All The Health Benefits Of Nature, But In An Urban Setting? Yep, Here’s How

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I’m so excited to tell you about an amazing medical study today that is super relevant to my favorite holistic healing modality of all time — grounding.

This fabulous study suggests that adding even a very small greenspace to an urban setting boosts immune function in a measurable and meaningful way. Published in Science Advances in October 2020, researchers found that by adding a small green play area to urban playgrounds, they boosted the immunity of the children using the play area.

Researchers in Finland added a very small, low cost green area in the corner of existing playgrounds in several different urban daycare centers.  They added a little grass patch, some small plants and a planter box with garden crops the kids could tend to.

This is what one of the modifications looked like:

 

University of Helsinki

 

After only one month — just 28 days — not only did the children who played in this urban greenspace (an average of 90 minutes a day) have boosted immune markers in their blood (like boosted T cells) they also had an improved microbiota (both on the skin and in their gut biome) similar to children that lived and played in rural areas with large greenspaces and forests.  These changes were statistically significant compared both to controls and to their own baseline measurements.

This study is just one example of how you don’t need to live in the country to experience improved health from nature.  In fact, in my book The Earth Prescription, I go into great detail about how you can get grounded in urban settings through sidewalks, through touching a metal signpost, through simply touching a leaf on a bush or a tree — even one growing in a downtown city street — that’s all it takes to get grounded from head to toe and experience all of these health benefits.

I’m thrilled the study I shared with you today introduced an opportunity for young kids to garden.  Hopefully this is all the encouragement you might need to consider planting your own crop or two.  Just a few planters or pots on a doorstep works.  As today’s study suggests, even a park with a small greenspace, or possibly a community garden if you are lucky enough to have access to one, is enough to significantly improve your well being.

And there are tons of benefits of interacting with plants (from tending to a single blade of grass, to a few herbs in pots, to a few veggies planted in planter boxes, to a huge urban garden) beyond all the benefits of grounding.

It’s actually healing just to be around plants of any kind, even while ungrounded (for example, just seeing a plant through a window or adding a potted plant to a workspace) can provide measurable health benefits. 

Read through this list of the top 10 perks of gardening and see if it doesn’t inspire even those of us who are non-gardeners to dive into this wonderful activity.  From a windowsill garden to a flower bed to a large plot of farmland, gardening is more than a way to grow flowers and food… it’s a lifestyle that can help ensure longevity and health. 

Read on to discover some surprising ways that gardening is doing more for your health than you ever thought possible:

 


 

I painted this artwork to show the healing benefits of nature to our central nervous system!

 

1. Gives You A Healthier Brain

 

Every minute you spend out in your garden is brain protective… so much so, that having gardening as a hobby actually lowers your risk of dementia!  A study published in 2006 in the Medical Journal of Australia found that daily gardening decreased dementia risk by in incredible 36%.   A follow up study, published in 2019 in The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, found that gardening actually increased levels of brain nerve growth factors.

Another incredibly interesting study, recently published in January 2020 in The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, found that a gardening intervention program significantly boosted levels of the brain neurotransmitters tryptophan and serotonin, which are necessary for healthy sleep patterns and mood stabilization.

 


 

 

 

 

2.  Gives You Boosted Mental Health

 

Multiple studies have found that having access to a garden or other green space decreases depression rates, anxiety rates, and dramatically reduces stress.  One study, called the MIND study (conducted in 2007) found that simply walking through a garden or greenway significantly improved mental health, while walking through areas without greenery (such as a shopping mall) significantly decreased mental health.

If simply walking through a green space impacts mental health so much, you can probably guess that hand’s on gardening would boost mental health even more.  And you would be right.  After an extensive systemic review of 22 studies looking at the health impact of gardening, the results of this meta-anylsis (published in Preventive Medicine Reports in 2016) found that gardening significantly reduced anxiety levels, anger levels and depression rates, decreased tension, stress levels and boosted mood… all while simultaneously improving life satisfaction and boosting over all quality of life.  It’s absolutely incredible that simply tending to a garden can offer such a transformative life make-over, but it’s true!

 


 

 

 

3.  Lowers Your Blood Pressure

 

Even indoor gardens can positively impact on your well being, so don’t discount the power of a windowsill garden or a simple house plant to support your health.  An exciting study published in 2015 in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology, showed that simply adding plants to an indoor computer room not only boosted the worker’s productivity, it also significantly decreased their blood pressure.

Another study, published in 2007 in the American Society for Horticultural Science found that workers with potted plants in close proximity to them while working took less sick leave off from work and enjoyed increase productivity. 

 


 

 

 

 

4.  Helps You Recover Your Health Faster

 

Being physically near plants is so impactful to our mental and physical health that it turns out, even just seeing a plant can significantly impact our recovery from stressful health events.  We have such an innate need to be submersed in a world with foliage and plants around us that a study (published in 1984 in Science) found that patients who simply had a view of plants through a window while recovering from surgery had better moods, used less pain medications, had less surgical post-op complications, and even decreased their length of stay in the hospital.  

Less pain during recovery and getting to go home sooner after surgery just by looking at plants?  That’s an awesome health strategy that I wish more hospital and clinics would take into account when designing their architecture.

 


 

 

 

 

 

5.  Decreases Your Body’s Inflammation

 

One of my biggest passions as a holistic physician is encouraging people to touch the earth to decrease inflammation in their body, a healing practice known as grounding.  A study on grounding, published in the Journal Of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine in 2010, found that subjects who were grounded while exercising had 40% lower levels of creatinine kinase (a marker of muscle inflammation) and less soreness after exertion than non-grounded subjects. They also had lower pain levels, significantly lower blood cortisol levels, and even lower white blood cell counts.

When you are grounded to the earth, as you are during gardening while touching the ground in any way, including touching any plants, soil, dirt, rocks and water that is on the earth, you are supporting your health in so many ways.  For more information on the whole body benefits of grounding, see any of these articles I’ve got waiting for you on my Grounding Medical Studies page here or read my book The Earth Prescription right here.

 

 


 

 

 

6.  Reduces Your Toxic Burden

 

One of the very best things about gardening is that you can have a direct impact in reducing your body’s total toxic burden.  By growing your own garden, you can reduce your environmental exposures to pesticides and insecticides by choosing non-toxic, organic gardening practices and choosing not to apply toxic chemicals to your garden space, as well as reducing the amount of pesticides that you directly consume when you eat edibles from your garden that haven’t been treated with chemicals.

With over 5.6 billion pounds of pesticides used globally each year, it’s estimated that the average person eating store bought foods, including store bought produce, eats over a pound of chemicals every year.  The good news is that it only takes a few days of eating your own garden fresh produce to dramatically reduce the concentration of measurable pesticides in your body.  One study, published in Environmental Research in 2019, found that eating organic produce for just one week significantly reduced urine pesticide concentrations in study participants by 70%.  One week!

 


 

 

 

7. Increases Your Nutritional Intake

 

Not only will eating your home grown produce reduce your toxic burden from things you don’t want — like exposures to unwanted chemicals — it  can also dramatically boost the things you do want to go into your body… like active antioxidants and powerful vitamins.  Even organic produce sold in a grocery store can lose half of it’s vitamins and phytonutrients by the time you get it home and eat it, especially water soluble vitamins like Vitamin C, Vitamin B6 & B12, thiamin, riboflavin and niacin.  

Just by eating your food fresh picked, garden-to-table, you reduce the loss of nutrients that inevitably happens when shipped, stored and displayed at super markets.  Fruits and vegetables are extremely sensitive to and heat and light exposures, rapidly degrading over time.  A study published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture in 2007 found that most produce loses about 30% of their nutritional content three days after picking.  Some dramatically more, for example, spinach can lose up to 90% of it’s vitamin C activity within 24 hours of harvest.  While freezing produce might help slow nutrient degradation, the ultimate solution to having vibrantly nutritious, fresh foods to eat is to grow them yourself and consume them that day, if not the very minute you pick it!

 


 

 

8.  Gives You Better Sleep

 

There is a beautiful relationship between our sleep cycle and mother earth.  Most people believe that our circadian (day/night) rhythm is dependent on sunlight to set that pattern for us, but scientists feel that the earth’s energy field has as much, if not more, to do with our sleep/wake pattern than even the sun, and they have known this since a pioneering study conducted back in 1970.  Published in Life Sciences in Space Research, researchers discovered just how influential the earth is to our sleep patterns. 

Looking at several hundred test subjects that lived for a two month period of time in a bunker that was blocked from sunlight but still had the earth’s electromagnetic field surrounding them, scientist discovered that they kept sleep/wake patterns that were close to a 24 hour rhythm.  Meanwhile, test subject that lived in a bunker that was completely shielded from the earth’s energies became completely desynchronized and experienced significantly longer, and much more irregular, sleep/wake rhythms. Researchers then experimented with introducing different electrical and magnetic fields into the shielded bunker, and only one frequency was able to restore normal sleep/wake patterns…  the frequency of Mother Earth’s natural energy, the Schumann frequency.  

From this the researchers postulated that it is actually the frequency of the earth that regulates our natural biorhythms. Based off of this understanding, it’s easy to understand how directly connecting to the earth through gardening daily can help enhance restorative sleep at night and boost daytime wakefulness.

 


 

 

 

9.  Boosts Your Vit D Levels

 

By now we’ve all heard of the importance of getting adequate Vitamin D… vitamin D protects so many different aspects of our health, from decreasing diabetes risk to boosting weight loss benefits to decreasing depression risk to preventing depression to predicting better cancer recovery to boosting fertility!  

But does gardening actually increase Vitamin D levels?  Yes, says a study published in PLOS One in 2014.  Researchers studied thousands of blood samples from patients who engaged in a variety of activities, and found that gardening and cycling were the only two activities that significantly decreased the risk of vitamin D deficiency… superior all other outdoor activities, including fishing and walking.  Gardening boosted Vitamin D levels across all age groups, so it’s a fantastic pastime that you never need to outgrow, a hobby to get into for life!

 


 

 

 

 

10.  Increases Your Longevity

 

A study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine in 2016 found that people who stayed indoors and avoided sun exposure actually had a shorter life span than those who spent time outside.  Participants who avoided the sun had higher rates of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and pulmonary disease than those who had daily sun exposure. And the results were dose-specific… meaning that the benefits of increased life expectancy went up directly in correlation to the amount of sun exposure.  Longer time in the sun = longer life span.  That simple!  Gardening is a fantastic way to routinely be inspired to go outside and get that sunshine and fresh air, two of natures best holistic health treatments.

Another reason that being a gardener might lengthen lifespan, besides getting more sunlight, is the increase in activity level.  A fabulous study (published in 2019 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine) found that replacing just 30 minutes of sitting each day with light physical activity was enough to significantly decrease mortality rates.  And again, here’s the clincher: the health benefit of replacing sedentary time with light physical activity was actually even stronger if you were older than 75 years old.  So light activity decreased mortality rates in adults older than 75 years old even more than it decreased mortality rates in younger age groups.  In other words, the older you are, the more that activity of any kind increases your lifespan.

 


 

 

 

And now we can add on #11: Boosts Your Immune System

 

As I talk about at the beginning of this article, this amazing medical study found that after only one month of playing on a small playground that had an area converted to a greenspace, the children’s immune systems got a significant boost.  Markers of immunity in the blood, like TGF-β1 levels, regulatory T cells and the plasma IL-10:IL-17A ratio, all increased after just 28 days of playing in these small urban greenspaces.

All it took to get these improvements to their immunity was a small patch of grass to play on, one that included a small planter with garden crops and some berry bushes.

No matter how big or small your space is, whether you have a windowsill garden, a potted houseplant or two, a few medicinal herbs grown on your porch, access to a community vegetable garden or pick-your-own orchard or berry farm, or are even blessed enough to have your own land, tending to plants and growing flowers or food is one of the most rewarding, most pleasurable activities that I can recommend.

 


 

 

It’s never too late to lengthen your lifespan and boost your health through daily activity — and that includes gardening. 

When you combine the fact that gardening has been proven to have huge mental health benefits, longevity benefits, grounding benefits, nutritional benefits and more, you would be hard pressed to find another activity that supports your health from so many different angles and in so many ways. 

xoxox, Laura

 

P.S.  Want another easy way to boost your health through an increased exposure to nature, even while living in a city?  Hop over here to read why just listening to bird and increasing your exposure to birds boosts your mental health and happiness.  Even from a city highrise, you can get birds to visit your window bird feeder, as I show you in this article:

 

How Your Intuition Impacts Your Body’s Health And How To Optimize It

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Intuition is in our cellular structure… literally.

There is a physical biology behind intuition. Using intuitive guidance is actually in the design of our cells, in the design of our DNA, it’s in the design of our existence.

Dr. Bruce Lipton, PhD, pioneered the ground breaking revelation that it is not our DNA that is a master template that our bodies are wired around, but it is actually the exact opposite:  DNA stands to serve as a resource for incoming information and directives to use as a raw material for expression.

This is the science of epigenetics — how our DNA is read and what it expresses is modifiable by external circumstances.  The perfect example of this is what I wrote about for you a few weeks ago, in this medical study that helped to explain why stress during childhood can affect your health as an adult.

Our cell membranes, with all it’s receptors, and our cellular messenging system that brings incoming information into our cells helps to decide how our DNA is used.  It is the messages coming into the nucleus of our cells that our DNA responds to… used as a template according to the messages our cells are receiving externally.

 

 

 

 

Our body does not function by our DNA initiating and sending out messages on it’s own… each cell functions by receiving information from the external and then uses the genes in our DNA as a resource to respond to incoming signals in the appropriate way.

So it’s as if your DNA is a grocery store — all the genes are different ingredients waiting to be utilized.  They can be selected and utilized in countless ways based on the incoming messages, information, environmental stimuli, thoughts, beliefs, intuitive information, and energetic information.  Based on these signals, different ingredients are retrieved from the shelves in order for you to create whatever meal is being requested.

Any type of dish, and type of salad, soup, casserole, main course, desert, snack — all of it is possible depending on how you combine the ingredients you find in the grocery store.

And all of these dishes and more… an unlimited array… can be created in the same kitchen.

 

 

 

In other words, your cells can create anything they like, using the raw ingredients of your DNA but using the directive from incoming information.  The directive does not come from the DNA.  The DNA is an ingredient, a raw material at best.

External information is the master chef, in charge of the creation!

This has been shown again and again in the scientific literature, the power of the cell membrane and cellular messengers to modify the expression of the DNA… confirmed by the Human Genome Project.

The Human Genome Project revealed that there are only about 34,000 genes in the human genome.

This is less than 1/3 of the genes that were projected to be found… researchers had estimated that humans needed at least — at least! — 100,000 genes in order to have a gene that encodes for all the different proteins and regulatory mechanisms that produce the great variation we have in our anatomy, physiology, and behavior.

What they found, instead, is that the number of genes we have do not cover even half of the proteins that the human body is made of (over 70,000 different proteins.)

So the DNA can’t even account for the variety of physical elements the body is made of, much less the vast array of function and expression of said proteins that create our human existence.

DNA can not be a master template, if more than half of the “game plan” is missing.

Instead, the DNA must be receiving incoming information from an outside source that is using the DNA as an expressive medium.

 

 

 

Just like every single book you have ever read — every single word you have ever read — from a magazine, from the internet, from this blog post, passages from any religious text you’ve ever read to the newspaper to your child’s picture book — is actually simply a combination of a finite amount of letters —  in English this is just 26 letters used in different arrangements to create the unlimited beautiful expression of words.

In this exact way, our 34,000 genes in our DNA simply a beautiful but limited tool, an alphabet, used in different arrangements to create an unlimited beautiful expression of life.

I found this awesome quote in this great article here — I highly recommend you read it! — but in that article there was a quote from nobel prize winning geneticist David Biltmore:

 

“…it is clear that we do not gain our undoubted complexity over worms and plants by using more genes. Understanding what does give us our complexity – our enormous behavioral repertoire, ability to produce conscious action, remarkable physical coordination, precisely tuned alterations in response to external variations of the environment, learning, memory…need I go on? – remains a challenge for the future.” (Nature 409:816, 2001)

 

 

 

So… what does control our biology, if not our genes?

Turns out the cell membrane is the cell’s control center, turning genes on and off from information received and signals transmitted through cell receptors.

In other words, cells are perceptive to outside stimulus and this shapes the function of the entire unit.

Our biology is literally designed to receive outside information and to use this information as a directive on how to experience our lives.

Our bodies do this every single moment of every single day, naturally.  Without conscious effort. We are literally built to pick up on external information and use it.

Our body is responding to at all times, day and night, from incoming information that shapes our physical reality… this is the way we function whether we know it or not.

So… do you think we were meant to be ignoring messages from our soul?

Do you think we were meant to flow our living life force through bodies that were totally ignoring our soul energy and just flowing on autopilot from our DNA?

No way.

If every single cell in our body;

  • from our neurons (who use receptors on the surface to pick up on our neurochemistry that tells us everything from what mood we are in to directing our sleep/wake cycle)
  • to our sensory organs (which tell us everything from what we hear, what we touch, what we are seeing every moment of every day)
  • to our skin (which tells us if we are touching something too hot, too cold, too sharp, too abrasive, that gives us a feeling if we are unsafe, that allows us to soak in every warm touch and loving caress we’ve ever had)
  • to our muscles (that allow us to speak, move, create, journey through life, interact, move, explore the world around us)

and every other cell in every single organ system is created to take in external information and use it to achieve optimum health and expression… then certainly we (as a whole organism) are designed to pick up on external information and use that information to achieve optimum health and expression.

Any function that is higher than a brain stem function operates from external information as the driving force behind expression.  And even our brain stem function too, as a matter of fact.

DNA is not the source of expression.

DNA is static without incoming information.

Without external energetic information interacting with the cell, it is not functioning in a healthy way.

 

 

 

 

Just like after your soul leaves your body — once the soul energy is no longer interacting with the body… all that is physically left behind is a carbon based shell — the old earth suit — that then decomposes.

It is not the body, not the cell, and not even the DNA within the cell that is the basis of life.  It is the energetic environment that moves through the cell, lives the cell, that brings life to the cell and informs it’s process.

In other words, it doesn’t matter how much DNA you have or how many genes you have if it is not receiving a signal!  It’s the signal that informs and expresses life.

And you are seeped in these signals, these messages, every single moment of your life.

  • Messages from your external environment like temperature, location, an assessment on safety, on balance and a judgement on the next movement needed to maintain balance for example.
  • Messages from your internal environment, like your thoughts, feelings, emotions, memories, desires, fears, hopes, dreams, preferences, stressors for example.
  • And I believe, intuitive messages from your larger soul perspective, your 6th sense, your gut knowings, your intuitions, your soul’s guidance… these energetic messages are the most important pieces of life-bringing life-enhancing information you could ever hope for.

And they are your birthright. Your innate design, built into your biology. The messages your body relays to you include intuitive messaging from your soul energy.

 

 

 

 

Any vision, sound, smell, sensation, emotion, experience, message and interconnection between yourself and others that brings you extrasensory information is designed to be listened to.

You are meant to receive intuitive information.

You are meant to recognize it.

You are meant to utilize this information to make the best possible decisions in your daily life in order to align with the best possible outcome — every day, all day.

If you want to hear more on this I highly recommend taking 30 minutes today listening to Bruce Lipton speak about this in his interview here  

Enjoy whatever intuitions come into your awareness today, knowing they are there by design to enhance the functioning of your body, your cells, your journey, your path, your life.

To help you open up to intuitive knowings in a fun and simple way, today I want to share with you some exercises you can do to connect to your intuition.  Here are three playful, easy ways to bring more awareness of your intuition into your daily life…

 

3 Playful Ways To Use Your Intuition:

 

 


 

1. Use your intuition to decide on what to wear each day.

 

Stand in front of your clothing, whether in a closet or in drawers, and use your body’s sensory information and open intuition to feel which outfit is most aligned with the unique energy of this unique day.

Colors, textures, fabrics, styles, lengths, warmth, privacy — all of these components of the outfit you wear make a difference to your energy field.

In particular, I have found that color makes the biggest difference to me in my energy for the day, but for you it might be a texture of the fabric you respond to, or how warm it makes you feel on a cool day, or how cool it makes you feel on a hot day, or how private it allows you to be or how visible invisible you want to be that day, etc…

It is undeniable that certain clothes make you feel fabulous on certain days, and certain clothes just drain the color and life force right out of you.

The best example of how to dress comes from children.

Have you ever seen a child light up when they are given the freedom of expression to wear exactly what they want to when they want to?

I absolutely loved watching my daughter create the most amazing combinations of clothes when she was little — often she would layer polka dots with stripes, warm and cool colors together, and skirts over top of pants.  Adding on a vest over her shirt, and fingerless gloves on top of that, she was just the pure definition of sass and vibrancy.

Taking a cue from the raw energy of children, today stand in front of your clothes, whether you have two options or twenty options to choose from, and choose the one that you feel most aligned with.

  • Choose the color that feels right to you intuitively
  • Choose the texture that feels right to you intuitively
  • Choose the one that highlights what you feature feel most good about within your body today and what you’d like to keep covered or protected — your intuition is telling you what body parts could use a little extra nurturing and which ones are ready to be shown off to the world today.

 

 


 

2. Use your intuition to choose what foods to eat each day.

 

Food is meant to nourish us, plain and simple.

It is the energy of the food that enters our body and provides us with fuel to use each day and building blocks to repair and heal our body with.

Our soul energy can feel and sense the energy contained within food… so today, allow your intuition to select what is high quality enough and aligned well with your physical make up at this particular point in time enough to eat.

Putting food into your body is sacred and holy — it is very intimate — it is accepting something as worthy of nourishing your precious body.

You can *feel* past cravings and impulse decisions and choices of convenience to deeper alignment with the foods in front of you.

  • Sense which options make your body energy feel expansive (and which make your energy feel contracted…) as you scan through a menu, walk through the grocery store, or pull foods from your pantry.
  • Scan your body for a *yes* or a *no* as you pull together your meals.
  • Feel which foods your soul accepts into it’s energy feild and which it feels hesitant about.
  • Also use your intuition to know when it’s time to stop eating.  Allow yourself the freedom to change your mind mid-bite if you need to.  What felt like a *yes* when you were pulling it from the fridge might feel like a *no* after two bites — honor this.  If a *yes* turns out to have just been a craving… as it is quenched, stop when you sense this quenching instead of eating past the saturation point.

As you select foods with awareness more and more often, you’ll get really good at what true *soul yes* feels like — when the food not only seems appealing but it feels right as it digests and distributes through your body.

A yes from your soul will feel like a yes all the way from selecting to preparing to eating to utilizing the energy from it afterwards.

Take notice of which foods turn into a *no* once it starts digesting inside.

Or which foods turn into a *no* when you are trying to fall asleep that night!

Tuning in more and more to what your body needs each day:

  • do you need more protein today?
  • do you need to focus more on hydration today?
  • does something crisp and fresh like an apple appeal to you today?
  • does something warm and comforting like soup appeal to you today?
  • today is it better just to fast and focus on good hydration?)

allows you to use food as a tool that nurtures you inside and out and decrease the amount of foods you eat that are not in alignment with your true health.

 


 

3.  Use your intuition to move through your day, for example:

 

Movement:

Pick a movement that aligns with your soul energy best on this particular day, in this particular moment (allow intuition to signal to you when to wake up and go to sleep, what activities feel most engaging and which to step away from, how far to walk or what exercise to do)

 

Driving:

Pick a path that unfolds most easily when driving your daily grind, getting to the grocery store, taking your kids to the park.  It may not be the most direct way or the routine way.  Or maybe it is… let your deeper intuition inform you.

 

Triaging emails and social media:

Use your intuitive sense as you scan your email inbox each day or wade through social media.. your intuition can help you to decide which emails to answer, and which to simply bless and delete, which emails to purge, and which to pass along and delegate to others.  It can help you decide what social media platform to log out of, which ones to engage in and which to step away from, how long to stay on each, whether you really want to do that google search or not, and when to get off line entirely.

Feel that knot in your stomach when it’s time to get off.  Don’t ignore it and keep scrolling.  Feel in your heart or your solar plexus or your mind’s eye, wherever you feel most easily in your body when online activities create even the smallest bit of tension for you… and honor this by disengaging with it immediately.

Over time you will get very good at stepping away and honoring your mental and physical health first — social media second (if at all.)

 


 

Today’s article is a part of my Expanding Your Intuition online class.  If you liked this blog post, it’s just a sneak peak into a course that I know you will love.

If you’d like my help unlocking your intuition, discovering where in your body you feel intuitive guidance most easily and what your unique intuitive strengths actually are, save a spot in my upcoming class right here.

 

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I’d love to share with you how I discovered my own intuition, how I use it to help myself and others boost their well being, and how to find and use your own intuitive strengths.

Yes, you do have them.

I’m here for you and I’ll show you.  And I can’t wait to work with you.

xoxoxo,

Laura Koniver MD

 

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How To Avoid Getting Dehydrated As The Summer Heat Sets In

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Known as the “Elixir of Life” for good reason, water is absolutely critical to our well being in every way.  Not only are we primarily made up of water (over 70% of our body is pure water!) but water has a healing property that goes way beyond simple hydration.

Today, I want to share with you all the different ways that we can use the power of water to support your Well Being from the inside out.  One of the most important ways is that it supports our grounding practice — allowing your body to literally be more conductive the more electrolyte balanced and hydrated it is!

But before talking about the benefits of water and how to optimize your water intake, I want to run through some of the surprising symptoms of dehydration.  I’d like you to take a minute to tally up how many of these symptoms you are feeling right now.  Because if you feel even one, you are already volume depleted and you need to immediately go drink a big glass of water!

Here we go:

 

 


What Does Dehydration Feel Like?

 

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

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

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

How many of these symptoms do you have right now?

  •  Dry Mouth: One of the first symptoms of dehydration is dry mouth, which leads to bacteria overgrowth and bad breath.  If you notice bad breath, you might consider: are you chronically dehydrated?
  • Dry Skin: Your skin turgor is another indicator of dehydration.  If you’ve been concerned about your skin feeling dry or more wrinkled, double check that you are drinking enough fluid each day.
  • Pain: Pain is actually a symptom of dehydration as well, often starting with a headache.  And low fluid status can lead to headaches and brain fog as well, as the fluid volume of the brain gets depleted from dehydration.  I’ve literally had patients with a raging headache drink a glass of water and have the headache clear completely.  The next time you have a headache or any type of pain, make sure you drink a glass of water and then re-evaluate your pain levels before reaching for a pain reliever or medication.  Dehydration makes all pain worse, as the volume of the organs and joints deplete, dehydrated ligaments and cartilage get injured more easily and dehydrated discs in the spine allow increased pinching of nerves and muscle cramps increase as electrolytes deplete.
  • Constipation: Having sluggish bowels is another classic symptom of chronic dehydration.  Recent studies have shown that water status is the NUMBER ONE factor impacting regularity.  More important than walking and more important that even fiber intake, water intake can turn constipation issues around completely.  Drinking water has more of an impact on encouraging  healthy bowel movements than fiber supplement or exercise… in fact, I’d go as far as to say fiber supplements clog people up more often than they help.  In general, a constipated person is a dehydrated person.  You can fix that right now — go grab a glass of water.
  • High Blood Pressure: Another classic sign of chronic dehydration? High blood pressure. When we decrease our water intake, our blood gets thicker, harder to pump, our blood volume decreases and our heart rate increases and our blood vessels constrict.  All together, this means your blood pressure raises and stays raised.  If you are having blood pressure issues, it is more important than EVER to be extremely vigilant about your hydration status!
  • Digestive Issues: Dehydration also impacts your entire gut lining, and chronic dehydration can give rise to stomach ulcers and absorption issues as the mucosal layer stops secreting it’s protective film.
  • Dry Cough: Not only does the gut lining need to be well hydrated to function, but also our entire respiratory lining does too. Our lungs absolutely require a moist mucous membrane to function.  In chronic dehydration, the mucus membranes in our respiratory system dry out and become more vulnerable to dust, pollen and other irritants, leaving you susceptible to an irritating, non-productive, dry cough.
  • Urinary Tract Infections: Getting more UTI’s than usual?  Our entire urinary system (and therefore the health of our kidneys) depends on having enough volume to use liquids to flush toxins from our body.  When we can’t do that, we set ourselves up for issues with kidney function and a higher rate of infections.
  • Weight Gain: Another little known side effect of chronic dehydration is weight gain.  As we become volume depleted, we begin to feel thirst, which is often confused with hunger because the body is craving intake of any kind (knowing that most foods will provide some form of hydration, your body sends out the message that it is hungry when it is volume depleted in any way.). As a result, we eat when what we really need to be doing for our true health is rehydrating.
  • Bad Mood & Brain Fog: Did you know that even mild dehydration affects our mood?   A study published in The Journal of Nutrition showed that study participants reported decreased motivation and increased feelings of anxiety when mildly dehydrated.  On top of that, headache, fatigue, difficulty concentrating and decreased physical activity all were increased during dehydration. And the effect of dehydration on mood was even more pronounced in women than in men!  And this medical review published in the Journal Of the American College of Nutrition showed that our attention spans and even our short term memory fizzles when we are dehydrated.

Out of those 10 symptoms, how many are you feeling right now?

If it’s more than one or two of them (or even if it is only one or two of them!) go drink a large glass of water right now, and repeat in an hour.

 

 

 

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

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

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

Prevent dehydration before you even get thirsty. Dehydration begins when we are just 1% volume depleted, but thirst doesn’t set in until our body is about 2% volume depleted. By then we have already had effects on our mood, energy level, ability to think clearly, and pain levels.

Instead of waiting for thirst or darkened urine to remind us to drink, let’s utilize these preventative strategies for staying well hydrated, instead of treating dehydration!

The goal of this article isn’t to teach you how to address dehydration but to have you protecting your hydration levels by proactively preventing dehydration in the first place.

Here are all of the ways that you can use the Elixir Of Life (aka water) to boost your health.  Pick one you don’t typically do to try out today!

 


 

My 12 favorite ways to use water to boost your health:

 

 

 

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

 

Drink a full glass of water each AM before you even think about reaching for orange juice or coffee.  In fact, don’t allow yourself to drink anything at all before you’ve had a glass of water.

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

Do it daily so it becomes an automatic routine!

 


 

 

 

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

 

Use hunger as a reminder to hydrate!

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

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

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

 


 

 

 

3.  Include fruits and vegetables at every single meal.

 

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

Processed foods like packaged snacks actually dehydrate you.

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

The most hydrating ones include:

  • melons
  • berries
  • cucumber
  • celery
  • leafy greens
  • tomatoes and
  • bell peppers

 


 

 

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

 

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

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

In fact, trace minerals actually help enhance another healing practice that I feel is crucial for our well being… grounding!  I talk more about why minerals are so essential for grounding in this video I made for you here.

 

 

 

 

In this video, I reference these mineral drops. 

Even if you don’t think hydration is an issue for you, most of us are mineral depleted whether we hydrate well or not.  This can affect many different organ systems in our body, and even decrease our grounding potential.

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

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

 


 

 

5.  Moisturize your skin to decrease transcutaneous water loss.

 

By removing any dead skin, making sure your skin is moist and hydrated, making sure you are not mineral depleted, and making sure you drink a big glass of water so you are well hydrated internally before grounding, you can maximize how quickly and how easily your body gets grounded through contact with the earth outdoors.

My favorite moisturizer combines two of these principals in one: it moisturizes to repair the lipid bilayer of your skin, and it also adds crucial trace minerals to your body as well.  It is a trace mineral lotion and you can find it right here.

 


 

 

6. Switch from soda to sparkling water.

 

If you love carbonation and find it difficult not to crave soda, make the switch to sparkling water instead.

The sugar and chemicals found in soda (even diet soda!) mess with your metabolism and absolutely do not *count* towards your 8+ cups of water a day.  But sparkling water does… and even better if you drink sparkling mineral water, which also replenishes your mineral balance.  Here is one study showing mineral water has health benefits.

Get your carbonation fix from sparkling water or sparkling mineral water instead of soda and reap the hydration rewards!

 


 

 

7.  Allow tears… always.

 

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

Because water is such a transformative medium, it’s no coincidence that the basis for our blood, sweat and tears is water. So the first way to use the power of water to transform your well being is to allow the tears… always.  Never hold them back.

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

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

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

 


 

 

8.  Sweat it out!

 

The other way that the body uses water as a form of energetic and physical release is through sweat.  Working up a sweat uses the energy and flow of water (the blood in your circulatory system) by increasing flushing — fluid in, sweat out.

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

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

 


 

 

 

9.  Enjoy the grounding properties of water, even inside your home.

 

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

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

Here is a video I made for you showing you how — most likely — the water inside of your home is probably grounding you!  No wonder showers, baths, and even washing the dishes can feel so stress relieving and centering.

 

 


 

 

 

10.  Use water to increase the strength of grounding outside as well.

 

Another great way to use water to heal is to ground in areas that are naturally moist: by the ocean or river or lake… even simply the morning dew on a blade of grass!

There is a reason that doctor’s routinely gave out prescriptions for spending time by the sea when they had no idea what else to do to help an ailment.  That’s because the earth has healing energy to give you, and if you add moisture to that you increase your own conductivity and healing accelerates.

 

moisture + you + earth = expedited healing

 

This spring and summer, if you can get outside grounded while there is still dew on the grass, you will expedite your grounding experience.

If you can take a spray bottle out with you and spritz the ground before touching it, or spritz your skin before touching the earth, you will boost your conductivity.

If you can run through the sprinkler as you water your garden or yard, you will boost your conductivity (take your kids… they love this!). If you have a hose you can play with, to get wet during grounding, by all means do it!

If you have the option to get grounded in an in-ground swimming pool that is made from cement (not plastic) you will be grounded and the water will boost your grounding experience.

If you have the option to wade through a river or creek, or swim or walk along the edge of a lake, river or beach, you will feel the boost that water gives to your time spent grounding.

Bottom line: if water is ever an option for outdoor grounding — take it!

 

 

 

Here is a video I made last summer with my friend Stacey, experimenting with grounding in water.  It was one of the last really warm days we recently had at the very tale end of summer (which, where we live, is in September!)

I hope you enjoy it.  You can really see and feel the difference of how relaxed and centered we become after spending an hour grounding through water.

 


 

 

11.  Make sure your air contains moisture!

 

You lose over two cups (or a half liter) of water just from breathing each day.  And another cup or more just through your skin.  If the air is dry (which all of our indoor air is…) then that water loss is dramatically higher.

Use steam/humidifiers to help hydrate your air and support the hydration of your mucosal membranes, decrease respiratory water loss and even decrease transcutaneous water loss.

If you can’t humidify your whole house, humidify the area that you spend the most time — usually, the bedroom.  If you breathe mositurized air for the 7 or 8 hours you spend in bed each night, you will notice a difference, waking up with more hydrated skin & mucosal membranes.

 


 

 

12.  Drink water in an intentional way, to energetically reset the body from the inside out.

 

As I mentioned above, you lose about 2 liters (8 cups) of water each day… through skin and lungs, urination, bowel movements, tears, and sweating.  You can utilize this high turn over of fluids to your advantage and hydrate hydrate hydrate during times of worry or sorrow or stress more than any other time of your life.

Look at every glass of water you drink as a way to add a healing intention into your body, infusing every single cell of every single tissue of every single organ system you have with healing support.  You can simply say a prayer, say an intention, even just *think* an intention as you hold your cup of water and silently bless it before you drink it.

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

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

 

 

 

 

And on that note, one last note bit of really good news: the water filter that I use in my home, and that I routinely recommend to patients, is back in stock!  Woot!!!

Why do I recommend you filter your water before drinking it, especially if it’s from the tap?

Hundreds of medical studies have shown that fluoride affects everything from cognitive function to bone density to cardiac function in humans, as well as to diabetes, fertility and more in animals… so I recommend avoiding fluoride in water and never use fluoridated toothpastes.

Fluoride is an enzyme inhibitor, point-blank. Even the minuscule amounts of fluoride added to the public water supply accumulates in bone.  It is estimated about 50% of the fluoride we consume is eliminated, and 50% is stored in our body, mostly in our bones.  So miniscule amounts of fluoride adding to our bodies sip after sip after sip equals a not-so-minimal exposure.

Over a lifetime, these levels can reach high proportions… decreasing bone density and causing brittleness.  For a nation whose women have epidemic proportions of osteopenia and osteoporosis, it would be counter productive to continue to drink fluoride on a daily basis.  Studies have also shown that the rate of hip fracture in elderly is directly increased in areas that fluoridate their water.

We also know fluoride is being taken up by our cardiovascular system as well.  A study published in the journal Nuclear Medicine Communications definitively proved that fluoride is absorbed into your vascular system. Researchers followed 61 patients after administering fluoride and found that 96% of them had fluoride uptake in their cardiovascular walls.

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

Have trouble sleeping?  Fluoride has also been shown to decrease the duration and quality of sleep.  Published in 2021 in Environmental Health, researchers found that those living with water that was fluoridated by the municipal water supply had a 34% increased risk of sleeping less than those living in non-fluoridated communities.

Recent reports also reveal that fluoride lowers IQ.  I am routinely asked at the dentist’s office if I would like to give my children a concentrated fluoride treatment.  And affect their still-developing brain?  Uh… NO.  I feel that a fluoride filter to remove fluoride from your drinking water (as well as not using fluoridated toothpaste) is a mandatory investment to protect the long term health of your heart, your bones, your brain, and all the organs in between!

The truth is, you already get fluoride exposures through your foods.  Plants store fluoride found naturally in the earth AND from the water used to irrigate crops.  Yep, even organic crops have fluoride in them from the irrigation water. We are just getting so much exposure to fluoride, that to intentionally consume extra fluoride, whether through drinking water or toothpaste, is way too much. And your skin absorbs fluoride as well, so even when you are showering or taking a bath, you are absorbing fluoride.

Another recent and highly disturbing medical study, just published in 2022 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, estimates that over half of the current US population has been exposed to unsafe levels of lead and that the lead exposure alone (nevermind the fluoride exposure!) accounts for the loss of 824,097,690 IQ points — an average of 2.6 points per person.  Yuck.

Although leaded gasoline was a huge exposure years ago, now the primary exposure to lead is through drinking water, in addition to paint, dust, soil, air and food.  Led gets into the drinking water from plumbing materials (such as pipes, faucets and fixtures (more common in homes built before 1986) as well as brass or chrome plated brass faucets and plumbing soldered together with lead solder (still widespread.)

Because lead is a toxic metal that is harmful to human health even at very low exposures, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set the maximum contaminant level for lead in drinking water at zero.  Your community water system must deliver and annual water quality report called a CCR (Consumer Confidence Report) that tells you the level of lead in your drinking water.  You should either request your latest CCR from your water utility service, or have your water tested for lead.   Here is a fabulous resource offered by the EPA for finding out more about the harms of lead in drinking water and what to do about it.

 

 

Or, you can do as I do, and filter your drinking water regardless.  Because not only will the right filtration unit filter out fluoride and lead, but it will also filter out chlorine and other nasty chemicals added to the public water supply, as well as nasty chemicals that are unintentionally in our water supply like arsenic, pesticides, perchlorate, and even pharmaceutical drugs.

I keep a water filtration system out on my kitchen counter space so that not only am I drinking pure, clean, fluoride free water, but the beautiful filtration unit serves as a visual reminder to DRINK every single time I walk it, or am standing in the kitchen preparing a meal.

My agreement with myself — and hopefully one you will make with yourself too now that you’ve read all about how serious dehydration is and how crucial staying hydrated is — is that every time I see the water filter, I have to go take a quick drink of water from it.

So every time I walk by my kitchen, every time I go in for a snack, every time I am doing the dishes, and every time I am prepping a meal or cleaning up from a meal… I drink a glass of water.

It’s win-win, because drinking a glass of water before every meal helps me decrease cravings and control portion sizes naturally, which is one of the best tips for losing weight there is.   But as a bonus, this habit has really helped me to remember to maintain my hydration status.

Using a water filter not only ensures my water is pure and healthy, instead of harming me, but it serves as a visual reminder to stay hydrated.

And PS — did you know that drinking tap water is harmful to your pets as well?  This report goes over why hard water may be harming your pet.  In addition, fluoride, chlorine, lead, microplasltics, pesticides and fertilizers in tap water harm your pet’s organ systems just like it harms yours!

So here is the best one, finally back in stock.

 


 

 

 

 

Today, try to use at least one of the dozen ways listed above to allow water to naturally support your Well Being… knowing you are doing more than just avoiding dehydration, you are boosting your immediate — and long term — health!

Stay hydrated this spring and summer, and all year long.

xoxo, Laura

 

Affection From Your Mom When You Were A Baby May Buffer Your Stress As An Adult

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In honor of Mother’s Day this weekend, I want to share with you one of my all time favorite medical studies.  It shows how a little TLC from your mom may actually help protect your health, well into adulthood.

Published in 2005 in Dialoges in Clinical Neuroscience, researchers found that the how much affection a mommy rat showed to her babies in their first week of life protected them from future stress later on in life — decreasing their stress response and even lowering stress hormone production.

Researchers compared two different types of mom rats, separating them into two groups by how much they licked and groomed their babies.  Mom rats in the high affection group groomed and licked their offspring twice as much as the moms in the low affection group.

Following the rats behavior for the first week of life, and then examining what effect this had on the rat babies once they became adults, researchers found that the rats who had affectionate mothers for the first week of life actually decreased there reaction to stress as an adult — producing half as much stress hormones in response to stressful stimuli and buffering their reactivity to stressful conditions.   Just one week of licking and grooming their babies had a profound impact on the health of the rat pup which lasted well into adulthood.

Not only that, but this behavior impacted the next generation of rats, because pups who were licked and groomed more during that first week of life grew up to lick and groom their own babies more as parents.

How does a few days of affection translate into future health resiliency?

Researchers found that the pups who were groomed twice as much as the pups who had less affectionate moms actually had epigenetic changes to their DNA, which modified how the DNA was expressed and as a result, lowered hormone production.

Obviously this is just a study in rats, but it’s fascinating that the ability of the mother to be affectionate subsequently affected the child’s DNA expression, reducing the amount of stress hormones that are released in the face of stress as adults.

 

 

 

 

We likely will never fully know how much parents can influence their child’s future health, but if you have a mom that was attentive and affectionate with you, send her this article and thank her on Mother’s Day.

And if you didn’t have a affectionate mom?

Epigenetic changes are completely reversible.  So even if you have a high stress response, or even if you have a history of trauma, or even if you are so stressed out you have adrenal fatigue, these epigenetic changes can be reversed and healed.  Which protects your health and the health of future generations.

How to release stress to protect your own health?

I wrote an entire online class on exactly why epigenetic changes happen that alters DNA expression after stress and trauma, and how you can release them, boosting your own resiliency and healing yourself.  If you are interested in more information on this Trauma Resiliency and Recovery Class, or to hold your spot, click over here:

 

 

 

Meanwhile, if you are a parent I want to give you some quick tips on protecting the health of your own children and promoting well being for the rest of their lives.

And to my own mom, who was extremely attentive — thank you.

Because of her love I was able to navigate several highly traumatic experiences with resiliency… as well as shower my own two children with tons of love and affection, which in turn will impact their children’s health and their children’s children’s health, and on and on.


 

I cannot believe these two cuties are actually all grown up and in college! Time files!

 

10 Ways to Support Your Child’s Long Term Health:

 

 

Let’s give our children lots and lots of resources to find inner strength during health challenges… because setting an example of resilience during a crisis for your children now will benefit them for the rest of their lives, even during times when you may not be there to help.

Modeling resilience now will support them forever.

 

 

 

 

1.  Emphasize PLAY.

 

Play is a child’s therapy.  Play is not only a relief and a respite from the seriousness that stress, illness, or trauma can bring abruptly into a child’s world, but it is a way to restore innocence.  It’s a way to off-gas and release inner workings and thoughts and fears that the child doesn’t even consciously know they have yet!

Play is an avenue for healing.

Encourage play.  Allow *inappropriate* play like laughter even on the saddest days, violent actions towards dolls and stuffed animals that might otherwise be macabre… during a crisis, children need to see that their favorite toys can get beaten down by life and still be there for them the next day.   

Allow anger too — anger expressed can turn your child into a centered warrior, giving them inner strength when the anger is witnessed and allowed to flow — transforming a passive child desperately struggling to release fear into an empowered warrior ready for the next round.

As adults, we might find our way through illness by taking long showers or baths, working out until we reach pure physical exhaustion, crying until there are no tears left, praying and therapy and acupuncture and massage and millions of other ways…

For a child, the direct route to this is through play.

 


 

 

 

2.  Focus on POSSIBILITY for your child.

 

Illness, trauma, death, divorce… these outer circumstances may take certain choices away from your child and leave them with a feeling of not having any control over the situation.  This results in DISEMPOWERMENT.

Disempowerment and lack of control is what makes trauma and illness so hard.

Sometimes it is not possible to give a promise or control outcomes in order to empower a child.  Even if you can offer a choice or secure a certain outcome, this is only temporary  relief anyway, because there will always be another crisis.

The healing doesn’t come from getting control back — control is (at best) an illusion.  The healing comes from re-establishing POSSIBILITY!!!

Finding meaning, and even joy, by living in possibility and open ended wonderment is the healing mind-frame.   Not the answer… the question.  The questions are the healing.

 

What is possible?”

“What can I imagine?”

“What do I wonder?”

“What can I transform?”

 

Re-establishing possibility and open ended thinking re-establishes health because it brings back HOPE.

Asking more then answering the questions in your life.  Asking “I wonder?”.   Can you think of the last day you spent asking more questions then answering questions?

For many of us, that day was way back in our childhood.

Keep this realm of possibility open for your child.

Keep the potential of any and every healing outcome within reach to your child by staying open to possibility.

 


 

 

 

 

3.  Remind your child that they are a miracle.

 

“The child must know that they are a miracle… that since the beginning of the world there hasn’t been… and until the end of the world there will not be, another like them.”

-Pablo Casals

 

I believe that with my whole heart, and I believe that is true for my children and that it is true for your children and that it is true for YOU.

And with that truth comes the knowing that each moment of your existence is precious and rare and valuable.

Remind your child of this by treating them in such a way that you witness their value in every moment… in sickness and in health… in joy and in pain… in tears and in laughter… in rest and at play.

 


 

 

 

 

 

4.  Spend healing time in nature

 

The earth is perfectly suited for reminding your child that he or she is part of a bigger plan and that they are well supported for life here on this planet, that in fact the planet itself has a healing energy to give to them.

Touching the earth (grounding) supports the body’s ability to heal.  I have a huge list of medical studies that reveal the healing power of grounding for you right here.

 

 

Grounding so important for children that I wrote and illustrated a children’s book about it, called From The Ground Up, available on my website and on Amazon. 

This book can be an important healing tool that can set your child up for a lifetime of enhanced health by teaching them the value of spending time grounding.

Work even just a few minutes of outdoor grounding into their day, model for them touching the earth as a way to reset when you are not feeling your best, and you will have instilled in them a healing practice that will protect their health over the course of their entire lifetime.

 

 


 

 

 

 

5. Spend healing time with animals

 

The comfort of an unconditionally loving pet can not be underestimated.

Let your child’s favorite pet sleep with them at night, lay on their sickbed with them, even take a bath with them!

And if they don’t have a pet, ask them if they’d like one.  Watch their face light up.

 


 

 

 

6.  Fill their world with music

 

Healing music has a way of opening us up to possibility.  When the energy in a room gets heavy or dark or stagnant, bring new energy in with the beauty of sound.

Ask what your child would like to listen to or just begin by some gentle nature tunes like the kind used in massage therapist’s office… there is a reason this music is played, it helps the client relax and get into a healing, positive mind-frame!

 


 

 

 

 

7.  Heal through art

 

Art has a way of letting you get out of your own worry and into your hands.

Many times, something you have no way of expressing or even formulating and idea about can be released through active use of your hands.

Especially for children who are facing a health crisis and are too sick to actively play or adventure or get out of the hospital or home, bringing art in (just like with music) is a way to give them a bit of play, a bit of fun, a bit of possibility back.

Modelling clay, paper and crayons, finger-paints in the bathtub… all are doing more than just giving your child something to do, it is giving your child a way to heal.

 


 

 

 

 

8.  Be certain they are getting enough sleep.

 

Sleep time is healing time.  Deep sleep gives the body time to repair on a different level than we can repair during activity.

Restorative sleep is crucial to the healing process.

Be sure your child is getting 10 or more hours of sleep, especially when they are facing an illness or a stressful life change.

Solid sleep allows the body to decrease inflammation, improve memory function, improve daytime stamina and decrease fatigue, increase attention span, regulate a health weight, lower stress, boost mood, and boost immune function… all key when you are fighting off illness.

 

 

 

And by the way, I am such a big fan of co-sleeping with babies and toddlers, especially those that are sick, that I wrote and illustrated a book about it for you.

You can find that here.

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

9.  Know that your very presence in your child’s life transforms their future health.

 

YOU are a healing presence in your child’s life.  Enjoy being that presence and that light for them. 

During a crisis, simply your presence is enough.

It is more than enough.

Your consistency in their life is the rock upon which they draw strength, comfort, hope and yes… healing. 

Continue to show your unwavering presence to your child through every health crisis they could possibly face and you show your child the power of unconditional love… the best medicine there is.

 

 


 

 

10.  Read my free Parenting eBook

 

As a thank you to parent’s everywhere, I’ve made my parenting idea book completely free to download.

So for more ideas on how to nurture your child through stress and illness and raise them in vibrant Well Being, you can find this absolutely free Parenting Idea Book right here — I’ve written 160 pages full of ideas, information, and fun tools to nurture the fullest health potential of your child for a lifetime!

I hope you love it!

 

xoxox, Laura

 

 

This is me, pregnant with my son and watching my adorable daughter as she naps… 19 years ago!

 

6 Ways You Can Do To Make Spending Time In The Sun Safer, Do You Know Them All?

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This spring, I’d love to encourage you to move as many of your indoor activities outside as possible, and if you missed it, this blog post on 10 activites you should definitly be doing outside will help give you ideas for that!

This brings up concerns about skin cancer and photo aging effects from sun exposure — but don’t let that stop you from going outside.  Here’s why:

A large medical study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine found that folks who avoided sun exposure actually had a shorter life span… with a decreased life expectancy that was shorter than even heavy smokers who bathed in the sun.

What?!?!  Yes.

This was a huge study looked at almost 30,000 participants over a span of 20 years. Researchers tracked health outcomes and life span over two decades and found that even when smoking was factored in, the life span of those who avoided the sun was more than 2 years shorter than heavy smokers who got the highest amount of sun exposure!!!

As hard as it is to believe, even heavy smokers who soaked in the sun their whole life outlived non-smokers who avoided sun exposure… by years!

 

 

 

Participants who avoided the sun had higher rates of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and pulmonary disease.

And the results were dose-specific… meaning that the benefits of increased life expectancy with sun exposure went up directly in correlation to the amount of sun exposure.

Though risk of skin cancer did increase with increased sun exposure, the patients that had skin cancer occur in relation to sun exposure actually had a better long-term prognosis.  This on top of recent research revealing that melanomas that occur in patients with low Vitamin D actually have more malignantly aggressive melanoma and their prognosis is worse than those with adequate Vit D from sun exposure.

These results show that avoiding the sun is a “risk factor for death of a similar magnitude as smoking” — directly quoting the medical report.

So the verdict: under-exposure to the sun is actually dangerous.

Turns out, longer time in the sun correlates with a longer life span.  It’s that simple.

 

 

 

 

 

Smoking and inactivity (or prolonged sitting) have long been known to be huge lifestyle indicators of poor long term health… and now we can add a third: avoiding sun exposure.

You know that I never ever ever present negative medical information without giving you tons of positive solutions!!  So you know if I am bringing it up on my blog here, then there are TONS of things you can do to make your time out in the sunshine safer for your skin, while boosting your whole-body disease prevention and prolonging your life span!

Today I want to share with you why sunscreen is not my number one recommendation for prevention of skin cancer.

Nor is it my second recommendation either.

I prefer to avoid peak sun hours and use sun protective clothing like rashguards, hats and sunglasses.

Why?

  • Many chemicals in sunscreen (like the oils, petroleum products, oxybenzone, avobenzone, formaldehyde, retinyl palmitate, etc… found in most chemical sunscreens) have been shown to actually increase cancer rates.
  • On top of that, many of the chemicals in chemical blocking sunscreens are shown to disrupt our natural hormone pathways. In fact, oxybenzone, the most common chemical sunscreen used, has been shown to disrupt hormones and is not even recommended for use in children. That’s right… look at all the “kid’s formula” sunscreens out there… they generally contain oxybenzone.  This chemical not only is a hormone-disruptor, but after applying to your skin it becomes internally absorbed within minutes. Which means children, who are still growing, are getting systemic doses of hormone-disrupting oxybenzone circulating through their bodies on a daily basis all summer long.  Yuck.
  • More bad news… mineral based sunscreens are increasingly being made in nano-sized particles so that they blend into the skin better… and unfortunately, this means they can potentially be absorbed systemically as well.  Even mineral based sunscreens like zinc or titanium dioxide are potentially toxic if they enter your body, so you want to be sure your product does not use nanoparticles.

 

And in fact, a study (presented at the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting on Nov 19, 2016) shows that sunscreen did not reduce melanoma risk.

  • 466 children (enrolled in the study at age 6) were followed for almost a decade (through age 15) with a detailed report of annual sun exposure and sunscreen use as well as annual skin exams, which identified and documented skin lesions.
  • This is the longest term study on new mole development ever conducted.
  • Unfortunately, the results reveal that there was no association between sunscreen use and subsequent development of new pigmented lesions.
  • The study conclusion: sunscreen use did not protect from or decrease the likelihood of developing pigmented moles (a marker of melanoma risk) at all.

 

While sunscreen may be protective against other forms of skin cancer, this news is upsetting because over 75,000 cases of melanoma are diagnosed every year just in the United States alone, and melanoma is a particularly aggressive form of cancer.

 

 

 

But I’m not surprised.  To understand why the most common sunscreens (which are all chemical based) are not preventing new pigmented lesions from arising, you have to understand how chemical sunscreens work:

  • Chemical sunscreens (such as oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate and avobenzone) are absorbed into your skin and attempt to neutralize the UV rays once they penetrate your cells, by chemically reacting to the UV radiation.
  • This means that the UV exposure is already reaching into your living tissues, and as a physician I don’t see how this can be cancer preventive.
  • Your cells are already exposed to the UV radiation (including your cell’s DNA) by the time it is being neutralized.
  • Physically blocking sunscreens, such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, are different.  These physically sit on top of the skin and literally block UV radiation from even reaching your skin.
  • Physically blocking sunscreens is the type of sun protection you want, and this is the only type of sunscreen I will carry in my online shop for you.

 

The Environmental Working Group agrees — sunscreen should be a last resort to protect against UV exposures outside.  Read their full sunscreen guide here.  

Because you don’t want to avoid sun exposure (which decreases your life span) and you don’t want to rely solely on sunscreen to reduce your cancer risk (since it doesn’t anyway…) today I’ve compiled a list of 6 awesome ways to stay protected in the sun in ways that will truly protect you:

 

Top 6 Things You Can Do To Decrease Your Skin Cancer Risk:

 


 

 

 

1.  Avoid Peak Sun Hours:

 

The most important #1 way to protect from ultraviolet exposure is to avoid the sun during the peak UV hours in mid-day.  There was a huge medical study that backs this up… Sunscreen was third in order of most effective ways to protect yourself from sun damage and skin cancers.

The ultimate solution, when possible, is sun avoidance during peak sun hours (10AM – 4PM) — this is infinitely better than any sun protection.  You want to get some incidental sun exposure on some exposed skin daily, but to decrease the UV intensity you want that exposure to be in the earlier AM or later PM hours!

I love to recommend that folks get out in the early morning light — grounded of course — to start their day with light exposure (which helps boost sleep that night, boosts immune function, decreases pain, even boost libdo!) and to get a Vit D boost from indirect sun exposures, as well as to get a grounding boost (which helps every organ system in their body function better, & even gives them a mood boost to start their day on the right foot!)  If all you can do is head outside with a cup of coffee and touch a  leaf on a tree, stand on a patch of sidewalk, or sit on their front door step while they drink their morning brew — that’s perfect.

Then again, after dinner, shoot for another 10 minute or longer grounding session, an after dinner walk, or even eat dinner directly outside (grounded of course!) for another boost of indirect sunlight.

Try 10 minutes in the AM and 10 minutes in the PM for a week and see how noticeably your wellness blooms.

 


 

2.  Wear UV Protective Clothing, Hats and Sunglasses:

 

The second best way to protect from the sun, if you are going out in the peak hours, is UV protective clothing.  Rash guards, hats, sunglasses.

Be certain to protect your eyes by wearing UV protective sunglasses, dear reader!  UV exposure is one of the leading causes of lens opacity (cataracts) as you age.  You can prevent this by diligently protecting your eyes.

A hat will shade most of your face and your ears, and a rash guard can protect shoulders while you are outside getting grounded on the beach, working in your garden, doing yard work, or spending a little time with your kids or your pet outside in the fresh air.

 


 

 

 

3.   Use Only Physically Blocking, Non-Nano Sized Sunscreens:

 

As talked about above, a non-nanosized, non-chemical based sunscreen is the only thing I will put on my own face every single day.

  • Lotion: If you like a lotion, this one is my absolute favorite.  It goes on easily and with less white residue than any other physically blocking sunscreen I’ve tried that is not nanosized.   My go-to sunscreen.
  • Spray:  If you like a spray, this one is my absolute favorite.  It sprays on clear and is perfect for easily covering large areas of the body… or kids that can’t stand being smeared with lotion, lol!  Many mineral sunscreen sprays claim to be clear and then are not — this one actually is.
  • Powder: If you like a powder, this one is my absolute favorite.  It is the ultimate in portability (won’t spill in your purse or bag!) and is so easy to apply, particularly to the face or other small areas of the body.

 

 


4.  Take Curcumin To Protect Against Melanoma:

 

Did you know that Curcumin actually kills cancer cells in laboratory studies and has been specifically shown to target and kill melanoma cancer cells?

Read this study published in the International Journal of Cancer in October 2016 for a good overview on what we know about curcumin and melanoma so far.

If you want to add the anti-cancer benefits of curcumin to your health regime (which I highly recommend if you have any personal or family history of melanoma or even if you just have a history of intense sun exposure) I recommend taking a pharmacy grade supplement that couples a 500 mg dose of curcumin with bioperine to help increase the bioavailablility and absorption of the curcumin…. this one is my favorite.

 

 


 

 

 

5.  Use Vitamin B3 to decrease all other forms of skin cancer:

 

Clear evidence that a simple vitamin can be cancer preventive: Vitamin B3 dramatically reduces skin cancer rates.

Presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2015 Annual Meeting in May 2014, Vitamin B3 has been shown to be a safe, effective way to reduce your risk of recurrent skin cancer.

Researchers looked at over 380 patients with a prior history of non-melanoma skin cancers, giving half nicotinamide supplements and half a placebo, and followed them for a year.  They found the patients in the Vitamin B3 group had a quarter less skin cancers total (a 23% decrease) than control patients:

  • Basal cell occurrence decreased by 20%
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma decreased by 30%
  • Actinic Keratosis decreased by 13%

Niacinamide (Vit B3, also known as Nicotinamide) enhances DNA repair in skin cells damaged by UV light, as well as boosts the immune system and prevents the suppression of immunity by ultraviolet radiation.  (Nicotinamide has other benefits as well, including preliminary studies showing a boost in cognition… helping to restore cognition in Alzheimers!)

So… if you have a history of serious sun exposure?

Or a history of previous skin cancers?

Or you just want less unsightly actinic keretosis popping up in the future?

Vitamin B 3  offers 100% all natural holistic chemo-prevention!  Vitamin B is safe, inexpensive, proven.  Find my favorite Vitamin B3 and Curcumin supplements together in my Sun Repair Protocol, here.

 

 


 

 

6.  Eat fruits and veggies daily, especially during the summer:

 

Medical studies have shown that eating foods rich in carotenoids (like ) and lycopene (like tomatoes) have a photo protective effect in human skin, and have even been shown to cut the number of tumors from UV light exposure on mice significantly… actually slashing the tumor count in half!  

Foods to eat daily that not only provide this photoprotection to decrease skin cancer risk, but also to protect against premature aging as well, include:

  • squash
  • carrots
  • grapefruit
  • oranges
  • apricots
  • asparagus
  • cantaloupe
  • mangoes
  • nectarines
  • peaches
  • sweet potatoes
  • tomatoes
  • watermelon
  • and sweet red peppers

 


 

 

 

Enjoy that life giving, mood boosting, beautifully warm radiant sunshine this spring & summer, but do it in a way that protects your skin from too much exposure:

  • Try to avoid peak hours of sun exposure, going out in morning and evening hours when possible
  • Wear a hat, sunglasses and/or rash guards whenever possible
  • Avoid toxic chemical sunscreens and use physical sunscreens instead
  • Take curcumin and vit B3 supplements to decrease skin cancer risk
  • Eat fruits and veggies high in antioxidants routinely to nourish your skin from the inside out
  • & while you are at it, stay well hydrated too, drinking water before, during and after sun exposure (more on this soon!)

 

In an upcoming blog I’ll be telling you how to naturally protect against dehydration, boosting your mineral intake and protecting against the health issues that even mild dehydration can cause… you won’t want to miss that one.

So if you have had this article forwarded to you, be sure to sign up here by entering your email to receive my uplifting weekly newsletter so you don’t miss next week’s article.

And if you know someone who loves the sunshine and could use some uplifting holistic tips that will protect them, forward this email to them too!

 

Here’s to happy, healthy spring & summer days ahead…

xoxox, Laura

 

Don’t Let Earth Day Pass You By Without Grounding, Here’s Why…

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This Friday is Earth Day.  It only happens once a year so don’t let it pass you by.  Earth Day is not just for the earth… it’s equally for you and for your own health, if you include grounding in your plans.

Here’s why you will want to take a few minutes to connect with the earth this week — please share and let’s make this Earth Day transformative and healing, not just for the earth but for our physical health as well, by including grounding.

The earth provides such a beautiful platform for us to have a human experience on.

Every connection we made, every friend or lover we’ve ever met, every second we’ve ever spent in pursuit of our life’s purpose, every breath we’ve ever taken and every heartbeat we’ve ever had has happened here, on this planet, with it silently beneath our feet supporting life.

The earth makes the atmosphere for those beautiful deep breaths of fresh air you can take each day.

The earth flows the water that can deeply hydrate your body each day.

The earth grows the food that you juice and the herbs that you take and the nutritional building blocks your body depends on daily.

Those are all powerful and wonderful indirect ways to support your well being.

But the most powerful way of all to enhance your health is to touch the earth directly, grounding your body.

When we are grounded, the earth supports our health electrically, through the natural DC energy that powers the universe.

That DC energy is what allows your body to function.  It’s what enables your muscles to move and your heart to beat and your brain to think.

 

 

The beautiful DC energy of your heart, beating in your chest.

 

The powerful DC energy of your muscles contracting, moving your body.

 

 

The DC energy of your brain thinking, allowing you to have a conscious experience on this earth.

 

 

And it’s not just your heart, mind and muscles… actually your entire body relies on DC energy impulses to function.  Food can not be digested, air can not be breathed, you couldn’t swallow or even blink without first an electrical impulse conducted through the electrical circuitry of our bodies.

So it doesn’t matter what food we eat unless our GI tract is first innervated and activated properly!

It doesn’t matter about air quality if we can’t first innervate and activate our breathing mechanism!

Even that pure beautiful air or crystal clear water can not be taken into the body if first an electrical impulse does not conductively activate the body to breathe in or swallow down.

Our whole body is electrical and relies on good conductivity to work.

As a physician I have seen patients in the ICU hooked up to breathing tubes and feeding tubes and if the body is dying, it doesn’t matter if the air is the purist in the world and the water is the finest in the world and the food is the most alive, active, freshly pressed juice in the world.

If the electrical body is not working, none of these parameters matter.

 

 

 

 

We have to electrically activate the body, which is what defibrillator paddles are trying to do in resuscitating the heart of the body that is dying, and what a ventilator is taking over for when it tries to breathe for a body that is not breathing on it’s own.

Above all, we have to establish and maintain the healthy conductivity of our body.

Our body has to maintain a healthy electrical circuitry in order to remain conscious and have all of our body organs function effectively.

So to protect our body for a lifetime, we need to nurture the healthy conductivity of our body first and foremost, before turning our eye to the air and water and food quality that enhance our well being.

Touching the earth immediately impacts and supports the conductivity of the entire body — supporting the healthy function of our heart, our circulatory system, our brain, our bone metabolism, our thyroid function, our adrenal function, our skin conductance — our entire body from head to toe.

 

 

 

 

Fifty, one hundred, two hundred years ago we were more likely to spend time barefoot walking on the earth, or be working directly in the earth, and — going back thousands of years further — sleeping directly on the ground.

But now, we have rubber shoes, cars to travel in, insulated flooring in our home, asphalt coating our roadways, high rises filled with smart meters to live in.

And life is so stressful, more fast paced and competitive and technologically advanced than ever before.

We are surrounded by more financial stress, technological e-smog (EMFs) and artificial foods than previously imaginable.

Stress, higher cortisol, joint pain, dementia, cancer, age related changes — these are all a fall out from a life long inflammatory condition of a lifetime of living disconnected to the earth.

So we better find a way to be absolutely certain we intentionally seek this connection, routinely.  There is no better day to spend 10 minutes doing exactly that than on Earth Day.

 

 

 

And know too, that grounding goes way beyond the electrical connection of simply touching the earth. Grounding our body gives us a deeper support that has a spiritual aspect.

I believe we are only understanding the very tip of the iceberg when we focus on grounding as being a DC  electrical connection.  What I’ve seen over and over again as a physician working with grounding for over 20 years now, is that grounding supports our body and our soul energy.

When plants are grounded, they grow two and three times as tall, bloom more, and the blossoms last longer.  When humans are grounded, we don’t grow two and three times as tall… instead we feel two and three times more vibrant and healthy and energetic as we do when we are ungrounded.

While the plant world expresses grounded support by vibrant growth,  we express grounded support by vibrant health!

Grounding is the only modality that I know of that combines the fullest extent of physical support with the fullest extent of energetic healing. Nothing else can quite come close to this full state of well being.

No vitamin you take in the morning, that your body will digest that day and try to deliver through your intestines to help nutritionally support your body, will do everything grounding can do.

No amount of sleep you can get the night before to help repair your body to meet the demands of the next day, will do everything grounding can do.

No amount of spiritual support through energy healing modalities such as deep breathing or meditation can support the fullest extent of the physical body the way grounding can.

No modality does both the physical and the energetic work that grounding does, simultaneously. Nothing quite allows you to become the pure positive vessel of Well Being the way grounding does.

 

 

 

 

So while the medical studies show you why grounding is so healing for the human body, I want you to know that it’s not just your physical body that is being supported.  It’s your mind frame, your soul energy, your Spirit.

Just as we have now shown that being disconnected causes everything from depression to inflammation to accelerated aging (collectively now called Nature Deficit Disorder) the re-establishment of grounding your body to support your health will have ramifications that go well beyond any single parameter or indicator of physical health.

You feel better.

You feel supported.

You feel creative.

You feel inspired.

You feel stronger.

You feel more motivated.

You feel more loving.

You feel more loved.

 

 

 

You become open to your soul energy flowing deeply, and meeting your body at it’s core, deep in your heart center.

You become the perfect balance of a physical body that is supported and healthy while being an open vessel holding the most vibrant state of your soul’s energy flowing through your body and resonating out from your core.

When you are in that specific union — of your unique physical body that nobody else has, combined with your unique soul energy that nobody else has, coming together and being totally supported by the healing energy flow of the earth… that is your optimal state of Well Being.

You can offer twice as much of yourself to the world when you feel your well being optimized the way a plant would grow twice as tall because it is grounded and supported by the earth’s energy.

And that’s really the whole point of being alive.  So that you can offer to the world what you are here to offer.  And you can live the unique meaningful life that you are meant to live.

You can go out and radiate twice as much creativity, twice as much goodness, twice as much connection with others, twice as much love to offer, and make twice the impact on this world… and more.

 

 

 

 

So ultimately, grounding is not just about your cardiac function or your hormonal balance or your sleep quality or your bone strength.

Grounding is about finding a center that is so deep and so pure and so strong that you can truly be the best you possible.

Optimizing all of these other things… cardiac function, sleep, hormones, adrenals, bones, thyroid, insulin, etc… so that just like the plants in the grounding study that grow twice as tall when they are grounded, you can feel twice as vibrant, and twice as open to why you are here and what do you want to express while you are here in this lifetime.

That is what I have witnessed and experienced over and over and over again both personally and as a medical physician with my patients.

Most people start their grounding journey because they need an answer that offers more support than any one single medication or diet or vitamin or exercise can offer.

Many people have found that conventional medicine has not been sufficient to correct the physical ailments the disconnect from the earth has caused.

And most people find that when they reconnect, it’s not just the physical ailments that improve.  The energy level and the mind-frame and the sense of meaningful purpose and the heart that heals as well.

 

 

 

 

So my goal is to be sure you do not limit your expectations in any way when you begin your grounding journey.

Allow your entire body, mind, heart and spirit to be transformed.

Allow the supportive energy of Mother Earth to fill you up, open you up, support you in becoming the optimized best version of you that is possible.

The future for grounding is limitless as connecting directly to the earth outside is the birthright of all living things.  There are very very few circumstances where one would not be able to connect outside and receive that healing flow if only we would remember that it is natural for us to do so.

Even urban dwellers can get connected by standing barefoot in a park or on a concrete sidewalk.   Even prisoners in most prisons have access to the outdoors, even if it is concrete, for at least a short period of time each day.

I have patients who live several stories off of the ground who hold onto a tree branch that reaches into their balcony and this is how they ground each afternoon.

I have patients who have a cement basement and stand barefoot on this cement while they fold laundry, and this is how they ground each night.

And for those who have mobility limitations, even bed ridden, there are indoor ways to connect directly to the earth while sitting or lying comfortably indoors.

You can actually be grounded indoors while at work, while home watching TV or reading a book, while spending quality time with your loved ones.

The absolutely easiest way to optimize the amount of time you are grounded in a 24 hour period is to start by sleeping grounded all night long.  There are a huge amount of medical grade, high quality indoor grounding tools waiting for you to explore right over here.

 

 

 

 

Taking action, trying it for yourself, taking a few minutes to put a bare foot onto the earth outside, taking the time to ground indoors as much as possible with indoor grounding tools, can do more to inform you about the healing potential of grounding your body than any amount of words I can write.

Luckily, grounding is the easiest, most readily available healing modality possible.

The only thing you need to do is give it a try, and allow the earth’s energy to uplift, transform and optimize your well being naturally.  Heck if you are not going to get grounded on Earth Day, are you ever going to get grounded?

You need to.

Do it on Friday — do it every day this week if you can — and feel the difference.  The earth is out there, waiting for you.

 

 

Need more inspiration?

Here are 5 Earth Day Ideas to take you ever further:

 

 


 

Idea #1:  Take a fun Grounding Quiz

 

 

How Much Do You Really Know About Grounding (Quiz)

 

Find out how much you really know about grounding.  Grounding newbie?  Grounding expert?  Let’s find out, right here!  I created this fun and informative quiz for you and it only takes a few minutes.

Share it with others and see which one of you knew the most about this phenomenal healing modality of grounding.

 


 

 

Idea #2:  Make Earth Day into a Personal Healing Retreat

 

 

 

 

This is me, taking a few moments to release a tension headache.  However you are feeling right now, whether it is anxious, sad, frustrated, annoyed, tense, overwhelmed, bored, tired… the earth is waiting to give you a boost.

You can use the healing power of connecting directly to the Earth today and actually finish the day feeling better than you did when the day started.

Some days within 1 second of touching the earth I can feel the relief washing over me. My headache soaks down into the grass or my shoulder tension melts away while I sit on a rock or my nausea vanishes while stand on a sidewalk or whatever stress I am holding onto that day subsides as I lean against a tree.

When you are out of contact with the earth your body feels the build up of inflammation and free radical damage and feels stressed out and out of sorts.  When you come back in contact with the earth your body feels intense relief — and there is no better day to gift that to yourself than on Earth Day.

 

  • So start the day with a cup of tea or coffee standing outside watching the sunrise.
  • Or end the day looking up at the moon and stars for a minute before heading up to bed.
  • Take a midday break and do some stretches outside — a few neck rolls would feel amazing.
  • Stand on a sidewalk, or brick, or cement — it will all ground you.
  • Or simply find a leaf on a tree to touch and take three deep breaths.  It will ground you too.


 

 Idea #3:  Host An Earth Day Movie Night

 

 

 

 

Pop some popcorn and click play… and share these film recommendations with the people that you love!

Free grounding films you can watch:

 

 

 

 


 

Idea #4: Get Outside and Go Heart Spotting!

 

I love hearts, as you can tell by the fact that I choose a heart to be my business logo!

All of my life I’ve delighted in finding hearts in nature while I’ve been out and about… nature is sending us love notes every single day, the trick is to notice them.

Today, take your phone or camera and walk around your neighborhood, grabbing pics of any hearts you find.

I love finding hearts in nature, here are some of my favorite pictures I’ve taken of heart I’ve found along the way:

 


 

Idea #5:  Read My Grounding Book

 

 

 

 

If you are not sure how to get grounded when the weather gets extreme, when the seasons change, how long you should ground for, or how to use grounding for specific health results, I wrote this book for you.

I’ve got answers that will get you grounding in no time.

If you are curious about grounding but not sure what to do once you get outside, if you live in a city and don’t have any access to a safe greenspace, if you are not sure what earth surfaces will actually ground you, then oh my goodness I wrote this book for you.

If you want to know how the practice of grounding, one person at a time, on minute at a time, can help save our planet and put it on a different trajectory than the destructive path we’ve put it on, than I wrote this book for you.

It’s called:  The Earth Prescription  and it’s waiting for you right here, right now:

 

 

 

 

Don’t like to read?

Want an experience instead of a book?

Hop into this online class and I’ll personally guide you through a two week grounding retreat, right from the comfort of your own home:

 

 

 


 

 

Woot!  Happy Earth Day my friends!!!

Get out there and go feel better… doctor’s orders.

xoxoxo, Laura

 

 

 

 

 

Just In Time For Easter: How To Eat Chocolate To Boost Your Metabolism

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I’m really excited to tell you about today’s medical study, because I love chocolate so much and I particularly love milk chocolate.

Most medical studies seem to focus on the healthy properties of dark chocolate (for good reason, as dark chocolate is a rich source of antioxidants) but I can’t seem to make myself fall in love with dark chocolate.

But milk chocolate?  Ummm yeah, can’t get enough.

So this interesting medical study caught my eye.  Published in the FASEB Journal, June 2021, researchers found that eating milk chocolate daily reduced the amount of calories that study subjects ate, decreased their hunger and sugar cravings, and actually helped boost their metabolism.

Here is the clincher, thought: it mattered when they ate it.

Researchers had study participants eat a chocolate an entire milk chocolate bar (100g, or about 3/4 of a cup, or 3.5 oz) within one hour of waking, within one hour of bedtime, or no chocolate at all.

They were instructed to eat freely the rest of the day as they normally would.  After two weeks of daily chocolate eating (or not eating) here is what they found:

 

 

Eating a chocolate bar in the morning:

  • participants naturally decreased calorie intake by an average of about 300 kcal/day
  • participants had decreased hunger and decreased desire for sweets
  • participants had a reduced waist circumference of about 2% in just 2 weeks
  • participants had 26% higher oxidation of fat (i.e. boosted fat burning)
  • participants had slightly lowered fasting glucose levels

These results suggest that eating chocolate in the morning helps boost metabolism by decreasing calorie intake, oxidizing fat, and lowering fasting glucose levels.

So if your goal is to lose weight and burn fat, you may consider eating your chocolate treat in the mornings.

 

 

 

Eating a chocolate bar in the evening:

  • participants naturally decreased calorie intake by an average of about 100 kcal/day
  • participants had decreased hunger and decreased desire for sweets
  • participants had 35% higher carbohydrate oxidation (i.e. boosted carb burning)
  • participants naturally increased their daily activity level by 7%
  • participants had more regular sleep patterns

These results suggest that eating chocolate in the evening helps regulate the body’s natural biorhythms, boosting activity level during the day and normalizing sleep at night, as well as burning carbs.  So if your goal is to improve your circadian rhythm, you may consider timing any chocolate treats you are going to eat in the evening.

It’s also good to note that no matter what time the participants ate chocolate, eating an entire chocolate bar every single day for 2 weeks straight did not make either group gain any weight verse controls who did not eat chocolate.

Here’s my question though… what about if I eat chocolate morning and night?  I absolutely volunteer to be a test subject in that clearly much needed medical study, ha!

 

 

 

 

Years ago I wrote to you about a medical article, published in the British Medical Journal in May 2011, showing that folks who consume chocolate often… every single day or even multiple times a day… have an almost 40% reduced risk of heart attack and an almost 30% reduced risk of stroke.

About a third less risk of cardiovascular events and stroke combined attributed to chocolate intake. In fact, the patients who consumed the most chocolate had the greatest cardiac and neurologic protection.

This was a huge, meta analysis looking at over 4,500 different published articles in the medical literature and a whopping 114,000 patients.  This large study population makes these results very impressive and very reliable.

The effects are suggested to be attributed to high polyphenols in chocolate, which increase the bioavailability of nitric oxide… this in turn improves endothelial function, reduces platelet aggregation, and over all has a positive effect on blood pressure, blood lipids, and insulin resistance.

The study included any and all forms of chocolate, whether dark, milk or white chocolate.

 

 

 

 

Another study published 8 years later backed that up, showing the positive effects of eating chocolate on health in a different way — in protecting mood and guarding against mood disorders.

Published on July 29, 2019 in Depression and Anxiety, researchers found that dark chocolate consumption significantly reduced a patients chance of feeling depressive symptoms for a 24 hour period of time.

Looking at over 13,000 patients, researchers found that eating any amount of dark chocolate decreased depressive symptoms by 70% over patients who did not consume chocolate in the previous 24 hours.

OMG why is this not front page news?!?!  Uh… hello!   If I could give you a Rx drug that was 70% effective in reducing depressive symptoms by 70% the very next day, there are a lot of folks who would want to take it.

Now imagine if this miracle drug tasted just like chocolate.

Now imagine it wasn’t a drug at all and it was just simply chocolate itself.

Wish come true, that’s what they found.

 

 

 

 

To explain this mood lifting effect, researchers point out that chocolate contains several psychoactive ingredients, including anandamide analogs (which work similar to cannabinoids) as well as phenylethylamine, a mood regulating neuromodulator.

Getting a mood lifting high from chocolate?  Heck yes.  Make mine a double.

Chocolate also contains flavonoids, which decreases inflammation.  As I’ve already blogged for you right here, we know that inflammation depresses mood.  And I’d like to add to these findings the fact that you are also releasing endorphins from the happiness of eating chocolate (or… um… at least I am!)

Now, didn’t that just brighten your day?

Now all I need is for someone to release chocolate directly in an IV infusion and I am all set to go!!!!  I’ve always been a big fan of eating what brings you joy (as I blog about here) but this just makes me all the happier as I reach for my holiday chocolate.

So eat some chocolate today and enjoy a few added health benefits… doctor’s orders!

 

 

Want some more guidance on navigating holiday foods and treats?

Click the link below to find out my top 5 foods that I reach for when I am at a party or meeting or event:

 

Want to read other free articles I’ve written for you on maintaining a healthy weight?

Click on any of these:

 

xoxo, Laura