Higher Coffee Intake, Lower Mortality Rate

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This morning — more than ever — I wanted to write a fun and uplifting health article for you.

 

I just want to focus on something totally positive.

Each week I strive to write something uplifting for you, so that your confidence in your own health gets stronger and stronger and stronger and you have a growing sense of faith in your body’s ability to be resilient.

The world is a scary enough place… and if you are brave enough to read the news headlines, it can be down right terrifying.

Even in medicine and health… there are way too many scare tactics in health care as a whole.  Even alternative health and holistic health information can be cloaked in fear and doom and gloom and threats… everything can have a dire consequence, it seems.

Uh… no.  Wrong approach.

Health doesn’t work like that.

You can’t sustain positive change through fear.

 

 

The entire reason I was attracted to medicine and went to medical school is that I understood from an early age that health and healing should innately empower you…

…after all, healing means you feel better and better and better!

  

You can and should enjoy a natural sense of relief as your healing unfolds.

What could be more uplifting and exciting than seeing your health shift as you recover your Well Being?

 

 

So those are the eyes that I use to review the medical literature with each week — finding medical studies that give you healing ideas that are uplifting, proven, double blind, placebo studied — and work!

Truly there are so many new medical studies that are exciting and positive and uplifting that I literally can’t keep up with it all!

I don’t know why medical information is generally shared in such a negative way.

Honestly the medical literature is filled and overflowing with awesome things we can do to protect and enhance our health!

And here’s one for today:  more coffee = longer life.

 

As I type this up for you, I am sitting here drinking my morning coffee…

…which turns into two and three cups of coffee as the morning moves on.

 

So today’s medical study really jumped out at me — higher coffee intake is linked to a significantly lower risk of death…

…in not just one but two large medical studies.  Woot!

 

The Study (published in the Annals Of Internal Medicine on July 10, 2017):

  • Researchers looked at over half a millions patients (521,330 participants) in 10 different European countries
  • Researchers ranked participants by coffee consumption:  3+ cups of coffee per day, 1 – 2 cups of coffee per day, and non-coffee drinkers.
  • Researchers followed participants for over 16 years and analyzed mortality and cause-of-death data.

 

The Results:

  • Higher coffee intake was significantly correlated with lower death rates from many causes, particularly reducing mortality from digestive and circulatory diseases.
  • Drinking 3 or more cups of coffee a day reduced mortality from ALL causes by 12% for men and 7% for women.
  • Some causes of mortality were incredibly, strikingly reduced — for example, men who drank 3 cups of coffee or more a day had an almost 60% lower risk of death from digestive diseases than men who did not drink coffee.  Women had a 40% reduction in deaths from digestive disease.
  •  Women enjoyed a huge benefit from coffee drinking in terms of cardiovascular health — reducing risk of death from heart disease and stroke significantly.
  • Happily, the benefit was the same for decaffeinated coffee as for caffeinated coffee… so if you love the taste of coffee (or want the life span benefits of drinking coffee) but don’t want the caffeine rush or risk of caffeine addiction by drinking that many cups of coffee a day — decaf provided similar benefits.

 

 

Why?

 

Researchers found that the patients who drank coffee had better serum levels of many markers of health — lower levels of liver enzymes (a marker of liver health), lower levels of blood inflammatory markers like C-reactive protein (showing reduced inflammation in the body as a whole) and improved measurements of metabolic health (such as lower levels of lipoprotein A and glycated hemoglobin.)

 

 

Another recent study confirms that this benefit holds regardless of ethnic background.

 

Researchers looked at almost 200,000 patients from different ethnicities (including African American, Native Hawaiian, Japanese American, Latino, and whites) to look at all-cause mortality and coffee consumption.

After an average follow-up of 16 years, researchers found that any coffee intake at all (1 cup or more) was associated with a 12% reduction in all-cause mortality.

Coffee intake was associated with lower death rates for all causes, including: heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease.  And again in this study, the benefits were statistically significant whether the coffee was caffeinated or decaf.

 

 

What else can coffee do?

 

Read these blog posts I’ve written in the past, alerting you to the health benefits of drinking your morning cup of Joe:

 

Hoping this news uplifts you this morning if you are a coffee lover like I am!

To your innate & totally resilient health flow… 

xoxoxox, Laura

 

A Sense Of Purpose In Life Medically Proven To Help Your Body Stay Younger… 9 Powerful Ways To Do It

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Having a sense of purpose and meaning in life helps to preserve the physical function of your body, as you can probably intuitively feel.

The more you feel like you have a reason to get up each day, the more powerful your intention and your presence and your movement will be all day long.

But how does this translate over a lifetime of using your body?

 

A new medical study backs up the idea that an intentional, meaningful daily existence translates to a healthier body over a lifetime.

 

The Study (published in JAMA Psychiatry on August 16, 2017):

 

  • Researchers enrolled 4,485 patients in this longitudinal study — collecting data starting in 2006 on adults (average age 63) and following up with them every two years for a total of ten years.
  • Researchers followed measurements of strength (via grip studies) and mobility (via gait studies) over the following decade.
  • Life purpose and meaning was assessed at baseline using the Purpose of Life Ryff Psychological Well Being scale.

 

The Results:

  • For every point increase that a participant reported on the Purpose of Life scale, they robustly  maintained a stronger grip strength and walking speed over the following decade.
  • For every point lower on the Purpose In Life scale that a participant reported at the onset of the study, they lost 14% of their walking speed over the next decade of life.  (So 2 standard deviations less purpose = 28% slower walking rates.  3 standard deviations less purpose = 42% slower walking speeds, etc..)
  • Each point increase that a participant reported in Purpose in Life at the onset of the study gave them the equivalent of a 2 1/2 years younger body — in terms of health and activity level — than their chronological age.
  • The more meaning the participants reported in their life at the onset of the study, the stronger and more mobile they remained over the next 10 years of their life.
  • Participants who reported a decreased purpose in life at the onset lost more grip strength and slowed their walking pace significantly over the following 10 years.
  • In fact, this association was not only significant, it was also dose dependent… patients reporting more meaning retained more strength and mobility in point for point.
  • The more meaning, the stronger and more mobile they remained.
  • The less meaning they found in their life, the weaker they became and the less they were able to move by the conclusion of the study.

 

 

This study reminds me of an earlier study I shared with you,  on the power of music to bring back mobility and communication in dementia.  In this study, finding meaningful songs from a person’s lifetime literally helped them re-illuminate and re-animate their body… often patients who were not moving and not communicating at all at the onset of the study began to dance, talk, sing and verbally connect after just a few minutes of listening to music.

And this article, where I review a medical study that proves that spirituality matters — finding a deeper meaning in existing helped give longevity and survival advantages to patients over patients without a deeper spiritual value system.

 

The bottom line?

 

To find meaning in life… increases your resiliency to life

and preserves your body’s function over time.

 

And as I blogged about here, there have been several major medical studies released recently that show the major, physical, measurable impact that outlook has on our brain function and brain chemistry.

Meaning, it turns out, is actually brain protective.

The problem is, just when you need to find meaning in life and retain a hopeful attitude most is just when your life is crashing in all around you.

It’s much easier to remain positive and have positive expectations during times of relative peace and happiness in life.

It’s damn hard to have a consistent basis of hope when an unexpected life change, diagnosis, or traumatic incident shakes your very foundation.

But you can do it.

Here are 9 actions can you take today to restore your hope and increase your body’s resiliency:

 

1. Reconnect with nature.

 

All you have to do here is walk out your front door, step out of your office, or stop driving and step out of your car.

To reconnect with nature is to reconnect with wonder.

 

Whether it’s just a few deep breaths as you sit on a patch of grass, simply taking a walk through a local park, or full on spending a night under the stars… reconnecting with the wonder of being a human being standing on a rock that spirals through space and seeing the earth for the vast support network it is can’t help but lift your spirits for the better.

 

Interviewing two astronauts taught me this: that the earth is a ball of vibrancy whose life and color and beauty stand out powerfully among the backdrop of empty space.

The perspective they shared is the ultimate perspective — reminding us how precious, how fleeting, how beautiful it all is — even with great pain included in that beauty and life.

We can’t all stand on the moon and appreciate the view the way these men did, but taking even one minute to surround yourself with the power of nature has a way of creating a perspective in life that is real, is powerful, is strong.

The power of nature can hold even your worst of days

and remain an immovable source of strength.

 

Don’t believe me?

The next time you are having a panic attack, or a pounding headache, or a knot of worry grow in your stomach, just go outside.

Get out there.

Don’t force anything, just start walking and let nature work its magic.

 

2. Focus on Spirit.

 

The surest way I know to alleviate stress and suffering is to find meaning in it.

Whether it’s through mediation, personal prayer, asking friends and family to pray for you, cultivating your own sense of spirit surrounding and supporting you — these are all such important ways to alleviate stress.

The divine support system is around you, surrounding you, whether you are able to feel it or not.

Never fear that.

Nothing is required of you.

But calling on the power of prayer and connecting with that reservoir of love is an instant boost that strengthens you and changes outcome, no doubt about it.

Need some more inspiration?

Man's Search For MeaningRead Man’s Search For Meaning, by Viktor E. Frankl.

 

He is a concentration camp survivor who writes beautifully about how the people who survived these horrific conditions were not the strongest, or youngest, or even the healthiest…

…they were the ones who found meaning in what they were going through.

Finding a deeper, spiritual meaning in what you are going through is — in and of itself — enough to sustain you.

 

 

3. Music.

 

My kids will tell you that if I am really grumpy, all we have to do is hop in the car and turn on the radio and within a few songs, all of a sudden I don’t feel so hopeless.

In fact, I feel optimistic and grateful and filled with the same sense of wonder and possibility that I feel when I spend time in nature.

The power of music to wash through you and lift you is amazing.

If you are feeling stressed or depressed, especially if you can not leave your current surroundings (perhaps you are in the hospital or your office or your car…) slip on some music and allow it to sweep through your soul and lift you higher.

Music is universal and can meet you wherever you are.

 

 

4. Reach out to your support system.

 

There IS a support system around you, even if you don’t think you have a friend in the world.

I know I didn’t fully realize how many people I had, providing back up support in my life, until I went through a personal crisis.

Some of my most meaningful sources of support were from people I had never ever met before — like the manager at my local bank and the complete stranger who came to pick up some furniture I got rid of as we downsized our belongings.

Both of these people forever changed my life.

Both of these people are angels living on earth.

And don’t even get me started on the unbelievably generous neighbors, friends and family that I actively leaned on for support.

If you are having a stressful crisis, ask for help.

Ask your neighbor, ask your family, ask your friends.

Even if you have none of the above, go out into the world asking for help to show up — go to the park, go to your bank, go to the grocery store, go to the thrift shop.

Angels are out there waiting to embrace and help you.

 

5. Move.

 

A symbolic fresh start during times of stress can help you move on towards healing and help usher in new, positive and hopeful energy instead of feeling stuck.

For me, this meant that the kids and I literally moved and relocated our life.

But even if it is impossible to move, you can go through your entire home with the idea of bringing in fresh energy — freshening up the plants in each room, rearranging whatever furniture you can, adding a mirror or two and burning candles of light in the evenings to help create a new flow of light through old, dark and depressing spaces.

Even if you can’t do anything to change your physical surroundings, creating a symbolic gesture in order to usher in a new start is so very important.

From going outside to take a deep breath of air, to lighting a smudge stick, to ringing a bell and setting a new intention for the space you are in, do something to break the illusion that you are stuck.

You are not stuck.

You are a new person every single day and every moment within that day.

When our physical surroundings don’t change, especially in the midst of great turmoil, you can get caught up in the illusion that your situation is permanent and hopeless.

This is not so… there is always an ebb and a flow of energy through every situation no matter how unchanging it appears on the surface.

The illusion that things never change can mentally hold you in a place of worry.

Release this by making small changes to your living space, changing the energy of the room you are in, physically leaving the space you are in for a breath or two, or using candles/incense/smudging/bells/chimes/lighting/a new plant…

…whatever it takes to feel the energy shift in your space and remind you that nothing… NOTHING… stays the same forever.

 

6. Gratitude and compassion

.
This is a no-brainer — one of the gifts of going through suffering is that you can witness and hold other people’s suffering so much more fully.

During our stressful family change, the children and I went deeply into witnessing suffering and holding that space and honoring what other people have gone through.

Compassion and gratitude for the journey and knowing that others have made it through ordeals much much MUCH worse can really help instill hope to your own journey.

As contrary as it sounds, topics that would have felt dark or depressing can powerful and empowering to as you deepen your ability to witness and hold a space for suffering in the world around you and in others.

For example, when the kids and I went through our own traumatic transition, we dove deeply into WWI and WWII studies, reading Anne Frank’s diary and having long, meaningful discussions about suffering and triumph… those felt incredibly moving and fortifying to us.

Knowing the darker side, leaning into it, persevering through it, witnessing with compassion what others have gone through… all of these things make traveling your own dark night feel less lonely and more optimistic in the sense that you KNOW you will reach the other side.

You WILL reach the other side.

Focus on witnessing suffering in others around you and holding compassion for the entire yin and yang of it all, the darkness and light of the world…

…the richness here is a different twist on helping to find meaning in suffering and the gift here is being able to open your heart even wider then you thought possible before.

 

 

7. Sleep.

 

Studies have shown that sleep deprivation is even harder to bear on folks with anxiety or stress.

If you are going through a time of great stress, it is more important than ever before in your entire life that you sleep well.

You MUST SLEEP in order to recover from the stress of the day and the stress of the situation.

It is possible to treat anxiety and depression through increasing the quality of your sleep.

Read this article for more ideas on getting better sleep.

 

8. Body work.

 

The feeling of worry and stress and anxiety is often the stress of energy that is accumulating in the body without release.

I know I personally feel this as a ball of pressure right in my solar plexus, but it’s different for everyone.

Irritability, crying, headaches, diarrhea, nausea, tension, muscle stiffness, decreased or increased appetite, weight loss or gain, insomnia… often these all represent energy that just needs to be released to make room for the natural healing process and health/hope to return.

If you are feeling stuck and in need of physical release, do any or ALL of the following to help assist your body in letting go of old traumas:

  • massage
  • heat (hot water bottles are the best!)
  • water (in the form of showers or baths, as well as increasing hydration by drinking lots of water!)
  • acupuncture
  • yoga
  • deep stretching
  • qigong
  • tai chi
  • reiki

 

 

9.  Focus On Inner Alignment

 

Life is hard enough to navigate.

It helps to meet all external stressors with internal core strength.

Chakra alignment is an invaluable tool to sustaining your health and remaining centered during life’s storms.

I’ve seen over and over that patients with strong internal chakra alignment affect powerful external change in their life.

The video below will give you a very simple tool you can use any time to increase your resiliency in the face of stress or challenge.

In under one minute, you can run through all 7 of your chakras to be certain you are maximally centered and find immediate relief if you are not.

In this way, you become instantly empowered to tackle whatever it is you are facing.

Running through your chakras before entering a job interview, before sitting down for a serious conversation with your partner, before heading into your doctor’s office to get the results to your labwork, before making a big life decision about where to move or whether to buy a home or not or quit your job or not… being centered deeply within can make a profound change on what happens externally, and in your body’s health.

Taking a moment today to learn this simple technique can absolutely give you a hand’s on tool you can reach for no matter what you face each day.

So let me help you run through this right now with this quick video — it’s a tool you can use for the rest of your life to boost your internal alignment whenever you could use some extra support.

 

7 Tips To Quickly Align Your Chakras:

 

 

 

I go so much further and deeper with this concept, immersing you in optimizing your energy flow… in my online Chakra Healing Class.

 

Everything you experience throughout your day… any obstacle and any blessing… feels so much more powerful when you are meeting it from a place of deep internal balance.

I’ll help you get there.

Together we can take the next 7 weeks in class together and align your core chakra by chakra, building upon your inner strengths and releasing any resistance you have built at each level.

Many of my patients take this online course once a year, every year, to get an internal tune up that just makes everything about the rest of your life run more smoothly.

 

It starts next in just three weeks on September 18th!

 

I can’t wait to work together with you to have you feeling

centered and aligned…

…all the way to your core.

 

Seating is limited, so click over here right now to reserve your spot today.

xoxoxo, Laura

 

 

Sleep Increases Your Recovery From Depression

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

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

 

 

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

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

Here’s more:

 

The Study:

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

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

 

The Results:

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

 

The Bottom Line?

 

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

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

And physicians:

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

How Sleep Affects Your Heart Health

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

Sleep: An Easy Way To Prevent Asthma

The Easiest Way I Know To Fall Asleep Faster

Poor Sleep Equals Weight Gain, Even For Children

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

Sleep A Key Factor In ADHD

Sleep Dramatically Impacts Your Weight

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

 

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

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

 

Articles on resolving depression holistically:

5 Things You Can Do To Naturally Lift Depression

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

Good Moods Are Contagious In Teens (And Prevents Depression)

Resolving PTSD, OCD, Tobacco and Drug Addiction Too

Is Stress Is Making Your Antidepressant Ineffective?

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

A Supplement So Good For The Brain It Can Prevent Psychosis

Up This One Mineral To Up Your Mood

Probiotics An Alternative To Antidepressants

 

Want to go deeper?

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

But you can absolutely get back into a relaxed flow.

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

 

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

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

Chakra Healing Live Class!

 

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

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

 

Find out more and hold your spot here.

xoxoxo, Laura

 

 

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

 


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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

The Results:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

The Bottom Line:

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

 

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

 

 

I hope these studies are conducted soon.

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m listening.

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

 

 

 

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

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

xoxoxo, Laura

 

 

 

Resolving PTSD, OCD, Tobacco and Drug Addiction Too

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

…with fantastic results.

 

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

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

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

1.  Healing PTSD

 

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

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

 

The Results:

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

 

Why?

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

 

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

 

2.  Treating OCD

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

 

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

 

The results?

 

 

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

 

Next up?

3.  Smoking cessation

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

 

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

 

The results?

 

 

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

 

 

So the Bottom Line:

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

 

The key is, not to ignore stress and trauma.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

Here’s the important part:

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

 

One thing you can do?

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

Another thing you can do?

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

 

That is all that disease really is!

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

Stress.  Trauma.  Depression.  Anxiety.

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

Class begins in just a few weeks…

xoxoxo, Laura

 

 

 

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

Posted

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

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

 

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

Turns out, the answer is yes…

…the bacteria in our mouth can actually trigger migraine.

Here’s how:

 

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

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

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

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

 

There are two types of headaches that nitrates can trigger:

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

 

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

 

The Study (published in mSystems October 2016):

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

 

The Results:

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

 

The Bottom Line:

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

 

 

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

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

 

And guess what?

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

1.  Start by oil pulling.

 

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

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

 

2.  Swish with a Hydrogen Peroxide Mouthwash.

 

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

 

3.  Brush with a baking soda tooth powder.

 

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

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

 

So that’s it, folks!

Every morning I brush with the Probiotic Toothpaste

and

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

 

Want to simplify even further?

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

And I’d love to send it to you.

 xoxox, Laura

 

 

What You Eat Is Making Your Anxiety Worse

Posted

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

 

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

More on that in a moment.

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

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

 

Two foods that might be worsening your anxiety:

 

 

1.  Gluten —

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

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

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

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

 

2.  Sugar —

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

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

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

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

 

 

Two foods that can help relieve anxiety:

 

 

1.  Fish —  

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

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

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

 

 

2.  Fermented foods & probiotics —

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

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

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

 

And a few more tips about eating:

 

 

1.  Eat regularly —

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

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

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

Don’t skip breakfast!

2.  Hydrate fully —

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

 

Don’t ignore anxiety.

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

 

The study:

 

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

 

The Results:

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

So this is yet another study to prove:

Our psychology has a direct effect on our physiology.

 

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

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

 

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

And a near complete reversal by addressing that anxiety.

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

5.  Exercise — boost mood and decrease stress through exercise

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

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

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

 

I really hope these resources help!

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

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

 

xoxox, Laura