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

 

Trauma Increases Headache Risk 4-Fold

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If you suffer from tension headaches or migraines, here is a study you should know about.

Your headache may actually be coming from a trauma that you went through earlier in life…

…not just from the stress of the current day.

 

In fact, trauma might be why you get headaches in the first place, as the participants from this study who never had headaches before going through a trauma experienced significant and persistent headaches disorders afterwards.

And those who had a history of headache had a significant and intense worsening of the headache pain and frequency.

Researchers studied the impact of trauma on the type and frequency of headaches that survivors got months after surviving a traumatic event by following 213 adolescents who survived a mass shooting at a summer camp (where 69 students were killed by an open gunman) and compared them with over 1,700 matched controls (adolescents from the general population.)

The results were published in the Dec 13, 2017 issue of Neurology.

 

What did they find?

 

Surviving a a terrorist attack significantly and substantially increased the risk of long term, persistent weekly and even daily headaches of all types…. by 400%.  Even in patients who had no history of headache.

The trauma survivors were four times more likely to suffer from repeated and persistent headaches of all kinds, even after adjusting for all types of variables and cofounding factors, including PTSD.

Four times as many migraines.

Four times as many tension headaches.

Heartbreaking.

 

Why did headaches increase so dramatically?

 

The answer is that trauma literally changes the way your brain functions, the way it is physically structured, and even the way it picks up on pain.

Even exposure to one single, isolated event can make a lasting, painful change.

Going through a trauma literally sensitizes you to pain, meaning if you have gone through a traumatic or even intensely stressful time, you will feel pain more sharply, it will hurt worse, it will persist longer, and it will be triggered more easily.

This study today is just one more way physicians and researchers have confirmed what we already intuitively know: going through trauma changes your physical body and affects your future health.

But you can reverse these changes.  And I’m here to help, with a list of free resources for you:

 

 

1.  Holistic Help For Chronic Pain:

 

The first resource is this video, where I talk to you about how you can help decrease your persistant pain and heal the changes that chronic pain causes on your brain.

 

 

 

Another way to look at today’s study is that it actually reveals really good news.  How?

Because it gives us yet another way to help alleviate pain — in this case, stopping headaches and decreasing their frequency and intensity — by directly address the traumatic events in your past.

By addressing and healing the impact trauma has had on your life and on your physical body, you can start to reverse the dynamic that is triggering your migraine (or your tension headache, or your abdominal pain, or your pelvic pain, or your fibromyalgia, or your anxiety, or your depression, etc…) so that it stops interfering with your life.

So my second resource is a list of previous articles I’ve written about trauma to help you get started.

 

2.  Holistic Support For Trauma Recovery:

 

 

 

 

 

And to go even further with helping to release traumatic life events from impacting your future health, hop over here  to join my upcoming Trauma Resiliency and Recovery Class.  

 

3. Trauma Healing Class

 

This class is an uplifting, supportive online class (yes that means you can join in from anywhere around the world!) that is totally flexible for you and totally private.  It’s researched, written and run directly by me, utilizing all of my experience as a physician and all of the best, most up to date research conducted on trauma.

You can easily fit this class into your schedule when you have the time (all the material comes straight to your email inbox, for you to access whenever you have the time) and you can keep all of the healing information, articles, videos, exercises and recommendations forever, so that you can apply what you want when you want and never run out of fresh ideas to support your beautiful, innate, recoverable health.

There are still a dozen goodie bags left if you would like to grab a goodie bag while they last!

 

Sign up ends 2 weeks from today.

I look forward to supporting your recover in any way that I possibly can.

xoxoxo, Laura

 

 

Surprising Ways Dehydration Is Killing Your Vibe Today

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I’m busy writing my upcoming Trauma Resiliency & Recovery Class, so this week I’m re-posting this article…

…because where I live it’s hot as heck right now and it’s so easy to get dehydrated in that August heat!

Well known as the Elixir of Life, water is absolutely critical to our well being in every way.

Not only are we primarily made up of water (over 70% of our body is pure water!) but water has a healing property that goes way beyond simple hydration.

Today, I want to share with you all the different ways that dehydration affects our health (you might be surprised at some of these!) and also how we can use the power of water to support our Well Being from the inside out.

Dehydration is life threatening.  Severe dehydration means our organs absolutely can not function normally and leads to seizure, organ failure, and death.

But did you know even very mild levels of dehydration might be affecting you on a daily basis?

Dehydration can lead to or exacerbate common conditions such as constipation, dry skin, bad breath, headache, and high blood pressure.

 

What Does Dehydration Feel Like?

Ask yourself if you have any of these symptoms, right now:

 

 

 1.  Dry Mouth

 

One of the first symptoms of dehydration is dry mouth, which leads to bacteria overgrowth and bad breath.  If you notice bad breath, you might consider: are you chronically dehydrated?

 

2.  Dry Skin:

 

Your skin turgor is another indicator of dehydration.  If you’ve been concerned about your skin feeling dry or more wrinkled, double check that you are drinking enough fluid each day.

 

3.  Pain

 

Pain is actually a symptom of dehydration as well, often starting with a headache.

And low fluid status can lead to headaches and brain fog as well, as the fluid volume of the brain gets depleted from dehydration.

I’ve literally had patients with a raging headache drink a glass of water and have the headache clear completely.

The next time you have a headache or any type of pain, make sure you drink a glass of water and then re-evaluate your pain levels before reaching for a pain reliever or medication.

Dehydration makes all pain worse, as the volume of the organs and joints deplete, dehydrated ligaments and cartilage get injured more easily and dehydrated discs in the spine allow increased pinching of nerves and muscle cramps increase as electrolytes deplete.

 

4. Constipation

 

Having sluggish bowels is another classic symptom of chronic dehydration.

Recent studies have shown that water status is the NUMBER ONE factor impacting regularity.  More important than walking and more important that even fiber intake, water intake can turn constipation issues around completely.

Drinking water has more of an impact on encouraging  healthy bowel movements than fiber supplement or exercise… in fact, I’d go as far as to say fiber supplements clog people up more often than they help.

In general, a constipated person is a dehydrated person.  You can fix that right now — go grab a glass of water.

 

5.  High Blood Pressure

 

 

Another classic sign of chronic dehydration?

High blood pressure.

When we decrease our water intake, our blood gets thicker, harder to pump, our blood volume decreases and our heart rate increases and our blood vessels constrict.

All together, this means your blood pressure raises and stays raised.

If you are having blood pressure issues, it is more important than EVER to be extremely vigilant about your hydration status!

 

6.  Digestive Issues

 

Dehydration also impacts your entire gut lining, and chronic dehydration can give rise to stomach ulcers and absorption issues as the mucosal layer stops secreting it’s protective film.

 

7.  Dry Cough

 

Not only does the gut lining need to be well hydrated to function, but also our entire respiratory lining does too. Our lungs absolutely require a moist mucous membrane to function.

In chronic dehydration, the mucus membranes in our respiratory system dry out and become more vulnerable to dust, pollen and other irritants.

 

8.  Urinary Tract Infections

 

Getting more UTI’s than usual?

Our entire urinary system (and therefore the health of our kidneys) depends on having enough volume to use liquids to flush toxins from our body.  When we can’t do that, we set ourselves up for issues with kidney function and a higher rate of infections.

 

9.  Weight Gain

 

Another little known side effect of chronic dehydration is weight gain.

As we become volume depleted, we begin to feel thirst, which is often confused with hunger because the body is craving intake of any kind (knowing that most foods will provide some form of hydration, your body sends out the message that it is hungry when it is volume depleted in any way.)

As a result, we eat when what we really need to be doing for our true health is rehydrating.

 

10.  Bad Mood & Foggy Brain

 

Did you know that even mild dehydration affects our mood?

A study published in The Journal of Nutrition showed that study participants reported decreased motivation and increased feelings of anxiety when mildly dehydrated.

On top of that, headache, fatigue, difficulty concentrating and decreased physical activity all were increased during dehydration. And the effect of dehydration on mood was even more pronounced in women than in men!

And this medical review published in the Journal Of the American College of Nutrition showed that our attention spans and even our short term memory fizzles when we are dehydrated.

 

So the next time you have a headache, or feel anxious, or notice your blood pressure or weight creeping up… drink a glass of water and re-evaluate.

It could be that chronic dehydration has been a key factor contributing to your symptoms all along.

And don’t rely on thirst to remind you to drink!

 

Dehydration begins when we are just 1% volume depleted, but thirst doesn’t set in until our body is about 2% volume depleted.

By then we have already had effects on our mood, energy level, ability to think clearly, and pain levels.

Instead of waiting for thirst or darkened urine to remind us to drink, let’s utilize these preventative strategies for staying well hydrated, instead of treating dehydration!  The goal of this article isn’t to teach you how to address dehydration but to have you protecting your hydration levels by preventing dehydration in the first place.

 

How to prevent dehydration?

Here are 5 ways to help:

 

1. Begin and end every single day drinking a big glass of water.

 

Drink water each AM before you even think about reaching for orange juice or coffee.

Replenishing the fluids you lost overnight every as well as the fluids you may have overlooked drinking all day long is a great lifelong habit to get into…

…do it daily so it becomes an automatic routine!

 

2.  Drink a glass of water whenever you feel hungry.

 

Use hunger as a reminder to hydrate!

We feel hunger on and off all day long, and so we can remember to drink water on and off all day long too.

Thirst is often confused with hunger, because your body is craving INTAKE of any kind!

Drink a glass of water before each meal and whenever you feel thirst *or* hunger, and you will stay well hydrated all day long.

 

3.  Include fruits and vegetables at every single meal.

 

 

Fruits and veggies are full of water (many being more than 90% water!) and minerals that help you maintain essential fluid volume.

Processed foods like packaged snacks actually dehydrate you.

Fruits and veggies are a great way to hydrate *while* you eat!

The most hydrating ones include:

melons, berries, cucumber, celery, leafy greens, tomatoes and bell peppers.

 

4.  Use an unrefined sea salt when you cook, instead of table salt.

 

It’s truly important to make sure you have enough minerals in your diet so that you can absorb and retain the right hydration balance.

Trace minerals, found in sea salts, are essential to the body’s function.

I talk a little more about why minerals are so essential for health in this video I made for you here!

Even if you don’t think hydration is an issue for you, most of us are mineral depleted whether we hydrate well or not.

You might want to consider a daily mineral supplement that you have to put into water, which will further encourage you to drink drink drink throughout the day.

My favorite is Concentrace Mineral Drops, which I have waiting for you in my trusty online dispensary here.

 

 

5.  Switch from soda to sparkling water.

 

The sugar and chemicals found in soda (even diet soda!) mess with your metabolism and should not *count* towards your 8 cups of water a day.

Get your carbonation fix from sparkling water instead and reap the hydration rewards!

 

 

 

Use The Power Of Water In These Unique Ways

To Help Catapult Your Health:

 

Beyond staying hydrated, the healing power of water can work magic for helping to support our entire well being, from clearing our mind frame to easing pain.

Let’s go beyond staying hydrated and really tap into the broader healing properties of water… here’s 6 ways that water can boost your whole body well being:

 

 

1. Allow tears… always.

 

 

Never hold them back.

Let the water of your tears release your emotions and lift them from your body.

Water is the ultimate medium of flow and healing… in fact, water is the body’s natural choice of release as well, as you can see in the fact that the body uses tears to facilitate an emotional release.

Tears help encourage the flow of emotions through the body (both tears of joy and tears of sorrow!) and allows us to release tension more easily.

 

2.  Sweat it out!

 

The other way that the body uses water as a form of energetic and physical release is through sweat.

Heat uses the energy and flow of water (the blood in your circulatory system) by increasing flushing — fluid in, sweat out.

Exercise is an essential, wonderful, medically proven treatment plan for so many different health conditions, shown to be effective in treating everything from insomnia, to depression and anxiety to fibromyalgia and other chronic pain conditions… even preventing dementia and extending our lifespan!

Make sure you find some physical activity that you can routinely do that allows you to sweat… whether you like hiking, yoga, kickboxing, jogging, or even, in a pinch a more passive form of sweating like a sauna (which has been recently shown to decrease dementia rates!) — find a way to embrace sweating and be sure to replace that fluid flow with tons of fresh filtered water both before, during, and after sweating!!!

 

3.  Use the cleansing properties of water to detox and release.

 

Take a long hot epsom salt bath soak (add some baking soda and apple cider vinegar to turn it into a detoxing experience) to soothe muscles, calm and relax you before bedtime…

…or simply relax in a warm shower and envision the water carrying the tensions of the day down the drain for you.

Another great way to use water to heal is to ground by the ocean or river or lake (or even the morning dew on a blade of grass!).

 

There is a reason that doctor’s routinely gave out prescriptions for spending time by the sea when they had no idea what else to do to help an ailment!

That’s because the earth has healing energy to give you, and if you add moisture to that you increase your own conductivity and healing accelerates.

Ground outside (daily if at all possible) and add water –sweaty feet, making a puddle with your hose, heading to the beach for a healing weekend retreat, or any other way to add moisture:

 

moisture + you + earth = expedited healing

 

For more on using the healing power of the earth to feel better, you can download my free Grounding Idea Book here.

 

4.  Combine water with heat

 

My favorite way to combine the healing power of water with the healing power of heat (beyond the sauna, bath and shower I’ve already mentioned!) is to fill a hot water bottle full of warm water and hold it on your body where you are feeling any tension, pain, or stuck emotion, for example on your chest, abdomen, neck, back, etc…

Adding the element of heat enhances the healing release all the more.

I love using my grounding hot water bottles for releasing energy in stuck, sore muscle cramps, relieving nausea and abdominal cramps during my period, to ease growing pains for my children, and countless other applications!

 

5.  Make sure your air contains moisture!

 

As I mentioned above, your mucosal membranes absolutely require moisture to function… did you know you lose over two cups (or a half liter) of water just from breathing each day?

Use steam/humidifiers to help hydrate your air and support the hydration of your mucosal membranes.

 

6.  Intentionally drink water as a way to energetically reset the body from the inside out

 

You lose up to 2 liters (8 cups) of water each day just through urination and bowel movements and skin surface evaporation.

You can utilize this high turn over of fluids to your advantage and hydrate hydrate hydrate during times of worry or sorrow or stress more than any other time of your life.

Look at every glass of water you drink as a way to add a healing intention into your body, infusing every single cell of every single tissue of every single organ system you have with healing support.

You can simply say a prayer, say an intention, even just *think* an intention as you hold your cup of water and silently bless it before you drink it.  You can even take a sharpie marker and write an intention or uplifting word or phrase onto your water bottle or onto a piece of tape and tape it to your cup or mug.

Let your body be flushed out inside and out and with every urination or bowel movement or tear or droplet of sweat you shed, recognize you are flushing the old energy down the drain and making way for new healing.

 

7.  Remove fluoride to see a boost in your health!

 

After hundreds of studies have shown fluoride affects everything from cognitive function in humans to diabetes, fertility and more in animals, I recommend avoiding fluoride in water and never use fluoridated toothpastes.

Fluoride is an enzyme inhibitor, point-blank.

But what’s the problem with the miniscule amounts of fluoride added to the public water supply?

The old problem that is widely recognised (even by the National Institutes of Health) is that it accumulates in bone.  It is estimated about 50% of the fluoride we consume is eliminated, and 50% is stored.

Miniscule amounts of fluoride adding to our bodies sip after sip after sip equals a not-so-minimal exposure.  Over a lifetime, these levels can reach high proportions… decreasing bone density and causing brittleness.

For a nation whose women have epidemic proportions of osteopenia and osteoporosis, it would be counter productive to continue to drink fluoride on a daily basis… and then use even more Rx to combat the osteoporosis that develops later in life.  Studies have shown that the rate of hip fracture in elderly is directly increased in areas that fluoridate their water.

The truth is, even if you feel that you *need* fluoride to help reduce the incidence of cavities… you are getting plenty of fluoride through your foods.

Plants store fluoride found naturally in the earth AND from the water used to irrigate crops.  Yep, even organic crops have fluoride in them from the irrigation water.

Statements from reps of the National Institutes of Health recommend that people who drink large quantities of water should not drink tap water, but instead switch to bottled water.  We are just getting so much exposure to fluoride, to intentionally consume extra fluoride, whether through drinking water or toothpaste, is way too much.

Your skin absorbs fluoride as well, so even when you are showering or taking a bath, you are absorbing fluoride.

And now?   In addition to bone uptake?

Now the new problem is we know fluoride is being taken up by our cardiovascular system as well.

A study published in the journal Nuclear Medicine Communications definitively proved that fluoride is absorbed into your vascular system. Researchers followed 61 patients after administering fluoride and found that 96% of them had fluoride uptake in their cardiovascular walls.

In a nation with heart disease steeply rising, this doesn’t sit well with me.  Direct absorption to of fluoride into our cardiovascular walls (and a significant correlation between cardiovascular events and fluoride uptake) makes it all the more urgent for us to avoid fluoride all together.

And now new reports are revealing something even more disturbing, if you can believe it — fluoride lowers IQ.

I am routinely asked at the dentist’s office if I would like to give my children a concentrated fluoride treatment.  And affect their still-developing brain?  Uh… NO.

 

I use this countertop filtration system in my home.

I keep mine right out on my kitchen counter space and not only am I drinking pure, clean, fluoride free water, but the visual reminder to DRINK every single time I walk by the water filter or am standing in the kitchen preparing a meal.

This has really helped me to remember to maintain my hydration status.

In my medical opinion, these are the very best water filtration systems on the planet — and I’ve tried them all!

 

Tested and verified rigorously, this is the only system that includes all of my “musts” when looking at water purity:

  • Must be stainless steel (no plastic, not even in the spigot!)
  • Must remove fluoride.
  • Must leave crucial minerals (in particular, magnesium!) in the water.
  • Must be useable with any type of water (in emergencies you want the flexibly of using rain water, pond water & any water you can find!).
  • Must be electricity free.
  • Must be reliable, providing water filtration anywhere… whether at home, office, vacation, camping or even college dorms!

So all in all?

Yes, absolutely I feel that a fluoride filter to remove fluoride from your drinking water (as well as not using fluoridated toothpaste) is worth the it for the long term health of your heart, your bones, and all the organs in between!

The beautiful, life affirming, healing properties of water can not be matched with anything else we put into our bodies.

Today, try to use the healing flow of water to support your Well Being in many many different ways, and be sure to be protective about your hydration status at all times.

xoxo, Laura

 

 

2 New Treatments For PTSD You Can Use Right Now To Feel Immediatley Better.

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I’m so encouraged by the fact that there is so much medical research lately on trauma recovery.

 

I’m excited to share two of these awesome new studies with you today, so that you can start to use these techniques right this very moment for support and relief.

 

The first study comes from research done on combat-related PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and insomnia on veterans.

This is the first randomized controlled medical study comparing mantram therapy as a treatment for PTSD.  Results from this study were published in the American Journal of Psychiatry on June 20, 2018.

 

  • 173 veterans were enrolled in the study, 89 of them using mantra therapy (focusing on a repeating a mantra) and 84 using talk therapy (with a focus on problem solving) for an hour long session once a week for 8 weeks straight.
  • They were randomly assigned to each group and the assessments were done blindly (meaning the therapist did not know which patient was doing which therapy when assessing symptoms and monitoring progression) before treatment, after treatment on week 9, and at the two months follow up after the conclusion of the study (week 17.)
  • The results showed that focusing on a mantra provided a clinically significant, meaningful improvement to the veterans PTSD symptoms that were sustainable, and worked particularly well for insomnia… better than the talk therapy did.
  • Patients from the mantra group actually had larger improvements to their insomnia and equally good improvements to other symptoms, such as depression and anger.

 

 

The results showed that the mantra results were as robust as traditional talk therapy treatments that were trauma-focused.

 

That means, that even if you have resistance to focusing on the actual traumatic event to work through your trauma, you can have every bit as meaningful recovery when you focus on a mantra as opposed to the trauma!

 

 

 

This is huge news.

 

In addition, equally exciting, is that the improvements from mantra therapy were sustained for months after the treatment ended, with more patients being PTSD free after mantra therapy than traditional talk therapy (60% of mantra patients were PTSD free at 2 months after intervention, compared to 40% of the talk therapy group.)

It’s simple, it’s convenient — and it’s free (as a huge advocate for grounding therapy, you know I am a big fan of free therapies that allow patients to take control over their own health.)

This study is so incredibly valuable I feel, because as someone who admittedly has a very difficult time with meditating for any length of time, I feel that knowing that just repeating a single word has literally been clinically shown to make a significant difference in improving quality of life and treating insomnia, anxiety and other PTSD symptoms is such a relief.

Slowing down your thoughts and practicing sustaining a point of attention on just a single repeated word or phrase was shown to help patients cope with daily anxiety, fear, anger, depression and insomnia.

You can practice a healing mantra any time, any where.

It’s very private and very powerful.

I love the healing practice of mantra repetition so much (and have used it in my own life to help cope with stress with exceptional results!) that I’ve included this healing practice in my Daily Healing Idea Cards as you can see in the center card I’m holding here:

 

 

 

All it takes is literally a few deep breaths, repeating a word or phrase with each in breath and out breath.

In medicine, we know it only takes three deep breaths to significantly support your vagal nerve tone, which helps modulate your autonomic nervous system.  Meaning your heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure and more all get calmed and centered and soothed… and pain actually significantly decreases as well.

So my recommendation is to take 3 or more deep breaths while repeating your mantra of choice, and do this throughout the day as needed.

 

The second study on PTSD that I want to share with you today might further explain why exactly this mantra helps.

 

 

 

In this study, researchers used a medication called a beta-blocker (propranolol) to slow down and regulate the heart rate of patients with PTSD prior to them recalling traumatic events in therapy.  The results of this study were published in the American Journal of Psychiatry on Jan 12, 2018.

 

  • 60 adult patients with long standing, documented PTSD were randomly assigned to receive either the prescription drug propranolol, or a placebo, prior to memory re-activation therapy once a week for 6 weeks straight.
  • Patients were assessed by the clinician during treatment using the PTSD scale, and completed a self assessment questionnaire  after each therapeutic session as well.
  • The results?  Symptoms were significantly reduced, by about 50%, in patients receiving the propranolol.

 

 

In other words, the physical and emotional discomfort the patients both experienced and reported during PTSD triggers was cut in half, just by having heart rate controlled.

 

This regulation of the heart rate made recalling traumatic memories less emotionally disturbing, allowing them to be processed and re-consolidated in a different way by the brain.

This allows us to process and release repressed memories that we might not otherwise even tolerate processing because of how physically uncomfortable it is to re-experience and recall a traumatic event.

Taking propranolol before re-activiting the traumatic event made a clinically significant difference in how comfortable these patients were in recalling traumatic events, simply because of the fact that they did not feel their heart rate speed up or pound in their chest during therapy.

 

 

 

 

But you can have this exact same type of support naturally, without the prescription medication, by simply supporting vagal tone.

I believe this is one of the reasons the mantra therapy, as shown above, was so successful.  Supporting vagal tone naturally calms and regulates heart rate, decreases blood pressure, slows respiratory rate, even decreases pain in a meaningful way.

Approximating this with prescription medications may provide some relief, but better than a medicated approximation of a supported calmed heart beat is to actually calm your heart rhythm down with vagal tone stimulation.

 

This calming response is possible in two completely natural, holistic ways:

 

1.  Breathe Deeply.

 

The first way, as discussed above, is with deep breathing.

It only takes 3 deep breaths to produce a supported vagal response.

The mantras I suggest on my Daily Healing Cards are:

 

breathing in:  I am lovable

breathing out:  I am loved

or

breathing in:  I am safe

breathing out:  I am taken care of by God

or

breathing in:  I am protected

breathing out:  I am healing

 

 

 

 

2.  Grounding.

 

Grounding immediately boosts vagal tone, calms heart rate, lowers blood pressure, slows respiratory rate, and decreases pain.

Grounding supports your vagal tone so well that it actually helped premature infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to improve outcome.

Read this article on my blog right here to find out more about that important study.

If you are suffering from trauma, from insomnia, from anxiety, from depression, from anger, or any other stress… support your recovery and release by simply focusing on a mantra and by grounding.

 

 

 

 

So here is my recommendation to implement these tools today:

 

  • start the day with a few deep breaths while you breathe a self selected, calming mantra in and out
  • get grounded outside, touching the earth for at least a few minutes each day during daylight hours
  • breathe your mantra in and out for a few deep breaths each evening before bedtime
  • and sleep grounded all night long.

 

Feeling better?

 

Yep, it only takes a few weeks to start to reap the benefits of these all natural healing practices and the results can be maintained sustainably for the rest of your life.

 

Want more advice on how to naturally heal from stress and trauma?

 

I am teaching a brand new trauma healing class in just a few weeks, and I would love to have you join in.

 

No matter what you have gone through, you absolutely do have the ability to rebound from from it and create a new normal and a new health set point.

Every body does.

Your body naturally want’s to trend back to full and complete wellness… mind, body and spirit.

I’ll give you the tools to get there.

Save your spot in this by-reservation-only course by clicking right here today.

Moving onwards and upwards…

xoxoxo, Laura

 

 

 

 

Autism Linked To Celiac Disease. What To Do If Your Child Has Symptoms

Posted

A new study confirms what you might already know if your child is on the autism spectrum…

…there is a huge association between celiac disease and autism.

 

Up until now, mainstream media strongly denied any link between celiac disease and autism.

Studies that were done looking at this link back in 2013 came up inconclusive.

But if you are working with a physician or support group that still doesn’t recognize a significant link between the two, and are ignoring your child’s symptoms, it’s because they are working with outdated data from old studies.

 

A new study, the largest ever, looking at data from over 35 million patients

(yes that’s over 35,000,000 patients)

found that celiac disease is 20 times more common in those with autism than those without!

 

This new, incontrovertible evidence of a 20X greater incidence of celiac disease in autistic patients, was  presented at the World Congress of Gastroenterology on October 17, 2017: Abstract P2447.

So now you have the inside scoop on what the world’s top GI specialists now know.

If your child has been diagnosed with autism and they have unaddressed symptoms… like cramping after eating, diarrhea, difficulty gaining weight, abdominal pain, refusal to eat certain foods… considering having your child screened for celiac disease.

 

A simple blood test (serology testing) can tell you quickly if further inquiry is warranted.

 

Considering celiac disease has a low incidence in the general public (this study found that only 0.2% of randomly sampled patients actually had celiac disease) the fact that autistic patients have 20 times greater risk makes the index of suspicion much higher in these patients.

If your autistic child is expressing discomfort after eating, reluctance to eating, continence issues, or difficulty gaining weight, directly request to your child’s physician that they screen for celiac.

And it’s not just celiac that is increased in incidence in autistic patients, but many other types of immune disorders… including food allergies, skin allergies and respiratory allergies too.

 

A study (published June 2018 in JAMA Network) looked at  200,000 children in the United States between the ages of 3 years old and 17 years old.

 

They found a significant association among food, skin, and respiratory allergies and autism spectrum disorder.

Children with autism were:

  • almost 300% more likely to have food allergies
  • 50% more likely to have respiratory allergies
  • and almost 200% more likely to have skin allergies.

 

The take home message here is that immune conditions, particularly food allergies, have a robust association with autism… and as we discovered in the previous study, so does celiac disease.

These inflammatory bowel conditions may contribute to behavioral issues in children with autism, increasing irritability and causing associated behavioral changes.

Alterations in the gut microbiome, allergic immune activation, and gut/brain interactions affect neurodevelopment and behavior.

 

Because the gut microbiome of autistic patients has lower diversity than non-autistic peers, researchers were hoping that by improving the gut flora of autistic patients they would see an improvement in both GI and autism related symptoms…

…and that’s exactly what happened.

An 80% improvement in symptoms that showed no decline after the therapy was stopped!

 

The Study (published in Microbiome on Jan 23, 2017):

  • 18 patients with autism (ages 7 to 17) and moderate to severe GI issues underwent a microbiota transfer therapy
  • The protocol involved prepping the bowels, fasting, then repopulating the gut microbiota with human gut microbiota (orally or rectally) for two days with low dose maintenance oral doses and a stomach acid suppressant for 8 weeks (to increase survival of transplanted flora)
  • The participants were followed clinically for another two months after the microbiota treatment was completed.

The Results:

  • GI symptoms such as abdominal pain, indigestion, diarrhea and constipation all dramatically improved or resolved (an average of 82% improvement in symptoms) and that improvement was maintained two months after treatment was stopped.
  • Autism spectrum related symptoms also improved with the flora transfer — resulting in significant improvement in 17 different ASD related symptoms such as social skill deficits, irritability, hyperactivity,  lethargy, aberrant speech and more (as measured by PGI-III assessment) and those improvements were robustly maintained with no reversion two months after treatment ended.
  • Interestingly, researchers found complete correlation between improvements in GI symptoms and improvements in ASD symptoms… the worse the GI symptoms were, the worse the ASD behaviors were, and the more the GI symptoms improved, the more the ASD behaviors improved.  This suggests there is a huge correlation between gut microbiome health and ASD severity, and that by supporting gut flora we can modify and support ASD behaviors.
  • The improvements showed no signs of lessening even two months after therapy was stopped, with 80% improvements still being maintained over 8 weeks after therapy ended.
  • There was no significant difference in outcomes between those who had the therapy administered orally vs. rectally.
  • Over all gut flora diversity improved in all patients, and the increase in diversity was sustained several months past the end of treatment.

 

The Bottom Line:

The critical importance of the gut-brain axis can not be overemphasized.

Any therapeutic approach to treating neurological or developmental issues must also include support to the digestive system and bowel function.

 

With all that we now understand about the importance of the gut microbiome on supporting mental function, now we are armed with a new treatment strategy..

enter, probiotics.

 

Probiotics are crucial to supporting mood, brain function and even memory.

Find my favorite probiotics in my online dispensary — in the cognitive health section —  right here.

 

 

 

Now that you know about this huge association between gut health and autism, consider getting tested for celiac disease and while you wait for your results,

go ahead and start that probiotic for support.

This is a holistic treatment strategy that is proven to work and

absolutely does not need a doctor’s Rx.

xoxoxo, Laura

 

P.S.  What other holistic therapies can impact Autism and other spectrum conditions?

I’ve got you covered.

Check out these other articles I’ve written: