Your 2022 Healing Mantra, Say It With Me

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Hello you!  Welcome to 2022.  This is just a remind for you to remember as you start a new year of your life: your body is completely new — inside and out — every few years.

All of your organs (except for one) completely regenerates, repairs, and optimizes on a continuous basis.

  • Some parts of your body are so fresh and new that they are only one day old… the cornea of your eye, for example.  Your cornea can completely regenerate every 24 hours.
  • Some parts are a little older… the lining of your intestines, for example, are about 3 days old.
  • Your skin is about 1 month old.
  • Your fingernails have completely grown out and replaced themselves in about 6 months.
  • Your taste buds are only 10 days old when they get replaced.
  • Your liver regenerates every 5 months.
  • Your lungs are renewed every two years.
  • Even your bones, the support system of your body, is on a 10 year replacement program.

 

“When we meet a friend we have not seen for six months

there is not one molecule in his face which was there when we last saw him.”

– Harold Saxton Burr

 

There is only one organ system that sticks with you for your entire lifetime: your brain.

Nervous tissue is the slowest to repair, never increases in cell quantity and declines in cell quantity over time.  Of course there are plenty of things you can do to stimulate new adaptations and promote brain health, as I’ve outlined for you over the years in free healing articles such as:

 

But for the most part, the brain you have now is the brain you will always have.

Here’s the thing though… your brain is the one you will always have, but your thinking doesn’t have to be the same thoughts that you’ve always had.

Every other part of your body has the ability to be made anew and replaced many many times in your lifetime. So that means that you can and will outgrow conditions. The health of your tissues can continually improve.

You can begin to repair past damage and let go what isn’t working for you and enjoy rebuilding a new body entirely… this is why it is never too late to quit smoking! Within of quitting days your cardiovascular system improves, within months your lungs are repairing, and within years your chances of getting lung cancer are half of what they used to be.

Every single day we get a chance to wake up and re-invent ourselves. A chance to see things from a new perspective and breathe a new breath and embrace a new mindframe.

It takes work to change our thinking and it takes some patience to see this manifest in our bodies.  After all, lots of these health conditions are our life’s work!  They were not meant to clear up overnight, nor could they.

But the next time you get frustrated with your body… the next time you curse your bad posture or your sensitive stomach or your ingrown toenail or your seasonal allergies… just remember:  those tissues in your body are literally in the process of being replaced right now!

The only thing you are carrying with you, decade after decade isn’t that red blood cell (lifespan of about 4 months) or that stomach lining (lifespan of about 2 days) or that skin cell (lifespan of about 3 weeks)… it is the way you feel about your body and the thoughts you think about it.

Of course, disease is a real thing, and health issues are not just *in your head* at all, so of course there are so many more things we can do to support and facilitate health than just changing our thought patterns.  I am dedicated to sharing those with you week after week after week, freely, right here on my blog.  I’ve written you an uplifting blog post every single week of my life for more than a decade now, and I plan to continue for another decade or more, so sign up for my newsletter here so you don’t miss a single one!

But I write this post today, to start off a brand new year, so that you can give yourself a chance… just a chance… to open to the fact that the conditions you have now are not the conditions you need to be saddled with forever.

The health reality you are dealing with right at this very moment has the potential to shift and change and release.

Because your body is literally a self-healing machine, capable of fully replacing itself, it is worth being very aware of the thoughts you think about your body, and the baseline narrative of your brain… which is the only part of you that you need to be carrying with you in 10 years time.

(I painted this painting and added the mantra “All Is Well” to it — you can find prints of this here.)

 

So here is where a healing mantra comes in.

Recent medical studies have proven that simply repeating a mantra can help trauma patients recover from PTSD even better than traditional talk therapy.  I blog about that for you here.  So developing a healing mantra is one of the very best tools you can do to set the dial tone for your entire upcoming year.

Based on the fact that your body is a self-renewing machine, literally divinely design to renew itself around the clock, the best healing mantra you can gift yourself is to be open to this renewal.

So the healing mantra I’d like to suggest is:

 

“I am open to what is possible.”

 

As simple as that.

I am open to what I am experiencing now, but I am also open to what is possible for it to transform into.

Look at what is possible in health. What is possible is where your healing lies.  What you feel is possible for YOU defines exactly how far you can go with your healing.

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

So let’s start 2022 off reminding ourselves:

  • You are always full of healing potential… always.
  • No one can tell you what is true for your body or your health… so don’t let anyone have that kind of power.
  • Conventional medicine can be helpful in troubleshooting and treating illness and disease but is absolutely not fully equipped to help you maximize health and wellness.
  • For maximizing your own health, you have an incredible and unlimited potential.

(I call this one With Every Beat… if you like it you can find prints here!)

 

The way the current medical model is set up is to test and report the outcome of a medication or a surgical procedure or a health intervention, and to use these statistics as the standard of care.

I’m very familiar with the scientific method of research not only through keeping on top of the current scientific literature to as a physician, but also because growing up as the daughter of one of the lead scientists at the National Institutes of Health… I grew up attending international scientific meetings literally since I could walk.  I then went on to join a laboratory at the National Cancer Institute throughout my college years where we conducted leukemia research.  I then went on to go through medical school and an internship and now 20+ years of medical practice.

And with my experience in both laboratory medicine and clinical medicine, what I can tell you is: the entire thing is awesome, but it can also be limiting.

 

(I painted this artwork and entitled it “See Beyond The Surface” — but it has sold.)

 

Here’s basically what happens:

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

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

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

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

While this can be incredibly helpful, even life saving (after all, two years ago my appendix ruptured and I would not be alive today without the experience of conventional medicine in how to repair my body.  My surgeon said I was about 2 hours away from dying, since I ignored my appendix rupture for so long!  gah!)

But, this also does come with an unintentional side effect that you should be aware of.

By using the medical literature as standard of care, your doctor unknowingly limits your healing potential with what has been most probable, in the past, for others.

And while knowing these statistics and outcomes can be helpful when faced with medical decision making, many times, these statistics are frightening, scary, and deflating.

And even when the statistic or intervention offered has favorable odds of working, you are now being defined and limited by what is standard, what is probable, and what happened in the past to others.

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

It never shows you what is POSSIBLE FOR YOU.

It brings you down to the lowest common denominator.

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

 

new health

(I painted this artwork too, and I call it “New Health”, prints available here.)

You have unlimited healing potential.  You should truly embrace and know that.  Every cell in your body has unlimited potential to heal.

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

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

We should be finding out WHY some folks heal fully, why some invite miracles, why some never get a disease in the first place, why some are predicted to have a very poor outcome and they fully heal anyway, why some outlive life expectancies by double, triple, quadruple the prediction.

Because these experiences, of people getting the illness that YOU HAVE and surviving and thriving and fully healing from it are PROOF of what is POSSIBLE!

I am not interested in reducing a patient’s healing to a pre-set outcome.  I am interested in what is possible for them.

 

new rx

(I also painted this one! I call it “Your New Rx” and have prints available here!)

I want physicians to look through the medical literature like an encyclopedia, filled with all kinds of beautiful outcomes from all kinds of amazing interventions and treatments… both holistic and conventional… and to go through this information together with their patients as an IDEA BOOK OF WHAT IS POSSIBLE.

And together, come up with a treatment plant that feels right to that specific patient.

Because there are *UNLIMITED* ways to heal!

There are many paths to healing and you can align with any one of them! Or many of them!  You can do multiple healing things simultaneously, and the process of healing should be uplifting and a relief… not a battlefield.

I want patients actively choosing inspired action.

I believe the medical literature should be an encyclopedia of what has gone right for others and what is possible.  Because if it is possible…

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

…than it can absolutely happen to you.  
It  has already been proven POSSIBLE!

So let’s fill the medical literature up with what is possible and attainable and study THAT!  Let’s switch the focus from probable, to possible.  If even one other person has had this illness and experienced a complete recovery, than that is documented and possible for YOU too.

(I painted this one too (entitled “Think Differently”) but is has sold.)

Anything is possible!

 Anything!

 

In 2022, keep your mind and heart open to possibility.

Because if healing has happened to even one other person, than for sure it’s been proven:  It can happen.  It has happened.  And it can happen to you too.

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

I want physicians to sit their patient down to look at the spectrum of WHAT IS POSSIBLE in healing, and lay out all the possible paths back to Wellness for them, and together reach for THAT.

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

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

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

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

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

I think if we can shift the medical literature from “Probable” to “Possible” we’d experience a shift in the well-being of people everywhere.

And today it starts with you.   Your 2022 healing mantra?

 

“I am open to what is possible.”

 

Repeat this often.

Look into a mirror, gaze directly into your own eyes, feel the presence of the YOU that is living inside of your body, and tell yourself out loud:

“I am open to what is possible.”

 

To your unlimited healing potential…

and a wonderful ever expanding and upleveling 2022!

xoxoxo, Laura

 

 

Your Ultimate Guide To A New Year, New You & A New Metabolism

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It’s no secret that one of the most popular New Years resolutions of all time is to lose weight.

In my medical opinion, losing weight is not about reducing calorie intake, and it’s not honestly even predominately about what you eat at all.  Although making nutrient dense food choices is a crucial part of your long term health, the type of weight gain I see most commonly is actually driven by stress.  A combination of poor sleep, high cortisol levels, and a decrease in metabolism all combine to make losing weight, or even staying at the same weight, near impossible.

So this week, as we move into 2022 (wow!) I wanted to give you a ton of lesser known, but extremely effective ways to reset your metabolism so that losing weight is a secondary outcome to just feeling better.  Read through this list and see if there are any you feel called to implement — even just one or two of these tips can make a noticeable difference in your health.

Here we go:


 

 

 1.  Stop negative self talk:

 

The first step is to absolutely eliminate any negative self talk you might be having with your food choices.

Your body functions on the basis of resiliency.   It resets again and again and again and again.  Adapting, recalibrating, adjusting, and realigning to health over and over again.

The human body is incredibly resilient, and the basis of our existence is that your body is adaptable.  Your health is forgiving and intuitive.  Your body can return to wellness despite challenges (like that chocolate bar I just ate while typing up this blog post.  You might think I’m joking but I am absolutely not.)

Your body can handle you eating unhealthy foods (as long as you have a good nutritional intake otherwise) so much better than it can handle not eating enough healthy foods in the first place. So instead of beating yourself up over having a cheat meal or a decedent dessert or that midnight snack, focus on making sure you are eating all of the nutritional building blocks your body needs to maintain health in the first place.

Stick with making sure you are eating the nutritional building blocks, and your body can handle the extra not-so-healthy things you might consume alongside that.  Trust in your body’s resiliency.

In fact, medical studies suggest that it is fat shaming (not obesity itself!) that directly increases a person’s risk for metabolic syndrome and subsequent health issues.  Letting go of the internalized stress associated with weight will decrease diabetes risk, heart disease risk and the rate of metabolic disease in general, as shown in this study published Jan 26, 2017 in Obesity.

The Study:

  • 159 patients with an average BMI of 41.1 kg/m2 were clinically assessed through blood pressure, waist circumference, fasting glucose, trigycerides, HDL cholesterol at baseline, and treatment for hypertension, dyslipdemia and prediabetes.
  • Patients were assessed using the Weight Bias Internalization Scale and Patient Health Quesstionnaires to determine how much each patient internalized weight related stigma.

The Results:

  • Researchers found that participants who internalized stress from weight-related stigma were over 40% more likely to have metabolic syndrome than participants who did not internalize stigma.
  • These results were independent of the actual degree of obesity and other confounding issues such as depression.
  • Weight stigma was found to cause a direct physiological stress response in the body, elevating blood pressure and increasing the body’s inflammation.
  • Researchers conclude that weight stigma alone is a form of chronic stress that creates physical disease when internalized.

 

These results show it is not the weight itself, but rather the stress that our society places on larger sized individuals and their internalization of that stress, that increases the risk of metabolic syndrome and puts them at higher cardiovascular risk than they would otherwise have.

This is totally unnecessary.  If the stress of being overweight was reduced, so would the disease burden.  So stop beating yourself up and instead choose one of the positive things you can do from the list below to care for your body better.  This is about supporting your body, not tearing it down.

 


 

 

2.  Focus on nutrition, not calories:

 

This fantastic, impressive study (published in Lancet in May 2019) is a global analysis of diet and health outcomes looking at 195 different countries over an almost 30 year span of time.  Never before has such a large scale investigation of the relationship between dietary intake and disease ever been conducted.

This one study can replace everything we’ve based our current understanding of the correlation between diet and disease, because all other studies to date have been much smaller and isolated to smaller regions of the world.

And here is the one, overriding conclusion from that study: it’s not about what you are eating, it’s about what you aren’t eating.

In other words, what makes the most impact on your disease risk isn’t so much what unhealthy foods you are eating, it’s what healthy foods you aren’t eating enough of.  Over the past several decades, the medical literature and most diet plans have focused on restricting “bad” foods such as sodium, sugar, processed meats and fats.

But in this largest-study-to-date meta analysis, researchers found that it is actually inadequate intake of essential nutritional components (like nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables) that accounts for more disease and death than overconsumption of  any “bad” foods such as red meat, processed meats, fat, sugar, sodas or sweetened beverages.

In fact, inadequate nutrition causes more deaths worldwide than smoking does.

One of the authors of this study, Christopher Murray, MD, states that “poor diet is responsible for more deaths than any other risk factor in the world.”  That means that inadequate intake of nutrients cause the body more illness, disease and death than consumption of sugar or processed meats or trans fats ever do.

The researchers found that inadequate consumption of nutritional building blocks led to more heart disease, cancer, diabetes and death worldwide than did consumption of unhealthy foods.

Do you see the positives out of this realization?

You can stop beating yourself up for the cravings, snacks, and “cheat meals” you eat, and instead simply focus on making sure that you are getting an adequate intake of the absolutely mandatory good nutrients that our bodies need to function optimally for a lifetime.

Here are the study details:

  • Looking at 195 countries for 28 years (1990 – 2017,) researchers analyzed diet and health outcomes.  Correlating nutritional intake with chronic disease (conditions like diabetes, heart disease and cancer) and death rates, researchers found that lack of nutrition was far more deadly than consuming foods typically considered “disease causing” like fats and sugars.
  • For example, when researchers evaluated whole grains intake, they found that a diet low in whole grains led to 3 million deaths and 82 million diseases world wide annually.
  • When researchers evaluated low fruit intake, they found that a diet with inadequate fruit consumption led to 2 million deaths and 65 million diseases world wide annually.

If you do want to restrict one thing from your diet, the results suggest focusing on sodium.  High sodium consumption was associated with 3 million deaths and 70 million diseases world wide annually.

These three dietary culprits (low whole grains, low fruits, and high sodium) were the top three causes of morbidity and mortality world wide… causing far higher disease rates and death than consuming sugar, fats, processed meats and sugary drinks.

The results suggest that it might be more important to be sure we are consuming adequate amounts of “the good stuff” instead of restricting “the bad stuff.”

What’s the good stuff? Be sure you are getting plenty of servings of:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Legumes
  • Whole grains
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Fiber
  • Calcium &
  • Seafood-derived omega-3 fatty acids.

 

Researchers suggest that focusing on increasing nutrient intake would prevent about 1 in every 5 deaths!

The bottom line: Of the 11 million deaths each year that are related to diet, more deaths are associated with inadequate intakes of healthy foods than with superfluous consumption of unhealthy ones.

So today, try to shift your thinking from negative dietary restrictions to positively consuming healthy foods.

Obviously a good diet is important, but this study tells me that even if you just can’t seem to get control over a sweet tooth, or a fatty snack is your go-to stress relief, or you splurge and eat a processed meat product, the things you do eat are not as damaging to your health as the things you don’t eat.

In other words, if you have a bowl of ice cream after dinner tonight, instead of going to bed feeling horrible and berating yourself for your food choices, let the ice cream dessert go and instead consider if you ate 2 – 3 servings of fruits and vegetables today.

 

 


 

 

 

3.  Take a very high quality multivitamin to fill in the gaps.

 

Another important thing to consider is that if getting a baseline amount of healthy foods is more important than banishing non-healthy foods, then a really high quality multivitamin makes a lot of sense.

So one idea, beside upping your fruit and veggie and nut and seed intake, is to add on a multivitamin and mineral supplement (especially one that has a whole food certified organic blend of fruit and vegetables right in the supplement) to help cover any bases that your intake that day might have missed.

My favorite multivitamins are the MyKind Organics daily vitamin line and Pure Encapsulations multivitamin line.  Both of these “best-of-the-best” lines of nutritional supportive supplements are waiting for you in my online dispensary under the “General Wellness,” tab.

Click over here to browse multivitamins now, so that you can round out your diet with the nutrients your body truly needs.

 


 

 

4.  Allow a few pounds of extra weight.

 

There are survival advantages to being overweight as opposed to underweight… like surviving life threatening infections.  Published June 2016 in Critical Care Medicine, the results of this study suggest that heavier weight allows the body to survive overwhelming bacterial infections, even at advanced age, something good to know as this pandemic continues.  Researchers looked at the data of over 1,400 elderly people hospitalized with severe sepsis (requiring ICU care) and compared their body mass index (BMI) with clinical outcome 1 year after discharge. The results revealed a 25% improved mortality rate in severely obese, obese and overweight patients compared to normal weight patients.

Another medical study (published July 2017 in Cardiac Interventions) that found that obese and overweight patients actually have better survival rates and less complications after heart surgery (percutaneous cardiac interventions, or PCI) than normal weight and lean patients do.  On top of that, the better outcomes persisted even 5 years later, with better outcomes for the overweight and obese patients than for normal or low weight patients.

Another medical study, published in JAMA Oncology on June 21, 2018, found that a higher BMI was associated with lowered breast cancer rates.  The highest BMI group had over 4 times lower rates of breast cancer than the lowest BMI group.  This inverse relationship between higher BMI resulting in significantly lowered breast cancer rates was particularly strong for hormone receptor positive breast cancers.  Young women (ages 18 to 24) who were obese (BMI greater than or equal to 35) developed breast cancer 4.2 times less often than women who were underweight (BMI lower than 17.)  This study was very large — almost one million patients — and was a rigorously analyzed.  Considering breast cancer is the most common worldwide cancer diagnosis for women, particularly young women, this is very important news indeed.

And this is not limited to breast cancer.  Published Oct 2016 in the Journal Of Clinical Oncology, researchers examined body mass (BMI) and metastatic renal (kidney) cancer survival rates.  They found that obesity actually predicted improved survival in metastatic cancer… improving both the progression free survival rate and the over-all survival rate.  The fact that obese patients have better outcomes in metastatic renal cancer is a real thing — this study had large patient numbers, was reproducible in different cohorts, and is statistically significant.  The numbers are actually so significant that now physicians are encouraged to take the patient’s weight into account before sharing information on prognosis with their patients.

Of course, anything that shows there is a wide diversity to what is considered a “healthy weight” is totally hidden by the media.  That makes sense, as the weight loss industry is a 20 BILLION dollar industry IN THE UNITED STATES ALONE!!!  So, of course the media wouldn’t want you to actually feel good about your current weight or feel there was any advantage in the slightest to having a higher BMI.

But in fact, as I blogged about here, only when a person’s BMI exceeds 35 is there an increase in mortality rates.  So… if losing those last 10 pounds isn’t actually going to help you live longer… what defines your “ideal weight”? What defines your ideal weight is how you *feel* wearing the body you wear each day: your energy level, your flexibility, your capacity to get around, to get outside, and to enjoy the things you want to enjoy each day.

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

This means focusing on muscle tone.

On heart strength.

On endurance.

On lung capacity.

On bone mass.

On energy levels.

On restorative sleep at night.

On happiness.

On quality time with loved ones.

On meaningful relationships.

On spiritual strength.

And even if you are at 35 BMI or higher?  Focusing on energy levels, bone mass, restorative sleep, endurance and other positive health markers will create a path of natural weight loss anyway.  So that’s all any of us need to be focusing on, starting right now.

 


 

 

5.  If you still do want to diet… fast instead.

 

You’ve probably heard of fasting for weight loss, but most people are not aware of the decades of medical research that show just how profoundly intermittent fasting can boost health in ways that go way beyond weight management.

Fasting has been shown to:

  • Decrease inflammation: Published in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism in 2007, researchers found that fasting for 12 hours daily decreased all measured markers of inflammation by a statistically significant amount, including interleukin-6, C-reactive protein, and homocysteine levels.
  • Decrease heart disease: A study published in the American Journal of Cardiology in 2009, showed that fasting just one day a month (one day a month!) was enough to significantly decrease risk of heart attack risk by reducing coronary artery disease. In addition to that, a study published in Nutritional Research in 2012 showed that fasting for 12 hours a day decreased blood pressure, and when fasting was increased to every other day for just four weeks, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides were reduced by more than 25%.
  • Decrease asthma attacks: Published in Free Radical Biology & Medicine in 2007, reducing calorie intake every other day by just 20% allowed asthma suffers to lose 8% of their body weight in only two months, decrease their blood markers of stress and inflammation, and decrease asthma symptoms while improving quality of life.
  • Protect your brain: Improved memory, improved mood, decreased Alzheimer rates, and decreased Parkinson’s rates… all from fasting?  Yep.  Published in the Journal of Neuroscience Research in 1999, the Journal of Molecular Neuroscience in 2000, the Neurobiology of Disease in 2007 (as well as many other studies) researchers have found that intermittent fasting can improve neuronal connections, increase the proliferation of neurons, and even protect against amyloid plaques.
  • Decrease cancer recurrence rates: Prolonging the amount of time spent fasting — skipping evening snacks all together and fasting for 13+ hours each night — significantly reduced the risk of breast cancer, according to a study that spanned thousands of patients followed for over a decade. Published on March 31, 2016 in JAMA Oncology, researchers found that fasting at night for 13 hours or more was found to reduce the risk of cancer recurrence by one-third, as well as drop HbA1C levels and increase sleep length at night.  Another study (published in Teteratgenesis, Carcinogenesis and Mutagenesis in 2002) found that alternate day fasting helped decrease tumor formation, while yet another study (published in Science Translational Medicine in 2012) found that a wide range of cancer cells exposed to fasting showed increased responsiveness and sensitivity to chemotherapy treatments as well as directly decreased tumor growth.  So fasting for 13+ hours each night is an effective, drug free, holistic, all natural way to decrease cancer recurrence and help boost cancer treatment.
  • Boost longevity: One study (published in the Journals of Gerontology in 1983) showed that fasting had a greater impact in improving longevity than even exercise did!  And a more recent study, published in 2000 in the Mechanisms of Aging and Development, showed short term repeated fasting throughout life resulted in a lifespan that was 75% longer.  In fact, a study published in Nature in 2009 stated that intermittent fasting is “the most effective and reproducible intervention to extend lifespan” that we know of… capable of significantly extending lifespan by reducing age-related disorders.
  • And of course, encourage long-term weight loss: Published in Nutrition Reviews in 2015, researchers looked at all forms of fasting… including alternate day fasting, whole day fasting, and even simply time restricted fasting (like a 13 hour nightly fast) and all of these techniques resulted in significantly reduced body fat, significantly reduced body weight, and reduced blood lipid levels of cholesterol and triglycerides.

 

I have a blog post waiting for you right here detailing how to start fasting in a very simple way — choose from either a nightly fast (as easy as prolonging the time between your last bite of dinner to your first bite of breakfast) or a 5:2 diet, where you simply pick two days a week to eat lightly and then eat normally the other 5 days:

 

My Favorite 3 Types of Fasting:  Nighttime, Daytime, and 5:2 Fasting  

 

I also recently made this TikTok to share with you a fasting app that I’ve been enjoying, you might find it helpful too (and hop over here to watch the dozens of other holistic health TikTok I have made for you over the past year!):

 

@laurakonivermd

My top tip for navigating the holidays without gaining weight! #metabolism #intermittentfasting #WeFast #holistichealth #laurakonivermd

♬ original sound – Laura Koniver, MD

If you want to try fasting, take care to stay very well hydrated, get plenty of rest, and when you do eat, make sure the foods you choose are nutrient dense, chock full of protein and healthy fats.  And of course, run your fasting plan by your doctor if you have any chronic health conditions or are planning to fast for more than a 24 hour period of time.

 


 

 

6.  Sleep more.

 

I always ask patients who are having trouble loosing weight about their sleep.  That’s because a medical study (that I shared with you back in August of 2013) showed that poor sleep caused study participants to gain weight 9 times faster than participants who slept well.  Nine times faster weight gain!

Previous studies have shown a link between poor sleep and weight gain, but this was the first study where participants slept in-house in a sleep facility and the actual weight gain was measurably significant after only a handful of 4 hour nights in a row.  If healthy individuals who experienced a short period of sleep deprivation gained 9 times as much weight as healthy individuals who get a full night of sleep, what does this predict for folks who are chronically sleep deprived?

Many of us live and function daily in a state of catching only a few hours of sleep a night… not just for 4 days but for weeks, months, even years at a time.  This has a huge impact on your weight. Imagine gaining 9 times as much weight over the course of a year of poor sleep as you normally would had you slept well.

If you are feeling exhausted from not sleeping well, than your body is going to urge you to reach for food as a way to sustain your energy. This is your body’s way of ensuring your survival!

So if you are watching your weight or struggling to understand why your best efforts are not good enough to prevent you from gaining weight, examine your sleep.  Hop over here for some tips on deepening your sleep at night, naturally.

 

 


 

 

 

7.  Truly know it’s not too late to focus on your health:

 

Medical studies suggest that older people in excellent physical health — called the “well-derly” — actually have higher smoking rates and higher BMI’s than expected.  Presented March 3, 2017 at the 10th Future of Genomic Medicine Conference, a study on people 80 years old and older (who are free of all common chronic diseases and are in excellent health) found that they smoked more than the general public and that many had higher BMIs as well!

Hallelujah — finally a medical study trying to figure out what people do *right* to preserve excellent health for a lifetime, instead of looking at what they are doing wrong.

When you turn it around to look at survival and why some folks are disease free well into their ninth decade of life and beyond, you get some very interesting and important answers.  Part of an ongoing study called the Healthspan Project (which I will absolutely keep you updated on because I am all about positive, uplifting health guidance!) researchers looked at healthy elders and analyzed them for genetic markers of disease.

What they found is that the elderly who were supremely healthy had the exact same rates of genetic markers that would predict disease as the rest of the population.  In other words, it’s not that the “well-derly” didn’t have BRCA mutations and other genetic markers of disease, but in fact, they have the same genetic mutations at the same rate as the general population and are just not actually manifesting disease expression.

This study showed that healthy elderly participants had the same rates of genetic risk factors for diabetes, cancers and stroke as the general population, yet remained disease free.  And when looking at why, the results were just as surprising, because when compared with the general population, the smoking rates were actually higher for men (61% smokers as opposed to 54% in general population) and equivalent for women (42% vs 43%.). The well-derly did exercise more (67% exercised compared to 44% of the general population) but their BMI was not uniformly lower — there were many wellderly with a BMI of 30 kg/m2 or higher.

Studies like these are so important, because it’s not just longevity but actually healthspan — how long someone lives in optimal health — that give us the most important clues on how to support our innate health potential.  This study tells us that even if we have higher BMI’s than we want, or have made unhealthy lifestyle choices in the past (like smoking) we can still find that our health is resilient for an entire lifetime.

Want some quick (and free) ideas on improving your health — no matter what your age — that aren’t even diet related at all?  Hop over here to read these articles I’ve written for you:

 


 

 

 

8.  Ground your body while you eat.

 

Grounding has a profound impact on your digestion, boosting your vagal tone (which supports the function of your entire digestive tract, from your esophagus to your colon and everything in between!) while meanwhile directly impacting your ability to feel full and satiated, even enhancing absorption by decreasing inflammation, which also helps with recovery after a meal.

From every single angle, eating grounded helps:  putting you more deeply in touch with your hunger and satiation, helping you digest and absorb your nutrients better, boosting your metabolism and keeping weight gain at bay, even decreasing discomfort after eating.

Even if you eat completely organic, fresh, dairy-free, gluten-free, best-diet-in-the-world you can easily still have irritable bowel issues, or indigestion, or bloating, or pain.

That’s because you can’t fully resolve bowel inflammation without being grounded.

Because of the scientific evidence that grounding supports our digestion, I ran a study of my own patients because I wondered if, by boosting our digestion and metabolism through touching the earth, we would see a change in weight over time. So I personally enrolled a dozen overweight patients into an informal private study on grounding and weight loss.  I followed them for 10 weeks, measuring weight, energy, mood, sleep, and pain, with weekly weigh-ins and assessments. 

Their instructions were to touch the earth outside directly for 15 minutes a day, and that was it.  I told them not to change their diet at all. I wanted them to eat everything they had eaten before in the same quantities and in the same fashion.  I told them not to start new activities or to change their activity level at all.  I wanted to see metabolic changes from short periods of daily grounding over time.  Following those patients with weekly weigh-ins and weekly assessments was very, very interesting.

Most of the patients lost a clinically significant amount of weight — 60% of them losing between 4 and 15 pounds in the 10 week study period — doing nothing more then adding in daily grounding for just 15 minutes a day.

Hop over here to watch a video I created for you to explain why adding grounding to your daily routine is the quickest way to heal your digestion.  At the end of this free article I wrote for you, I share tons of ideas on how to eat grounded outside — pick one each day and watch your weight self correct effortlessly.

For more tips on how grounding profoundly supports your health from head to toe, and how to easily incorporate grounding into your daily life to see profound results, grab my book The Earth Prescription, available as a paperback and digital book right here. 

 

 


 

 

 

 

9.  Recognize your emotional eating style

 

What I’ve noticed as a physician examining health outcomes for the past 20 years, is that most people eat emotionally instead of nutritionally.

To help you focus on what matters most (which is consuming nutrient dense foods) I have developed a list of the top 7 emotional eating patterns I see over and over again.  If you can develop insight into why you eat the way you do, you can reframe your mind away from eating emotionally and instead eat intellectually, based on what supports your health best.

Stop worrying so much about what treats and indulgences you crave and instead figure out why you crave them.

Look over this list to see if you can identify which emotional eating pattern describes you best and get some tips on working with your eating patterns in a healthier way:

 

  • FOOD IS SECURITY   For some folks, food represents safety and security.   So when they are not eating, deep fears of safety and panic may arise.  There may be worries about food scarcity and needing to know when and what your next meal will be. If you notice you overeat, it may be an attempt to feel secure and reassured that all is well. You may crave comfort foods such as casseroles and home cooking and baked goods, or foods that remind you of childhood. If you tend to eat in this way, it is perfectly reasonable to feed your body foods that comfort it, but the goal is to have reasonable portion sizes.  One way to provide comfort and a deep contentment to security-type eaters is to include lots and lots and lots of fiber, so that you feel full, satiated, safe and grounded for longer.

 

  • FOOD IS PLEASURE   For some folks, food isn’t just about the nutrition, food is about the entire experience… the smell, the feel, the texture, the flavor, the delight in chewing it. Food is pleasurable and even sensual.  If this is your style of eating, you may find you are eating because you want the feel of food in your mouth, not because you are hungry. You may also find a love/hate relationship with food… often pleasure-seeking eaters have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or lactose intolerance or celiac disease and need to find a balance between the foods they love and the foods their body hates.  One great idea for pleasure eaters is to enjoy drinking (coffees, teas, water, fresh squeezed juices…) or chewing gum throughout the day to experience that sensual pleasure of having sensations in the mouth without necessarily reaching for food.

 

  • FOOD IS POWER For some folks, eating food is an issue of control or power. These control-based eaters are the ones most likely to try to strictly monitor what they eat and submit to horrible restrictive diets that they absolutely hate!  And as you read about in today’s medical study, healthy eating is not about what you restrict but rather what you eat. So for people who see food as power, diets are particularly offensive because restricting food intake feels like a loss of power or a loss of control… two things these types of eaters hate!  One great idea for control-based eaters is to drop the diets and instead focus on choosing easily digestible foods like soups and pureed foods that are easier on your digestive organs (liver, pancreas, stomach) and eating frequent, smaller meals, grazing all throughout the day instead of a few large meals. Focusing on high quality foods and eating them more often, instead of restricting quantity, tends to be kinder than dieting and allows your body to feel healthier.

 

  • FOOD IS LOVE   Some folks enjoy food that releases endorphins and provides a rush, similar to falling in love. Any of my blog readers who know how often I blog about eating chocolate will recognize… yep, I’m this type of eater.  Romantic foods like oysters, red wine, chocolate… it’s not so much that these eaters care about food, they care about the way the food makes them feel. Dieting feels atrocious for love-seeking eaters and restricting food is equivalent to being dumped by a lover.  One great idea for love-seeking eaters is to focus on enjoying the people you are eating with more than the food — if possible, avoid eating alone (which typically leads to over-eating) and instead really focus on making eye contact with the people you are enjoying a meal with, the conversation.  This will allow you to enjoy what foods you do eat — for example, appreciating a lovely glass of wine and a small piece of dark chocolate instead of three plates full of food you do not actually love or even enjoy. Or, focus just as much on creating a lovely place to eat as you do what foods you are eating.  Add a fresh flower to your kitchen table, bring your lunch outside to eat in sunshine the middle of a work day, or browse thrift stores for beautiful, vintage glasses and plates to mix and match, or hand sew some beautiful cloth napkins to use as a treat.

 

  • FOOD IS JOY   Some people just love to enjoy a wide variety of foods and this is one of their wonderful strengths with eating.  My son is a joy-based eater and he is amazing at trying foods most children wouldn’t even think of… exotic foods, spicy foods, unusual vegetables that kids traditionally hate.  He is open to trying it all and gets so excited as he watches me prepare an interesting meal from scratch.  Because joyful eaters are so open to food, dieting or any type of food restriction at all feels like a huge loss and may even bring deep sorrow.  My favorite recommendation for joy-based eaters is to focus on trying new and unusual foods to satisfy their cravings, instead of over-eating a large quantity of boring foods.  Keep a stash of different spices, hot sauces and healthy seasonings to make each bite taste exciting and invigorating instead of needing larger portions to bring joy.  Joy eaters also tend to actually enjoy preparing food, so if you are a joy eater build time into your day to focus on trying new recipes, browsing new cookbooks, and preparing healthy meals from scratch. Joy-based eaters can feel guilty that food brings them joy — but I say this is a strength!  Food brings joy!  So choose your food selection based on how much joy it brings you and do not waste your time (or calories) on food that does not bring joy.

 

  • FOOD IS ENERGY   People that eat for energy may need lots more fats and more protein than other eaters. These people have so much energy output that each bite needs to be calorie dense and their body knows this.  Although they get the message to feel bad about eating fats and eating dense protein (after all, eating a light salad seems so much more social acceptable) this leaves them feeling depleted and desperate for a pick-me-up later.  They may even feel a sense of shame about eating something that their vegetarian friend (who is not an energy-eater) would not touch. Instead of feeling guilty, energy eaters need to know that they are honoring their bodies by feeding their brain lots of healthy fats (organic whole fat dairy/butter/yogurt or coconut, avocado, fish oil…) and protein (organic, ethically produced meats, organic eggs,  organic nuts and nut butters.). My daughter is an energy eater, and I can honestly say that she is one of the healthiest people I know.  Glowing skin.  Gorgeous hair.  Beautiful radiant soul.  People who are energy eaters need to feel good about their intuitive food choices that make them crave protein. Not everyone can feel their best on a strictly vegetarian diet, so please be non-judgmental towards yourself or your friends who need to eat ethically sourced meat routinely.

 

  • FOOD IS OPTIONAL   Does this sounds familiar: forgetting to eat, not making the time to eat, feeling dizzy because you skipped lunch, reaching for a quick snack and then getting right back to work, forgetting to hydrate?  Some folks find it easy to ignore their bodies needs or lose track of time.  While sporadic eaters are usually not so bothered by going on a diet, the danger here is that they often don’t take the time to eat healthily so that when they do eat, they are ravenous and don’t make smart food choices, or they don’t even get the needed nutritional building blocks at all.  The best thing these eaters can do is to schedule in their eating so that they eat at regular intervals, stay hydrated, and make great food choices… instead of not eating all day long and then binging in a drive through on the way home. Another great tip is to carry water with you at all times, so that even if they you not taking the time to properly eat, you stay well hydrated.  This goes for everyone, but to sporadic eaters most of all.

 

 


 

 

10.  Reduce Stress

 

Gaining weight (or losing weight) unintentionally is a common response to chronic or acute stress.

In fact, a recent poll conducted by the American Psychological Association found that most of us have experienced a significant weight change in the past year, thanks to the overwhelm that the 2020 & 2021 brought our way.  The poll revealed that 60% of Americans report undesired weight changes as a result of this pandemic.  42% of us gained a significant and unwanted amount of weight and almost 20% of us had an undesired and significant loss of weight.

But I’m here to help.  You can definitely reset your body to it’s ideal, healthiest set point again, and it doesn’t have to take as long as you think.  And it absolutely isn’t about dieting.  No amount of dieting, monitoring your food, and bullying yourself into losing weight will reduce your stress and re-align you with health.

Stress affects your body from head to toe, and can have a tremendous impact on your weight, as the poll above reflects.  Studies show that sress can cause changes in eating patterns  and they also suggest that cortisol reactivity is one of the reasons why. 

So instead of monitoring your eating, maybe what we should be monitoring is your cortisol and stress levels. Cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands and by supporting your adrenal health, you can normalize your cortisol levels.  Stop the focus on weight and instead focus on reducing your body’s stress hormone output.   In fact, releasing your weight struggle and embracing your adrenal repair instead may be the best way to stop unhealthy food consumption that is due to stress, which is what is triggering this change in the first place.

If you think  some of your unwanted weight changes is actually due to increased stress, here is a blog post I wrote for you about 17 ways to reduce stress:

 

17 Ways To Naturally Decrease Your Stress + Free Printable Tools To Help

 


 

 

Want More Support?  I’ve Got You

 

If you want even more support to safely, easily, and effectively lose weight in a way that supports your innate health, I’ve got you.  We can work together to directly support your weight loss goals in my upcoming online health class.

Join into my upcoming 5 Day Weight Release & Reset Online Class right here.

 

“I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the Weight Reset emails and videos! I looked forward to each and every day.  Your class gave me so much hope!”  – C.C.

“This was AWESOME!!  I loved all the information — the medical studies to back it up and the daily reminders.  Plus – I love that you can do this at your own pace.  Thank you!”  – C.W.

“I got a lot out of the class.  I was surprised at how many different things can affect your weight and when you talked about them in the class… it was like a bell went off.  I would definitely recommend the class to others.”  – S.G.

 

Together, we will go over the 5 pillars of sustainable, feel-good weight loss.  One pillar a day for 5 days.  Simple and sweet.

I’ve based this course directly off of the medical literature and my 20 years of experience helping to support my patients with their weight loss goals.  You’d be surprised that your body naturally knows what weight is the perfect one for you, and it can sustain it at this perfect weight effortlessly once you naturally align your metabolism.  I’ll show you how in a very non-threatening, supportive, uplifting way.

It’s not about being rigid or militant or hard on yourself, in fact, it’s the exact opposite.  The harder you are on yourself, the harder it is to align with your healthiest version of you.  It’s not even about your diet and exercise plan — there are actually several other things that are even more important than what you eat and how you move… and without knowing what those things are, you just can’t lose weight.

Understand the things that sabotage weight loss and the weight releases, naturally.

Class starts Jan 10th and I’m excited to get started with you.  Hop over here to sign up and reserve your spot today:

 

 

To your resilient, natural health!

xoxox, Laura

 

 

A Winter Solstice Sleep Checklist, To Ensure You Get The Best Sleep Ever

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This is one of the first paintings I ever painted, many years ago… I called it Nighttime Frolic. The canvas has sold but I have prints right here if you like it! (((xoxoxo)))

 

This weekend brings us the winter solstice (and honestly thank goodness because for my sanity I really need the days to start getting longer again) and the darkest day of the year should naturally be a time of hibernation and restoration… i.e. good quality sleep.

Sleep is so important to your long term well being that you literally can’t live without it… sleep is non-negotiable and absolutely essential for longevity.  And the good news is, that no matter how bad your sleep is right now, you are only ever one night away from a good night of sleep.  So maybe on this winter solstice night, we can make that night your best night of sleep all year.

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve struggled with insomnia or how big your sleep deficit is.  Every single night is an opportunity to completely turn that around.  Because your last night’s sleep affects your next’s night’s sleep, when you have a really poor night just think of it as increasing your sleep pressure to make it all the more easy to repair your sleep the very next night.

So right now I am going to give you tons of ideas on deepening your sleep to protect your health… which is more critical now, than ever.  I have listed them in the order you would do them throughout the day — starting with the moment you wake up and ending with a night full of blessed dreams.  Let’s go:

 


 

 

1. Get Morning Light On Your Face

 

To easily correct your circadian rhythm, totally naturally, get into a habit of getting natural light on your face every single morning as early as possible outdoors.

20 – 30 minutes is ideal, but even just 10 minutes greeting the day will make a difference in your sleep that very night.  Sometimes I can only have a cup of coffee in front of a well lit window for 5 minutes in the morning but it is still helpful to get that light on my face.

Another idea is to simply use a light box when you wake up.

In addition to spending a bit of time outside or in front of a well lit window each morning, I use my light box every day — especially crucial for me all fall and winter long — I aim for 20 minutes while I attend to my emails or am packaging up orders for you

Effective to not only boost your daytime energy levels (making you more active during the day, when it’s healthiest to be active!) a light box will also help you sleep better that night… naturally, without taking any medications or supplements at all.

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

You can find the lightbox I love most right here.

 


 

 

 

2.  Get Grounded During The Day

 

If you can touch the earth outside for even a few minutes a day, do it.  Grounding helps you establish (or re-establish) an healthier circadian rhythm, ensuring your body knows when it is day and when it is night.  It also helps to decrease cortisol levels over time, which is another crucial component of high quality sleep.

If you have one rock outside you can touch, one blade of grass (even a weed!) you can touch, one leaf on a tree or bush outside, one corner of a cement driveway or garage or one square inch of sidewalk you can stand on, you can be instantly grounded.  Even in the winter, you can and should get grounded outside.  Here is the ultimate resource guide to grounding in the winter — yes you absolutely can ground even wearing gloves and boots, hop over here to find out how:

How To Ground Outside, Even In The Winter

 

The effects of grounding the human body start instantly, so there is no time too short for getting grounded — if it can only be 30 seconds, so be it.  If it can be 15 min, or 30 minutes, all the better.

Want more inspiration to make a grounding practice into a daily health routine?

Just like brushing your teeth or wearing a seatbelt, grounding is another one of those non-negotiable health care practices.  So I’ve got you.

My book The Earth Prescription is all about how to get outside not matter what the season, no matter what the weather, no matter what the location, no matter if you have green spaces outside or not, no matter if you have 5 minutes or 5 hours to ground, urban settings, winter temperatures, no matter what the circumstance.

It’s filled with tons of easily actionable ways to stay connected to our planet and boost your health during 2022 and beyond.  In fact, if there was one guide I’d want you to have to make 2022 your healthiest year yet, it would be to read this book and refer to it daily.

Meanwhile, I’ve got lots of great ideas for grounding outside — lots of free content awaiting you on:

For starters, check out this video on 15 different ways you can directly ground outside even when you have no grass, no public greenway, and no yard to get grounded on.

 


 

 

 

3.  Move Your Body Every Single Day

 

Walking each day is the one of the best things you can do to prolong your life.

You have to move your body daily.  Walking has been shown to do everything from predict better remission rates during cancer recovery to prolonging life span to simply helping deepen sleep at night, which is why it’s included in today’s list.

If I am not sleeping well at night I have to ask myself, did I truly move my body during the day?  Increase your daytime activity levels and watch your nighttime sleep deepen.  It’s directly proportionate.

Hop over to this blog post for easy ideas to increase your daily movement even when staying indoors in the dead of winter.

 


 

 

 

4.  Decrease EMF Exposures In Your Bedroom

 

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

If you lay in bed and feel overstimulated, I definitely think it’s worth checking out what your EMF exposures are, at least where your bed is.  Because in a world where you can’t do much about decreasing your daytime exposures to radiation, decreasing them at night gives your body a precious opportunity to recover and boost your health resilience.

Ahh… the relief is literally immediate. You can actually feel your entire autonomic nervous system relax and appreciate the break from the constant onslaught of eSmog that is pervasive across the globe now.  If you’d like my help walking through how to measure and reduce your EMF exposures, I would love to work with you in my upcoming Electrosensitivity Class… reserve your spot here.

And meanwhile, I’ve put together this page filled with free, actionable things you can literally do today, before hopping in bed tonight, to reduce your exposures.  Feel free to share it:

 

Free Electrosensitivity Resources

 

 


 

 

 

5.  Block Blue Light From Reaching Your Eyes

 

Ok I’m a mother of a 20 year old and an 18 year old (dang how the time has flown) and it’s just completely unrealistic for me to expect them not to use their computers to complete college assignments. Or use their phone to stay in touch with friends, or to use their televisions to catch up on their favorite TV shows or movies when they can catch a break.

That said, you can make the glow from these screens less disruptive to circadian rhythm simply by the compromise of wearing blue light filtering glasses, like these.

You can find blue light filtering glasses almost anywhere, but make sure they are dark yellow to orange, not light yellow, in order to block enough blue light that it actually makes a noticeable difference in your ability to fall asleep.  Start wearing them after dinner and I am certain you will notice that it’s easier to fall asleep literally that very same night.

 


 

 

 

6.  Take Probiotics Daily

 

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

Since probiotics are being aptly called “psychobiotics” because of their beneficial influence on brain function, it’s not much of a surprise to see that they also result in an improvement in sleep.  Research published in 2019 in Frontiers In Psychiatry showed that after 6 weeks of taking probiotics, participants has significantly improved sleep quality.  You can read that research for yourself right here.

My favorite way to reestablish a healthy gut balance is to kick start any probiotic regime with a 7 day intensive probiotic inoculation.  In one week you will have dramatically improved your gut flora — I highly recommend starting with this 7 day supplement and repeat it after every time you take an antibiotic as well.

I have these waiting for you, along with all the other supplements I suggest below, in one easy Sleep Restore Protocol that you can look at right here:

 

Sleep Restore Protocol

 

 


 

7.  Take Melatonin At Dusk

 

I hear all the time from folks who say that melatonin doesn’t work for them.

The most likely reason why is because they were taking them at the wrong time.  You have to take melatonin as the sun is setting, not at night.  This is the key!!!  It must be at dusk, not 1 hour before bedtime (as usually instructed on the bottle of most melatonin supplements.)

Whether dusk is at 4 pm or 10 pm or any time in between, no matter what part of the season you are in or where you live, take melatonin as the sun goes down.  This is when it is natural for your body to have rising melatonin levels, and it will naturally relax you through the evening so that you are ready for bed whenever you are finally able to hit the hay.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t plan to go to bed for several more hours, still take it at dusk, as that is our natural rhythm of melatonin production.

This one simple tweak can change everything for people who think melatonin doesn’t work for them.  Take it as the sun goes down and you will find that no matter when you finally go to bed that night, you are so much more aligned with falling asleep than you would every have been only taking melatonin an hour before bed.   If you take it at bedtime, your body has already missed the window of the natural circadian rhythm signaling that night is approaching.

I’ve found that patients can take a much much smaller effective dose of melatonin, sometimes as small as only 0.3 mg (instead of the usual 5 mg) as long as they are taking it right at dusk!   Again, my favorite melatonin supplements, along with all the other supplements I’ve recommended in this article, are all waiting for you in my Sleep Restore Protocol here.  I’m sharing this with you here because I find I get so many emails asking which exact supplements I recommend (as well as a trust worthy place to order them, since there are so many places, like Amazon, where they don’t properly store supplements.

Supplements are an investment in your health, so the last thing you want to have is supplements that were not stored properly and by the time you get them in hand they are deactivated and a waste of money) so that’s why I want to be sure you know a reliable source for supplements in case you don’t already have one!  If you have a different online supplement shop you love, I’m sure you can still look at the protocol to write the names of each supplement down and then find all the same supplements in your preferred shop.

 


 

 

8.  Take L-Theanine To Help Decrease Intrusive Thoughts At Night

 

GABA is the brain’s soothing neurotransmitter.

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

A supplement called GABA Trex is my favorite L-theanine supplement, because it is a chewable tablet and doesn’t require water, which means you can leave it on your nightstand and chew one right before bed if it is just one of those nights where your brain is feeling restless… or chew one if you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep.

I know this is repetitive, but like all the supplements I mention in this article, you can find my favorite GABA Trex in my in my Sleep Restore Protocol here.

 


 

 

9.  Get Up And Drink A Warm Magnesium Drink If You Still Can’t Sleep

 

Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxant, and because it helps your muscles relax and release, it is a wonderful nighttime drink.  Most of us do not get enough magnesium (even when it is included in your multivitamin or you have a very healthy diet — it’s just not enough and it leaves us with tight muscles, anxiety, constipation and more.)

On nights when your muscles are feeling tense (especially helpful for anyone who grinds their teeth at night, has neck and shoulder tension, or has restless legs syndrome) instead of laying in bed growing more and more frustrated, break out of that rut by making yourself a hot cup of water with a teaspoon of powdered magnesium drink mix stirred into it.

There are lots of different magnesium powdered drink mixes, and of course I’ve put my favorite one in my Sleep Restore Protocol right here.  Just get up, take 10 minutes to sip your warm magnesium beverage, then settle back in and literally feel your muscles relax as you sink into bed more deeply.

There, isn’t that so much better?

 


 

 

 

10.  Keep A Dream Journal

 

There are so many benefits to your body and mind and spirit from getting deep restorative sleep.  And one of the very best benefits is that you can process and release stress while you sleep!

If you find dreams fascinating, keeping a dream journal is a fun project to undertake during winter, a time of hibernation anyway.  I encourage you to sleep with it right by your bedside, so that you can wake up and — while you are still in that open, groggy, free flowing, intuitive hypnogogic state — record any feelings, thoughts, images, memories, impulses, sights, sounds, topics, ideas, etc… that you got from your dreams the night before.

There are lots of different types of dreams… some are simply to release old issues you are done with, some are just processing types of dreams to enhance memory and recall, some are about subconscious fears releasing… so it’s not necessary to take all of your dreams seriously or focus on ones that are disturbing or frightening.  If you find yourself waking from a truly frightening dream, it’s really important to remember that this likely arose from deeply held or suppressed fears or worries or anxieties that you have held onto because of past experiences, traumas, hurt feelings, past life wounds, etc… and just to let them go.

But if you do wake up from a dream and feel it is symbolic, you might want to have a dream journal by your bedside to jot it down in — one specific animal, situation or event that you are left with upon waking… for example, you battled a snake all night long, you were swept away in a flood, you watched a mystical creature swooping down breathing fire all around you.  These dreams arise from your subconscious and they are the brain’s way of dealing with big themes that are going on in your life.  While they can be informative — often full of fear or violence or sexuality or power struggles or other dynamics you are trying to sort and release in your life, I think of these dreams as more an intellectual exercise in processing and releasing.  These are fun and interesting to record and might give you insight into how your mind is working on certain issues, but I would take this the same way you deal with your monkey mind during waking hours — with a bit of humor and not so seriously!

Every once in a while you might be lucky enough to get a dream that is incredibly calming and centering. These are the dreams where are you connecting with something bigger than yourself — dreams about speaking to someone who has passed away, or seeing a long deceased pet, or a conversation with a spiritual guide or teacher, dreams of flying or astral travel or falling or riding elevators or going through tunnels or attending meetings or being a student learning incredible things.  What is important to remember about these dreams are the physical sensations and *felt sense* that you get from the dream… write down any directives or information that you wake with before it’s lost.

Keep your dream journals by your bedside so you can immediately record your experience in these types of dreams — they are lost very easily and forgotten, just like your intuition speaks quietly and can be easily overshadowed by the mind… these Divinely Inspired dreams are beautiful and centered and more quiet than your daily activities of life and are easily over ridden by the events of the day.

Do you want to hear about the coolest study I’ve seen in a while?  Published in Current Biology on April 12, 2021, researchers interacted with sleeping subjects and showed, for the first time ever, that during REM sleep it’s possible for folks who are lucid dreaming to perceive and answer questions — in other words, the sleeping folks had real-time communication with the researchers.  They were able to answer yes-no questions, compute math problems, and express replies through intentional eye movements and facial muscle movements.

This is the first documentation of two way communication with lucid dreamers.  You can read this fascinating study for yourself right here:

 

Real-Time Dialogue Between Experimenters And Dreamers During REM Sleep

 

 


 

 

 

I hope this information helps you positively impact your circadian rhythm, helps you boost your mood, remedy your sleep, even protect the longevity of your lifespan.

A good night’s sleep is absolutely crucial to maintaining wellness — one thing is for certain — your body needs good sleep to function over a lifetime!

For more articles I’ve written on sleep health, click over to read:

 


 

 

 

 

To Summarize:

 

Good sleep is non-negotiable for long term health.  So this winter solstice, focus on getting deep restorative sleep and prioritizing sleep above other activities that might be distracting you.  At least for this week, try a combination of: morning light on your face each day, daily grounding (no matter how brief), an after dinner walk, turning your cell phone and wifi off at night to reduce EMF exposures, as well as decreasing your blue light exposure after dinner, have some key supplements on hand to help out even more, and keep a dream journal as a way to make sleep something you look forward to, instead of a task.

And one last thing… do you follow my podcast yet?  I’ve got more holistic sleep tips waiting for you there!

I recorded a 20 minute podcast for you all about a recent medical study on sleep, and run through all of these tips plus a few extra bonus tips (for a total of 14 holistic steps to your best night’s sleep yet!)

Hop over here to listen in and be sure to subscribe.

Intuition Physician Updates is a brand new podcast I just launched in 2021 and I’ll be adding new episodes on the latest holistic health news all year long!

 

 

 

Also be sure you are signed up to receive my free newsletter so you don’t miss any of the uplifting holistic healing tips I send out each week!

If someone forwarded you this email, you can sign up on my homepage to get these tips delivered directly to your own inbox by clicking right here and entering your email into the box at the top of the page:

To your naturally resilient, astoundingly incredible human body!

xoxox, Laura

 

 

The Perfect Way To Welcome In A New Year: Declutter Your Life First

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Cleaning before guests arrive for the holidays?  Include decluttering in the process.

I can think of no better way to set the stage for a brand new year, 2022, to be full of expression and growth than to simplify and declutter now.

You need space to expand, it’s as simple as that.

Clutter stops growth and expansion, and it affects your health, both mentally and physically.

I want you to feel like your living space — whether it is a single room, an entire apartment, or a massive multilevel home — just wraps you up in a big hug of safety and security and joy, with plenty of space to take a deep breath in and let it fully out.

We spend so much time in our homes, we cook there, we sleep there, we talk to our loved ones there, we let our hair down and wash our face and put our feet up and read books there and most importantly… we dream there.

We think there.
We create our lives there.

So it’s important to take a few moments to walk through our living space and make sure that we can feel a positive energy movement within it.

Here’s how:

 


 

 

1. Begin by entering your home.

 

Try to see it as if you were walking through the front door for the first time.

What sights greet you?  Do you immediately see a home that has *room* for you? Do you see space for you to *be*?  Do you see things that you love, that are meaningful to you, that you cherish?

Do you see things you’d like to let go of… clutter, or things you have held onto out of guilt (furniture you don’t want to throw away, a gift or family heirloom that you really don’t want?)

Do you step into the space and feel like you can take a deep breath?

Clutter crowds you out.  It is the living equivalent of a pointless worksheet full of math problems. Spitting out memorized facts to give your mind a bunch of busywork to distract it from actually *thinking*.

Clutter gives your soul a bunch of objects to be surrounded by that distracts you from actually *being*.

If you notice clutter in your home, try removing a third of the furniture and “stuff” from your entryway and hallways, from your main rooms or your walls… and see how you feel.

Do you feel more expansive? Lighter? Freer?

If you aren’t ready to part with the items, just consider storing them all in another room just for this exercise, just for this hour… push it all into the garage or a different room… now re-enter your house again.  Does this feel like a welcome change?  Do you have space to breath, to unwind, to sit?

Tweak these changes as necessary… return items that you instantly missed, and consider truly tossing (ideally, gifting to charity or a friend) items that you don’t want to bring back into the space.

 


 

 

2. Consider now that you are allowing a flow of energy in through the front door.

 

Walk through your home from the entryway as if you were a wave of water.

You want your energy to flow through your house as easily as a wave would, washing through the room.

If you walk into a room, try to visualize how the energy would flow around the space… are there any dead ends or dark corners that a wave of water would get caught in?

If so, consider re-arranging the furniture in the room, or hanging a mirror on the wall.  Mirrors and light are a fabulous way to get energy flowing again… The light bouncing around the room is an instant energy lift.

Lamps are another way to get energy to flow in a blocked area… consider rearranging furniture so that you have a light source along any solid walls or windowless corners.  Double check that the lights all work and replace any bulbs that need replacing.

I don’t think you need to purchase a single thing in order to completely mix up the energy flow in your living spaces. Switching furniture around is a fun and easy way to get some new movement into a room… sometimes just angling an existing piece in a different way can get the energy flowing again.

Continue to walk through your home as if you were a wave of water entering each room, flowing down the hallways and through your living spaces… asking yourself two things as you enter each room:

 

First, do I absolutely LOVE this furniture/item/decor that is in front of me?

 

If not, do not rush to replace it… simply remove the item(s) from the room temporarily and walk back into the room and *feel* what this does for the space… does removing some of the items for the room give you more *space* back, more room for energy to flow?

Does it give you a new idea of how to switch the remaining furniture around?

Does it give you a new idea of how to bring back some of the pieces?

 

And second, does the area allow for the flow of an imaginary wave of water to circle around?

 

If there are dead ends, dark corners, or places that feel *stuck* energetically to you, respond to those.

Re-arrange your walls to put a mirror or two in corners that feel dark.

Re-arrange the furniture, angling an item in the dark corner, so that you soften the angles of the corner and allow the wave to flow around.

Consider adding a lighting element to the room… swapping out a lamp from another room or even just propping a metal bowl on a table, a candle, or consider re-painting a lighter, brighter color.

Even just rearranging the wall art… hanging a brightly colored picture or photograph on the wall can often be just as effective at lightening the space as a window or mirror.

Another option is to add a plant to the space… often the least expensive way to soften a corner of a room or add energy flow to a space is to add a plant. One leafy fern in a corner is usually much less expensive and much more relaxing then the thought of re-painting the room or needing to go out thrifting for a mirror or a lamp.  So when in doubt… add a plant!

 


 

 

 

3. Clear out the old cobwebs, both literally and metaphorically.

 

View this time of cleaning as a fresh start.

Intend it to be such.

Even if you only spend ten minutes wiping down the furniture in your main entry/living area, it’s not so much about physically cleaning it as it is about spreading a new fresh intention about the space… your loving soul, tending to your living space and allowing your body to reside in a place that brings you peace.

It’s not about the level of clean; it’s about refreshing the momentum in your home.

It’s about the sacred space you are creating for your body to live in, because you honor and cherish every cell in your body and you trust it to work its beautiful magic every single day in supporting your spirit in physical form.

Just freshen the space up energetically and physically with a quick dusting or vacuuming.

Disinfectants are on short supply during this pandemic.  So in a pinch, if you want to make your own homemade disinfecting spray, give this a try.  It is eco-friendly, antibacterial, degreases, and shines.  And it is so cheap that the cost is reason enough to use it.  It involves recycling and is all natural.  Win, win, win, win, win, win and win.

And hopefully you already have everything you need to create it: just vinegar and a citrus peel.

Any time you use lemons or limes in cooking, or any time you eat a citrus fruit, just pop the rinds into a glass jar, pour vinegar over it, store it in the fridge… and voila!

Instant citrus vinegar EO spray!

 

 

The EO (essential oils) come out of the rind of the fruit and scent the vinegar, as well as provide antimicrobial and degreasing properties.

I pour the vinegar into my spray bottle and use it 1:1 with water… and every time I eat a grapefruit or squeeze orange juice, I just start a fresh jar!

 


 

 

 

4.  Declutter your bathroom

 

After attending to your main living space (living, eating and sleeping spaces) consider moving to your bathroom.  Or heck, skip the main areas and just start in your bathroom.

Bathrooms are sacred to me — after all, this is the area where we literally strip down, get absolutely naked, bathe, clean and refresh our physical bodies, and even re-invent ourselves by styling our hair and make up at times.

We look in the mirror, take stock of what we look like (which can greatly affect how we feel) brush our teeth, wash our hands, get centered to walk back out into the rest of our day on the other side of that bathroom door.

When living with others, especially small children, sometimes a minute or two stollen in the bathroom is the only privacy we get, our only time to clear our minds and think.

So honestly, the bathroom is the prefect place to make sure we are decluttered and feeling free.  Clean the toilet, sink and bathing area.  Wash towels and bath mats.  Remove duplicate items from the countertop and store away for future use.  Slim down the amount of products you use, and consider taking a break from most of them.

Sometimes the large amounts of creams, lotions, serums, make up, hair products, special soaps and ointments and on and on… give the general feeling that in order to feel good, we need to be high maintenance.

This is an illusion… we think we are surrounding ourselves with a safety net by surrounding ourselves with our preferred beauty supplies, our rows of vitamins and health care products… and really we are giving ourselves the impression that we *need* these things to just feel like ourselves.

Try stepping back, even if it is just for a moment, and allow your natural well-being to shine.  Focus on hydrating, drinking lots and lots of water, and feeling gratitude for the health that you do have.

Let everything else fall away for a few days.

Your body can self sustain for quite a long time nourished off of only gratitude and water. Take care to see that everything else you add on top of gratitude and water is simple and pure.

Start your mornings with a cup of hot water and a splash of lemon juice or honey… go outside in the fresh cold morning air to drink it. Take a walk. Focus on fresh fruits and veggies for food this weekend.  Slather on coconut oil in the shower… take a break from all the body washes and lotions and face creams and eye creams.

All you really need is to stand under the water, soaking in the love, and then sealing the moisture in with some olive or coconut oil.  Getting out, towel off… get dressed and go about your day in simplicity.  Try using no makeup, body or hair care products for a few days to just take a break from it all… and reassure your body that you are trusting in its natural state of well being.

 


 

 

 

5.  Declutter your closets, garage, attic and other storage spaces…

 

If you are feeling particularly inspired, after decluttering your main living spaces and your bathroom, consider moving into the areas that you typically don’t live in at all — storage areas like closets, attics, garages.  Let go, let go, let go.

During a particularly hard life transition (my husband of 15 years abandoned the kids and I one day out of the blue — just left letter on the kitchen table and that was that; so in addition to losing a husband and a father we lost our home and almost everything in it — obviously downsizing was a absolute MUST) I would repeat in my head, as I was letting go of almost everything we owned:

freedom… freedom… freedom…

over and over and over with each thing I released, donated, let go of.

You can do the same.  It’s wonderful.

 


 

 

 

6.  Declutter just one room at a time.

 

Taking care to focus on the entryway and your main living area is plenty for one day.

Or if the bedroom is calling you, do that first.

If you are feeling ambitious, continue this exercise throughout the rest of your home over the following few weeks before 2021 begins.  I think once you feel how much freeing space up in your home helps you be able to relax into your home, you will be encouraged to keep going.

Once you have your main entryway and living room feeling comforting and alive… the type of room you can sit in and let your body relax and your mind open… consider doing one last walk through with a lit candle, a piece of sage, or a stick of incense.

I burn incense frequently in our home as a way to start over with a fresh slate and clearing out the old.  You are saying to your home and your spirit that you are ready for the new; ready for the new fresh energy, the new fresh insights, the new fresh level of health that you are welcoming in.

Light the candle or incense, then walk through each space of your home, allowing the smoke to gently drift in the same pattern that you imagined your wave of water… and intend that the burning of the light or the burning of the incense is a new beginning… burning away all negativity, doubt, dark thoughts, old patterns that are no longer working for you… and release them all to the loving arms of the universe.

Allow this to be a new start to a new phase in your life… one of health freedom.

Beginning right here, inside your home.

 


 

 

 

7.  Refresh Your Pet Too!

 

If you have a pet (or two, or three) at home with you during this pandemic, you are so lucky.  In addition to clearing out your home of old energy, also clear and refresh any toys and bedding your pet uses, and enjoy spending some quality time grooming them.  They can feel the energy lift!

Not only is it so fun to have a pet to connect with and entertain you and give you physical touch, but living with a pet is actually a boost for your health.  It’s true!

From childhood throughout our entire adult life and elderly years, owning a pet gives us a a significant health boost that lasts a lifetime.

A few years ago I wrote a blog post for you (you can read it here) on what the medical literature has to say about why caring for an animal just might be one of the best things you can do to protect your health over a lifetime.  And recent medical studies back this up even more.

In fact, this is one of the topics of my new podcast I am launching (more on this soon!) — how a few minutes spent with a dog was actually the very best stress relief out of several interventions studied.  Even five minutes with a dog was found to lower stress levels and even decrease blood cortisol levels on stressed out study participants.  It’s true.  Connecting with a pet for five minutes was actually superior to taking a break for five minutes and peace and quiet, and also superior to a mindful centering activity (coloring a mandala for five minutes.)

 


 

 

8.  Declutter your car

 

If you are fortunate enough to have a car, it can feel so good to clean it out.

Remove trash, wipe down windows and seats, shake out floor mats, even wash your car with a bucket of soapy water and rinse down with a hose if you can!

Even if all you can do is declutter your glove compartment and door pockets and wipe down the steering wheel and windshield, now is the time to do it… and the next time you need to use your car it will feel so uplifting to get into a freshened space.

 


 

 

 

9.  Declutter your books & photos.

 

Don’t forget to declutter your media!  Old bookshelves filled with books you do not intend to re-read can weigh you down.  Trust that your soul got the information that you were meant to get from it at the time when you read the book, and move on.

A quarantine is a lovely time to reflect on, enjoy, re-organize pictures you love (maybe it will inspire you to write some memoirs down and start a biography rough draft!) and release those that you don’t.  Let go, let go, let go.  Even just organizing your computer desk top and online photo storage can be hugely energetically liberating!!!

Put all of your pics into a big photobook (many online companies make it super easy to upload pictures right from instagram and/or facebook and will automatically create a photobook for you!) — having them bound into a physical book will not only allow you to look at them whenever you want, it will also help you let go of extra copies or versions of pictures that you don’t love.

You don’t have to save every single picture just because it was taken!!!  Save the ones you love and release the rest.

 


 

 

10.  Declutter the future

 

This is the time to take a moment to re-examine the trajectory of your life, and if your current situation is setting you up to step forward in your life or keep you stuck.

If you are holding on to old energy items — pieces of furniture you took in from your aunt that don’t feel right in your space, old clothing hanging in your closet that you don’t enjoy putting on, the old mattress you used to have before the divorce — time to release it.

It generally feels better to do without and have the space of possibility open than to have an item that doesn’t align with where you life is heading.

Maybe you can hang one of these sayings in your living space to encourage you as you let go:

Your future needs you.  Your past doesn’t.

***

Look ahead.

Don’t look behind you, you aren’t going that way.

***

If you want to fly,

give up everything that weights you down.


 

 

Go Deeper…

 

If you want some real inspiration, grab one of these books below (all of them are available on Kindle so you don’t even have to order anything in the mail or wait for the books to arrive, if you want to get started right away!)

I have read all of these books and find them all valuable in different ways — click the button below to be taken to their Amazon page where you can read reviews and look inside the books to decide which one vibes most with you.

There is no way you can read one of these books and not be inspired to simplify your living space… and there is no better time to refresh your space, anticipating a wonderful fresh new start after the pandemic lifts, than right now!!!

 


 

To Summarize:

 

Today walk through your living space as if you were a fresh wave of water, bringing new energy into the room full of possibility.

Can you move freely?

Are there stuck, dark, stagnant areas that are catching your eye?

Focus on cleaning, clearing, simplifying and decluttering those. Enjoy the release, you are making room for the future!  Woot!

Be sure you are signed up to receive my free newsletter so you don’t miss any uplifting holistic healing tips!

If someone forwarded you this email so you could join in on this health routines mini-series with them, you can sign up on my homepage to get these tips delivered directly to your own inbox by clicking right here:

 

 

To your naturally resilient, astoundingly incredible human body!

xoxox, Laura

 

Women Need Time In Nature To Reboot, Here’s Why

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There are so many wonderful reasons for women to connect with Mother Earth — and they are medically studied, with strong evidence that the earth offers clinically significant benefits.   That’s why grounding is one of my favorite recommendations to treat a variety of female health issues as well as protect future wellness.

Today I wanted to run through my favorite 7 reasons I love grounding for women… just a quick overview for you along with lots of resources to dive deeper into any topic that calls to you.  Please share this list with the women in your life that you love.

Encourage them to touch the earth directly — it’s waiting out there to boost our health in a myriad of ways:

 


 

 

 

 

 1.  Protects Hormone Balance

 

When women are under chronic stress, the precursors that normally go into sex hormone production (DHEA, estrogen, estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, etc…) are stollen to make cortisol.  After one stressful day, this would not make a difference to our hormone balance, but day after stressful day, month after stressful month, and year after stressful year, it’s enough to put us not only into adrenal failure but worsen PMS symptoms, decrease fertility, and even hasten menopause.

Grounding helps reverse this.  In this study, published in 2004 in the Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine, subjects who slept grounded had a complete normalization of their cortisol patterns, suggesting deep recovery from stress.  By lowering cortisol, decreasing stress, and naturally balancing hormones, many women find that their PMS symptoms are lessened, fertility is boosted, and perimenopause becomes a much easier, more natural transition.

What else can you do besides grounding daily to help balance hormones and feel better?

I’ve written two books for you on this topic, read one or read them both, and share widely:

Free Female Health eBook

Free Adrenal Repair eBook

You can also take Maca Root and other adaptogens to help naturally balance hormones — my favorites are in my online dispensary waiting for you in the Female Health category.

 


 

 

 

 

2.  Gives a Metabolic Boost

 

Touching the earth directly boost your vagal tone immediately — this releases you from the autonomic nervous system’s overdrive of “fight or flight” and allows you to get into the parasympathetic healing zone of “rest and digest.”  When your vagal tone gets a boost, your entire digestive track works better — from salivary glands to gall bladder to colon and everything in between, even better gut peristalsis!

In the blog post below, I talk all about the healing power of grounding to boost digestion, decrease gut inflammation, allow your body to utilize the food you consume better, react to it less, and even over time protect your thyroid function.  In fact, medical studies show that grounding does indeed boost thyroid function, as well as stabilized blood sugar levels.    Hop over here to read it:

 

Grounding: A Game Changer For Your Digestion

 

Not only does grounding help you digest your food better, boost your thyroid function, and give you metabolic support, it also helps you lose weight naturally.  I talk about this more for you in this article:

How Grounding Promotes Weight Loss With Zero Effort

 

 


 

 

 

3.  Reduces Muscle Pain and Tension

 

Grounding immediately reduces muscle tension — near instantaneously.

As I talk about in this blog post below, your entire skeleton and all your muscles — as well as the connective tissues that hold all your organs and soft tissues in place — is a conductive conduit for healing is the basis for how and why grounding works:

What Grounding Does To Your Muscles

 

When you touch the earth outside, your entire body is instantaneously grounded precisely because your entire musculoskeletal system is conductive — think of it as a conductive fiberoptic system that runs grounding instantly throughout your entire body, as easy as flipping a switch.

This means that grounding can have an immediate impact on decreasing muscle tension and reducing pain, which so many women have.  From the chronic pain of fibromyalgia, to preventing that annoying tension headache, to decreasing pain from cramping, grounding is my front line treatment for pain.

This video will also help go further, explaining why grounding can help reduce chronic pain in ways that other pain therapies do not:

Releasing Chronic Pain

 

 


 

 

 

4.  Decreases Inflammation

 

Inflammation is an insidious condition that we often can not even feel until there is frank disease.  High levels of inflammation in the body can contribute to depression, to dementia, even cancer.  But grounding can help.

In a study published in 2009 in The Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine, researchers found that grounded subjects had statistically significant decreases in blood markers of inflammation, as well as lowered white blood cell counts, neutrophils and lymphocytes, compared to non-grounded subjects.

In addition, decreases in inflammation as a result of grounding are well documented using medical thermography imaging in this study.  You can hop over here to read a great overview of how grounding decreases whole body inflammation in this articlepublished June 2014 in the Journal of Inflammation Research

Decreasing inflammation can do everything from decreasing your chances of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome to decreasing cancer risk.  It also boosts mood and decreases dementia risk.  That’s win-win-win-win for women everywhere.

 

 


 

 

 

 

5.  Strengthens Our Bones

 

As I talk about in this article below, grounding is bone protective.  One medical study found that after only one session of grounding, renal excretion of both calcium and phosphorous went down significantly, which means the primary indicators of osteopenia and osteoporosis in these patients decreased after just a single night of grounding. 

Grounding: Relax Your Muscles, Strengthen Your Bones

 

This is incredible… after just one night, instead of their body having to go in and pull minerals out of their bones in order to repair the inflammation of the day and to correct the pH, the minerals remained in the bones preserving their strength.  And so, over time and over a lifetime, instead of leaching away your bones and creating brittle bones, grounding is naturally helping to maintain the integrity of your entire skeletal system.  For a nation whose women have epidemic proportions of osteopenia and osteoporosis, grounding is absolutely crucial for females.

What else can you do to protect bone strength?

Read this article for more on why I highly recommend filtering your tap water to remove fluoride, because 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.

You can also watch this video I made for you several years ago, after attending a medical conference that focused on osteoporosis prevention.  You can also eat this one food to help increase bone density naturally, through food instead of through medications.

 


 

 

 

6.  Boosts Skin Health

 

The moment you touch the earth, your circulation starts to improve.  Published 2014 in the Journal of Cosmetics, Dermatological Sciences and Applications, researchers showed that grounding through the soles of the feet boosted blood circulation all the way up in facial skin tissues, suggesting the positive effects of increased circulation are available even in distant sites of the body that are far away from the grounding point of contact.

In other words, you don’t have to touch the earth with your face in order to brighten your complexion and boost skin circulation, just standing barefoot or touching the earth with a fingertip will do.  Following that study, another study, a double blind placebo study published August 2015 in Health, showed clear evidence of dramatically boosted circulation throughout the body after only one hour of grounding.

What else can you do besides grounding to boost skin health?  Listen to my podcast right here where I tell you about a very interesting recent medical study that suggests beauty sleep is a real thing!

 


 

 

 

 

7.  Boosts Creativity

 

While 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 from the earth can contribute to everything from depression to inflammation to accelerated aging (there is so much evidence that the human body deteriorates without nature that we now have a name for it: 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 hormonal balance or your skin circulation 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 plants in  grounding studies 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 operation or vitamin or exercise can offer.  Most 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.

It’s the body but it is also the energy level and it’s the mind-frame and it’s the sense of meaningful purpose and it’s 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 issues or are bed ridden, there are even indoor ways to connect directly to the earth even lying comfortably on our beds as we lay tucked in tight using either a grounding rod or a grounded outlet in your home. Grounding while indoors lets you stay in that healthy, connected healing zone for much longer than only grabbing a few minutes outside when you can.  I have medical grade, eco-ethically hand crafted, organic and non-toxic indoor grounding tools — like grounding wristbands, mats, and mattress panels — 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.

The earth is out there, waiting for you.

xoxoxo, Laura

 

P.S. For more information on developing a grounding routine that protects your long term health, I’ve got you.   I spent an entire year writing a book for you… it’s called The Earth Prescription and it’s available in print, Kindle, and Audible right here.

 

I Want You To Think Of One Way To Be Playful Today. Here’s Why

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Play is not only a relief and a respite from the seriousness that stress, illness and trauma bring to our lives, it is actually therapy.   Play time is therapeutic time, point blank.  Child psychologists use this healing tool often, because play is a child’s way to express and release any inner turmoil or fears that the child doesn’t even consciously know they have.  

But it isn’t only therapeutic for children, it’s therapeutic for adults too. 

In fact, I would argue that engaging in some form of play daily is one of the best things you can do to safeguard your physical health.  From physical play (whether through dance, playing a sport like golf tennis or bowling, painting, playing a musical instrument, bird watching, hiking, you name it!) to mental play (such as crossword puzzles, chess, sudoku, reading and discussing books, watching plays, learning a new language, etc…) many studies have proven there are mental and physical health benefits from time spent in play.

 

Just look at the animal world — play is huge!

 

 

 

A study published in the Journal of Comparative Psychology in 2001 on animals and animal behaviors found that the size of the brain of the animal species is directly correlated to the amount of time they spent playing (per body ratio) and a higher complexity of play. 

So animals that had small brains engaged primarily in feeding and other survival behaviors, while larger brained animals spent more time in play and they play the engaged in was more complex.  This applies to humans as well!  We have huge brains compared to our body size and we are meant to spend time in play.

Another study found that play behaviour, not tool using, relates to brain mass in a birds.

These researchers found that brain mass in birds correlated to how playful their behavior was… but not correlated to their ability to use tools to complete tasks.   It seems it is play that warrants a larger brain, not problem solving or task completion.  Social play was associated with both the largest brain mass to body mass ratios and with the longest lifespans of these birds.

 

 

The medical literature in humans is just as clear — play can help save your brain and protect your health, even lengthening lifespan.  One recent study show that being playful, doing crossword puzzles, taking a new route home, enjoying long walks, exercise, traveling, having new experiences and learning new skills, exploring new artistic avenues of expression, and continuing to learn throughout a lifetime drops Alzheimer’s rates by 64%, just by learning new things and being playful and being interactive and retaining a sense of plasticity to the brain. 

Play keeps the brain young and actually helps to prevent dementia… and it’s never too late to begin.  Taking a class on photography, learning a new language, joining a book club, so many ways to learn and grow and play can be done almost any where and at any age. 

A study published in Neuroscience Letters in 2003 showing that play stimulated neurotropic growth in several parts of the brain.  As Dr. Stuart Brown says in his book Play, “when we stop playing we start dying.” But I would say the reverse is also true, when we start playing, we start living!

 

 

 

 

I know that at times of great stress in my life, it was ever more crucial for me to have avenues to release that stress.  For example, during medical school anatomy class, when we were dissecting human cadavers — a process that was intensely uncomfortable and psychologically stressful —  I relished my time spent playing intramural soccer, and I also picked up a paintbrush and painted my first painting on a canvas. 

A large study published in Leisure Sciences in 2014, backs up my experience.  They analyzed students in rigorous educational paths from three different universities, and found that the more playful the student was, the more successfully they coped with the high levels of stress.

Play may also be brain protective as we age.  The Journal of the International Neurophysiological Society published a study in 2011 that showed simply doing crossword puzzles was enough to significantly delay the onset of memory decline. And Geriatrics and Gerontology published a study in 2019 showing that almost all forms of playtime activities prevent cognitive decline (some examples were: reading, playing board games, music, art, handicrafts, crossword puzzles, even learning computer skills) and that activities that involved intellectual stimulation and communication was particularly effective.

 

 

 

Physical play, activities that gets your body moving and reduces sedentary time, has been shown to decrease the risk of death, prevent the development of certain cancers, lower the risk of osteoporosis, and ultimately increases longevity.  

The European Journal of Humour Research published a study in 2013 showing that the more playful an adult was, the higher they rated their physical and mental well being.  As you intentionally welcome play back into your life, you’ll notice that through play your optimism, your smile, and your sense of humor returns. So it’s very important during times of increased stress to specifically carve out space in your life to allow for play.

 

 

 

When you give yourself time to play, it gives your body a time to repair and recover.  Play gives you a period of time where stress hormones can decrease, for you to relax and shift out of stressful mind-frames, and even release unhealthy coping mechanisms.

In fact, replacing unhealthy coping mechanisms with play can actually keep your brain plastic and flexible, ward off mood disorders, and even strengthen your relationships with others (if you choose play activities with a social component.)

A study published in 2008 in Therapeutic Recreation Journal found that leisuretime activities were so powerful in helping to cope with stress that they recommend incorporating play and leisure activities into a therapeutic healing plan.  

A study published in Leisure Sciences in 2013 found that the more playful an adult is, the lower their levels of stress were and the less they utilized negative, avoidant, or harmful coping mechanisms.

While there are so many stressors in life that you can’t control, one thing you can do to bring more satisfaction and well being into your life is to prioritize play.  So be intentional about creating welcoming a time for play into the structure of your daily, weekly and monthly routines.  It’s important to have space for things you actually enjoy!  Pare down stressful obligations to make space for activities, whether mental or physical, that you truly enjoy.

 


 

Figure Out Your Play Personality

 

Need help remembering what brings your inner child out?  Read through these different Play Personalities below to help you discover… or re-discover — what activities might bring you joy. 

Remember back to childhood as you circle the play personality that is closest to your play style growing up.  Then read through them again and put a check beside the one that is your play style now.  Under this list are a few simple follow up questions to get some insight into activities you might enjoy bringing into your life right now!  These are the play personalities suggested by Stuart Brown, M.D. in his book: Play, How It Shapes The Brain, Opens The Imagination, and Invigorates The Soul.

 

Play Personalities:

  • The Joker: primary enjoyment is being class clown, practical joker, goofy fun, going for the laughs
  • The Kinesthete: enjoyment comes from pushing physical limits, feel the result of movement and often enjoys play in the form of physical competition
  • The Explorer: enjoyment comes from discovering the world, searching, traveling, researching, understanding, experiencing
  • The Competitor: enjoyment comes from play centered around winning games, keeping score, outwitting others, interaction, usually very social
  • The Director: enjoyment comes from planning and executing events and interactions, relationships, satisfaction from a job well done
  • The Collector: enjoyment comes from obtaining objects or experiences, either alone or with groups, enjoys social interaction and clubs based on common interests
  • The Artist: enjoyment comes from making things, creating things, experimenting with different forms of expression, color, decor, visual arts
  • The Storyteller: enjoyment comes predominantly from imagination and expressing the imagination, written word, spoken word, communication

 


 

 

 

Journal Questions To Inspire More Play

 

Questions for reflection:

  1. Do you have the same style of play personality now that you did as a child?
  2. Growing up, when did you feel most free to do what you wanted to do, and what did you choose to do during those moments of freedom?
  3. Do you do anything similar to this in your life, in any form, right now?
  4. Are there new hobbies or interests that appeal to you as an adult?
  5. Do you make time to do them?  Why or why not?
  6. Do you feel more free to play with your spouse, with your family, with a child, with a pet, with your friends?  Which relationships in your life allow the most room for play and fun?
  7. Are there new elements of play that you would like to begin to incorporate into your life now?
  8. If you had to pick a physical way to play, a physical movement for your body (i.e. taking a walk, dancing, tossing a ball with your dog, playing team sports, etc…) which would be the most fun for you?
  9. If you had to pick an intellectual way to play (i.e. playing a board game like chess,  drawing, discussing a book in a book club, learning a new language, etc…) which would be the most fun for you?

 

Commit to carving time each week towards one playful activity that feels uplifting, fun, interesting or even simply relaxing.

Once you figure out what style your play is, you can start incorporating similar activities — whether through social groups or alone — that allow you to access to the type of play that appeals most to you.  I highly encourage you to make play an uplifting part of your monthly, weekly, and even daily routine!

 


 

 

To Summarize:

 

Today try to remember what lights you up inside and brings a smile to your heart.

Whether it is dusting off an old pair of rollerblades, or heading outside for a game of catch with your dog, to crafting or creating something, learning or playing an instrument, dancing to your favorite music, trying a new recipe in the kitchen, heading outside to watch the sunset, blowing bubbles in your living room, singing songs around a campfire, going on a walk,  playing a pick up game at a park with friends, playing card games with your family, doing a jigsaw puzzle all week long, riding a bike, laying down to look up at cloud shapes in the daytime or twinkling stars at night, writing poems, learning how to sew, creating a scrapbook, practicing photography, and on and on and on…

…know that time you devote to playing is every bit as healthy for you (& let’s face it, probably even more healthy) than the time you spend in serious mode, tackling things like chores, work, emails, and catching up on the news.

 

 

 

If someone forwarded you this email so you could join in on this health routines mini-series with them, be sure you are signed up to receive my free newsletter so you don’t miss any of these uplifting holistic healing tips I send out each week.  I’d love to support you too.

Sign up on my homepage to get these tips delivered directly to your own inbox too!

 

To your naturally resilient, astoundingly incredible human body!

xoxox, Laura

A Simple But Truly Effective Way To Immediately Decrease Your Stress

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Today I want to share another way to decrease holiday stress — and it’s so simple there is not a place or situation on earth you can’t use it… 3 deep breaths.  Read this article to know why stopping to breathe is the best thing to do when your in-laws drive you crazy or a topic of discussion at the thanksgiving table raises your blood pressure.

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

Because we can actively control our body’s air exchange through intentional breathing, there are lots of awesome ways you can play around with using your breath to calm you, invigorate you, increase your focus, decrease your anxiety, decrease your pain, increase your oxygenation, decrease stress and muscle tension, and more.

Although unconsciously most of us will default to holding our breath when feeling stress, or tension, or fear, or anxiety, intentionally taking a few deep breaths is a deeply healing way to give our body the message that we are okay.  Because we can override our default brainstem breath pattern with an intentional, more powerful, deeper breath, focusing on breathing gives us a unique ability to actually modulate our neuronal activity with intention.

We typically can’t go in with our brain and override our other autonomic nervous system functions — like intentionally slowing a pounding heart rate or intentionally decreasing a spiking blood pressure — we CAN actually go in and intentionally take deeper breaths, which then allow that heart rate to slow down and that blood pressure to alleviate… naturally.

This gives us an amazing tool for natural biofeedback.  And we can do this as often as we want, anywhere we want, and even be totally in public and still privately practicing this healing biofeedback tool of intentional breathing.

 

 

I have done tons of research for you — from personally attending live Transcendental Breathing events to workshops on yoga breathing techniques to more traditional medical training in lung physiology, respiration and oxygenation patterns, experience in using respiratory interventions like incentive spirometery and lung percussion, years and years of hands on lung auscultation, as well as decades of reading the latest medical literature.

And after all that, I can report back to you that I have four favorite, simple, fun, and effective breathing tips.  I’m going to share them with you, right now.  So stop holding your breath during times of stress and illness and tension and transition, and instead use the power of your breath to help you instantly transform it.

Here’s how:

 

5 Ways To Use Your Breath To Feel Instantly Better:


 

 

1.  Use the power of three:

 

It truly only takes three deep breaths to boost vagal tone, slow your heart rate, boost oxygenation, calm the mind, increase focus and productivity, stimulate digestion, and reduce stress.

Just three deep breaths — just 3! — try them right now.  You will instantly give your body a mini-break and your brain a mega-boost.

One of my favorite ways to take three breaths is to use a 4-7-8 pattern.  Dr. Weil popularized this breathing method and I want to credit him for how I discovered it!  It’s super simple and can be done anywhere.
  • Inhale quietly through your nose for a count of four
  • Hold your breath for a count of seven
  • Exhale through your mouth for a count of eight.
  • That’s it!  This is one breath. Repeat the cycle two more times for a total of three breaths.

The absolute time you spend on each phase is not important; the ratio of 4:7:8 is what is important here… spending twice as long exhaling as inhaling.  So you can speed the exercise up if you find it hard to hold your breath for seven counts — just keep to the ratio of 4:7:8 for the three deep breaths.

 


 

 

2. Incorporate grounding:

 

To relax into a longer breath-work session, it is really helpful to incorporate movement — in this case, walking.

And here is the key to make this breath work even more powerful: do it grounded.

Walking barefoot on the earth during walking meditation is the hands-down easiest way to drop out of your monkey mind, calm your thoughts, and center your awareness down in your heart (or even better — down at your feet!)

And being grounded naturally boost vagal tone, so along with your breath work, you are exponentially calming your central nervous system, releasing stress and anxiety, calming your heartrate, lowering blood pressure, boosting your circulation and oxygenation, releasing muscle tension, brightening your mood, and giving your body a head-to-toe fresh start.

Grounding supports your vagal tone so well that it actually helped premature infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to improve outcome.  Read this article on my blog right here to find out more about that important study.

If you are suffering from trauma, from insomnia, from anxiety, from depression, from anger, or from any other stressor (and who isn’t?) support your recovery and release by simply doing ten minutes of grounded walking.

If you have never done a walking meditation, you are in for the biggest treat.

In the video below, I sneak you into my favorite walking meditation — using a labyrinth!  I also share with you some super easy ways you can create your own labyrinth, so even if you don’t have access to a labyrinth (and even if you don’t have any of your own yard space to create one)  you can still do a walking meditation.

Watch me as I do a walking meditation for you and then let’s plan out a way for you to do it too:

 

 

 

Literally drawing a spiral with a piece of chalk on a sidewalk square, or simply walking up and down a line on your driveway, or using tape to create a line or spiral in your garage, all of these ideas can create a grounded walking meditation path that will literally transform your day.

  • Any cement, sidewalk, concrete surface outside is grounded, so anywhere you can kick your shoes off and walk a line or a spiral on a sidewalk or concrete will get you grounded without ever getting your feet dirty!  For example. Walk up and down a sidewalk slowly.  Walk back and forth across your driveway slowly.  Draw a chalk spiral on your cement basement garage or basement floor to walk on.  Or get fancy and use tape to create a labyrinth in your garage or basement on the concrete floor that you can use forevermore!  This video shows how you can create a labyrinth out of masking tape, in just minutes.
  • Of course, any dirt path outside would make a fabulous grounded meditation path, just slowly walk it up and back.
  • If you love the feeling of grass on your bare feet like I do, you can always walk on any safe green space in a grounded walking meditation.
  • Most garden paths and patio walkways are grounded, because slate, tile, brick, even gravel is all grounded when they are lying on the earth.  So almost any outdoor walkway is an instant grounded meditation spot when you walk it barefoot.  In this video I show you 15 different outdoor surfaces that will ground you, beyond just grass.
  • And if you are lucky enough to have your own yard, you can even spray paint a little spiral on your grass to use it for several days in a row.  If you love it you may be inspired to create your very own labyrinth path by laying stones or brick to create a personal labyrinth in your yard or garden.  I know this is on my bucket list to do one day!

If you can take ten minutes to do this walking meditation daily — grounded — I believe with my whole heart it can change your perspective on your entire life, fill you with a sense of hope and fresh positivity, and help you feel physically better too.

 


 

 

3.  Use a chime:

 

If it’s absolutely not possible for you to go outside for a grounded walking meditation today, don’t worry.  It’s a little too cold for me to go barefoot yet this year too, so in the meantime I lean heavily on my favorite chimes.

Using an auditory cue, like a chime, to focus on while you take three deep breaths, allows you to reap similar benefits, any time and any place, even inside your home or office.

In the 15 minute video below, I share with you 3 easy ways to remember to take a few deep breaths throughout your day… click the video below and come do it with me!

Together we will experiment with using a bar chime (my favorite,) a tuning fork, and a wind chime.

For bonus points, do this outside.  One thing I love about a bar chime is that it is very small and lightweight, so you can easily slip your bar chime in your purse, backpack or pocket… and head outside to get grounded.   Using a chime for breath work outside grounded combines tip #1 (taking 3 deep breaths) with tip #2 (doing it grounded) so you can reap the benefits of both very, very easily.

I also love having the wind chime out on my desk to help visually remind me to take a few deep breaths throughout my work day, and I also find it helps give me a focus (and is especially helpful for auditory folks!) to help distract my mind from taking over with thoughts.

You can grab the different sound healing tools I use in the video right here:

Meanwhile, watch this video now to give it a try and let’s breathe together:

 

 

Click here to watch this video directly on my YouTube Channel, where I have lots of healing videos waiting for you:

 

 

As I mention in the above video, the work of Dr. Herbert Benson, M.D. paved the way for understanding how the brain actually improves performance when you take breaks during stressful tasks.

 


 

 

 

4.  Add a mantra:

 

In the video above I also mention a study that was published in the American Journal of Psychiatry on June 20, 2018,  that found that short sessions of repeating a mantra actually helped resolve PTSD symptoms in veterans even better than traditional talk therapy did.

Wow!  Here are the details:

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

 

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

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

This is huge news.

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

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

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

You can practice a healing mantra any time, any where.  Here are my favorite two suggestions.

I actually have this printed on the medication card in my Healing Focus Cards, so if you like these you can grab a card set for yourself here, but feel free to come up with your own word or phrase that centers you best:

 

 

breathing in:  I am lovable

breathing out:  I am loved

or

breathing in:  I am safe

breathing out:  I am strong

 

Take a minute long break to use your breath to center you when you feel your stress increase sharply — it’s simple, it’s convenient, and it’s free.

As a huge advocate for grounding therapy, you know I am a big fan of free therapies that allow patients to take control over their own health.  So knowing that you can take a few mindful breaths, or repeat a healing mantra, or ring a chime, or even head outside for some grounded breath work as you do a walking meditation… is such an awesome thing.

Each one of these suggestions will measurably reduce stress in the body and give your health a boost,

Breath work is very private and very powerful.

 


 

lungs1

 

 

5.  Use Healing Artwork as a reminder:

 

I believe in the healing power of the breath so much that I painted a painting of it to remind me daily.

This is my reminder to:

Stop.

Grow Still

Take A Deep Breath.

 

It occurred to me, when I was working with a patient on his breathing issues, that our lungs remind me very much of wings.  I told him to take a big deep breath of air as if he were stretching out his wings behind him, imagining his lungs filling, his shoulder blades growing wings, and his arms reaching out and up as if he were about to take flight.

I liked that image I had in my mind of our lungs filling and turning into wings so much I wanted to paint it!  So I did.

I grabbed my medical school anatomy book (hard to believe I used that 25 years ago now!  Wowza how time flies!) and got to work, sketching out the lungs and trachea on a canvas.  After that, I added an outline of wings behind the lungs:

 

lungs2

 

Then on to painting… first I filled in the background with a layer of deep grey:

 

 

lungs3

 

Then I wanted the energy to feel like it was pouring down over you, swooping in, urging you to breathe in deeply and receive the life giving air directly into those precious lungs of yours:

 

 

lungs5

 

 

I added some divine purples and pinks to the background color, and began to paint in the wings with whites and light greys:

 

lungs6

 

 

Once I got the background and wings how I wanted them, I outlined the lungs again for contrast:

 

lungs7

 

 

And then painted them in with a pinkish orange:

 

lungs8

 

Working back in some additional highlights, I painted some shadows and highlights on the lungs with white and light purples, and added some more white energy coming in from above:

lungs9

 

Lastly I added the mantra: breathe deep.

 

I wanted this image to be wonderful, healing, anatomically based but spiritually expansive reminder to be the best you possible today and every day.

At least I know I could personally use the reminder to stand up straight, hold my head up as I meet the stress of each day, and stop to take those long deep breaths that feel so good.

 

 

 

 

If you could use a reminder too, you can order a Giclee archival quality print of this image right over here.  Watermark does not appear on the Giclee prints, don’t worry!

I have the original hanging in my own bedroom and I just can’t part with it.  But I’d love to think you had the same artwork in your own bedroom as well, reminding you to breathe deeply as you fall asleep and as you wake up again each morning!

 


 

 

 

So here are some suggestions to implement these tools today:

  • start the day with a few deep breaths while you breathe a self selected, calming mantra in and out
  • have a tuning fork, a wind chime, or a bar chime or in your work or living space to use throughout the day whenever stress hits, or simply re-play the video I share with you above where I hit the chime for you and breathe right along with me
  • get grounded outside, walking mindfully in a straight line or along a spiral for 10 minutes during a mid-day break
  • stand outside under the stars after dinner or before bedtime each night, looking up at the moon and stars and taking 3 more grounded deep breaths in and out, slowly
  • hang this healing mantra artwork in a doorway, your bathroom, your kitchen your office or your bedroom to remind yourself throughout the day to stop and take those important deep, centering, healing breaths
  • breathe a self selected mantra in and out for a few deep breaths each evening as you lay in bed before sleep, or while soaking in a relaxing epsom salt bath soak just before bed

 

And if you don’t think breathing impacts your health, you should try a transcendental breathing class… now there is a great way to feel more expansive and more free than you have felt in a long, long time!

There is a reason why, when we come into this world, everyone waits for the baby to take that first breath of air.  That’s the breath of life!  That’s the sign that we are healthy, that we are strong, that we are alive!

It only takes a few minutes to start to reap the benefits of using your breath to boot your health… and the results can be maintained sustainably for the rest of your life.

To your health and your inner angel wings, that are just waiting to fill and support you… don’t forget to lean on them when you need to!

xoxoxo, Laura