Grounding Instantly Helps Your Brain, Mood, and Sleep

Posted

As I’ll talk about with you on today’s video… EEG studies of brain activity show that grounding instantaneously shifts our brain wave patterns and reduces ambient stress levels.

 

Getting into the relaxed but alert alpha brain wave pattern, which is seen in deep meditative states and healing sleep states, is the hallmarks of grounding.

Grounding allows the brain to spend more time in that healing, restorative alpha brain wave state, and allows us to feel calm and alert during waking hours as well.

Deeper, more restorative sleep at night puts us in a zone of healing, while lack of sleep affects everything from increasing your risk of dementia to accelerating weight gain (did you know that medical studies show you have a 9 TIMES more rapid weight gain when you carry a sleep deficit!)

Click on the video below and let me take you more deeply into the medical literature and tell you exactly how you can use grounding to boost your brain function and sleep better than ever!

 

 

 

Click here to watch the video on YouTube

 

Click here to read and print out a PDF of the “Grounding and Sleep” study I referenced in the video

 

Want to test your own sleep quality?

 

In the office, clinicians use an assessment tool called the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI for short!)  The test will give you a score for your sleep quality — on a scale from 0 to 21.  The higher the number, the worse your sleep quality.

600 middle aged patients (from 38 – 50 years old) were given this same exact test, and the average score result was 5.8, so clinicians now typically consider any score at 6 or above to be worse sleep quality than desired.

If you want to take this assessment quiz, simply click here to print it out.

Be sure to record the date you took it, and try taking this quiz again after a month of grounding to see if your numbers have changed!  Hopefully you will be able to see very concretely how sleeping grounded at night makes a measurable, significant change.

PSQI sleep quality rating

 

Increased time spent in alpha brain wave patterns equals greater time in the restorative healing phases of sleep and the healing processing time of sleep, which is when dreams occur.  This is why dreams often increase in intensity when we sleep grounded.

While we sleep, we cycle through alpha sleep states and REM sleep states and each time we do we are held in beautiful resonance with the Earth’s healing energy.

This is one of the reasons why getting a good night’s sleep impacts our entire body from head to toe… as discussed in the video, high quality sleep does everything from preserve our brain volume and function to enhancing weight loss!

What are some other things you can do to optimize sleep?  Read on…

 

Holistic ways to support your brain function to help you get a better night’s sleep:

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

7.  Sleep Grounded — To take your sleep resonance to the next level, you can combine your brain’s healing alpha sleep state with the Earth’s energy directly, not just through resonance of frequency but by directly grounding the body when sleeping with in indoor grounding product.  I have invested a great deal of time and research creating the highest quality, most reliable, washable, and ethically respectful (crafted by hand right here in the USA!) grounding healing tools.  Tools like:

 

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

 

  • Grounding Carbon Bands — all new carbon based grounding technology in a lightweight, travel friendly mattress band that you can simply roll up and take anywhere, so you never lose out on a good night’s sleep!  Comes in a reusable travel bag!

 

  • Even Grounding Eye Masks — which block RF radiation to your eyes while you nap, help you recover from headaches and help reduce inflammation in the sinus cavities by grounding… these little eye masks are hand sewn and one of a kind!

 

Upgrade your nighttime grounding experience by clicking here.

 

I hope this information on how grounding impacts your central nervous system, your mood, your sleep, even your circadian rhythm was helpful!!!!

A good night’s sleep is absolutely crucial to maintaining wellness as well as healing from absolutely anything your body needs to heal — one thing is for sure, it needs good sleep to do so!

xoxox, Laura

 

P.S. Want some more sleep support?

Watch this video on additional holistic ways to help your sleep that I made for you below!

 

 

 

 

How Grounding Supports Your Muscles, Joints And Bones

Posted

 

 

 

Over the next five weeks, I’m going to be running a series of detailed videos and helpful information on exactly how grounding supports our body —

…from cardiovascular support to metabolic support to hormone support and more.

 

I’ve noticed there just isn’t a lot of concrete information disseminated on exactly how grounding works.

So I decided to change that.

Starting today.

Over the next month and a half I’m giving away all of the information that I taught in my Earth Rx online health class… for free!
The first topic in the course is all about how our bones, our connective tissue, our muscles, and everything that holds our body together (like our fascia, ligaments, tendons) is actually a grounding conduit — all of our connective tissue is actually a grounding conductor that brings healing immediately to all areas of our body, even scar tissue, even dense bones, even injured muscles.

So today I am going to walk you through several amazing studies that focus on the profound effect that grounding has on our muscles, reducing muscle tension immediately and reducing the severity and duration of soreness after exercising…

…as well as the amazing effect grounding has on our protecting our bone health and joint health.

 

One of the most immediate ways that grounding supports our health is by reducing inflammation in such a profound way that it directly decreases whole body inflammation — let me tell you how direct this support is in the 15 minute video below.

This decrease in inflammation is what is responsible for the immediate reduction in pain that is felt when grounding.

 

Our connective tissue actually is a conductor, speeding anti-inflammatory support directly to all the areas of our body that need it the most.

 

Even walled off pockets of inflammations are immediately affected because grounding is not something we absorb through our digestive tract and have to deliver through circulation like an ibuprofen or other anti-inflammatory medication or supplement… No.

This is DIRECT whole body access through our connective tissues electrically.

Let me tell you more:

 

 

 

Watch the video on YouTube here.

 

And click the link below if you want to read or print out a PDF of the “Grounding and Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness” study I referenced in the video:

Grounding & Reduced Muscle Soreness Medical Study

 

 

 

 

Maintaining your living matrix… your intracellular electrical gel — with a bounty of ever available free electrons means your body can adapt and respond instantaneously to any stress in the environment, trauma, illness, toxins, allergens, injury and more…

…actually PREVENTING the full extent of damage that would be seen without grounding.

 

Not only that, but it shortens recovery time from any damage that does occur as well as prevents it from turning into a chronic, smoldering, life long situation.  Absorbing and mitigating damage in real time… as it occurs.

Have you ever noticed that minor injuries are more commonly turning into long term health issues?

Chronic fatigue?

Chronic infections?

Chronic join pain?

Chronic back issues?

Chronic sleep issues?

Chronic allergies?

Chronic food intolerance?

This is because we are all living totally depleted and cut off from our reservoir of healing… touching the earth.

Keep your healing reservoir full and ready to respond to protect your short term healing *and* long term health.  Because grounding is not only protective… but anti-aging!

Aging, especially of joints and bone and skin and connective tissue and muscle tissue, is a function of cumulative inflammatory damage over time.  Arthritis, skin changes, many cancers, heart disease, metabolic disorders like type 2 diabetes, even dementia is a result of sustained inflammatory damage.  We will go into these studies through the next few weeks!

If we keep our living matrix in a prepared state of anti-oxidant rich electron reserves, we have already taken away the basis of age related change over time.  So today, I have a very simple suggestion for you: 

Go outside and directly touch the earth for 20 minutes or longer today.

 

 

See how you feel.

Notice any changes in your energy, pain levels, mood.

And if you want to do more to support your body’s muscle recovery and bone health other than grounding, try these ideas as well:

 

 

1.  Turmeric Supplements — turmeric is anti-inflammatory to the whole body, decreasing pain very effectively.

2.  Omega 3 fatty acids Supplements — fish oil (or krill oil) is one of the most whole body supportive supplements you can take — decreasing inflammation and protecting your brain, joints and skin from aging.

3.  Vit D Supplements — Vitamin D is essential to prevent disease in healthy aging.  Have your levels checked and make sure you supplement with a fat emulsified formula for the best absorption.

4.  Magnesium Supplements or Epsom Bath Soaks — magnesium is essential for proper muscle function and recovery… I highly recommend supplementing with trace mineral drops in your daily drinking water to keep your mineral balance strong.  Also, soaking in a warm bath with a cup of Epsom salts in it will help reduce muscle soreness after exercising and help relax muscles deeply before bedtime.

5.  Topical Magnesium Oil — alternatively to the Epsom bath soak, you can soothe sore muscles directly by spraying or massaging on a topical magnesium lotion.

6.  Decrease Gluten and Sugar Consumption — gluten is a neurotoxin and over a lifetime incites cellular damage… and sugar is pro-inflammatory.  Both decrease your body’s ability to fight infections and decrease inflammation.  I recommend reducing your intake of gluten and of sugar as much as you can tolerate.  We will be talking more about this in an upcoming blog post, and I’ll give you some tips to get past those sugar cravings too!

7.  Alternating Ice and Heat — this helps stimulate blood flow and alleviate muscle pain, soreness and stiffness after working out or injury.

Exponentially sky rocket the healing power of heat and/or ice with the worlds only Grounding Hot & Cold PackCombine grounding and hot & cold therapy for triple action musculoskeletal support!

One of the most powerful holistic healing modality of all time, heat helps loosen stiff muscles, increase blood flow to the area of application, decreasing soreness and pain, keeps the body warm and limber, relieves cramps, abdominal pain, muscle tension and tension headaches, and much much more.

Cold is every bit as healing, helping to decrease inflammation, cool down painful injured areas of swelling, decrease joint pain and pain associated with pinched nerves, arthritis, inflammation, trauma, contusions, over use injuries and much much more.

Alternating ice and heat on an area of pain or injury allows the body to recover more quickly and significantly decreases pain and swelling.

You can take all of these positive healing aspects and make the effects exponentially more powerful by grounding the body at the application site as well, because grounding independently has been medically proven to decrease pain, decrease muscle tension, decrease muscle soreness, increase circulation and much much more.

Using these two healing modalities together could not be any simpler than with my grounding cozy slipped over a gel pack that has been cooled in the freezer or warmed in the microwave in just seconds.

These grounded hot & cold packs are essential for every first aid kit!

Next week we review the impact that grounding has on our Neurology and Sleep!

Until then…

xoxox, Laura

 

P.S. Bonus Video:

Strong Bones for a lifetime… holistic ways to decrease your osteoporosis risk:

 

 

Watch the video on YouTube here.

 

 

The Healing Process Of Grief

Posted

Grief after experiencing a sudden loss or unexpected change in circumstance 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.

But it can also make room for growth.

For survival, for strength,  and ultimately, for a new you to emerge.

Even if you are forced to become a new version of you that you never even wanted to be…

…the process of grief is actually an alchemy transformation that gives you more than it takes away.

 

I still remember being in medical school and learning all about the classic model of the grief process, set forth by the amazing and brave Elisabeth Kubler-Ross:

DABDA, meaning:

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* happening and yes, I can do this, I will do this

and each time we surrender to what is happening, hope immediately returns.

 

The path from resistance to surrender ebbs 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 different than what had 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 creaming “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.

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

Here are some holistic things you can do to support you through the many phases that you can journey through during the healing transformation of grief:

 

1.  Depression

 

  • Zinc — In the December 15, 2013, the medical journal Biological Psychiatry published the results of a huge study that found that zinc deficiency mediated depression can be effectively reversed by zinc supplementation… and also, perhaps more importantly, that zinc added to antidepressant therapy produces 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.
  • 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 (and other mood disorders, such as anxiety.)  One study 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. Yet another study showed that participants with chronic fatigue syndrome who consumed probiotics three times a day reported significantly less anxiety compared to those who did not.
  • 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.
  • 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!

 

 

2. Sorrow

 

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 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 on my website at www.Intuition-Physician.com
  •  Melatonin — Taken 1 hour before bedtime, melatonin allows 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, insomnia 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 state of off gassing extra energy, 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 aware state that puts you in the perfect open-but-alert mind-frame necessary for relief. Focus on taking 5 deep breaths in and out and choose a mantra for the in breathe and the out breath.  If you can do 10 breaths, do 10. Work up to 20, 30, 50 breaths of focused openness:

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

 

  • 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 was 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 protein 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… at least 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 peristalsis 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 nutritionally sound and will help keep your immunity high.  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 avocado and coconut oil, organic yogurt,  and organic butter (a comforting warm grilled cheese sandwich 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 with 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.

 

 

Want more support directly from me?

 

I’m creating a Trauma Healing online class, from a mixture of my own experiences with grief, trauma & PTSD as well as from a medical standpoint as a clinician with almost 20 years of experience supporting patients through every kind of life challenge you can imagine… and I’d love you to be in on this class.

Because of the personal and intimate nature of this course, and because I want to be personally available to each participant for as much support as they would like, I’m keeping the class size small… so please reserve your seat to make sure you have a spot in the course.

Simply click over here to find out more and to reserve your spot today.

 

xoxoxox, Laura 

 

P.S.  I wanted to share with you a poem that helps me get into the zone of surrender:

 

Letting Go

                                 -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!”

3 Reasons To Take A Nap With Me Today

Posted

 

 

I’m writing this to you as I recover from emergency surgery a few days ago — my appendix ruptured!

Yikes!

It was my first time riding as a patient in an ambulance!

That was absolutely no fun.

 

So today, as I try to slow down and recover instead of push myself too fast, too soon…

…I’m writing about the power of taking it easy, and why it is medically necessary to take some down time once in a while.

Taking the time to rest each day isn’t a luxury, even though we often treat it as such.

It’s actually a medical necessity.

You absolutely, 100% need deep, restorative sleep!

Sleep deprivation impacts you from head to toe… decreasing your concentration, increasing your likelihood of accidents and impairing your judgement.

Did you know there are also serious long term health consequences to getting too little sleep…  things like rapid weight gain, increased risk of dementia, and even heightened anxiety?

So today, to encourage you to make the time to get the rest you need, I want to tell you the top 3 ways that taking the time to catch your zzZs will ultimately enhance your health:

 

 

1.  Sleeping Protects Your Brain:

 

A study (published in Neurology on Sept 3, 2104) found widespread changes in brain volume with poor sleep over time.

Researchers looked at 147 people and followed them (using MRI imaging) to look at the effects of poor sleep on the brain.  They found longitudinally over time that poor sleep quality was associated with smaller brain volume in the frontal cortex, temporal lobe, and parietal cortices… with more brain atrophy happening in those with the shortest sleep durations and poorest sleep quality.

In addition to that study, sleep has been shown to play crucial role in many long-term chronic brain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease.

A study (published in JAMA Neurology on March 11, 2013) showed that patients with poor sleep quality had the highest percentage of amyloid deposition in the brain (the classic hallmark lesion of Alzheimer’s disease.)  In fact, in follow up they found that participants with the worst sleep quality had a 5 TIMES greater chance of developing Alzheimer’s Disease then those who slept soundly.

Poor sleep has also been shown to be a hallmark of ADHD, and a recent study (published January 20, 2015 in the British Medical Journal) found that even a simple, brief sleep intervention with ADHD children provides lasting benefits that lead to a significant decrease in sleep problems, an increased average sleep duration time, a marked and significant decrease in ADHD symptoms, improved assessed working memory and recall, and parents and teachers both reporting improved behavior and improved daily functioning… better than treating with ADHD medication!

Even more exciting, these improvements were sustained at both the 3 month assessment AND the 6 month assessment, showing that addressing sleep problems can lead to substantial and sustained benefits for children with ADHD, over and above the effects of any medical interventions or medications.

The bottom line: better sleep equals better daytime functioning in the short term and a healthier, more dementia resistant brain in the long term.

 

 

2.  Sleeping Helps You Maintain

Your Ideal Body Weight:

 

A study (published in SLEEP, July 2013) found that folks gained a significant amount of weight after only 5 days of poor sleep.

Previous studies have shown a link between poor sleep and weight gain, but this is the first study where participants slept in-house in a sleep facility and the actual weight gain was measurably significant after sleeping four four hours several nights in a row.

They found that healthy individuals who experienced a short period of sleep deprivation (for only 5 days) gained 9 times as much weight as healthy individuals who get a full night of sleep.

What does this predict for folks who are chronically sleep deprived?

Many of us live in a chronic state of catching only a few hours of sleep a night… not just for 5 days but for weeks, months, even years at a time.  This has a huge impact on your weight.

Imagine gaining 9 times as much weight over the course of a year of poor sleep as you normally would had you slept well.

If you are watching your weight or struggling to understand why your best efforts are not good enough to prevent you from gaining weight, examine your sleep. Sleep deprivation is incredibly stressful to the body.

 

3.  Sleeping Supports A

Healthier Outlook:

 

A study (published in The Journal Of Neuroscience on June 26, 2013) showed that if you have anxiety, sleep deprivation actually impacts you even more than it impacts other people.

Sleep loss has been shown to decrease our ability to judge social interactions and social threats accurately (making you more likely to be hypersensitive and more emotionally reactive) as well as impair emotional control (making you more likely to have outbursts or impulsive behavior.)

This study furthered our understanding of the impact sleep has on anxiety by demonstrating amplified activity in the amygdala and anterior insula of the brain, which exacerbates anxiety.

And those that had the worst anxiety had the most overstimulation of those areas of the brain in response to poor sleep.

Meaning that people who have anxiety issues in the first place will suffer greater harm from sleep deprivation than folks without baseline anxiety issues, although in all cases the brain becomes overly sensitized and prone to hyper-reaction.

Years ago the world was stunned by the testimony that Michael Jackson had gone approximately 60 days without any deep, restorative REM sleep, which was likely responsible for a constellation of his symptoms including confusion, memory loss and paranoia.  It is thought that no human being has ever gone that long without restorative sleep before, as previous laboratory experiments show that rats perish after only 5 weeks without restorative sleep.

 

Ready to protect your brain volume, more easily maintain your ideal body weight as you age, and decrease your anxiety levels?

 

Here are some ways to grab better sleep for yourself, tonight!

  •  Sleep grounded — connecting to the earth during the day or sleeping grounded with an indoor sleeping product (my Grounding Boutique carries many different options for sleeping grounded!) has been shown in sleep studies to increase the amount of time we spend in deep restorative phases of sleep, as well as treat jet lag and other circadian rhythm disturbances.
  •  Melatonin — Taken 1 hour before bedtime, Melatonin allows sleep to be deeper, less interrupted, and more restorative, allowing you to stay in REM phases of sleep longer.  Melatonin is a powerful anti-oxidant and anti-aging as well, and our natural production decreases as we age, so supplementing melatonin is a great way to recover the deep sleep you used to enjoy when you were younger.
  •  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.  Daytime activity helps you sleep better at night and fall asleep more easily.
  •  Develop A Nightly Routine — turn off all the lights, make sure there are no computer screens or clock faces or night-lights lighting up the room while you sleep, and drink a soothing cup of warm milk, sleepy-time tea, or take a hot bath to relax your body and transition into bed.  And if you must have your cell phone in your bedroom with you, be sure to put it on airplane mode!!!
  • Relax with Magnesium — magnesium is a natural muscle relaxant, which is why soaking in an Epsom Salt Bath at night (which are natural magnesium salts) can relax your body and prep you for a better night sleep.  You could also make a nightly habit of drinking a magnesium powder supplement in a cup of hot water… this is especially helpful if restless legs or teeth grinding are nighttime issues for you.
  •  Reduce Stress — high nighttime cortisol levels and constant stress (leading to adrenal fatigue) will sabotage anyone’s best sleep attempts.  Seek help if you are in adrenal fatigue and make sure you are supporting your natural hormonal repair by including healthy fats (like whole fat yogurt, organic butter, organic eggs, coconut oil, fish oil) and consider a supplement like Ashwagandha at bedtime to decrease nighttime cortisol levels.
  •  Address Perimenopause — hormonal fluctuations and hot flashes can definitely interrupt your restorative sleep.  Seek help if perimenopausal symptoms are ruining your sleep, and consider Maca Root supplementation to support and balance hormone levels.  Honor the energetic transition of menopause by making sure you give your body the space and down time it needs to navigate the journey.

 

Make sure you are taking plenty of time to relax each day, and sleep deeply each night.

Your body will thank you for it not only in the short term, as you will feel more emotionally and physically resilient each day, but in the long term as you protect your body and your brain’s longevity!

 

I’m spending a little extra time resting this week — won’t you join me?

xoxoxo, Laura

 

 

 

 

5 Ways To Decrease Risk Of Autism, ADHD and More, Before Your Child Is Even Born

Posted

Today I want to share with you some quick and easy recommendations to protect the health of your children, based directly off of the exciting new medical research that’s being conducted right now on Autism and ADHD.

5 Holistic Ways To Decrease Your Baby’s Risk Of Neurodevelopmental Disorders:

 

1. Take Vit D:

 

In a study published in the Journal of Psychiatry on Sept 30, 2016, researchers found that the lower the Vitamin D concentration in cord blood carried a significantly higher risk of ADHD in childhood.  Every 10 nmol/L increase in cord blood Vit D concentration offered an additional 11% decrease in incidence of ADHD.

Hop over here to find my favorite, pharmacy grade, proven effective Vit D supplements.

 

 

2.  Take a Multivitamin:

 

Published in the British Medical Journal on Oct 4, 2017, a new study found that a daily multivitamin is associated with a 31% lowered risk of Autism spectrum disorder with intellectual disability.

Find my favorite prenatal multivitamins in my online dispensary, waiting for you right here.

 

 

 

3.  Avoid Tylenol:

 

 

Published in Pediatrics in Oct 2017, a recent study shows that pregnant women who take Tylenol (acetaminophen) during pregnancy doubles her child’s risk for ADHD.

This data was taken after analyzing over 100,000 children… so it was a particularly large and significant study.

With an estimate of about 70% of pregnant women in the United States taking Tylenol during pregnancy, this is something that is absolutely critical for health care practitioners to be aware of and to begin to advise pregnant women not to use.

It is estimated that approximately 65% to 70% of pregnant women in the United States and approximately 50% to 60% of pregnant women in western and northern Europe use acetaminophen.

I’ve been blogging about avoiding Tylenol since this article I wrote after Tylenol was found to increase incidence of asthma symptom, eczema, and allergic conjunctivitis.

A study published in Pediatrics in 2011 showed that children who received Tylenol in the first year of their life had an increased risk of developing asthma by age 3.

Taking Tylenol increased the general risk of asthma by 46%… and it was dose dependent.  Meaning babies who received more Tylenol had a higher risk of asthma, all the way up to a 7 TIMES HIGHER RISK if they were given 4 tablets of Tylenol a month in the first year of life.

That’s disturbing news, especially when Tylenol is routinely recommended for treating infants who are in pain from teething, colic, fevers… in fact, Tylenol is seen as the go-to medication for infants.  No longer.  Physicians should be questioning the wisdom of recommending Tylenol for fever and pain control, particularly if a patient has a family history of asthma, eczema, or allergic conjunctivitis.

And do not think this is just advice for infants… this study looked at a half million patients from child through adulthood and found the same results of increased asthma/wheeze after Tylenol use.

 

 

And adults shouldn’t rely on Tylenol either… as I blogged about back in 2012, a study published online November 22 2011 in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology showed that taking just a tiny amount more Tylenol then recommended, on a chronic basis, may lead to death.

And if not death, brain injury requiring artificial ventilation and liver injury requiring dialysis are increased outcomes as well.

This large study, which followed 663 patients admitted for liver injury from 1992 – 2008, showed that folks who repeatedly took Tylenol doses just *slightly* higher than recommended had brain injury, liver damage, and an increased risk of death.   This was compared to the patients that were admitted for taking a single massive overdose, and the shocking findings were that miniscule, chronic overdoses had a worse outcome then those taking massive overdoses. 

Hold up, what? 

Yes. 

Taking just one extra Tylenol pill a day on a routine basis is harder on your body then a massive overdose.

So liver problems, brain problems, and an increased risk of death, from chronic doses that are only ONE EXTRA TYLENOL PILL a day. That’s all it takes to exceed the recommended safe dosage.  For a list of alternative solutions to using Tylenol, check out my previous blog post here…  I go over everything, from topical options, natural solutions, supplements, grounding and more.

 

4.  Eat Red Meat During Pregnancy:

 

 

A study published in Alcoholism on Nov 11, 2017 looking at over 5,000 patients found a link between addiction and red meat consumption during pregnancy.

It turns out, that eating little or no red mean during pregnancy significantly increased that child’s risk for becoming alcohol or drug dependent as an adult.

Interestingly, eating fish did not protect the offspring from substance abuse problems… it was only when mothers ate more red meat that the children were protected from forming addictions.

I believe that if a child has a nutritional deficiency — even one that started back in the womb, as in this case, not getting enough saturated fats or B vitamins or iron, this creates a deep craving that is hard to satiate as an adult.  Thus setting the child up for substance abuse issues, trying to fulfill a deep craving that is never met.

The thing is, infants and children truly need saturated fats.

This is backed by Mother Nature… our human breast milk has over 50% of it’s calories from fat, much of that saturated fat. If there was one great head start you could give your children it would be to nurse, nurse, nurse, nurse… for as long as they will let you!

We start out life consuming animal fats through breast milk… for good reason.  Children absolutely need to have saturated fats to develop properly.  Not only do saturated animal fats help us absorb fat soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K, but fats themselves make up the structure of our cell membrane.

As you know, children are literally growing machines! It’s what they do! They lay there smiling up at us and cooing and drooling and meanwhile are literally replicating cells so fast it would make your head spin. Each one of these cells needs an intact cell membrane to function.  Kids also need saturated animal fats to create the growth hormones they need to regulate growing.  Hormones affect how we grow, how we function, how we feel, how we think. We all need healthy hormone levels or we just don’t feel right.

Children literally need healthy saturated fats to grow their brain.  Did you know over half of the brain is made up of fatty tissue?  We need fats to properly grow and myelinate our neurons… our brain and nerves.  Animal fats support proper brain development in a way that plant fats (which are mostly unsaturated) can not.

Not only do children need more saturated animal fats than adults do, to literally grow their brains and create healthy growth hormones… but they also burn saturated fats faster than adults, running through their fat intake faster.

While I understand completely that there are ethical and eco-friendly reasons to become a vegetarian, I think it is crucial for children to get healthy animal fats in them initially.  As our body development slows, the amount of saturated animal fats we need declines dramatically.

So while becoming vegan or vegetarian is a reasonable adult move, it’s not in a child’s best interest early in childhood and/or during pregnancy.   And this latest study, revealing a link between lack of meat intake in pregnancy with substance abuse later in life, backs this up.

 

(plus, continue multivitamin supplementation throughout your child’s childhood:)

 

In a study published Oct 2, 2017 in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, researchers followed children ages 7 to 12 years of age who were given either a multivitamin/mineral formula or placebo for 10 weeks.

During this time, researchers obtained data from the children’s parents, teachers and doctors, measuring ADHD symptoms, levels of aggression, mood, emotional regulation, general functional and impairment.

Half of the children taking the multivitamin improved clinically, in comparison to the placebo group.

I think it’s awesome news that something as simple as taking a multivitamin can improve emotion, attention, and general functioning in children with ADHD.

Gut dysfunction, food sensitivities, food dyes, processed foods, and low intake of fruits and vegetables can play a significant role in ADHD, as I am going to blog about for you in detail next week!

 

 

5. Avoid Household Chemicals:

 

 

A recent study just published May 2016 in the journal Environmental Research  reveals the extent of damage that common household chemicals are having on children…

…impairing cognitive function and altering behavioral development.

Chemicals that are routinely found in homes that are implicated in impairing cognitive function of children are commonly found in nonstick cooking pans, carpet pads, upholstery, and in electronics.

Exposure during pregnancy to these and other toxic items containing polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) is now definitively associated with decreased cognitive function of children later in life — significantly correlated with lower cognitive function, worse behavioral control, marked deficits in global brain functioning, and poorer metacognition as well.

These findings show that the mother’s concentration of these chemicals in the blood during pregnancy is having a functional impact on her child almost a decade later.  Children aged 5 – 8 years old were found to have impaired executive mental function corollary to their exposure in utero.

PDBEs and PFASs are persistently found in detectable blood concentrations ***worldwide*** — and this exposure is taking a toll on our most valuable resource… the future of our children.

Almost everyone has detectable amounts of PBDEs in our bodies thanks to the global usage of these toxic chemical compounds in household products.

So what can you do?

You know I never ever share upsetting health information without providing lots of things you can do to make a difference right now in your own health.

So here are some recommendations that will decrease your exposure to these toxic compounds:

 

  • use a HEPA filter in your vacuum
  • use a HEPA filter if you have air conditioning in your home
  • consider running a HEPA filter air purifier in the bedroom
  • routinely wipe down surfaces with an all natural surface cleaner (hop over to my blog post here for a recipe toinexpensively make your own!)
  • wash your hands regularly, especially before eating and touching your face (for example, prior to applying make up or putting in contact lenses.)
  • limit or eliminate your use of microwave food packaging (if you must microwave, transfer the food from the packaging to a glass container first!)
  • limit or eliminate your use of nonstick coated pans and cookware, particularly if it shows signs of deterioration!  I recommend stainless steel pots and pans and glass bakeware whenever possible.

 

 

 

What can you do, after birth, to support healthy functioning if your child is diagnosed with ADHD?   Plenty!

4 Additional Holistic Treatments For ADHD:

 

 

 1.  Avoid ADHD medications if possible:

 

pill
After looking at over 185 randomized control trials that evaluated the use of ADHD meds in over 12,000 children in the USA, Canada and Europe, the resounding truth was that the side effects of Rx medications are too severe and too common, and the benefits too minimal, to warrant prescribing these medications in childhood.
In fact, children on the ADHD medications had a 60% higher risk of trouble sleeping and a 266% greater risk for decreased appetite.

Even more alarming, another study published in the British Medical Journal (May 31, 2016) found that the stimulant methylphenidate (commonly prescribed for children to treat ADHD: Ritalin, Daytrana, Concerta) increases the risk of cardiac arrhythmias.

The increased risk for cardiac arrhythmia remained statistically significant no matter how long the child was on the medication… rising steeply to a 100% increased risk during the first 1 – 3 days after the start of the Rx.

There was also an increased risk of hypertension during the first week of being on the Rx and an increased risk of heart attack (myocardial infarction) starting a week after introduction of the Rx.

The bottom line?

The minimal benefits were so incredibly inadequate to risk the very high rate of side effects that physicians are now being urged to curb use of these medications — a very surprising admission from the world of conventional medicine that maybe drugs are not the answer here!

 

2.  Ensure adequate sleep:

 

sleepingchild

 

Sleep problems have long been considered a hallmark of ADHD…

…leading to reduced quality of life, reduced level of functioning and reduced school attendance.

A study published on January 20, 2015 in the British Medical Journal, has found that even a simple, brief sleep intervention with ADHD children provides lasting benefits that lead to improved sleep and decreased ADHD symptoms.

244 families of children (aged 5 – 12 years old) with ADHD were given sleep hygiene counseling (setting a routine bedtime, removing electronics from the bedroom, avoiding caffeine, etc…) during two different consultations.  The control group had the same aged children and the same diagnosis but control families received only routine clinical care and no sleep counseling.  After only two sessions focused on supporting sleep, not only did the sleep problems improve, but the actual ADHD symptoms, quality of life, and even memory improved as well!

There was a significant decrease in sleep problems, an increased average sleep duration time, a marked and significant decrease in ADHD symptoms, improved assessed working memory and recall, and parents and teachers both reporting improved behavior and improved daily functioning.

These improvements were sustained at both the 3 month assessment AND the 6 month assessment, showing that addressing sleep problems can lead to substantial and sustained benefits for children with ADHD, over and above the effects of any medical interventions or medications.

Want help getting your child deep restorative sleep tonight and every night?

sleeping baby

The answer is to sleep grounded.

Every single child (especially children with ADD, ADHD, or any sleep disturbances at all) should sleep grounded all night long to help prepare them to be resilient to whatever they may face the next day.

Here is the absolute best way to ensure your child sleeps grounded all night long… no other way even comes close.  Click here to find out more.

 

 3.  Allow room for spontaneous activity in your children!

 

children

Wondering if sitting still at a school desk all day long is actually healthy for your child?

It’s not.

Wondering why this is still the mold we are trying to fit children into?

Me too.

Hop over here to read more about why prolonged sitting is so deadly and how to prolong your life (and your child’s life!) by getting up, moving about more and allowing them to get up and fidget more too!

I’m personally a big fan of homeschooling for many reasons, but one of them is so that children can have freedom of movement.

Boxing bright and multi-focused children into a classroom isn’t the answer.

Learning to live with and even thrive with each child’s own learning style and see it as a strength in the long run will help these unique children thrive in life.

Not all kids can learn sitting down.

Not all kids can learn straight from a textbook.

For years, my son ate most of his meals standing up.

Would I medicate him so he would sit to eat?

That would be insane.

Would I likewise medicate him so he would sit to learn?

Equal insanity.

Lots of healthy physical activity daily is not only a must for ADHD children, but really it’s a great message to instill in ALL CHILDREN as physical inactivity is the most damaging thing you can do for a person’s long term health, so getting them in a routine of sitting at a desk all day is a deadly habit to get them into.

As I blog about here, the secret to a long life is the get up and get moving, the exact opposite message that we give children in a school setting.

 

4.  Use Omega 3 supplements instead of the Rx meds.

 

Close-up of sushi on plate

We’ve known for quite a while that Omega 3 fatty acids are absolutely fabulous for the body… especially the brain.

Fish oil (specifically Omega 3 fatty acids) literally calms the body from head to toe.

Everything, and I mean everything, works more smoothly in our bodies with fish oil… skin is calmer, hair is shiner and softer, our cardiovascular system is more resilient, our joints are more protected, our muscles get less sore and recover from stress and injury faster, our chances of senile dementia lessen… incidences of stroke and heart attack decrease… it’s just fabulous, whole-body-anti-inflammatory stuff.

The Journal of the Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry recently published the results that Omega 3’s were effective in treating ADHD.

Researchers studied over 700 children on Omega 3 supplementation and found a significant improvement in both measured inattentiveness and hyperactivity… as measured by clinicians and as reported by the parents of the children in the studies.

Previous research has shown that there is a difference in Omega 3’s in both plasma membranes and erythrocyte membranes of ADHD patients as compared with their healthy peers.   So supplementation would make sense, based on the fact that it would help rebalance and stabilize those membrane imbalances… as well as act as a general anti-inflammatory to the central nervous system at large.

Not only is this large meta-analysis study great news for families who have failed “conventional” medical approaches (meaning medicating them with Rx hasn’t worked) but also to families who are hesitant to risk the crazy toxic side effects offered from prescription meds.  The prescription meds used to treat ADHD, both the stimulant drugs and non-stimulant drugs, have side effect profiles like hypotension, bradycardia, heart block, syncope, sedation, and somnolence.

These results are so exciting, because the effects seen from Omega 3 supplementation (and in particular, eicosapentaenoic acid) were seen to be effective in studies that were as short as 7 weeks long, which means Omega 3 supplements work quite quickly in helping treat ADHD.

You may notice a supportive difference as early as two months on fish oil supplements!

 

 

What if your child is diagnosed with autism or autism spectrum disorder?

You can do plenty to support their health as well!

3 More Ways to Naturally Support Children with Autism:

 

 

 

  1.  Serve Broccoli:

 

A small but important study showed that a component of broccoli and broccoli sprouts (sulforaphane) can help give autistic patients a significant boost to social skills and verbal communication… naturally!

Published Oct 13, 2014, researchers studied 40 males between the ages of 13 and 27… all who had moderate to severe autism.  26 received broccoli sprout extract (50 to 150 umol daily) and 14 received placebo and measured the results after 18 weeks.

The results were impressive — almost half showed measurable improvement in several different areas including social and verbal skills.

46 % of participants had measurably improved social and verbal skills after taking broccoli-sprout extract for over 4 months, compared to only 3% of the placebo group.  Benefits included: improved social interactions, improved eye contact, improved verbal communication, decreased repetitive movements, decreased irritability and decreased hyperactivity.

2.  Serve Probiotics:

 

 

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 they were shocked to find such robust, pronounced results!

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

The Study (published in Microbiome on Jan 23, 2017) showed that GI symptoms such as abdominal pain, indigestion, diarrhea and constipation all dramatically improved or resolved (an average of 82% improvement in symptoms) and that the 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.

Although flora transfer is not available clinically in the USA yet, you can support your child’s gut flora by giving them yogurt, kefir and other probiotic rich foods, as well as supplementing with a probiotic meant for children.  Find my favorites in my online dispensary here.

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.

 

 

 

3.   Choose Organic Whenever Possible:

 

There is ample proof to show that pesticides are contributing to the steep rise of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and developmental delay (DD.)

The latest study was published a few weeks ago on June 23, 2014 in Environmental Health Perspectives.

This study specifically links prenatal exposure of organophosphates (the most commonly applied agricultural pesticide) and other commonly used pesticides to autism rates in offspring.

Pesticides are neurotoxins that are clearly having a known, predictable and permanent effect on the developing fetal neurology during gestation.

This particular study looked at northern CA residents (the state of CA alone uses approximately 200 MILLION POUNDS of active pesticides EACH YEAR) and tracked pesticide exposure during pregnancy.  They looked at an association with living near commercially used agricultural areas that apply pesticides and exposure during pregnancy.

Studying almost to 1,000 children, the results showed that children with ASD were 60% more likely to have had organophosphate pesticides applied near their home (1.25 km distance.).  Children with developmental delay were 150% more likely to have had carbamate pesticides applied near their home during ANY POINT of the pregnancy.

This just adds to the already largely accumulating data that proves pesticides are a significant contributing factor to the increase rates of autism and developmental delay… this is the third study to show a definitive association between living in areas where agricultural pesticides are used and an increase risk of autism.
This information is released right on the heals of the latest medical study I shared with you on my blog in April 2014 that shows pesticides causing a 400% increase in Alzheimers.

These pesticides are CLEARLY having a dramatic affect on our neurology.

They are affecting OUR central nervous system… not just prenatally, but throughout our entire life.  Neonate to elderly.

 

 Want more holistic ways to support your child’s unique, vibrant energy flow, from pregnancy through adulthood?

 

Join into my upcoming

Heart Centered Parenting Class

that starts in just 3 weeks!

 

This class is absolutely filled with ideas, solutions, encouragement, and support.  Daily uplifting articles, exercises, suggestions, videos, and more… plus two live Q&A phone calls where I will answer every single parenting question — health related or not — you could ever ask me.

This course is a welcoming, loving space… and is perfect for any parent… mother or father, single or married, parenting babies, toddlers, preteens, teens… those with specific health issues or just wanting to boost their child’s wellness… in crisis or in times of peace… conventional minded or alternative minded… all are welcome, all are wanted… all are here to join together in ensuring the best for your beautiful precious one-of-a-kind child.

 

Join me in this very private, very personal, very honest, very sincere, very vulnerable, very supportive parenting class where we take two weeks to go over my top 10 pillars of boosting your child’s innate sense of health and self esteem and power…

…to impact their health for the better for a lifetime.

 

Sign up now to reserve your spot.

Class runs from Feb 5th to Feb 16th, 2018.

 

xoxoxox, Laura

 

Childhood Trauma Increases Risk Of Self Harm. Here’s Help.

Posted

 

Children who are maltreated in any way — physically, sexually or emotionally — are more likely to inflict self injury to their body later in life.

 

And it’s important to note, if your child has suffered any of these types of traumas — even if they are not depressed or suicidal — this study still applies.

Researchers found that children who were maltreated but had no suicidal ideation were still over three times more likely to harm themselves as peers who were not abused, a new study published Nov 28, 2017 in Lancet Psychiatry finds.

So be kind to yourself if you are an adult who was abused in childhood, because there is a reason you are more likely to engage in self harming behaviors as an adult.

And even though this is hard to talk about, it’s important, because it’s also preventable with the right support.

 

The Study:

  • This huge study compiled data on 71 different studies on childhood abuse
  • Researchers looked at data on over 19,000 patients

 

The Results:

  • Children who had an incidence of childhood abuse were 3.4 times more likely to commit self harm, even without any suicidal thoughts or feelings.
  • All types of maltreatment were found to be significantly associated with self harm, with emotional abuse having the highest rates of self harm.  This is important to note, because generally emotional abuse is typically thought to have less impact than sexual or physical abuse… but this study found that self harm was actually highest in patients who experienced emotional abuse as children.
  • The risk of other, non-self-harm behaviors was increased as well, including subsequent PTSD, personality dysfunction and dissociation disorders after maltreatment during childhood.
  • And sadly, age did not decrease the likelihood of self harm, meaning that adults are just as likely to inflict self injury as teens are, suggesting that maltreatment has long term effects that persist long after the trauma occurs.

 

 

We already know that the effects of trauma persists well into adulthood, as I’ve recently blogged to you about the long term effects of bullying.

Published in JAMA Psychiatry in Feb, 2016, researchers conducted the largest study ever to look at the painful, lasting ramifications of childhood bullying.

Looking at over 60,0000 children born from Jan to December in 1981, researchers identified over 5,000 children who had been bullied or exposed to bullying and then followed them into adulthood, through 2009.

What did they find?

 

Being subjected to bullying — even just witnessing bullying! — significantly raised the risk of depression, anxiety and even psychosis in adulthood.

Simply witnessing bullying doubled the rates of psychiatric diagnosis in adulthood, including depression, anxiety disorders, and psychosis.  And being personally bullied or bullying others almost *tripled* the rate of psychiatric disorders diagnosed in adulthood.

In 2012 I blogged about a medical study that shows that physical punishment (in the form of spanking) causes a steep rise in psychiatric disorders…  and this newer study shows that bullying behaviors — even ones where the child is never touched… just WITNESSING intimidating behaviors — is creating lasting psychological damage.

Child abuse happens in all races, all socioeconomic levels, all countries.  Estimates are that about 40 MILLIONS children EVERY SINGLE YEAR are abused world wide.

These studies serve to show it’s absolutely not just a concern over the child’s immediate safety and well being, but it is also a concern for long term health outcomes that reach well into adulthood.

Long term health consequences are not limited to physical health disorders such as adrenal fatigue, obesity, heart disease and cancer, but dramatically increase the incidence of psychiatric disorders in our adult population… including anxiety, depression, psychosis, suicide, addiction, PTSD and more.

 

How?

3864077-856701-puff-of-abstract-smoke-swirls-on-whiteChild abuse leaves epigenetic marks on the child’s genetic make up…

…inducing chemical changes in the way DNA is methylated and the way genes are expressed, activated or silenced.

This alters the way a cell functions and the way that organs and the body as a whole functions, causing poor health outcomes later in life.

Published in the May 14, 2013 in the Proceedings for the National Academy of Sciences, researchers show that childhood maltreatment causes different patterns of DNA methylation and genetic expression, causing a change in a child’s epigenetic profile.

 

There are some traumas that we just can’t shield a child from.

Like birth trauma.

 

 

It doesn’t have to be overt, intentional abuse, like bullying at school or emotional abuse by a coach or something more obvious like that.

Even just stress during the birthing process has been associated with long lasting behavioral changes that persist into adulthood.

As I’ve already blogged about, a study (published in JAMA Psychiatry Oct 5, 2016) revealed that the more stressful the birth is on the baby, the higher the risk that baby has for developing Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) decades later.

Children who were born prematurely and children who experienced stress during delivery both had statistically significant increases in the rates of developing OCD during adolescence and young adulthood.

Stressful birth circumstances included: maternal smoking during pregnancy, cesarean section delivery, preterm birth, low APGAR scores, unusually low or high birth weight, breech presentation at labor and more.

Researchers looked at a 2.4 million population of births from 1973 to 1996 and followed these children through 2013. They found that more stress during pregnancy and delivery, the higher the rate of OCD. For example, when mothers smoked 10 cigarettes or more during pregnancy, the child had a 27% higher risk of OCD later in life.  Low APGAR scores increased the risk of OCD by 50%.  Breech babies had a 35% higher risk of OCD.  Cesarean deliveries had a 17% higher risk of subsequent OCD.

So the bottom line here is, even birth stress is felt and absorbed by the infant, and increases their risk of psychiatric diagnosis later in life.

The infant endures stress during delivery, and the greater the stress, the more likely it is that the child experiences the stress as a traumatic event.  OCD is simply an attempt to regain control of a situation in which the infant was very out of control.

As an adult, attempting to control the environment around you by performing repetitive behaviors and managing intrusive, stressful thoughts is simply a way to try to regain control after an intense experience where, as an infant you were traumatized by being out of control in a very scary situation.

Holding on to birth stress and trying to relieve it years later through OCD thought patterns and behaviors is yet another way that proves to me that our body holds on to stress on a cellular level, and affects us through adulthood.

So what can we do?

 

You know I never provide any form of upsetting medical literature without giving you positive, holistic tools to effect real change.

So today, here are several life changing things you absolutely can do with your child right now to help mitigate the effects of trauma and support their health for the rest of their life:

 

THG_9933w

1.  Boost your child’s resiliency by being affectionate to your children during childhood.

 

Parents who are affectionate during childhood support long term well being in their children, well into adulthood…

…mitigating some of the damage of childhood trauma.

According to research conducted by Darcai Narvaez at the University of Notre Dame, adults who reported that they received physical affection from their parents and felt supported by their parents, as well as did things as a family both inside and outside of the home, had lower rates of depression, lower rates of anxiety, less stress in social situations and a greater ability for empathetic behavior.

 

 

DSC_0034

2.  Let your child adopt a pet

 

I strongly suggest if at all possible, you allow your child to have a favorite pet during childhood.

Having pets has not only been found to cut asthma rates in half (as published on November 2, 2015 in JAMA Pediatrics) but it gives them many psychological benefits such as:

  • giving children a very healthy exposure to unconditional love
  • providing stability and continuity during times of unavoidable stress in the child’s life (such as during a move to a new home, entering a new school, or a change in the family dynamics such as a death or divorce)
  • providing a framework to talk about holistic and important topics such as death (as inevitably pets have a shorter life span than humans and often the death of a pet is a very healthy introduction to speaking about death before it pertains to a human family member such as the loss of a grandparent) and reproduction (my kids saw many a baby being born by their guinea pigs, rabbits, and chickens, even hand bottle fed baby birds and helped house train all their puppies!)

Loving and caring for a special pet is a priceless, priceless gift during childhood.

 

Clara&MIlesSnow2015

3.  Providing lots of exposure to positive, uplifting connections with others

 

As I blog about here, a positive mood is actually contagious in children and children who spend time around others who are uplifting have HALF the risk of depression as a teen!

If you are concerned about your child’s mind-frame, encourage them to get connecting:

  • play sports
  • join clubs
  • connect with safe, positive friends
  • connect with safe, positive family members
  • connect with their community
  • and connect with therapists or other supportive mental health professionals if necessary…

…because medical studies prove that being around others with a good mood helps not only in the short term (transforming the energy of that interaction) but is protective over time to help decrease both incidence and prevalence of depression.

 

 

4.  Get parenting support for yourself

 

Parenting can be physically exhausting, emotionally draining as you pour your heart and soul into your child.

And even then, if under the very best of conditions parenting is an exhausting, overwhelming journey… what do you do if your child is faced with a trauma?

A life threatening illness?

A diagnosis you never expected?

A divorce you never planned on?

A traumatic death in the family?

A move that uprooted your child from everything they had ever previously known?

Or what if you have your own medical illness, mental health crisis…

…or are just stretched very thin between parenting and taking care of aging parents?

What if all of the above apply, all at the same time, and more?

Oh my goodness there are so many intense scenarios that can happen during childhood, and all you want to do is protect your child from the strain of it all, but where do you start?

You absolutely CAN mitigate the trauma that life might have had in store for your beloved child, you just need some support.

Please let me help.

I am running my heart centered parenting class from a deep, centered, experienced place within my own soul that knows you can get through this, that there are always new ideas that you can work with, that things change and shift over time and that if all you do is absolutely love your child, then you are doing enough.

I have navigated my own two children through terrible traumas that were completely unexpected and resulted in a complete shattering of their childhood.

I have been down on the floor exhausted, praying and crying and not knowing what to do next.

But I have also continued to persevere, not allowing life circumstances to change the heart of how I want to parent, and you can and will too.

Not only a parent, I am also teacher, now on my 16th year of homeschooling both of my children.

Not only a parent and a teacher, but a physician… with extensive holistic knowledge on how to support my children’s innate health best. I approach medical issues with a holistic mind first, but recognize the value of traditional medicine when needed.  Navigating the conventional world of medicine, full of conventional treatments like antibiotic, Rx mediations, vaccines, you name it… I have the medical experience to separate what is helpful from what is harmful for our children’s long term health.

Not only a parent, a teacher and a physician, but a single parent as well.  Oh yes.  I’ve done all of this on my own — all while running a successful business — right in the middle of the most exhausting years of parenting.  I get it.  I’m not just saying parenting is overwhelming, I am living the overwhelm right there with you.

Not only a parent, a teacher, a physician, a single parent, but also a court appointed advocate.

Our trauma was so traumatizing that I felt exceptionally motivated to turn around and start protecting not only my own children but also others in the legal system who might need help.  So I completed Guardian Ad Litem training to become a court appointed professional child advocate for children caught in the legal system.

As a Guardian Ad Litem who is also a physician, I am in a unique position to not only advocate for what it the best interest of a child, but what is in that child’s best *mental and physical health* as well, even when they have complicated medical issues that must be addressed.

What does all this mean?

 

This means I have a huge tool kit to support you with.

I want to share all of my experience as a homeschooling mama, as a single mother, as a holistic physician, and as a court appointed child advocate (GAL) with you.

I want to give you ideas, solutions, encouragement, and support.

Join me in this very private, very personal, very honest, very sincere, very vulnerable, very supportive parenting class where we take two weeks to go over my top 10 pillars of boosting your child’s innate sense of health and self esteem and power… to impact their health for the better for a lifetime.

In these two weeks I will send you daily uplifting articles, exercises, suggestions, videos, and more sent directly to you and we will have weekly live Q&A phone calls where I will answer every single parenting question — health related or not — you could ever ask me.

This course is a welcoming, loving space… and is perfect for any parent… mother or father, single or married, parenting babies, toddlers, preteens, teens… those with specific health issues or just wanting to boost their child’s wellness… in crisis or in times of peace… conventional minded or alternative minded… all are welcome, all are wanted… all are here to join together in ensuring the best for your beautiful precious one-of-a-kind child.

 

Class runs from Feb 5th to Feb 16th, 2018.

Sign up now to reserve your spot.

 

xoxox, Laura

If You Could Start 2018 Off Knowing This One Healing Truth

Posted

If there was one thing I would want to give you to start your next year off in the best possible healing mindframe, it’s this truth:

Look at what is possible in health.

What is possible is where your healing lies.

What you feel is possible for YOU defines exactly how far you can go with your healing.

You can go as far as you feel is possible for you to go and no further.

 

So let’s start 2018 off reminding ourselves:

  • You are always full of healing potential… always.

  • No one can tell you what is true for your body or your health… so don’t let anyone have that kind of power.

  • Conventional medicine can be helpful in illness and disease but is absolutely not equipped to help you maximize health and wellness.

  • For maximizing your own health, you have full and complete control… here’s why:

(all of the artwork in this post are hand painted by me, from my old med school anatomy book that I painted over… putting new healing energy on top of old sterile laboratory images!)

 

 

The entire model of medicine is backwards and needs a major re-do.

 

The way the current medical model is set up is to test and report the outcome of a medication or surgery or intervention in the scientific literature, and to use these statistics as the standard of care.

I’m very familiar with the scientific method of research not only through keeping on top of the current scientific literature to as a licensed physician… but also because growing up as the daughter of one of the lead scientists at the National Institutes of Health I attended international scientific meetings since I could walk… and then went on to join a laboratory at the National Cancer Institute throughout my college years where we conducted leukemia research.

 

And with my experience in both laboratory medicine and clinical medicine, what I can tell you is:

the entire thing is messed up.

 

 

Here’s basically what happens:

A study collects data on a group of people — half of who get the drug (or surgery/intervention/etc…) and half who receive placebo in a double blinded study.

The results are collected which basically tell us what the outcome was for this particular group of people at this particular point in time in this particular location and with this particular modality.

Your doctor reads this and then sees you in his or her office.

When you are diagnosed with an illness, your doctor reviews the current standard of practice for that disease and based on these studies he tells you some statistics that are likely for you if you take this medicine or have that procedure done.

Your doctor unknowingly limits your healing potential with what

has been most probable in the past for others.

 

 

Many times, these statistics are frightening, scary, and deflating.

And often they change the outlook of the patient for the worse…

…because as we know in medicine:  Outlook changes Outcome. 


 

And even when the statistic or intervention offered has favorable odds of working, you are now being defined and limited in the doctor’s mind (which is then transferred to your mind) of what is standard, what is probable, what happened in the past to others.

 

What this model of healthcare never ever allows for is *POSSIBILITY*.

It never shows you what is POSSIBLE FOR YOU.

 

 

It brings you down to the lowest common denominator.

It never lifts you up and reveals to you the unlimited healing potential of your body.

 

 

new health

(another image from my med school anatomy book that I painted over…)

 

You have unlimited healing potential.

You should *know* THAT.

Every cell in your body has unlimited potential to heal.

 

What we do in modern medicine right now is collect data from around the world on what we are limited to, on what is probable.

But what we SHOULD be doing, is scouring the entire world to find all the anecdotal evidence, all the case reports, all the best outcomes, all of the miracles that happen all over the world every single day in every sort of condition in every type of person with every intervention ever dreamed up… and studying THOSE.

 

We should be finding out WHY some folks heal fully..

…why some invite miracles…

…why some never get a disease in the first place…

…why some are predicted to have a very poor outcome and they fully heal anyway.

 

 

Because these experiences —

of people getting the illness that YOU HAVE

and surviving and thriving and fully healing from it

— are PROOF of what is POSSIBLE.

 

I am not interested in reducing a patient’s healing to a pre-set outcome.

I am interested IN WHAT IS POSSIBLE FOR THEM.

 

 

new rx

(another painting I created from ripping a page out of my med school anatomy book, you can see the tear in the left upper corner!)

 

 

I want physicians to look through the medical literature like an encyclopedia, filled with all kinds of beautiful outcomes from all kinds of amazing interventions and treatments, both holistic and conventional…

…and I want them to go through this information together with their patients as an IDEA BOOK OF WHAT IS POSSIBLE…

…and together come up with a treatment plant that feels right to that specific patient.  And yes, using intuition or taking into account *gut feelings* and preferences of how a patient wants to heal and what modalities fill them with hope and what modalities fill them with fear — this is very useful guidance we should absolutely be including in the decision making process!

Because there are *UNLIMITED* ways to heal!

And there are many paths to healing and you can align with any one of them! Or many of them!  And the process of healing should be uplifting and a relief… not a battlefield.

Instead of sitting down and pulling out a study that tells me what percentage of people do poorly with this condition and what percentage of healing will or won’t happen and having my patient walk away with a statistic or a number, I want them actively choosing inspired action!

 

I believe the medical literature should be an encyclopedia of

what has gone right for others and what is

POSSIBLE AND ATTAINABLE FOR US ALL.

 

 

Because if it is possible…

…if it has happened even one single time to one other person on this planet…

…than it can absolutely happen to you.


It  has already been proven POSSIBLE.

So let’s fill the medical literature up with what is possible and attainable and study THAT!

Let’s switch the focus from probable, to possible.

If even one other person has had this illness and experienced a complete recovery, than that is documented and possible for YOU too.

Even if it has never ever happened to anyone else, it can happen to YOU.

 

(more artwork I painted from my med school anatomy book!)

Anything is possible!

 Anything!

 

We just need to keep our minds and hearts open to possibility.

Because if healing has happened to even one other person, than for sure it’s been proven:

 

It can happen.  It has happened.

And it can happen to you too.

 

I don’t want the standard of care to be that we sit a patient down and look at the spectrum of outcomes in the past and we limit our patient’s future healing by overlaying the mass failure of others onto them.

 

I want physicians to sit their patient down to look at the spectrum of WHAT IS POSSIBLE in healing…

…and lay out all the possible paths back to Well Being for them…

…and together reach for THAT.

 

That’s what health care should be!  A journey back to Wellness!

 

 

I think if we can shift the medical literature

from Probable To Possible

we’d experience a shift in the well-being of people everywhere.

 

 

 

Visiting a doctor should be a wonderful uplifting experience, a chance to get all kinds of healing possibilities and inspiration and ideas collected from the medical literature from all over the world offered to us by someone who is our healing advocate.

Ideally we would walk away from every doctor’s appointment feeling full of possibility.

 

So… the next time your physician talks to you about a treatment plan and gives you outcome percentages and probabilities, just remember:  this is simply a mass marketed number.

It doesn’t tell you what is possible with this condition and it doesn’t tell you what is possible FOR YOU.

 

 

There is a path unfolding for you and leading you right towards wholeness,

healing and Well Being.

All you need to do is follow your own intuition.

So the next time Google searches, medical studies, and statistics and scary worst-case-scenario stories are overwhelming you and adding to your health anxiety instead of alleviating it… there is a better way.

Below I made a video to help walk you through EXACTLY how to use the internet to your advantage when you are trying to find answers.

 

Give the video below a listen and share it with loved ones who tend to do internet searches to find health care answers.

 

(If the video isn’t showing up in your newsletter, simply click here to watch this video on YouTube)

 

 

To your unlimited healing potential…

and a wonderful ever expanding and upleveling 2018!

xoxoxo, Laura