting your body’s well being all night long, every night.

The time spent grounding to the earth will refresh your body and soul.  This one daily practice is probably the single best thing you can start right now to smooth your fall transition.

 

2. Do you make enough serotonin naturally?

 

Less daylight can mean a palpable drop in the mood boosting neurotransmitter serotonin.

If you happen to be serotonin depleted, the winter blues are more likely to hit you harder than other people.

You can address this in two ways:

One, by taking supplements that help boost your natural serotonin levels. If you get a mild case of winter blues, you likely don’t need to take prescription medications for that.  Instead, you can make sure that your body is getting all it needs nutritionally in order to make its own, healthy levels of serotonin.  To do that, it needs something called 5-HTP.

A precursor to serotonin (the positive, mood enhancing neurotransmitter that most antidepressants are targeting, in the hopes to elevate brain levels) 5HTP is a nutritional supplement that makes sure your body is getting the building blocks it needs to make serotonin as efficiently as possible.

If you feed your body what it needs (most of us don’t get enough of this precursor as it is) then you have the best chance to naturally create the serotonin you’ll need to keep your spirits up as the light fades.

 

Or alternatively, if you want something to prevent the winter blues and boost serotonin without taking a supplement, Light Therapy is medially proven to not only prevent and treat the winter blues, but it actually treats all forms of depression (and even treats fibromyalgia!)

My very fav, compact, therapeutic light box is clinically proven and is waiting for you right here.

 

 

3. Are you sleeping enough?

 

Allow yourself to re-connect to the natural rhythm of the earth, which means you sleep longer in the fall and winter when nights are longer.

These days of bright artificial lights and TV channels that blast shows 24 hours a day can keep us feeling like there isn’t much difference between the middle of the night and the middle of the day.

There is.  To your body, to your pineal gland, your hormones, your muscles, your brain… the difference between night and day is iron clad.  You are meant to sleep at night, and you are meant to sleep longer in the fall and winter months.

Allow your body to get an extra hour of sleep each night during the winter… at least give it a try this week: vow to sleep an extra hour each night this week and see if your mood, energy level, eating habits, activity level and joy all get a boost!

  • One way to do this is to lower your EMF exposures in your bedroom at night following this free 25 point EMF reduction checklist.
  • Another way to do this is to wear blue light blocking glasses starting 2 hours before bedtime, if you absolutely need to be on the computer, on your cell phone, or watching TV to unwind.
  • Another thing to consider is that those of us who tend to be low serotonin (and get the winter blues) also tend to have trouble making enough melatonin naturally.   This is because melatonin is actually made from serotonin… so folks who are low serotonin are generally low melatonin, and these levels dip in the winter because of the shorter days.

 

So just as serotonin can dip in the winter, adding to the winter blues… your melatonin levels can dip too, wreaking havoc on your nightly rhythm.  Even though the darkness makes you feel more tired and ready to turn in earlier, oddly enough you may find sleep elusive just when you crave it most.

While 5 HTP may helps boost daytime serotonin, at night you can take melatonin, one hour before bedtime, to boost your nighttime levels of melatonin.

Taking melatonin in the fall when the days grow shorter (and you can combine this with using the light therapy box we discussed above!) will help your body re-set to its natural rhythm once winter peaks.  Sleeping well at night is an easy way to feel brighter during the day, beating those winter blues.

 

3.  Do you need to detox?

 

Like I do every year when the earth begins to transition to cooler temps, leaves changing and shedding and the earth diving inwards for renewal…

…I have a natural urge to dive deeper and detox my own body, from the inside out.

There are a million ways to do this… strict raw food diets and prolonged fasting and colonics and a ton of wonderful different ways to feel like you are starting fall with a new you

For me, I go with a very easy and very simple detox. I’m literally aching to do my gentle 5 day detox again, like I do every fall, and this year I want to do it with you!

I’ve designed a very fun 5 day course that we can do together, and each day together we will add a new layer of cleansing, culminating in 5 layers of a fresh new you!

  • It is very basic and very gentle, perfect for anyone.
  • There is no fasting and no radical rules… just a gentle, safe, uplifting re-aligning with Well-Being and a bunch of fun detox tools we will use together.
  • Releasing the old toxins and flushing in health, using a few simple but powerful techniques.

 

So if you are looking to take it up a notch, with a great, simple, easy detox plan that is yours to save and repeat as often as you like (I recommend every fall and every spring…)  join me in two weeks for this 5 Day Detox Bootcamp!

This class comes with a complimentary detox goodie bag, so that you can play along with some new products as we go through each topic of the day.

detox cover

Do you feel it?

The earth is getting cooler, the days are getting shorter, and our bodies are going inwards for a period of renewal.

So Gentle Restart Detox, here I come.  It’s time.  To join me, simply click over here right now.   As of writing this blog post, I have enough kits left for 5 more people to join in!

 

5.  Are your magnesium levels good  (i.e. are you pooping enough?  Are your muscles tense?)

 

Many of us are magnesium deficient and we don’t even know it.  Magnesium is absolutely essential to 300+ different biochemical reactions in our body, like muscle function, nerve function, maintaining healthy blood pressure, blood sugar levels and more.

Without enough magnesium, we can have muscle pain, irritability, insomnia, constipation and even heart arrhythmias.

Are your muscles are tight, or do you feel anxious and have trouble relaxing into sleep?  Are you constipated?

If so, consider boosting your magnesium innate.  Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxant, so taking a magnesium supplement at night is one of my favorite recommendations for anyone with difficulty relaxing do to muscle tension or soreness, such as issues with tension headaches, fibromyalgia, grinding teeth at night, TMJ, etc….

Try taking magnesium, soaking in a nightly bath filled with magnesium rich Epsom salts, or drinking a magnesium drink supplement before bedtime (I like to drink mine in hot water, sipping on it like a nightly tea!) to help relax your body and creates a lovely evening ritual all fall, all winter… and all year long.

If you are constipated, I would recommend taking it internally (magnesium drops, capsules or the hot drink mix mentioned above) because it will naturally help loosen your bowels.

It’s normal for everything to slow down in the winter, so if your bowels are feeling full of rich and hearty winter meals and you are feeling dense inside, you can up your water intake, take tons of healthy fish or flax seed oil, eating a prune a day and grounding on the earth each day will help restore your daily rhythms.  But if that’s not enough, upping your magnesium intake will help!

 

6. Do you get enough Vitamin D?

 

Yes, you will get some Vit D when you go outside each day… but as most of us are deficient in Vit D during the summer…

…nearly ALL of us fall deficient in the winter.

Not only is Vit D a powerful antioxidant, it prevents cancer, stroke, heart disease, boosts weight loss, decreases pain… you name it… we need it.  My favorite are Carlson’s Solar D Gems, found in my trusted online dispensary here.  I love these the most because time and time again, when a patient comes to me with Vit D levels that are low despite supplementation with other brands, when we switch to the Solar D Gems, the levels finally return to normal.  Woot!

 

 

7.  Are you drinking twice as much water in the winter as you are in the summer?

Hopefully you’ve kept yourself well hydrated during the summer, when hot temperatures and sweating drive us to remember to drink water more than at any other time of the year.

But in the cooler temps, ones in which you are shivering, not sweating… it’s more important than ever before to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.  Dry heated air, dry cold outside air, wind chapping our lips, and no internal drive to remind us to drink leads to mid-winter dehydration, brain fog, and a sure-fire road to BLAH.

You can get so dehydrated that you actually feel semi-nauseous all the time and a bit depressed.

Drink water and then drink some more… and start right now.

I take the time to filter out the fluoride in my water… here is the water filter I use in my home.

 

8.  Are you allowing yourself gain a few pounds?

 

You might be an enlightened buddha thriving off the energy of the universe, but your body is an organic, human thing that is connected to the physical earth and responds to the rhythms of the seasons and needs nourishment.

So every winter it is normal to slow down and allow a few extra pounds to sustain and warm you.

It is like-wise just as effortless and natural to lose several pounds in the spring as the world awakens and we are drawn to more physical labor such as preparing garden beds, trimming the lawn, spring cleaning our homes, and walking barefoot on the beach.

If we don’t attach all the typical BS to our weight that we usually do, the few pounds that warm us in the winter will be shed without a second thought in the spring.

This is the natural rhythm of the world all around you.

The first half of winter, while food is still plenty and days grow darker, are a time to allow yourself to find nourishment in foods and warmth under your blankets, eating more and sleeping longer.

In a few months, as the pantry empties out and the holiday parties are long gone, there will be a natural thinning time, a time when the days become noticeably longer and your thoughts turn to the fresh spring salads that will be popping up in your garden.

It is only when we attach a negative meaning to our weight that we attach heaviness and permanency and BULK to it… and these pounds become a part of how we see ourselves forever.  We get locked into battle with them and they fight to stay and add and grow, year after year after year.

As a result, most people tend to gain a few pounds a year (despite being locked in constant battle and fighting against it the entire time) and accrue this mass permanently, instead of easily gaining and losing a few pounds with the seasons. It just shows that fighting weight isn’t the way to go.

If we dropped all our mental baggage around this rhythm, a rhythm of ebb and flow, of nourishment and lean times, of seasons, we would not gain weight year after year after year, instead we would gain and release.  It’s only our society that fears weight gain that makes it almost *impossible* to drop the pounds without thinking twice about it late winter and early spring.

Now is not the time to allow our culture’s baggage to taint what should be a natural time of celebration, stocking up, and preparing for the winter ahead.  If you welcome this seasonal change with gratitude, you will be healthier for it.

 

9. Are you getting enough Omega 3 fatty acids?

 

I’ve already blogged a bit about how Omega 3’s can:

 

 

Omega 3 fatty acids are such an important whole-body nutrient that comes even more into play during the colder months.

Winter means everything from a permanent brain fog to dry tight skin.  Omega 3 fatty acids support brain function, digestion, circulation and skin… all things that we need help with in the winter.

Although I absolutely recommend fish oil supplements year round, if you don’t already take them, plan on starting to take them in the fall and it will help prep your skin for the dry air to come, protect your brain for the dark days to come, soothe your circulation for the colder winds to come, and smooth your digestion for the heavier, thicker, richer foods to come.

 

 

10. Is your skin prepared for the winter ahead?

 

Winter can be a tough time for anybody’s skin… painfully dry hands and cracked heels galore (ouch!)

Dry heated air dehydrates and cracks your vulnerable skin while you are inside staying warm, and combine that with whipping cold winds that chaff skin when you are outside and winter is just no fun on your skin, especially if you suffer from chronic skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema or other forms of dermatitis.

Drinking twice as much water as usual and taking fish oil supplements will absolutely help from the inside out… but if you have specific trouble spots you might want a topical barrier cream to apply directly on a daily basis for protection.

And luckily, if you like the barrier protection of petroleum jelly but don’t want petroleum by-products anywhere near your body, it’s super easy to make your own!

Today I want to share with you the recipe my daughter and I whip up each winter to use on our poor cracked hands and feet.  We have enjoyed this for several years now… thank you so much to One Good Thing by Jillee (which is where I first saw this recipe!)

Homemade (Un)Petroleum Jelly.

Melt together over very low heat in a saucepan or double broiler… once well combined, pour into a jar or recycled container and allow to cool for 30 minutes.

I keep a jar by my bedside and by my kitchen sink to us on my winter cracked hands and heels

And for whole-body relief from tight, dry, itchy skin in the winter, I like to capture the moisture of a shower or bath by layering on some colloidal oatmeal lotion (you can find this at your local drugstore… something like this one…) immediately after stepping out from bathing, and then organic coconut oil on top of this lotion to help seal it all in.

I have found that adding the colloidal oatmeal topical can make all the difference when pure coconut oil is just not enough.  My son’s psoriasis plaques really respond well to the colloidal oatmeal topical treatment, sealed in with either coconut oil or our homemade Non-Petroleum Jelly.

 

11. Do you need to nurture your adrenals?

 

Fall is the perfect time to turn inwards, nurture your adrenal glands, boost your internal energy reserves, and emerge this spring feeling better than you may have felt in many many years.

It’s okay to take these upcoming months slower, to tend to our inner needs more, and to make sure we are getting lots and lots of sleep.  It’s not only okay, it’s what we are *supposed* to be doing.

It’s like Mother Nature hand carved these months out for you to repair your adrenal glands and nurture your energy reserves so you can emerge this spring feeling triumphantly energetic!

Repairing your adrenal glands is actually the easiest to do in the fall and winter.

It’s easier to sleep longer with the days getting shorter, easier to prepare and eat warm foods like soup, roasts, stews, etc… rich with fat, protein and salt (all absolutely crucial when repairing your adrenals) and easier to cocoon in and nurture your body, with less exertion and more repair.

That’s why I run my Adrenal Repair Online Class specifically in the winter — because if you start to take care of your adrenal rhythm now, in just a few short months from now you can be fully recovered from Adrenal Fatigue when spring and summer arrive.

Emerge this spring feeling better than you have felt in many many years! Ready to eat lighter, sleep stronger, lose weight, move your body more.

 

In this 5 Day Adrenal Repair Class, together we will:

  • understand exactly why your cortisol gets out-of-wack
  • learn exactly how to support adrenal repair in a way that you can apply throughout the course and beyond
  • receive an awesome goodie bag filled with items we use together during the course, including adrenal supportive supplements, a grounding wrist band and my very favorite magnesium drink to help you sleep better, wake better, feel better and live better, all included free with the course!
  • get daily uplifting, positive, fun emails packed with information, tips, videos, activities, self assessment quizzes and more
  • culminating in a Q&A phone call where I will answer every single one of your health questions personally, AND send you the recording so you can listen to it at any time!

 

Without understanding and implementing the crucial steps that I am going to share with you in this course, there is no way you are going to have full repair after a stressful circumstance and feel your best.

Just no way.

So let me help you right now with tons of fun, uplifting, actionable things you can do right now to address adrenal fatigue.

 

sacral

Click here to join my

5 Day Adrenal Repair Class today!

Let’s get you feeling better than ever…  and enjoying this cooler weather and the beautiful fall colors that surround us.

I’ll be here for you all the way through it!

xoxo, Laura

 

Sauna For A Longer Life Span? Yes Please.

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Now this is a medical study I can really get behind, because

I LOVE HEAT.

And I love love love anything that boosts circulation — like grounding, sauna, steam room, hot baths, sleeping with a hot water bottle, hugs, massages, exercise (ok, exercise, not so much….)

It just feels intuitively right to get your blood flowing, don’t you think?

 

Thats why I’m so thrilled that there have been so many studies recently looking at the health benefits of routine sauna.

Researchers had previously discovered that folks who used a sauna two or more times a week had significantly reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and death, decreased rates of dementia, and reduced risk of all-cause mortality (meaning they died less from all causes put together.)

Today’s study backs this up yet again.

This study was the largest yet, a meta-analysis of all of the medical literature on dry sauna from 2000 to 2017.

Published in Evidence Based Complimentary & Alternative Medicine Journal, April 2018 , researchers review 40 studies that included almost 4,000 patients and found:

  • reduced risk of heart disease, heart attack and sudden cardiac death
  • lowered blood pressure
  • lower risk of stroke
  • reduced risk of dementia and other neurocognitive changes
  • reduced risk of pulmonary disease such as asthma and lung infections like influenza
  • decrease risk of rheumatologist and immune disorders
  • decrease in pain conductions such as arthritis and headaches
  • decreased risk of death
  • improved quality of life

 

Why is sauna so good?

 

Sauna raises whole body temperature which activates metabolic changes like a neutralizing inflammation, reducing oxidative stress, increase nitric oxide bioavailability, increased insulin sensitivity, and improved vasodilation.

In other words, raising the core body temperature and increasing circulation very similar to exercise.

 

So one take away from today’s study is this:

 

If you can’t exercise (or, ahem, like me, don’t particularly love to do it) then one good alternative is sauna.

A really great application for this is that disabled or mobility limited folks, who might find exercise and mobility harder to routinely do, can sauna and enjoy very similar benefits.

Just like with grounding — the folks who might benefit most from grounding (like severely ill, hospital or rehab bound patients, mobility limited patients, elderly patients and more) may be the ones that find it hardest to go outside… so the answer to this is indoor grounding tools.

In the same vein, the folks who might benefit most from routine exercise (like those recovering from cancer, those with metabolic and weight issues, those with high stress loads, those who must sit for long periods of time at work, those caretaking of others with very limited time away, those recovering from trauma, etc…) may find it harder to participate in regular exercise… so the answer to this is relaxing in a sauna to raise basal metabolic temperatures.

The Bottom Line:

 

Siginficant reduction in dementia, reduced risk of heart attack and stroke, reduced pain, reduced all cause mortality rates, improved blood perfusion to the brain and other organs, decreased blood pressure, improved insulin sensitivity, reduced asthma risk, reduced pain, improved quality of life and more…

…this is better than any single treatment, dietary modification, supplement or medication known to date!

This is HUGE news!

The only other thing I know that impacts so many different organ systems in such a powerfully positive way is grounding (for more on grounding, here is a huge list of medical studies, videos, grounding tools and resources just waiting for you.)

 

 

Interested in giving sauna a try?

 

The recommended routine is to sauna at least once a week and up to three times a week, for a time period of at least 5 minutes and a maximum of 20 minutes, with temperatures in the range of 176°F-212°F and a 10% to 20% relative humidity.

Hydrate before, during and after sauna, and be sure to fully cool off but recovering for several minutes resting at room temperature, taking a brief swim or a shower.  Don’t sauna if you have a fever, an active inflammatory condition like a rash or hives, or are intoxicated.

No longer just for pleasure and relaxation, sauna might be one of the best ways to boost your over all longevity.  If you are looking for holistic ways to really boost your health, a great Rx to start with might be:

 

If you do those (or even just some of those!) you are really on your way to allowing your natural, innate, always recovering, always resilient health to shine through for a lifetime.

xoxoxo, Laura

 

The Healing Process of Grief

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Grief after experiencing a sudden loss can knock your feet right out from under you.

Whether from the death of a loved one, a trauma, a job loss or divorce, severe illness, surgery, or any other unexpected change, it can be hard to endure…

…both emotionally and physically exhausting.

 

In my healing work as a physician, I’ve found that real life experiences of trauma and grief don’t look like what I learned grief is “supposed” to look like from my training in medical school.

I still remember learning all about the classic model of the grief process, set forth by the amazing and brave Elisabeth Kubler-Ross.  You’ve probably heard of it, as they still teach it to this day.

She created the acronym DABDA for moving through the 5 stages of grief, representing:

D — denial

A — anger

B — bargaining

D — depression

A — acceptance

 

We learned in med school how patients go through this grieving process in any order, and may take as long as necessary in each phase before coming through to acceptance of the loss.

But what I found, through both patient experiences and my own first hand personal experiences, is that this model did not serve me (or my patients) very well.

DABDA never quite captured the true essence of what goes on during the grief process nor do I feel the final term of “acceptance” really captures the true beauty in the healing process that ultimately unfolds.

There are so many gifts that can accompany loss.

There are so many moments of breathtaking beauty, of love, of rawness, of support, of gratitude, all swirled into the moments of hurt, of ugly, of anxiety, of fear.

So I began to identify a new way to think about the grieving process, one that served me better, one that felt more accurate to my experience and the experiences of the patients I’ve worked with.

 

 

 

The new paradigm, for me, looks more like this:

Resistance —> Surrender

 

Not moving randomly through the 5 phases of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance, but moving systematically from resistance to surrender.

Denial feels like:

“This can not (or should not) be happening.”

 

And surrender comes in breakthrough moments of:

 

“This *is* happeneing and yes, I am doing this, I just don’t know how.”

 

And what happens each time we surrender to what is happening, hope immediately returns.  Even if it is just a small sliver of hope.

 

 

The path from resistance to surrender ebs and flows like any painful healing journey…

…one step forward into surrender and then three steps backwards into resistance and then another tentative two steps into surrender.

Every single time we take a step backwards in the healing process, it is because we are resisting it.

And every single time we take a leap forward in the healing process, it is because we are surrendering to the transformation and ALLOWING IT TO BE something more beautiful than had ever stood in it’s place before.

The ugliest messes have a way of being the most necessary, meaningful, healing experiences possible.

And even when our gut is screaming:

“no, no, no, no, NO!”

 

… the entire time, our soul is singing:

“yes, yes, yes, yes, YES!”

and surrender happens.

And healing happens.

And growth happens.

And our ability to heal becomes directly proportional to our ability to surrender.

It turns out, stepping fully into the process of trusting what is unfolding is what real, deep, soul healing has been about all along.

Surrender into grief and allow it to show you the path through and out to the other side.  The other side you may not have wanted, may not have anticipated, may not have welcomed… but it will be a new you waiting there with gifts to unlock that you could not have discovered any other way.

Want more concrete help for specific grief symptoms, such as depression, anxiety, fatigue, sadness and decreased appetite?

Here are a ton of holistic things you can do to support your journey through the transformation of grief:

 

1. Depression

 

  • Supplement with Zinc —   In the December 15, 2013, the medical journal Biological Psychiatry published the results of a huge study that found that zinc supplementation can effectively reverse depression… and that zinc added to antidepressant therapy may produce more rapid and more effective improvement in symptoms of depression than without zinc supplementation.   So if you or any of your loved ones suffer from depression, supplementing with zinc (even in addition to using a prescription medication) may provide more relief, better relief, and faster relief.
  • Add Probiotics — The natural flora of the gut is diminished in depression, so restoring the natural vitality and variety of healthy organisms in the digestive tract is a very powerful way to improve outcome in depression. A study published on Nov 15, 2013 in Biological Psychiatry, showed decreased depression when participants received probiotic supplements for 30 days, and another study reported clinically significant improvement in mood when participants ate probiotic-containing yogurt for 3 weeks. We know there is a huge link between the gut and the brain already — not only scientifically but also energetically. The gut is our major center for processing emotions, and this is inextricably connected to our mood. You already know this intuitively. How many times have you had an anxious thought that resulted in a knot in your stomach and nervous diarrhea afterwards? Or felt depressed and down, with resulting sluggish bowel movements or painful constipation?  Using probiotics as adjunctive therapy to support healthy mood as well as healthy digestive function makes sense both medically and energetically.
  • Consume Omega 3 Fatty Acids — shown in many different studies to impact brain health… from improving symptoms in ADHD, protecting brain volume as we age, and decreasing postpartum blues, omega fatty acids are a must have to soothe and support your entire body inside and out, from skin to brain.
  • Take Vit D — The link between low levels of Vit D and depression have long been established, but newer research suggests that Vitamin D supplements, taken for 12 weeks, can reverse depressed mood.  Most of us are Vit D deficient, so if you are experiencing depressed mood this is a great time to give Vit D supplements a try!

 

Find all of the supplement brands I trust most in my online dispensary right here.

 

2. Sadness

 

Sadness needs to physically flow through the body in order to release.

You must *feel* the sorrow.  Don’t try to resist it or put it off, instead get into the state of allowing the flow using this one simple trick: water.

Water is the ultimate medium of flow on earth, and comprises the majority of our body.

In fact, water is the body’s natural choice of release as well, in the form of tears. Tears often help facilitate the flow of sorrow through the body and allows it to release more easily.

So one tip is — allow the tears.  Let the water of your tears release your sorrow and lift it from your body.

Can’t cry?

 

You can still use the power of water to help facilitate the release of your sorrow, worry or grief.

  • Use a hot water bottle full of warm water and hold it on your body where you are feeling the sorrow (chest, abdomen, neck, back…)
  • Take a long hot bath (add some baking soda and apple cider vinegar to turn it into a detoxing experience)
  • Sit in a warm shower and envision the water carrying your sorrow down the drain for you
  • Go for a relaxing swim or soak in a jacuzzi
  • Use steam/humidifiers to help hydrate your head, clearing out the old mental fog and allowing room for the new
  • Drink water — hydrate hydrate hydrate during times of worry or sorrow more than any other time of your life. Let your body be flushed out inside and out and with every urination or bowel movement recognize you are flushing the old energy down the drain and making way for new healing

 

Just can’t get into the flow?

 

Take a nap. Just allow your body to do its thing and rest more than normal… repairing from grief and sorrow takes time and is exhausting… allow your body the down time it needs and don’t put any expectations on the process.

 

3. Fatigue

 

The feeling of heavy fatigue or draining depression means your body needs a break… NOW.

Not later.

You must to honor this sensation/symptom for the important information it is providing instead of ignoring or resisting it.
Fatigue and depression show up to alert us that we are in a time of healing/repair and not in a time of action.

Help it by:

  • Low key exercise. Respect your body’s need to slow down. Now is not the time for strenuous exercise… honor caring for your body in gentle ways such as yoga, stretching, long slow walks through nature.
  • Get help. You don’t need to do it all alone. Ask for help. Call a friend. Lean on family to help with some of the burdens you are seeking relief from.
  • Passive body work. Your body needs to get into receiving mode and not giving mode. Your giving mode is burnt out. What I’ve noticed is that most people who struggle with depression are the givers who are giving to everybody but themselves. You DESERVE to give your body the message that there is a time to stop and receive. Get a massage, acupuncture, reiki, physical therapy, a facial, a haircut. Anything that is a passive process for you — let others actively help move that energy through your body and help you on your way to release it.
  • Deeper sleep at night… see below

 

 

4.  Sleeplessness

 

You absolutely, 100% ***NEED*** deep, restorative sleep!

It’s non-negotiable… poor sleep causes:

  • memory impairment
  • shorter life span: decrease response time + decreased motor skills = increased risk of accidents
  • weight gain
  • anxiety and other debilitating mood disturbances
  • dementia and an increased incidence of Alzheimers
  • widespread brain atrophy and much much more!!!

For example, a recent study (published in Neurology on Sept 3, 2104) found a widespread change in brain volume with poor sleep over time.  If poor sleep causes the brain to atrophy, than high quality restorative sleep may help repair and protect the brain.

Here are some ways to get that much needed, deep restorative sleep you absolutely NEED to make your way through the process of grief:

  • Grounding — connecting to the earth has been shown in sleep studies to increase the amount of time we spend in deep sleep, as well as treat jet lag and other circadian rhythm disturbances.  Sleeping with a grounding product will support your body’s healing process from head to toe, all night long… find my favorite indoor grounding products in my Grounding Boutique right here.
  • Melatonin — Taken 1 hour before bedtime, melatonin allows my sleep to be deeper, less interrupted, and more restorative.
  • Daily activity — simply getting up every single hour of the waking day and walking for a bit (instead of spending several hours in a row inactive) just might be the best gift you could ever give your body.
  • Develop a nightly routine — turn off all the lights, make sure there are no computer screens or clock faces or nightlights lighting up the room while you sleep, and drink a soothing cup of warm milk, sleepytime tea, or take a hot bath to relax your body and transition into bed.
  • Sleep with an external source of warmth — we all have a deep seated, cellular need to be connected to others while we sleep — it comes from the caveman days of sleeping in groups to help increase survival. So especially if you have recently lost a spouse that you are used to sleeping with, insonmia might be a real struggle right now. Fulfill your instinct to sleep share by sleeping with a hot water bottle (the warmth provides that deep comfort your body is craving) or with a loved pet or pray to loved ones and angels to surround you as you sleep each night so you go to bed feeling connected and supported.

 

5. Anxiety

 

Anxiety is a very active state, where you have lots of energy building up inside, and the answer to this (as in all emotions) is to really allow the flow to open up and release it to find relief.

So with this energetic state you generally need to get into a more active state of allowing, in contrast to the passive allowing state required by sadness, grief, depression and fatigue.

Anxiety states respond to active release… so give some of these a try:

  • Meditation — this is a very active and aware state that puts you in the perfect open-but-alert mind-frame necessary for relief. Focus on taking 3 deep breaths in and out and choose a mantra for the in breathe and the out breath. If you can do 5 breaths, do 5. Work up to 10, 20, 50 breaths of focused openness:

breathing in: I am lovable
breathing out: I am loved
breathing in: I am safe
breathing out: I am taken care of by God
breathing in: I am protected
breathing out: I am healing

  • Movement and exercise — moving the body and quieting the mind is the goal of many gentle, healing practices such as yoga, tai chi, qigong. If your energy feels more intense and will not allow you to settle down enough to do those types of exercise, honor your body’s need for active processing by something a bit more intense like pilaties, karate, kick boxing, or going on a long jog.
  • Give to others — unlike depression and fatigue, the gift of anxiety is the gift of having energy to give and express… and one of the best way to off-gas this is to give to others in need. Volunteer at a cause that is meaningful to you, start a year of gratitude (doing one act of thankfulness to loved ones or strangers each week and record it in a gratitude journal) or just go out into the world each day asking that you be shown a way you can be of service. The point here is not to add any more stress into your life — do not do anything that doesn’t feel right. This is not a burden, it’s a very simple way to get rid of extra energy/tension. Consider doing simple things that don’t require a lot of preparation but will allow you to actively process and off gas extra energy. For example, walk along a road in your neighborhood and pick up litter for an hour after dinner. Pick up an extra pizza on your way home from work and give the extra one to a construction crew as you pass (this is my daughter’s favorite “gratitude attack”) or head to your local SPCA and take some of the dogs on a walk each weekend. In fact…
  • Care for a pet — caring for a pet is the perfect way to allow your energy to flow in a loving and active, yet low stress way. Simply walking your dog every day, spending 30 minutes petting your cat while she purrs on your chest, whistle to a pet bird and teach him your favorite TV show theme song… study after study has shown that pets improve our health simply by being in our lives. During times of anxiety and frustration, loving on a pet a little extra each day gives a heart-centered but simple way to open our heart chakras and allow excess energy to flow.

 

6.  Decreased appetite

 

It’s important to consume nutrient dense food even when your appetite is low-to-gone.

Your body needs healthy fats and protien in order to keep up it’s immune system and help get you through the intense and often exhausting grieving process.

Just when you don’t feel like eating at all is right when you need the nutritional support the most.

So here are three tips to help you stay healthy even when your appetite has left:

  • Hydrate — it’s really important to at least stay well hydrated during emotional times. Although you can go for days without eating, you can not survive for days without water. Drink non-fluoridated, fresh, filtered water and drink drink drink some more. If you simply you can’t eat a single bite… drink a glass of water and take a deep breath and stay well hydrated.
  • Gentle movement — while it is okay to want to curl up and not move while you are hurting, it’s also important to make sure you get gentle activity each day — going on a daily walk in nature is the best therapy. The movement stimulates gut perastalsis and will help gently nudge your appetite back into place.
  • Nutrient dense foods — when all you feel like eating is a few small bites, make every bite count. There is a reason folks deliver nourishing bone broths like chicken noodle soup to loved ones who aren’t feeling well… the healthy fats and minerals in bone broth is nurtirtionally sound and will help keep your immunity high (see side bar). Other options include easily digestible casseroles, stews, organic nuts and peanut butter (when my kids just don’t want to eat, we compromise on a scoop or two of organic peanut butter), healthy fats such as avadodo and coconut oil, organic yogurt, and organic butter (a comforting warm grilled cheese sandwhich with organic cheese and grilled in organic butter is wonderful, especially alongside a cup of bone broth!)

 

If your grief is particularly intense, lasting longer than a few months or accompanied by suicidal thoughts… or you simply want the support of a counsellor… be sure to seek professional help by a practitioner who is experienced in grief counselling.

There absolutely IS a way to the other side of grief… you will get there… ask for help when you need to and healing WILL happen.

This is one of my favorite poems of all time and has been very comforting to me during times of grief:

Letting Go, by Suzanne Lucas

Giving up is merely quitting, 
Letting go is sweet release.
Giving up is cries of anguish
, Letting go is perfect peace.
Giving up is hard and heavy
, Letting go is loose and light.
Giving up is simply failure, 
Letting go, success in sight.
Giving up is very human, 
Letting go is most divine.
Giving up is death at sundown, Letting go, the rising sun.
Giving up is “There, it’s over,” Letting go, “I’ve just begun!”

 

Want more direct support from me?

This week is the very last week to sign up for my Trauma Resiliency & Recovery Class

…click over here right now to saveyour spot.

xoxoxo, Laura