Boost Your Connection To Others And It Will Boost Your Health, Here’s How:

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I truly believe that even with the stress of everything we are facing right now, we can still feel healthier than ever if we intentionally set up supportive, comforting and deeply healing health routines.

So all winter long, I’m going to be giving you a weekly blog post full of uplifting ways to improve your health, and every single idea is something you can do right in the comfort of your own home.  Social distancing approved.

It’s a new mini-series I’m releasing for you to help boost your health over these next three winter months.  Forward this newsletter to a friend or a family member so that they can take part in this healing mini-series with you!

The series so far has been:

 

Today, we are going to focus on ways to stay connected to others, even during this time of increased social isolation.

Why is connecting to others so important?

That’s because our connections to others actually helps boost our health, increasing survival rates and longevity.

There was an interesting medical review, published in 2010 in PLOS Medicine, that looked at over 300,000 participants in over 145 medical studies pertaining to social relationships and mortality.  This review indicated that no matter your age, sex, health status, disease status, or cause of death, having social ties increased your survival rate by 50%.

It turns out, having friends, family, neighbors and colleagues improve our odds of survival by 50%.  This protective health boost is dramatic, meaningful and significant.  The study found that having low social interactions is actually a risk factor for death similar to other well known health risk factors:

  • Equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day
  • Equivalent to being an alcoholic
  • More harmful than not exercising
  • Twice as harmful as obesity

 

It makes sense that if having social ties protects your mortality, social isolation drops it.  And that’s exactly what researchers found in a medical study published in 2015 in Perspectives on Psychological Science.  They found that social isolation, loneliness and living alone each increases likelihood of mortality rates by 29%, 26% and 32%, respectively.

 

 

 

But the good news is this — even if you feel lonely, by reaching out to support others, you actually boost your own health, regardless of if you are getting the same support in return.  It turns out that it is the giving of social support, not the receiving of social support, that really benefits your health, at least as far as your brain is concerned.

In a study published in 2019 in Psychosomatic Medicine, researchers used functional MRI imaging to examine what happens to the brain when one receives social support, and when one gives social support.  It turns out, that key areas of the brain are restructured to protect you against stress — but only when you are giving social support.

Receiving support was not related to these beneficial, protective brain changes… but giving support was associated with significantly reduced activation of the brain in areas of stress response.  In other words, giving support to others might actually buffer your experience of stress, reducing the impact that trauma and stress have by supporting areas of the brain that typically activate during stressful situations.   Researchers postulate that one reason being connected to others is protective to our health is that giving support actually helps mitigate the body’s stress response.

So today, in that vein, today I present to you tons of ways to boost your connection to yourself, your community, and beyond.

 


 

 

 

1.  Connect To Yourself

 

The best connection you can ever foster — first and foremost — is your connection to yourself.

Evaluating your own desires, fears, truths, boundaries, triumphs, needs daily allows you to walk through your days feeling centered and intentional, which is the basis for deep containment and alignment with your personal values and morales.

To constantly be evaluating and re-evaluating who you are in each present moment takes courage.  It means you might change course.  It means your relationships might need to evolve.  It means you might out grow old things.  It’s worth it.

I can think of nothing better to do (except maybe create a daily grounding habit like I talked about last week) during this introspective pandemic pause than to get in touch with who you have become and evolved into in this present moment.

Certainly you have changed from just a year ago.

Certainly you have changed from just a month ago.

Certainly you have changed from just a day ago.

Certainly you have changed from just an hour ago.

To find out who you are right now, and what might serve you best moving forward, you can cultivate some intentional practices that will help connect you to you, by:

 

  • making gratitude lists
  • writing in a daily journal
  • writing your memoirs or autobiography
  • writing letters to your younger self
  • writing letters to your future self
  • meditating (see this blog post for more ideas on this)
  • releasing clutter (see this blog post for more ideas on this)
  • creating a peace-of-mind planner for others to reference when you have passed away (I share the one I am filling out below)
  • starting a creativity journal (my favs are The Artist Way and her sequel, It’s Never Too Late To Begin Again, both listed below)

 

I am sharing some helpful links for some of these ideas — free printable journal prompts and links to the books I mentioned above.  I am not affiliated with any of these websites or authors in any way, and I don’t get a single penny for recommending them, I just truly believe in them and have found them helpful in my own journey.  I hope they help inspire you!

 

Gratitude prompts:  

Gratitude Journal Prompts from Angie Cruise

 

Gratitude Journal Prompts from Rhythms of Play

 

Journals:

 

 

 The peace-of-mind planner I am using

 

 

 

  The Artist Way, personal creativity journey

 

 

It’s Never Too Late To Begin Again: a great mid-life creativity booster!

 


 

 

 

2.  Connect To Others

 

It’s so easy to just stay walled up inside your home, especially during the winter months + adding in a pandemic.  While it can be deeply healing to go on an inward retreat (think Henry David Thoreau) you may find over time that the isolation makes you feel more bleak, hopeless, or apathetic than you normally feel.

If that’s the case, don’t worry.  The basis of life is adaptability and resiliency, so your spirit can and will rebound.  Let’s just take the time to incorporate ways to safely connect with other into our weekly quarantine rhythm:

 

Text

 

While medical studies show that social media can dramatically decrease mental health, direct texting is different, allowing you to stay in touch with people who are meaningful to you in real life, even when you can’t see each other.  Make a list of one, two, three, or twenty people you love and miss, and make a point to start each day off with a text to each, touching base with them.  Their responses throughout your day will help you feel connected.  Repeat daily.

 

Letters

 

Yep, snail mail is still a thing.  And while we are on lockdown during a pandemic, the mail still delivers.  Write one letter a day (or even one letter a week if that seems overwhelming) to someone you love and send it in the mail.  You can even include a folded up self addressed envelop and a request that they write you back!  I know of some folks who are spending their quarantine with crafting materials out, creating greeting cards out of card stock to last all year long — every birthday, anniversary, graduation, holiday is a fantastic reason to send a greeting card, and a homemade on is absolutely the best.   For a special gift to my son who graduated high school, I had family and friends write him a letter, collected them all and put them into a special binder.  He told me that opening it and reading the letters, page after page, was the best gift I had ever given him.

 

Garage Parties, Fire Escape Hangouts & Front Yard Cookouts

 

You can use your outdoor living spaces and still connect with others who live near you in creative, safe ways.

  • I have one friend who lives on an alley so every weekend they all open their garages and bring dinners out to eat in lawn chairs in their garages, chatting and playing music.
  • I have one friend who utilizes a front porch area in the same way — drinking tea in the evening and waving to neighbors who are all doing the same.
  • I know of people who are all gathering each night on their fire escapes in multi home dwellings, to chat to each other before retiring for the night.
  • I know of several young adults who all gather in a cul-de-sac, parking their cars side by side and rolling windows down halfway, chatting back and forth to stay connected.
  • I know of a young dating couple that parks near each other, staying each in their own car, to simply see each other’s face once a week on a “date.”

If you have a front door, a front yard, a porch, a patio, a parked car or a backyard that faces another home, you have the perfect way to stay connected and deepen your connection to your neighbors while practicing social distancing.

 

Games

 

Even if you were never one for puzzles or games before, now might be a good time to see if it’s something you can look forward to — yes, even if you live alone!  From playing online games together (in real time, like on Xbox, or on an app like Words With Friends or Chess) or even just taking pictures of a chess board and texting your move back and forth to each other, or even buying multiple copies of the same puzzle and shipping to all of your siblings for a grand Puzzle Race — see who can finish it first! — there are plenty of fun ways to stay playful, even if virtually, connected with those that you love.

 

 Video chat

 

My favorite way to stay connected to loved ones that I don’t live with, like my parents, is through Marco Polo — an app that allows you to record videos and send then directly to your loved one, who can view it any time and send one back.  It’s as convenient as texting but allows you to feel like you are right there with your favorite people, hearing their voice and seeing their face and watching their mannerisms as they speak to you.  I prefer this over talking on the phone, which is an obvious alternative if you prefer to talk live.  You can also FaceTime or use any other video or streaming app to stay connected to everyone you want to!

 

Pets

 

Don’t forget to stay connected to your beloved pet!  As I talked about in this blog post, pets actually prolong your life!  During a pandemic, I’m sure you appreciate their presence in your life more than ever.  Snuggles, love, company — your home is absolutely enhanced by your fur baby.  Spend extra time each day getting into a routine of connecting with them at least morning and night.  From walking your dog to playing with your cat to letting your guinea pig or bird out of his or her cage for a little play time, enjoy spending time with someone who absolutely loves you unconditionally.  On top of that, there are endless things you can do creatively to help fill your time… write down a list of ways you can pamper your pet and tackle one creative project a week!

Here are some ideas to get you started:

 


 

 

3.  Connect To Spirit

 

One of my favorite quotes of all time is this one:

 

“Here is the world.  

Terrible and beautiful things will happen.  

Don’t be afraid.”

– Frederick Buechner

 

While we are facing times that are different from anything we’ve encountered in our lifetimes so far, it may help you to stay anchored in your faith now more than ever.

Or, if you’ve never had time to devote to growing your spirituality, maybe now is the first time you’ve ever been able to do so — jump on it!

From church services being held freely online daily, to virtual group prayer circles, to live meditations you can join into from the comfort of your own home, to apps that allow you to track your meditation efforts (like Headspace) or bible study plans (like YouVerse’s Bible App) to the daily mantra class I linked you to in this blog post, you can use this time to not just go within but to look upwards!!!

Here are some more ideas for you to strengthen your core beliefs, or discover what they even are in the first place:

 

An Exercise To Help You Open To Connection:

 

Lay gently back in a supine position with your arms resting by the sides of your body. The palms are relaxed and open toward the sky.  Allow your feet to drop open.  The legs are extended down and splayed open.  The heels are in and the toes flop out.

Close your eyes.  Everything is relaxed. Your shoulder blades are pulled back, down and rolled under comfortably, resting evenly on the earth.

Breathe fully in through your nose, exhale deeply through your mouth.  Allow yourself to truly let go in this pose for several minutes, connecting to and receiving unconditional love.  Remind yourself:

  • It is safe to open to support from God, from Spirit, from the Universe.
  • It is safe to receive loving divine guidance and to use this guidance as a basis to make important life decisions.
  • It is safe to connect to others, to connect to the spiritual world around you, to recognize the Divine within yourself and the Divine within others today.
  • In short, it is safe to drop all resistance to the journey you are on and to **life** and see living it as the deeply spiritual practice that it is.

Try to run through this sequence at least once a day for this entire week.  It will help your body, down to your very cells, feel centered and supported.

Bonus for doing this while lying outside under the stars in the evening or under the sunshine in the morning.  Bring a big blanket or a sleeping bag or simply bundle up in winter gear and give it a try, you’ll feel totally invigorated.

Even while bundled up, or in a sleeping bag or wrapped in a blanket, if you can let a fingertip out to touch the earth, the sidewalk, a rock, a branch or any other grounded outdoor surface you can reap all the benefits of grounding while doing this healing practice.  Becoming mindfully present with God while allowing your body to get into the healing state through physical grounding is a win-win alignment that will bring a noticeable difference to you on all levels.

 

With Open Hands: Meditation

 

Probably my favorite prayer/meditation of all time, I actually tore this prayer out from the book (With Open Hands, by Henri J Nouwen) and framed it, and have it in my bedroom to read every night before I sleep… it’s that powerful to me.  Try reading through it and taking a deep breath in and out while you sit with each sentence, this will add up to a total of 5 powerful, meditative deep breaths. Placing palms on your lap face up makes it all the more powerful:

 

Dear God,

I do not know where you are leading me.

I do not even know what my next day,

my next week,

or my next year will look like.

As I try to keep my hands open,

I trust that you will put your hand in mine

and bring me home.

Thank you, God, for your love.

Thank you,

Amen.

 

 

 

Create Prayer Flags

 

You can create beautiful prayer flags to hand in your home, outside your windows, along your front doorstep, from a balcony or tree… putting whatever intention you want into the atmosphere for the wind to take.

This is a fun activity that I liked to do every spring with my children as they were growing up. We would take scraps of fabric and permanent markers and draw pictures, write words, symbols, and blessings all over them. I would sew, staple, clip or string them up along a ribbon, twine or clothesline, hang them up on our porch or between trees, and allow the wind to carry our intentions, desires and wishes out to the world.

Young or old, prayer flags are a wonderful way to intentionally infuse the world with your positive energy, or to ask for blessings, and as the sun fades the fabric over the course of the year, know that your prayers have been received.

Think of it as a tea bag you are steeping in the air —creating atmospheric tea. See the picture at the top of this section for inspiration.

All you need are scrap squares of fabric (consider using recycled fabric from old clothing, worn out cloth napkins or scraps of fat quarters left over from sewing projects), permanent markers, a length of ribbon or twine, and a stapler, clothes pins, super glue, or a thread and needle (whichever way is easiest for you to attach the fabric squares along the ribbon or twine.)

If it’s warm enough, head outside armed with your supplies and settle into a nice area, grounded to the earth. A picnic table at your local park works well, your front door stoop, some steps you can sit on, slipping off shoes so bare feet rest on the ground.

With your energy centered and inward, call to mind blessings, words, symbols and images you would like to infuse the world with. Some ideas might include: love, peace, harmony, freedom, possibility, joy, abundance, unity. Even a simple heart or smiley face works. Draw, doodle, decorate, or simply write one word across each fabric scrap.

Once you have created a few prayer flags, simply clip onto a line using clothes pins, or fold the top edge of the fabric over a ribbon and staple, super glue, or sew.  These prayer flags are wonderful hung between trees, along fence posts or porch railings, or even simply across an open window.

Enjoy the words and prayers being carried off into the atmosphere, knowing the have been acknowledged and added to the intentional design of our Universe. Allow your prayer flags to bleach and fade in the sun and wind and rain, and create new ones each year.

I share this idea for you today directly from my book: The Earth Prescription.  If you loved this idea, there are hundreds more waiting for you, ideas that will ground you every season of the year no matter where you live.   I’m so excited to share it with you.  You can order it here: 

 

 

 


 

 

 

To Summarize:

 

Today try to nurture your connection to self, to others and to Spirit on many levels.  Boosting your connections to others will actually protect your health, and particularly so when you are the one reaching out.

Write down any ideas that appeal to you, or bookmark this page to refer back to when you need a little inspiration or are feeling a little lonely.

And 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.  My readers are a wonderful source of connection that I am incredibly grateful for in my own life, and I’d love you to be a part of this group.

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

Is Going Outside Part Of Your Daily Health Routine? 8 Reasons Why It’s Essential

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I truly believe that even with the stress of everything we are facing right now, we can still feel healthier than ever if we intentionally set up supportive, comforting and deeply healing health routines.

So all winter long, I’m going to be giving you a weekly blog post full of uplifting ways to improve your health, and every single idea is something you can do right in the comfort of your own home.  Social distancing approved.

It’s a new mini-series I’m releasing for you to help boost your health over these next three winter months.  Forward this newsletter to a friend or a family member so that they can take part in this healing mini-series with you!

The series so far has been:

And now on to today’s topic: getting outside.

Think of all of your essential health and wellness routines:  hydrating throughout the day, washing hands, taking care to get enough sleep, brushing your teeth, taking supplements, wearing a seatbelt in the car.  Do you consider going outside each and every day as essential as any of those other health care activities?

I think you should.  Time spent outside actually boosts your longevity, so making it part of a daily wellness routine is an easy yet crucial thing you can do to protect your innate health.

Today, I want to encourage you to find some way to go outside.  Run, walk, stand, even sit…  think of any and all activities that you do indoors that you could move outdoors and go do it!

Because even in the winter, and even during a pandemic, we still need to find ways to be outside.  Here’s why:

 


 

 

 

 

 

1.  Boosted Vitamin D

 

Most of us know that if we get a few minutes of time outside under the sun, it will naturally boost our levels of Vitamin D.  But did you know how extensive the benefits are to boosting your vitamin D levels?  Vitamin D is necessary for brain health, bone health, immune function, metabolism, mood, and even cancer recovery, to name a few.

  • Brain Health:  Low vitamin D levels are associated with a substantial acceleration of memory loss and cognitive decline. Published Sept 14, 2015 in JAMA Neurology, researchers looked at baseline vitamin D levels and mental status change in over 380 adults (average age 75 years old.).  Vit D deficient adults with serum concentrations of vit D lower than 20 ng/mL declined 3 times faster in cognitive function and in memory impairment compared to those with serum vit D levels of greater than 20 ng/mL.  Another study, published in Neurology on August 9, 2014 found that patients with low levels of Vit D have a 122% increased risk of dementia compared to those with higher levels of vit D.  Their findings showed that the critical level to prevent dementia is greater than 50 nmol/L.
  • Bone Health:  A study published in the January issue of the Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery found that at over half of the patients that present with stress factors of the bone have vit D insufficiency.  Vit D concentrations are linked to the absorption of dietary calcium and phosphorus… … in fact, if you are vitamin D deficient, you are only absorbing approximately 10 – 15% of your dietary calcium and only roughly half of the dietary phosphorus you consume. So it’s easy to see how Vit D deficiency can lead quickly to a decrease in bone mineralization… and allow for more fractures to occur.
  • Reduced Diabetes Risk: There are multiple studies showing that a deficit in Vit D levels increases your risk of developing diabetes… especially type 2 diabetes.  In some studies, the risk of developing diabetes actually doubles in the face of low vitamin D levels!
  • Weight Loss: By simply adding Vit D supplementation to your weight loss plan, you reduce your whole-body inflammation and blood markers of inflammation, shows a study published April 23m 2015 in Cancer Prevention Research.
  • Decreased Risk of Depression: Yet another amazing study has come out showing a positive correlation between Vitamin D and mood. Published in the November 2011 issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, researchers followed 12,594 participants and found that higher Vitamin D levels are associated with a significantly decreased risk of depression.
  • Cancer Recovery: A huge meta-analysis looking at 25 different studies and 17,700+ cancer patients found definitively, yet again, that higher levels of circulating Vit D at time of diagnosis was associated with significantly better survival and remission rates in the future.  Published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism on April 29, 2014, researchers found that colorectal cancer, breast cancer and lymphoma patients all had impressive, significantly higher survival rates in patients who had the highest Vit D serum levels.  They also had increased disease free rates afterwards (longer remission periods after cancer treatment) so it makes sense that Vit D may be the protective mechanism of action in prolonging life expectancy. But right now, my number one reason I love getting the sun to naturally boost my vitamin D levels?  Turns out, Vitamin D helps you fight infections too.
  • Boosted Immunity: As this medical literature review discusses (published in 2018 in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences) Vitamin D not only directly boosts our immune adaptive response (meaning our bodies are better able to fight off new, novel, mutating and never-before-seen pathogens) but it also decreases inflammation, a leading cause of mortality during viral infection.

Vitamin D is so important to your natural immunity that even if you get direct sunshine outside or through a window daily, I highly recommend that you test your vitamin D lives and supplement with Vitamin D as needed.

The vitamin D supplement I take is Carlson Labs Solar D Gems… it’s 2,000 IU of Vitamin D in 500 mg of fish oil.  Vitamin D supplements need to be oil emulsified for best absorption, so if your Vit D supplements are dry capsules, switch to an oil emulsion or soft gel.  And the extra Omega 3 fatty acids in the Solar D Gems are an added bonus.  Find my very favorite, tried and true, most trusted pharmacy grade Vitamin D supplements — including these Solar D Gems — at a special discount in my online dispensary here.

 


 

 

 

2.  Grounding

 

One of my biggest passions as a holistic physician is encouraging people to touch the earth outside to naturally decrease inflammation in their body, a healing practice known as grounding.

When you are grounded to the earth, as you are when you touch the earth in any way (including touching any plants, soil, dirt, rocks and water that is on the earth) you are supporting your health on the most fundamental level.  Inflammation decreases, stress hormones decrease, metabolism gets a boost, pain decreases and mood lifts.

If you want a complete overview of the past 20 years worth of medical studies on how grounding supports your health, head over here to read them all.

  • For example, one study (published in the Journal Of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine in 2010) found that subjects who were grounded had 40% less muscle inflammation and significantly less soreness after exertion than non-grounded subjects. They also had lower pain levels and significantly lower blood cortisol levels.
  • Another study,published in 2004 in the Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine, found grounded subjects had a complete normalization of their cortisol patterns, suggesting a profound recovery from stress.
  • And this study (published 2006 in European Biology and Bioelectricmagnetics ) monitored patient’s brain waves on EEG and found an immediate shift of the central nervous system the moment patients were grounded to the earth.

Know the feeling of spending a morning in your garden or an afternoon walking along the beach and how calm, centered, and supported you feel?  Grounding your body is at work here, decreasing stress and naturally reducing inflammation.

And grounding also helps you sleep better too!  Not only will getting outside increase your exposure to daylight, which naturally helps regulate circadian rhythm, but the earth is actually equally responsible for our day/night rhythm, which scientists found out after experimenting with isolating subjects from the earth in shielded isolation chambers (published in 1970 in Life Sciences and Space Research.)

Because it is actually the frequency of the earth (along with with exposure to light) that regulates our natural biorhythms, it’s easy to understand how grounding our body with our planet can help enhance restorative sleep at night and boost daytime wakefulness.  It’s also easy to see why staying indoors eventually leads to daytime sleepiness, nighttime wakefulness, and decreased quality of sleep at night, which is incredibly stressful to the body and ultimately decreases lifespan.  Yet another reason to head outside and routinely make time to directly touch the earth, even if it’s just for a few moments a day.

And for a nice overview on how grounding can specifically support your health during this pandemic, this blog post I wrote for you is a must read.

 

If you are curious about grounding but not sure what to do once you get outside, I’ve written an idea book filled with hundreds of ideas to inspire and guide you, and help you troubleshoot to get the results you deeply crave.

Perfect when we are all looking for ways to stay active and healthy at home, and taking control over our own health. We need ways to protect and boost our own innate health right now, more than ever.  We need ways that don’t require a doctor’s office visit — things we can do right at home to protect our wellness.  Grounding is one of the most important ways I know to do this.

If you are not sure how you can get grounded when stay-at-home orders are in place, or if you live in a city and don’t have any access to a safe greenspace, this book is for you, because you absolutely can still ground daily for your health.

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

If you have kids at home right now and need daily ideas on ways to connect with them while also supporting their own innate health, this book is most definitely for you!

And if you are simply bored?  This book has so many fabulous healing ideas that you could literally stay home for two years straight and never run out of new things to do each day.

Simply flip through and pick a page and choose your favorite idea off that page and get healing!

The Earth Prescription is waiting for you right here, right now, as well as at all major book sellers, on IndieBound, Amazon, Barnes&Noble and more.

 


 

 

 

3.  Increased Movement

 

Hate to exercise?  Never made time to do it before?  Just head outside and walk.  Increasing your physical activity level increases longevity, no doubt about it.

And even during this pandemic, there is no reason, no matter how old you are, no matter if you’ve never ever exercised before, to start exercising in ways that resonate best with you.

New research published March 8, 2019 in JAMA Network Open shows that introducing physical activity later in life, even in your 60s (and as you’ll see in other studies below, in your 70’s and beyond as well) has a similar benefit of increasing lifespan as you would enjoy if you had been exercising since young adulthood.

Researchers looked at over 300,000 patients and found that exercising for an average of 2 hours a week was enough to protect longevity, significantly dropping their risk of dying from heart attack, stroke, cancer, and all causes of death combined.

But here is the interesting part… folks who were inactive but started to exercise in mid-life had every bit the protection to their lifespan as folks who were active from adolescence on.

  • Participants who reported routinely exercising from adolescence had a 33% decreased risk of dying for any reason
  • And participants who reported being inactive during young adulthood but increasing activity in midlife enjoyed a similar benefit, at a 34% decreased risk of dying for any reason.

This echoes what researchers found in a study published April 2017 in the Journal Of Geriatric Cardiology, where researchers looked at almost 3,000 adults, with an average age of 71, and evaluated their mortality rates in relationship to how much they exercise.

What they found is that adults who exercised routinely dropped their risk of dying from heart attack or stroke by almost 60%. But again, the interesting part is how you are never too old to boost your health with exercise.  Because even though the average study participant was in their 70s, if during the study they increased the amount they exercised even more, their risk of dying from a cardiovascular dropped by an additional 25%!

So truly, I mean it, it’s never too late to start exercising routinely, because even if you up your activity level starting when you are in your 70s you are significantly, measurably protecting your health and prolonging your life.

Be sure to move outdoors daily, ideally combining some type of stretch or cardio boost during this outdoor time.  I’m very heart-warmed to see so many families where I live going on after dinner walks, riding their bikes, jogging in the early hours of the morning, shooting basketballs in driveway hoops, jump roping, etc…

Whether you do it alone or with family or a friend, be sure to find some way to get your circulation up daily, and push yourself to make that an outdoor activity.

I like to do my online Barre3 workouts in my garage with the garage door open, and play tennis with my son on our neighborhood courts.  Other ideas include yoga, stretching, tai chi, hiking, running, rollerblading, finding outdoor stairs to go up and down, working on a home garden bed or container garden, etc….

If you typically exercise indoors, find ways to move all or part of this exercise outside.  Bring your weights outside.  Bring your yoga mat outside.  Bring your resistance band outside.  Bring your jump rope outside.  Bring your exercise YouTube videos outside.  Bring your hula hoop outside!  Anything!  Everything!  Walk, move, stretch, run, bike, keep moving every single day.

 


 

 

 

4.  A Natural Mood Boost

 

A huge meta-analysis of the medical literature (published in 2019 in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health) found that spending time outside in nature positively impacts mental health and increases emotional resilience.  Participants enjoyed statistically significant improvement in mood, reduction in stress levels, decrease anxiety, decrease in depression, decrease in cortisol levels, boosted parameters of heart health, decreased blood pressure, and an over all improvement in quality of life, just by sitting or walking outdoors in nature.

And the best news? It doesn’t take long to receive these incredible uplifting benefits… as little as ten minutes will do it.  An exciting study published in 2020 in Environment International found that mood significantly improved after only 10 minutes spent in a natural environment.

 


 

 

 

 

5.  A View Of Trees

 

Multiple studies have found that having access to a garden or other green space — even simply viewing plants — decreases depression rates, anxiety rates, and dramatically reduces stress.

One study, called the MIND study (conducted in 2007) found that simply walking through a garden or greenway significantly improved mental health, while walking through areas without greenery (such as a shopping mall) significantly decreased mental health.

Even indoor gardens can positively impact on your well being, so don’t discount the power of a windowsill garden or a simple house plant to support your health.

An exciting study published in 1996 in the Journal of Environmental Horticulture, showed that simply adding plants to an indoor computer room not only boosted work place productivity, it also significantly decreased their blood pressure.  At at time when many of us are working from home, consider adding plants intentionally to your work space, or move where you work to be near your best view of a tree, whether that tree is in your home or outside.

Being physically near plants is so impactful to our mental and physical health that it turns out, even just seeing a plant can significantly impact our recovery from stressful health events.

We have such an innate need to be submersed in a world with foliage and plants around us that a study (published in 1984 in Science) found that patients who simply had a view of plants through a window while recovering from surgery had better moods, used less pain medications, had less surgical post-op complications, and even decreased their length of stay in the hospital.

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

So even if you hated my suggestion to exercise outside and prefer to look at nature through a window, make sure you pick a window where you can see greenery.  Or sit outside under a tree.  Or spend time near an indoor potted plant, if that’s what it takes.

Increase the number of plants you are around both inside and outside the home and boost your health naturally!

 


 

 

6.  Preventive Health Maintnance

 

A study published in Biomedical and Environmental Sciences in 2012 showed that even a brief intervention of one single weekend spent in nature had significant health benefits — reducing stress, reducing inflammation, and even boosting the body’s immune response, compared to staying in an urban environment for the weekend.

Researchers studied subjects that had a two day immersion in nature and found they had measurably boosted immunity markers in the blood, lowered blood inflammatory markers, lower cortisol levels, boosted natural killer cells, along with improvement of several other markers of immunity and inflammation.

But here is the best part: not only was this health boost significant immediately, but it persisted for an entire month after just that one single weekend in nature!   So one weekend in nature sustained an improvement in health for weeks, well after the subjects returned to their urban living.

The immune boost and reduction in stress on the body is thought to be a result of exposures to the phytoncides (a fancy word for essential oils) that trees emit.   The researchers even suggest that routine visits in nature may provide long term anti-cancer benefits, because the subjects who spent a weekend in nature had boosted T Cell and Natural Killer cell function (which produce anti-cancer proteins) that persisted for weeks.

They encourage time spent in nature as a healthy part of a cancer prevention plan, and I agree… if you can’t get outside in nature daily, these studies suggest that planning one weekend a month can still make a huge difference in not only your current health, but protecting your future health as well.

Cumulative anti-aging, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits from one weekend a month in nature?  That’s a pretty good deal.  If you can strive to take monthly breaks from your daily grind in order to support your long tern health, you can reap the benefits for much longer than your weekend getaway lasted.  Weeks of boosted health, even if you can’t live in nature…. turns out even just a venture outside every few weeks does a body good.

 

 


 

 

 

7.  Decreased Germ Activity

 

Not only does time spent outside amount trees boost your immune system function, as discussed above, but the atmosphere outside actually kills germs more quickly than in indoor environments because sunlight is naturally germicidal.

This medical study (recently published in 2020 in the Journal of Infectious Disease) found that sunlight exposure decreased the survival of aerosolized influenza virus by 93% — decreasing viral lifespan from 32 min (with no sunlight exposure) to only 2.4 min in full sunlight.  Wow. Thank goodness for the natural viricidal properties of sunlight!

This medical literature review, published in 2013 in the Journal of Hospital Infection) suggests that infections caught indoors is a major contributor to worldwide morbidity and mortality rates and urges medicine to consider optimizing sunlight when designing architecture for healthcare facilities like hospitals and clinics.

And this awesome study, published 2009 in the American Journal of Public Health, showed that open air hospitals treating patients during the 1918 pandemic actually had lower mortality rates than closed air hospitals, citing fresh air, direct sunlight, and use of respiratory masks in substantially reduced deaths over indoor hospital facilities.


 

 

8.  Boosted Longevity

 

All of these benefits — boosted Vit D, boosted immunity, decreased inflammation, protected brain function, better cancer recover and so much more — all culminates in the fact that people who spend time outdoors simply live longer.

It’s so important to be outside in the fresh air and sunshine, and a major medical study backs that up.  Published in the Journal of Internal Medicine in 2016, researchers found that people who stayed indoors had a significantly shorter life span than those who spent time outside.

This study looked at almost 30,000 participants over a span of 20 years, tracking health outcomes and life span. Researchers found that participants who stayed indoors had higher rates of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and pulmonary disease. And the results were dose-specific… meaning that the benefits of increased life expectancy went up directly in correlation to the amount of time outdoors.

Longer time outside = longer life span. That simple.

You can seek sunlight exposures in a way that honors social distancing such as:

  • sitting on a porch, balcony or front door stoop every morning and every evening
  • eating picnic lunches outside mid-day
  • observing which of the windows in your home are sunny and at what time of the day there is a sunbeam and sitting in those precious light rays while drinking your morning coffee, your evening tea, while working on your computer like I am doing right now, or while reading a good book, etc… (the glass will stop the majority of UVB waves needed for making Vit D, so open the window if you can!)
  • even going for a drive or sitting in your car even without driving it if you have your own car and it’s a sunny day — be sure to roll the windows down and enjoy!

Read more about the medical study showing that sunlight boosts lifespan right here.

 


 

 

 

To Summarize:

 

Today, try to incorporate the healing benefits of being outside to help naturally boost and protect your health.

The benefits are astounding… from enjoying the viricidal properties of the sun, to boosting your activity level, to grounding your body, to boosting Vitamin D naturally, to naturally decreasing pain, stress, depression and anxiety… going outside is critical to our wellness.

And if you can’t get outside routinely, there are still benefits to looking out windows at nature, adding plants to your living space and supplementing with Vitamin D.

And remember, even one weekend a month is enough to significantly boost your health, so if you can’t get outside daily, plan a weekend a month immersed in a greenspace and enjoy long term benefits in cancer prevention, immune support, and even longevity!

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 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

Winter Is For Hibernating. Here’s How To Get Your Best Sleep Tonight.

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I truly believe that even with the stress of everything we are facing right now, we can still feel healthier than ever if we intentionally set up supportive, comforting and deeply healing health routines.

So all winter long, I’m going to be giving you a weekly blog post full of uplifting ways to improve your health, and every single idea is something you can do right in the comfort of your own home.  Social distancing approved.

It’s a new mini-series I’m releasing for you to help boost your health over these next three winter months.  Forward this newsletter to a friend or a family member so that they can take part in this healing mini-series with you!

The series so far has been:

 

 

And now, on to today’s topic: Restorative Sleep

 

Today I really want to focus on something that is so important to your long term well being that you literally can’t live without it… and that is good sleep.

Sleep is absolutely crucial for optimized physical health.  I am ferocious about protecting my sleep, because I know that 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.

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.  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.

Seek your own sunlight exposures in a way that honors social distancing such as:

  • sitting on a porch, balcony or front door stoop every morning
  • eating picnic lunches outside mid-day
  • observing which of the windows in your home are sunny and at what time of the day there is a sunbeam and sitting in those precious light rays while drinking your morning coffee, your evening tea, while working on your computer, or while reading a good book, etc… (the glass will stop the majority of UVB waves needed for making Vit D, so open the window if you can)
  • even going for a drive or sitting in your car (even without driving) it if you have a car — be sure to roll the windows down and enjoy!

Another idea that might be a good resource for you during this pandemic and beyond, 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 package up orders.

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

 

More on this next week, but I can’t wait until then to tell you about grounding because it so dramatically improves sleep as well.

If you can touch the earth outside for even a few minutes a day, do it.

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.

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, do it.  If it can be 30 minutes, all the better.

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, and no matter what the circumstance…

…perfect for giving you tons of easily actionable ways to stay connected to our planet and boost your health during this pandemic and beyond.

Meanwhile, I’ve got lots of great ideas for grounding outside — tons of ideas await you on my ticktock channel, my instagram page, my facebook page, and my youtube channel.  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

 

As we talked about in the first blog post of this series, walking each day is the one of the single best things you can do to prolong your life.

You have to move your body daily.  Yes, even when you are stuck indoors. Yes, even when there is a pandemic.

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 again in today’s idea 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.

 


 

 

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.

I have a guide for you to help you do just that, without the overwhelm of “where to start!?!?!”  Hop over here for a blog post I wrote that gives you a free printable checklist on decreasing your body’s EMF exposures… especially crucial if you suspect you are EMF sensitive.

If you lay in bed and still feel overstimulated, even after doing what you could from your EMF Reduction Checklist, the next step would be to sandwich yourself between a shielding blanket above you and a mattress shield below you.  I show you in this video here how this dramatically decreases the radiation to your body all night long, for hours on end.   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 immediate. You can literally feel your entire autonomic nervous system relax and appreciate the break from the constant onslaught of eSmog that is pervasive across the globe now.  You can find all of my favorite shielding tools right here.

 


 

 

5.  Block Blue Light From Reaching Your Eyes

 

Ok I’m a mother of two older teens (oh my how the time has flown) and it’s just completely unrealistic for me to expect them not to use their computers to complete homework assignments — especially right now when all of their learning is online.  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.

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.

 


 

 

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 this article 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.

I have these waiting for you, along with the other supplements I suggest in this article, in one easy Sleep Restore Protocol that is waiting for you right here.

 

 


 

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 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.  Even if you plan to be up for hours and hours longer!  Take it when it is natural for your body to have rising levels, and you will naturally relax through the evening and be ready for bed whenever you are able to hit the hay.

Why is this ultra important to focus on right now, during the pandemic?

Because interestingly, melatonin is emerging as a possible treatment against lung complications from coronavirus infection, as melatonin directly decreases lung inflammatory cytokines.  Melatonin has even been proven to significantly decrease lung inflammation in patients who are on ventilators, making it perfect as a targeted supportive therapy for coronavirus patients.  

This article, just published March 2020 in Respiratory Research, found that a melatonin receptor agonist not only significantly reduced lung inflammation for patients on a ventilator, it also significantly reduced their inflammatory concentrations of cytokines in the lung.

Because melatonin naturally decreases with age, it may be a unique factor contributing to the “agism” that the coronavirus has so far been displaying.  Infants and young children have the highest natural melatonin concentrations of all, which might provide natural lung protection that steadily decreases throughout the human life span.  Melatonin concentrations peak at age 6, are cut in half by age 45, and are almost non-existent in the elderly 80+.  This may help explain why lung complications and death increases dramatically in coronavirus infections at age 40 and exponentially increases from there.

We even have 8 melatonin research trials ongoing right this minute to evaluate the possibility of using melatonin to prevent or reduce morbidity and mortality in coronavirus infection.

If you give melatonin a try, just don’t forget that the very best time to take melatonin is at dusk, as the sun starts going down.  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!  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.

 


 

 

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.  Like all the supplements I mention in this article, you can find my favorite GABA Trex in my in my Sleep Restore Protocol here.

(I find I get so many questions asking where to find these supplements and which supplements to take (as well as where to purchase them, since there are so many places, like Amazon, where they don’t properly store supplements so that 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 find all the same supplements there too!)

 


 

 

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.

On nights when I am feeling tense (especially helpful for anyone who grinds their teeth at night, has neck and shoulder tension, or has restless legs!) instead of laying in bed growing more and more frustrated, I break out of that rut by making myself 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, 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 and think it’s a fun project to undertake during winter, a time of hibernation anyway.  I encourage you to sleep with a journal 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, impluses, 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 off gas old energy 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.  So 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 (Hello Dr. Freud!) and they are not about divine guidance as much as the mind’s way of dealing with big themes that are going on in your life.  While they can be *informative* and 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 God/The Universe/Spirit — 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.  What is important to remember about these dreams are the physical sensations and *felt sense* that you get from the dream… sometimes it’s also important to write down a directive or information that was shared with you during the dream from a teacher or guide.

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 forgotten!

If you like want more of this type of guidance, on how to open to intuitive information and process it, you are in luck because I am starting my Expand You Intuition Online Class next Monday!  I only run it once every few years (the last time I ran it was in 2019, and this will be the only time I run it in all of 2021.)

So if you’ve ever wanted to ask me about why and how I use intuition in healthcare, or help figuring out your own intuitive messages, or you simply want help learning how to protect your empathic nature as you face a harsh and overwhelming world full of toxic energy, I am here for you right here, right now.   I am even going to have two live Zoom Q&A sessions with you during this class, so we can be sure I get all of your questions answered personally!

Please join in today, this is the very last week to sign up:

 

 

 

 


 

 

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:

 


 

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 please be sure to subscribe.  Intuition Physician Updates is a brand new podcast I just launched and I’ll be adding new episodes on the latest holistic health news all year long! 

 


 

 

 

To Summarize:

 

Good sleep is non-negotiable for long term health.  So this entire week, focus on getting deep restorative sleep and prioritizing sleep above other activities that might be distracting you.

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 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

Your Healing Mantra for 2021

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(I painted all of the artwork in today’s healing article. This one is called “Deep Support From Grounding” and it has sold.)

 

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 actually 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.  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 2021 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… 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, so 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” — 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 appendicitis 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!

 

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

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

I don’t want the standard of care to be that we sit a patient down and look at the spectrum of outcomes in the past and we limit our patient’s future healing by overlaying 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 2021 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 2021!

xoxoxo, Laura

 

 

Enjoy Healing

Self Care… A Healing Gift You Can Give Yourself. Here’s How:

Posted

 

I truly believe that even with the stress of everything we are facing right now, we can still feel healthier than ever if we intentionally set up some supportive, comforting and deeply healing health routines.

So all winter long, I’m going to be giving you a weekly blog post full of uplifting ways to improve your health, and every single idea is something you can do right in the comfort of your own home.  Social distancing approved.

It’s a new mini-series I’m releasing for you to help improve your health over these next three winter months.  Forward this newsletter to a friend or a family member so that they can take part in this healing mini-series with you!

The series so far has been:

Topic 1: Movement

Topic 2: Listening

Topic 3: Declutter

And now on to today’s topic: Nurturing Your Body

 


 

 

Most of us do not practice enough self care, so this “stay at home” time is the perfect time to experience what it is like to actually prioritize caring for the body we are living in.

Your body has been waiting for this!

I highly encourage you to read through this list of ideas, select a few that resonate with you, and continue to do them long after this pandemic is over.

We can let this experience actually improve our health for the long term!

Let’s go:

 


 

 

1.  Hydrate Inside And Out

 

Known as the “Elixir of Life” for good reason, water is absolutely critical to our well being in every way.

Not only are we primarily made up of water (over 70% of our body is pure water) but water has a healing property that goes way beyond simple hydration.  Today, I want to share with you all the different ways that dehydration affects our health (you might be surprised at some of these!) and also how we can use the power of water to support our Well Being from the inside out.

What Does Dehydration Feel Like?

Dehydration is life threatening.  Severe dehydration means our organs absolutely can not function normally and leads to seizure, organ failure, and death. But did you know even very mild levels of dehydration might be affecting you on a daily basis?  Dehydration can lead to or exacerbate common conditions such as constipation, dry skin, bad breath, headache, and high blood pressure.

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

 

So the next time you have a headache, or feel anxious, or notice your blood pressure or weight creeping up… drink a glass of water and re-evaluate.  It could be that chronic dehydration has been a key factor contributing to your symptoms all along.

And don’t rely on thirst to remind you to drink!  Dehydration begins when we are just 1% volume depleted, but thirst doesn’t set in until our body is about 2% volume depleted.

By then we have already had effects on our mood, energy level, ability to think clearly, and pain levels.  Instead of waiting for thirst or darkened urine to remind us to drink, let’s utilize these preventative strategies for staying well hydrated, instead of treating dehydration!  The goal of this isn’t to teach you how to address dehydration but to have you protecting your hydration levels by preventing dehydration in the first place.

Here are 5 ways to prevent dehydration before you even get thirsty:

  • Begin and end every single day drinking a big glass of water:  Drink water each AM before you even think about reaching for orange juice or coffee. Replenishing the fluids you lost overnight every as well as the fluids you may have overlooked drinking all day long is a great lifelong habit to get into… do it daily so it becomes an automatic routine!
  • Drink a glass of water whenever you feel hungry:  Use hunger as a reminder to hydrate!  We feel hunger on and off all day long, and so we can remember to drink water on and off all day long too.  Drink a glass of water before each meal and whenever you feel thirst *or* hunger, and you will stay well hydrated all day long.
  • Include fruits and vegetables at every single meal:  Fruits and veggies are full of water (many being more than 90% water!) and minerals that help you maintain essential fluid volume.  Processed foods like packaged snacks actually dehydrate you.  Fruits and veggies are a great way to hydrate *while* you eat!  The most hydrating ones include:  melons, berries, cucumber, celery, leafy greens, tomatoes and bell peppers.
  • Use an unrefined sea salt when you cook, instead of table salt:  It’s truly important to make sure you have enough minerals in your diet so that you can absorb and retain the right hydration balance.  Trace minerals, found in sea salts, are essential to the body’s function. I talk a little more about why minerals are so essential for health in this video I made for you here.  Even if you don’t think hydration is an issue for you, most of us are mineral depleted whether we hydrate well or not.  You might want to consider a daily mineral supplement that you have to put into water, which will further encourage you to drink drink drink throughout the day.  My favorite is Concentrace Mineral Drops, which I have waiting for you in my trusty online dispensary here.
  • Switch from soda to sparkling water:  The sugar and chemicals found in soda (even diet soda!) mess with your metabolism and should not count towards your 8 cups of water a day.  Get your carbonation fix from sparkling water instead and reap the hydration rewards!

 

Beyond staying hydrated, you can use the power of water to boost your health in these 6 unique ways.

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

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

 

  • Allow tears… always:  Never hold them back.  Let the water of your tears release your emotions and lift them from your body.  Water is the ultimate medium of flow and healing… in fact, water is the body’s natural choice of release as well, as you can see in the fact that the body uses tears to facilitate an emotional release.  Tears help encourage the flow of emotions through the body (both tears of joy and tears of sorrow!) and allows us to release tension more easily.
  • Sweat it out!  The other way that the body uses water as a form of energetic and physical release is through sweat.  Heat uses the energy and flow of water (the blood in your circulatory system) by increasing flushing — fluid in, sweat out.  Exercise is an essential, wonderful, medically proven treatment plan for so many different health conditions, shown to be effective in treating everything from insomnia, to depression and anxiety to fibromyalgia and other chronic pain conditions… even preventing dementia and extending lifespan!  Whether you like hiking, yoga, biking, jogging, or even a more passive form of sweating like a sauna — find a way to embrace sweating and be sure to replace that fluid flow with tons of fresh filtered water both before, during, and after sweating!
  • Use the cleansing properties of water to detox and release:  Take a long hot epsom salt bath soak (add some baking soda and apple cider vinegar to turn it into a detoxing experience) to soothe muscles, calm and relax you before bedtime… or simply relax in a warm shower and envision the water carrying the tensions of the day down the drain for you (more on this below!).
  • Benefit from the conductive property of water:  Another great way to use water to heal is to ground by the ocean or river or lake (or even the morning dew on a blade of grass!).  There is a reason that doctor’s routinely gave out prescriptions for spending time by the sea when they had no idea what else to do to help an ailment… That’s because the earth has healing energy to give you, and if you add moisture to that you increase your own conductivity and healing accelerates.  Ground outside (daily if at all possible) and add water –sweaty feet, making a puddle with your hose, standing on the morning dew, or any other way to add moisture:  moisture + you + earth = expedited healing.
  • Combine water with heat: My favorite way to combine the healing power of water with the healing power of heat (beyond the sauna, bath and shower I’ve already mentioned!) is to fill a hot water bottle full of warm water and hold it on your body where you are feeling any tension, pain, or stuck emotion, for example on your chest, abdomen, neck, back, etc… Adding the element of heat enhances the healing release all the more.  I love using my organic grounding hot water bottle for releasing energy in stuck, sore muscle cramps, relieving nausea and abdominal cramps during my period, to ease growing pains for my children, and countless other applications!
  • Make sure your air contains moisture!  As I mentioned above, your mucosal membranes absolutely require moisture to function… did you know you lose over two cups (or a half liter) of water just from breathing each day?  Use steam/humidifiers to help hydrate your air and support the hydration of your mucosal membranes.
  • Intentionally drink water as a way to energetically reset the body from the inside out:  You lose up to 2 liters (8 cups) of water each day just through urination and bowel movements and skin surface evaporation. You can utilize this high turn over of fluids to your advantage and hydrate hydrate hydrate during times of worry or sorrow or stress more than any other time of your life.  Look at every glass of water you drink as a way to add a healing intention into your body, infusing every single cell of every single tissue of every single organ system you have with healing support. You can simply say a prayer, say an intention, even just *think* an intention as you hold your cup of water and silently bless it before you drink it. Let your body be flushed out inside and out and with every urination or bowel movement or tear or droplet of sweat you shed, recognize you are flushing the old energy down the drain and making way for new healing.

 

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

And one last note:

I recommend you filter your water before drinking it, especially from the tap.  After hundreds of studies have shown fluoride affects everything from cognitive function in humans to diabetes, fertility and more in animals, I recommend avoiding fluoride in water and never use fluoridated toothpastes.

Fluoride is an enzyme inhibitor, point-blank.  But what’s the problem with the minuscule amounts of fluoride added to the public water supply?  The old problem that is widely recognised (even by the National Institutes of Health) is that it accumulates in bone.  It is estimated about 50% of the fluoride we consume is eliminated, and 50% is stored.

Miniscule amounts of fluoride adding to our bodies sip after sip after sip equals a not-so-minimal exposure.  Over a lifetime, these levels can reach high proportions… decreasing bone density and causing brittleness.  For a nation whose women have epidemic proportions of osteopenia and osteoporosis, it would be counter productive to continue to drink fluoride on a daily basis.  Studies have shown that the rate of hip fracture in elderly is directly increased in areas that fluoridate their water.

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

Fluoride is being taken up by your cardiovascular system as well.  Direct absorption to of fluoride into our cardiovascular walls (and a significant correlation between cardiovascular events and fluoride uptake) makes it all the more urgent for us to avoid fluoride all together.

And now new reports are revealing something even more disturbing, if you can believe it — fluoride lowers IQ  I am routinely asked at the dentist’s office if I would like to give my children a concentrated fluoride treatment.  And affect their still-developing brain?  Uh… NO.

 

I keep a water filtration system out on my kitchen counter space and not only am I drinking pure, clean, fluoride free water, but the visual reminder to DRINK every single time I walk by the water filter or am standing in the kitchen preparing a meal.  This has really helped me to remember to maintain my hydration status.

Here is my favorite water filtration system, in stock are ready to ship right now.

 

 


 

 

 

2.  Moisturize With Oil

 

Morning and night, especially after bathing, use a beautiful, all natural, super healing organic oil directly on skin such as coconut oil or sunflower seed oil (my two favs that are medically shown to repair the lipid bilayer best.) Raid your pantry to see what oils you have on hand — no need to buy anything.  Grapeseed oil, olive oil, coconut oil, anything will work!

Oil seals in moisture better than a lotion or cream which both are water based and will not protect skin the way a pure oil will.

If you don’t want to feel greasy after applying oil, the best way to do it is to apply oil before toweling off after bathing, while the skin is still wet, and then toweling gently off to remove excess water and oil.  You will be left with incredibly hydrated skin, ready for getting dressed and without the fear that you will get oil on your clothing!

 


 

 

 

3.  Supplements

 

To me, body care starts with nurturing the inside with high quality supplements.  During non-pandemic times, I still recommend a great multi mineral supplement, curcumin, omega 3 fatty acids, probiotics and a few others depending on what my patient’s personal and family history is.

But during this pandemic?  Let’s focus on immune boosting supplements for sure!  My three non-negotiable favorite immune boosting supplements to take all winter are:

  • Vit C (1,000 mg a day)
  • Vit D (1,ooo IU a day)
  • Probiotics (1 – 5 billion CFUs a day)

If you want to target supporting your skin, there are lots of vitamins that do just that.  In fact, vitamin B3 dramatically reduces skin cancer rates, which is clear evidence that a simple vitamin can be cancer preventive.

Presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2015 Annual Meeting in May 2014, researchers looked at over 380 patients with a prior history of non-melanoma skin cancers, giving half nicotinamide supplements (Vit B3) and half a placebo, and followed them for a year.  They found the patients in the Vitamin B3 group had a quarter less skin cancers total (a 23% decrease) than control patients:

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

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

So… if you have a history of serious sun exposure?  Or a history of previous skin cancers?  Or you just want less unsightly actinic keretosis popping up in the future? Vitamin B 3  offers 100% all natural holistic chemo-prevention!  Vitamin B is safe, inexpensive, proven.

In addition, you can take curcumin to help protect against melanoma. Curcumin has been specifically shown to target and kill melanoma cancer cells in laboratory studies. Read this study published in the International Journal of Cancer in October 2016 for a good overview on what we know about curcumin and melanoma so far.

 

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

I have these supplements (set at a discount for you) as part of my Skin Glow Protocol in my online dispensary for you right here.

 

 

 


 

 

 

4.  Gratitude Shower

 

Showers are the perfect way to enjoy a private sanctuary to practice self care.  Not only are you likely grounded in your shower (watch this video here where I show you with my grounding test meter how you are grounded inside through the plumbing) but incorporating gratitude into your shower will reset you inside and out — trust me.  Here’s how:

  • Set an affirmation for your shower today, for example:

“I step into this shower and feel peace envelope me…” 

“I step into this shower to show gratitude to body…” 

“I step into this shower and accept an instant health boost…” 

“I step into this shower to release fears and worries about things that I can not control…” etc…

  • Before you turn on the water, take a soft bristled/natural hair brush (if you have one) or a dry loofah mit or washcloth and dry brush your skin. Think about all the burdens you carry around you every day.  Think about all the ideas and feelings we have attached to our bodies that don’t serve us well.  Think about these burdens as a grey cloud that hangs on our body, cloaking us with a dark misty morphic field that clings to our skin. We want to gently buff these away… gently take your dry brush or dry washcloth onto your dry skin, and gently sweep them off.  Brushing down your arms, down your legs, gently down your torso… just sweep off all of the negativity and doubt… and awake to your true, glorious, optimistic, naturally pleasurable state of being.
  • Turn on the water and allow it to reach a nice comfortable warm temperature. As you allow the water to warm, state your intention for this shower.  A good one for this exercise might be,

“I step into this beautiful water and I feel it cover me with warmth and love. I am using this shower today to show gratitude for my body and to my soul. I allow this nurturing attention to infuse deeply into the core of my well being and feel it immediately boost my health.” 

  • Step into the shower and take a moment to allow it to cover you with warmth.
  • As you begin to wash yourself, truly focus on the body part you are cleaning, and the organs that lay underneath each part. As you bath your leg, for example, thank the muscles that hold you upright, the bones that support you, the blood that faithfully brings energy and nutrition to your legs and the nerves that allow you to feel this warm water on your skin. Just hold your leg and gently cleanse it in the water, saying to your leg, “I love you. Thank you.”   Feel the love and gratitude pouring through you while you are washing your leg… I actually have been moved to tears in my shower, taking the time to finally say thank you to the body that I tend to ignore for so long.
  • When you are done cleaning, take some oil as discussed above (you can just grab some olive oil or coconut oil from your kitchen pantry, or use skin or massage oils if you happen to have any) and pour a bit into your hand.  Massage it into each part of your body you can reach… repeating your thankfulness.  Allow that part of your body to relax, and let it feel you taking care of it for a change. Feet, legs, arms, stomach, chest, neck, shoulders, hands, face… lovingly apply oil to the skin and bath your body in loving gratitude again.
  • As you towel off each part of your body give gratitude one more time to your healthy body, for supporting your journey in this lifetime.

Repeat this sequence every single time you take a shower this week… in fact, once you get in the habit, you’ll never let a shower go by without turning the water into an intentional health experience again!

 

 

Baths more your thing? 

There is significant benefit to be gained from an epsom salt bath at home.  Magnesium is an essential mineral (required for over 300 different enzymatic reactions) and absolutely crucial for energy production as well as proper function of our heart, our nerves, our brain and our muscles.  And most of us are magnesium deficient.

If you are magnesium deficient, you can be anxious, depressed, low energy, have muscle tension, headaches and insomnia.  You might find immediate benefits after just one single Epsom salt soak.  Here’s how:

  • To experience an inexpensive at-home version of float therapy, draw a warm bath just before bedtime, making it just a bit warmer than body temperature (around 100 degrees or so) and add several cups of epsom salts to make a hypertonic magnesium solution.
  • 2 cups of Epsom salts will equal one pound of salt in your bath, so shoot for at least 2 cups of salts per bath, but if you want to ration your Epsom salts, even 1 cup will make a difference.
  • Darken the room or place a warm washcloth over the eyes and soak for at least 15 minutes and up to 60 minutes, adding warm water when needed to maintain body temperature.
  • See if you feel more calm, with less muscle tension, and get a better night’s sleep!

 

 


 

 

 

5.  Oral Care

 

Because it is natural for our enamel to yellow as we age, it is an instant boost to your appearance to whiten your teeth… making you look years younger. So here is how I boost my whitening naturally… it’s only three steps and will make a noticeable difference in your teeth!

  • Start by oil pulling:  I talk about oil pulling with coconut in more detail here… but I basically take a small scoop of coconut oil into my mouth and swish it around my teeth for as long as I can stand it — typically I hold it in my mouth for the 10 minutes I take a shower, then I spit it out down the shower drain before stepping out of the shower and drying off.  The oil works to soften any plaque build up on your teeth, and is a FABULOUS healthy fat for your body so the more your oral mucosa absorbs, the better!
  • Swish with 3% Hydrogen Peroxide:  I use this as a pre-rinse before brushing — I just use a little bit (be sure not to swallow!!! It will burn!) and swish all around, letting it foam all over my teeth and my tongue.  Then spit out the hydrogen peroxide and follow with this:
  • Brush with baking soda:  Although there are lots of great all natural toothpastes, when you are whitening your teeth, the combo of hydrogen peroxide with baking soda is AH-MAZ-ING.  And the added bonus of not having to worry about any additional fluoride exposure is liberating.  If you are using a fluoridated toothpaste, and you are a female, please think again. As I talked about above, fluoride is thinning to your bones and whether you are 20 or 70 you really want to protect the strength and long-term density of your bones.

It’s that simple: oil pull, swish with hydrogen peroxide, and brush with baking soda.

Do this as often as you like… I do it once a week. Give it a try for a month and I guarantee you will see noticeable results!!!

 


 

 

6.  Face Mask

 

There are so many incredibly awesome DIY face mask recipes on the internet, so you should be able to find some ingredients in your pantry to make at least one or two different face masks without having to buy a thing.

There are face masks based off of yogurt, ones based off of honey, ones based off of oatmeal, ones based off of coffee grounds… look around your kitchen to see what you might have on hand already and then do an internet search to find hundreds of masks to whip up!

Here are three of my favs:

 

Avocado Honey Mask

  • Mash one-quarter of an avocado in a small bowl.
  • Drizzle in one tablespoon honey, mashing and mixing well.
  • Apply the mask to clean skin for 10 minutes.
  • Wash off with warm water, then follow with a moisturizer.

Banana Mask

  • Mash one-half of a banana in a bowl.
  • Mix in a tablespoon of orange juice and a tablespoon of honey.
  • Apply the mask to clean skin (it will be lumpy and that’s fine) and keep the mixture on for 15 minutes.
  • Remove banana mixture from skin and discard in the trash, then rinse with warm water and follow with a moisturizer.

Oatmeal Mask

  • Combine one egg yolk, one tablespoon of olive oil and a cup of cooked plain oatmeal.
  • Stir well, then apply it to clean skin for 15 minutes.
  • Remove oatmeal from skin and discard in the trash, then rinse with lukewarm water and follow with a moisturizer.

Don’t feel like mixing up a face mask?  Just apply plain yogurt to your face before hopping in the shower or bath and rinse off!

 


 

 

7.  Scalp Massage & Hair Mask

 

I highly recommend scalp massages because you can give them to yourself any day, any time, any location, and they help reduce stress and tension throughout your entire body!  Just like a foot massage is something simple you can do for yourself to relax your body from head to toe, a scalp massage brings more blood flow to your scalp, which stimulates healthy scalp and healthy hair.

You can do a dry scalp massage… simply using clean fingertips to gently rub your scalp in circular motions… or just prior to stepping into the shower, you can even use some coconut oil to really give yourself a luxurious scalp massage.  Simply dip your fingers in coconut oil and rub in circular motions all over your scalp.  This is so fabulous if you have a flaky scalp, as the oil will help lift and the rubbing motion will help remove any flakes… and the moisturization of the coconut oil is fabbo for hair!  Just shampoo twice to be sure to rinse the oil out.

 

Hair Mask:

Most people think of doing a face mask when doing an at-home spa day, but lots of people skip one of the easiest ways to refresh your look, and that’s with a hair mask!

There are just as many lovely ingredients in your pantry that you can use on your hair as there were for your face, maybe more!  Even simply warming some coconut oil or olive oil in a microwave safe bowl for 15 seconds and applying it to your hair before showering can completely transform your locks.

To go one step more fancy, consider any one of these hair mask recipes:

  • 1 egg + I tsp honey + 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil + 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 an avocado + 1 tbsp honey + 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise + 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg + 1/2 cup yogurt

Apply blended ingredients to dry untangled hair, wait 20 minutes, rinse thoroughly with warm water, follow with a gentle shampoo if desired.

 


 

 

8.  Exfoliate

 

Give your skin a quick daily (or even just a weekly) exfoliation will sweep away dead skin cells and allow your skin to better absorb your moisturizer afterwards as well.  Over time, you will notice improved circulation, improved texture, softer plumper skin.

To exfoliate, simply make a paste by mixing baking soda and a little coconut oil and us it to gently scrub your skin to remove dead skin cells.  If you want to go even more simple, you can literally just sprinkle some baking soda in your hand, dampen with water and massage on skin in gentle circles.

But to up the moisture of your skin, I love going the extra step of mixing baking soda and coconut oil, like this:

  • 1/2 cup organic coconut oil, melted or very soft
  • 1/4 cup baking soda

Mix ingredients well, until thoroughly blended and creamy. Use a small scoop to exfoliate skin gently all over the body.  Any left over? Your exfoliator will keep for weeks at cool room temp.

 

Dry Brushing:

Alternatively you can dry brush your skin using a natural bristled brush before stepping in the shower or bath.  Simply:

  • Use a natural (not synthetic) bristle brush.
  • Get naked and use long sweeping motions lightly over all skin surfaces.
  • Overlap strokes as you go, and be sure to lighten your pressure over any sensitive areas.  Do not dry brush on areas with rashes or broken skin.
  • After dry brushing your entire body, shower or bathe to cleanse.
  • When finished bathing, pat skin dry and apply a natural moisturizer (like coconut oil) to further pamper your skin.  While you are at it, drink a big glass of water to internally hydrate as well!
  • Leave your dry brush in a clean area with good air flow, to air dry before the next use.  Use daily or as often as desired.

 


 

 

9.  Bodyscape

 

I know I always feel really refreshed after I wax my armpits (sorry if that is TMI!) but it’s a simple way I can feel like a new woman and  reset myself for the week.  I also love a good eyebrow grooming!  Here are some ideas to consider if you think manscaping or womanscaping would feel like a fun way to have a weekly dose of uplifting self care:

  • scalp massage (see above)
  • eyebrow grooming — pluck, tint, trim
  • nasal hair trimming
  • facial hair: waxing or grooming
  • armpit hair waxing
  • trimming chest, neck, pit hairs if grooming
  • bikini line trimming
  • leg waxing
  • nail grooming: manicures & pedicures at home!

 


 

 

10.  Orgasm

 

The absolute epitome of pleasurable self care is nurturing the sensual nature of our bodies.  Sensual pleasure is something to allow and welcome and receive… not something you need to force or fabricate.

My two favorite resources for ideas for upping your daily sensual energy flow is Layla Martin (she releases free YouTube videos every week with awesome pleasure boosting ideas) and Mama Gena (who has written some amazing books centered around the human right to feel pleasure!!!)

Orgasm — either alone or with a partner — is awesome but is not the only way to focus on your pleasure today.  Some other ideas include:

  • picking clothing that **feels good** to your skin to wear
  • choosing underwear that makes you feels attractive
  • flirting and remaining aware of your sexual energy during your connection to others throughout the day (might have to put this one on hold while social distancing, but jot this down in your journal to use after “stay at home” orders are lifted!
  • placing your hand on your lower abdomen to center on and connect to your sexual energy center, then actively visualize expanding this energy to include your entire body and outwards, filling your entire energy space — use your whole aura to exude sensual energy!
  • reading a pleasurable book, a fun book or a sexy book
  • watching a romantic movie
  • re-assess what sensuality means to you right in this moment… everyone’s sexuality is constantly evolving and expanding.  What is your definition of sexy right now?  What makes you feel sexually alive?  What attracts you or catches your eye throughout the day?
  • getting or giving a massage
  • soaking in a hot tub — light candles, add pleasurable scents/essential oils in the water that appeal to you, finish with luxurious oils to moisturize
  • adorning your body with temporary tattoos that make you smile and empower you when you see them on your body

 


 

 

11.  Boundaries

 

Your skin is always speaking to you.

Skin can speak subtly through chronic messages that it whispers to you your entire life… or skin can scream loudly and angrily during acute transitions and times of crisis.

Because our skin replicates so quickly, it is a wonderful mirror for what is going on with the rest of our body and mind:

  • If we are anemic, it shows us quickly.
  • If we are dehydrated, it shows us quickly.
  • If we are malnourished, our skin will lack that robust glow that healthy skin gives.
  • If we have been neglecting our selves in other ways, our skin will reveal us.
  • If we are unhappy, our skin literally sags.
  • If we have lost connection with joy, our skin tells it.
  • If we feel ugly, our skin mirrors that.

 

And because it covers our entire body, every thought we think and every word we say and every intention we ever have passes through our skin on its way to communicate with the outside world.  So it doesn’t just protect us from the world… quite the opposite is true too:

it translates our inner being to the surface.  It shows the world what is going on inside of us.

It is constantly in contact with and intimate with our inner workings.  Because of this, skin reflects how we feel about ourselves.  Skin forms our barrier, our identity.  It forms what we perceive as *us* and delineates *us* from *the rest of the world*.  Skin is our outer projection of our inner truths.

In short, skin represents our personal boundary.

Grab a journal or get into an open meditative mindframe and ask yourself:

  • Are you enduring something that you’d secretly like to say a firm “no” to?
  • Are you letting someone in your energy space that constantly irritates or drains you?
  • Do you need to set some healthy boundaries at work?
  • Do you need to set clearer boundaries around your time?  We all have the same 24 hours in a day, but if you are doing activities you don’t feel aligned with or tending to emotional needs of others constantly, you will find much of that time will disappear and you won’t even know where it all went.
  • Do you have a friendship that needs some boundaries clarified and strengthened?
  • Do you have a family member that you need to create firmer boundaries and consequences of boundary violations with?
  • Do you need more personal space when you are home?  Do you have a place where it’s clear to everyone sharing your home that they are not to disturb you?
  • Do you need to set boundaries in your sexual relationships?

Double-check that you say no when you need to and have clear boundaries that allow you to do what you truly want to do and enjoy that without guilt.  

If you are sucking it up in any area of your life and just putting a smile on your face, your body feels this. Your skin will be working over time to set a boundary that you are failing to make for yourself.  There is no way your skin should be having to set boundaries that you aren’t setting for yourself.

If you find your skin is stressed out, ask yourself what boundaries need to be strengthened in your life and meanwhile give your skin a little TLC with the other 10 steps listed above and watch the energy shift and your skin improve dramatically.

 


 

 

Want more tips on holistically supporting the health of your skin?

I have my Skin Happiness eBook available for you to instantly download right now, right here, for FREE!

Feel free to share this link with everyone you know — I have several free ebooks on my website, including a free adrenal repair book, a free grounding guide, and this free skin happiness ebook.

 

 


 

 

 

12.  Journal Questions

 

Want to take the topic of self nurturing even farther?

Explore your thoughts with the following journal questions.  Grab a piece of paper and free write, without censoring yourself, what immediately comes to mind when you read each question:

  1. How much of each day do you devote to your own pleasure?
  2. Do you feel any guilt when you allow yourself simple pleasures like eating, daydreaming, self care?
  3. What priority does pleasure have in your life?
  4. What priority do other emotions have in your life?  If you had to pick one emotion that you value more than any other, which emotion would that be?  How often do you feel that emotion?  What is the emotion you feel most often throughout the day?
  5. What is the easiest emotion for you to tap into?  Is this the best emotion to make big life decisions by?  What emotion would you most want to use to feel your internal alignment and make decisions by?  Joy?  Relief?  Contentment?  Excitement?  Passion?  Comfort?
  6. What part of your life do you feel has the most flow?  Your career?  Partnerships?  Parenting?  Friendships?  Your inner world?  Hobbies?  Travel?  Education?  Entertainment?  Health?  What area would you say is the most stagnant?  Do you want to change that?
  7. Do you consider yourself creative?  Do you feel you were more creative in the past?  Do you wish to be more creative in the future?  What pleasurable steps can you take to express your creativity more?

After reading through today’s article, write down your top three ways to explore nurturing your body that you can commit to doing on a weekly basis, at least until the pandemic is over.  Spend a few minutes finding some way to do something for your own pleasure at least one day each week

  • I don’t care if it would please you to take 20 minutes to wipe down every shelf of your refrigerator and put all the food back into a sparkling clean fridge.
  • I don’t care if it would please you to read an erotic book each night.
  • I don’t care if it would please you to wake up 20 minutes earlier each day to do a yoga youtube video — maybe one of the ones I emailed you a few weeks ago in Topic 1: Movement 

Whatever it is that would give you some form of pleasure that you would not have otherwise allowed yourself — THIS is what I want you to make time for today and every day (or at least once a week) during this pandemic.

From sexual pleasure, to healing touch, to a cup of tea, to curling up with a book and a hot water bottle, to buying yourself a new soft robe and sleeping in it each night, to washing fresh sheets and spritzing them with linen spray when you normally would never do that in a million years, write down three different ways you are going to pleasure yourself each week and SCHEDULE IT IN!!!!

 


To Summarize:

 

Skin is your largest organ of the body and as such caring for it makes you feel as though you are caring for your entire body from head to toe.

Incorporate one way to pamper your skin every single day of this quarantine and/or make a weekly habit of a spa day where you try new recipes you have never tried before!

Be sure to keep your favorite new additions to your daily self care practices going indefinitely!

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 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

 

10 Ways To Create Space For 2021 To Bring You Fresh New Energy

Posted

 

 

I truly believe that even with the stress of everything we are facing right now, we can feel healthier than ever if we intentionally set up some supportive, comforting and deeply healing health routines.

So all winter long, I’m going to be giving you a weekly blog post full of uplifting ways to improve your health, and every single idea is something you can do right in the comfort of your own home.

It’s a new mini-series I’m releasing for you to help improve your health over these next three winter months.  Forward this newsletter to a friend or a family member so that they can take part in this healing mini-series with you!

The series so far has been:

Topic 1: Movement

Topic 2: Listening

And today I am introducing Topic 3: Declutter.

I can think of no better way to set the stage for a brand new year, 2021, 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

 

The Art Of Listening: How What You Hear Impacts Your Health

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I truly believe that even with everything we are facing right now, even with the stress of social distancing over the holidays, we can feel healthier than ever if we intentionally set up some supportive, comforting and deeply healing health routines.

So all winter long, I’m going to be giving you a weekly blog post full of uplifting ways to improve your health, and every single idea is something you can do right in the comfort of your own home.

It’s a new mini-series I’m releasing for you to help improve your health over these next three winter months.  Forward this newsletter to a friend or a family member so that they can take part in this healing mini-series with you!

The series started last week with Topic 1: Movement.

Today I am introducing Topic 2.  You might enjoy these tips so much that they become part of your new health care routine… not just in the weeks to come, but forever into the future!

 

 

 

This Week’s Topic: Listen

 

By focusing on listening today, we can create a calm and comforting awareness of our sanctuary, of our body, of our breath.

We can also intentionally shift the energy of our living spaces with the use of music, chimes, singing, breath work and so much more… so let’s get started:

 


 

 

Idea #1: Mantra

 

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

In addition, and equally exciting, is that medical studies have now shown that simply repeating a word or phrase (mantra) is actually more effective for treating PTSD than traditional talk therapy.

Even better, 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.)

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

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

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

You can practice a healing mantra any time, any where.  It’s very private and very powerful.  All you do is select a word or phrase to repeat to yourself as a way to center inwards.

The mantras I suggest on my Daily Healing Cards are:

 

breathing in:  I am lovable

breathing out:  I am loved

 

but any words or phrases that speak to you are perfect to use.

You can read the mantra study for yourself right here, and I’d also love to share with you my favorite Mantra work class.

It is a three week long self guided course by Deva Premal & Miten — if you want to take your mantra work to the next level, I highly recommend this guided mantra course.

 


 

 

Idea #2: Dive Into Cymetics

 

One of the reasons that mantra works, in part, is because of the principle of cymetics — that is, that sound waves create a pattern in physical matter.

That means, the sounds that are in your environment 100% impact your physical body.

This is a fabulous overview on Cymetics Research on Gaia.com.  I highly recommend you give it a read, it will help explain why mantra is so effective, why chanting and music and other sounds (including the earth’s heartbeat, discussed next) impact our health so much, and also why background noise can be so detrimental to our well being too (more on that below too).

 


 

 

 

Idea #3:  The Earth’s Heartbeat

 

Did you know the earth is constantly resonating out it’s own mantra of sorts?

It does… repeating a mantra over and over and over, as a heartbeat that we are connected to at all times, whether we are aware of it or not.

Today, I want you to become aware of the heartbeat of the earth too.

One of the reasons I’m so in love with grounding is because during the filming of The Grounded, the heartbeat of the earth was captured in cymetics for the first time.

Above is an image of the heartbeat of the earth, taken from the film, and you can watch it in real time as it was filmed in the movie The Grounded, for free on YouTube right here.

The earth pulses a frequency out that, while our naked ear can not hear it, we are bathed in day and night.  It does everything from comfort and soothe us to support proper vagal tone to deepen sleep to regulate our day/night rhythms.

Plugging directly into this heartbeat is as simple as touching our conductive bodies directly to the earth outside.  I have so many healing articles on the many health benefits of grounding and suggestions to get you started… you can run through a list of some of those here.

And if you prefer to listen, here is an interview I gave that gives a great introduction to grounding and some easy tips on how to get started, all of which you can do right where you live, even if you live in an urban setting with no green spaces.

And the best introduction to grounding of all is my book The Earth Prescription, available here (and everywhere books are sold, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Indiebound.)

 


 

 

Idea #4: Reach For Music

 

This is how powerful music is: if you play music that holds special meaning to a patient experiencing memory loss, they can recover context and depth and recognition in the form of long term memory recall while the music is being played.

Playing music that is personally relevant to a patient has been shown to:

  • increase communication skills
  • increase long term recall
  • increase activity level and energy level
  • increase social function and engagement
  • decrease high blood pressure
  • improve mood
  • reduce pain levels
  • enhance sleep

It’s so effective that I would go so far as to say it’s a good idea to incorporate a list of your favorite music into your advanced directive, because the music that people respond to the most, and the music that tends to increase quality of life, is music that they enjoy, resonate with, and have personal associations and memories to.

Getting a playlist together for any elderly loved ones is now a crucial part of elder care… improving the quality of daily living and keeping long term memories intact.  This is particularly important in a nursing home or rehab situation, where over 90% of a patient’s time is spend inactive and non-interactive.

In fact, sadly, half of residents of nursing homes in the United States never get a sing visitor… ever.

This decrease in meaningful interaction accelerates decline.

Music is a very vivid, beautiful, expressive, natural, holistic, non-invasive way to bring life and meaning (and wonderful long term memories!) back into an elder’s life.

 

Activities to consider:

1.  Add a song list to your advanced directive.  Help create a song list for the elders in your family as well.

Dan Cohen, director of the important film Alive Inside, offers these helpful suggestions on how to create a playlist for a loved one with dementia that can not relate this information to you directly.

Ask family members:

  • “Did they play an instrument when they were young?”
  • “Did they sing in a choir or a chorus?”
  • “Did they like Broadway musicals or religious music?”
  • “Did they have any records or recordings of old music found in their home?”
  • “Did they play a special song at their wedding or high school dance?”

2.   Use music at any age to soothe nerves… for example:

  • before athletic competitions
  • before school exams
  • before and even during surgical procedures, medical or dental interventions
  • to ease stress during “stay at home” pandemics
  • or even to energize you to do a task you are dreading, such as before public speaking or while making a meal after a long hard day.

3.   Create several emotion regulating playlists:

  • create a playlist that uplifts you when you feel down
  • create a playlist that soothes and relaxes you when you feel anxious
  • create a playlist that you can exercise to
  • create a playlist that you can bathe and/or do your self massages to (see last week’s blog post for self massage ideas)
  • create a playlist to play while cooking in the kitchen
  • create a playlist to dance to
  • create a morning “rise and shine” playlist
  • create an evening “wind down” playlist

I’ll starting you off with a suggestion of a song I’ve been listening to a lot lately.  It’s called “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright” by PJ Morton.  I hope you love it, then go on to create your own playlists!

Music is an invaluable tool for self-soothing and decreasing anxiety and depression rates.  So play music out loud and use it to connect with everyone in your family — seniors through the youngest children — everyone can benefit!  Take turns playing your favorite music, having a family dance battle, or creating playlists for different times of the day.

Also, watch to the trailer to the Alive Inside Documentary to see the immediate impact that music has on health — the trailer alone will inspire you in a big way!  And if you have time, the entire film is available on this website as well.

 


 

 

Ideas #5: Practice Breathwork

 

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 stamina, and more.

I have done tons of research for you — from personally attending Transcendental Breathing in person events to workshops on yoga breathing techniques to more traditional medical training in respiratory rate and oxygenation patterns and lung physiology and respiratory interventions like incentive spirometery and lung percussion, etc…  and my favorite, simple, fun, effective tips are these from Dr. Weil.

The first one I would not recommend you do as long as he recommends — he states breathing rapidly for up to a minute — this is actually a self induced hyperventilation and in short doses of 10 seconds or so is very nourishing and stimulating, but at longer intervals can cause dizziness and fainting.  I think 5 to 10 seconds of this Stimulating Breath Work is enough.

The other two are great as well — the 4-7-8 breath is centering and calming… and the Breath Counting is my favorite of all — a great way to sustain mindfulness and breathing together — I find the Breath Counting so much easier than other forms of meditation and is my go to way to clear my throat chakra and release any pent up agitation there, allowing me to find my center easily at the end of a very vocal or stressful day.

Give all three a try!  Here we go:

 

1.  The Stimulating Breath (also called the Bellows Breath)

The Stimulating Breath is adapted from a yogic breathing technique. Its aim is to raise vital energy and increase alertness.

  • Inhale and exhale rapidly through your nose, keeping your mouth closed but relaxed. Your breaths in and out should be equal in duration, but as short as possible. This is a noisy breathing exercise.
  • Do not do for more than 5 seconds on your first try. Each time you practice the Stimulating Breath, you can increase your time by five seconds or so, until you reach a maximum of 15 seconds.
  • If done properly, you may feel invigorated, comparable to the heightened awareness you feel after a good workout. You should feel the effort at the back of the neck, the diaphragm, the chest and the abdomen.
  • Try this breathing exercise the next time you need an energy boost!

 

2.  The 4-7-8 (or Relaxing Breath) Exercise

This 4-7-8 Breath Exercise is simple, takes almost no time, requires no equipment and can be done anywhere.

  • Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
  • Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
  • Hold your breath for a count of seven.
  • Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
  • This is one breath. Repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.
  • Exhalation takes twice as long as inhalation.
  • The absolute time you spend on each phase is not important; the ratio of 4:7:8 is important.
  • If you have trouble holding your breath, speed the exercise up but keep to the ratio of 4:7:8 for the three phases. With practice you can slow it all down and get used to inhaling and exhaling more and more deeply.
  • This exercise is a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system. Unlike tranquilizing drugs, which are often effective when you first take them but then lose their power over time, this exercise is subtle when you first try it but gains in power with repetition and practice.  You cannot do it too frequently.
  • Use it whenever you are aware of internal tension. Use it to help you fall asleep. This exercise cannot be recommended too highly. Everyone can benefit from it.

 

3.  Breath Counting — this one is my very favorite!!!

Breath Counting is a deceptively simple technique often used in Zen practice.  Sit in a comfortable position with the spine straight and head inclined slightly forward. Gently close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Then let the breath come naturally without trying to influence it. Just allow your natural breathing cycle to emerge.  Don’t make it deeper or slower than it naturally wants to be.

  • To begin the exercise, count “one” to yourself as you exhale.
  • The next time you exhale, count “two,” and so on up to “five.”
  • Then begin a new cycle, counting “one” on the next exhalation.
  • Never count higher than “five,” and count only when you exhale.
  • You will know your attention has wandered when you find yourself up to “eight,” “12,” even “19.”
  • Try to do up to 10 minutes of this form of meditation — I find even one minute of this incredibly helpful and centering!!!

 


 

 

 

Idea #6: Refresh The Air

 

At some point today it’s worth considering purifying the air in the living space (or work space) or sleeping space that you spend the most time in.

You can actively intend for your air to be energetically clean, supportive, and free of toxic thought patterns, energy forms, morphic fields, etc… from old baggage, visitors, guests, old energy patterns you have outgrown, and emotions you have released.

Out with the old, allowing space for the fresh and new.

My favorite three ways to do this are with sound, aromatherapy and flame (lighting a candle or incense.)  I routinely do all three to my living and working spaces and I feel huge shifts and benefits immediately afterwards.

I make it a habit to do these things each time I clean… I’m giving you links to the items I use so that if you are interested you have some ideas and directions to take it:

  • First, I make a point to open windows whenever possible — as I wrote about in this blog post, fresh air is absolutely crucial to a pandemic resiliency plan!  It’s medically proven that open air clinics had better pandemic survival rates than closed air clinics… read more here.
  • ring a chime in each room as I clean it (if you don’t have a chime, any bell or even whistling through the room, singing, chanting, drumming, etc… can work too!)
  • I light a candle, a stick of incense, or a sage smudge stick after it’s been decluttered and wiped down and freshened up (more on decluttering later in this course)
  • I set my humidifying aromatherapy diffuser to diffuse a healing scent into the air.  My favorite scent to use in my aromatherapy diffuser is:  Purification Synergy Blend by Eden’s Garden 

All three actions work immediately to help clear the energy in the air and give our living spaces a clean neutrality from which to start the next phase of our journey.  If you are social distancing and staying home over the holidays, there is no better time for you to make a commitment to do at least one (if not all three!) to your living space at some point this week.

Clean the room, clear with a chime, diffuse with EO, and light an incense stick and enjoy the new, freshened energy of the air in your home!!!

 


 

 

 

Idea #7: Active Listening

 

Active listening is the ultimate way to gift someone with the power of your full, complete, undivided attention.

Dropping the need to prepare, recite, think of, or formulate your response when people are talking frees you up to access the power of the present moment — accepting that what shows up in a spontaneous way when it is your turn to speak is VALID and PLENTY and ENOUGH and PERFECT and does not need to be pre-thought of.

If you are thinking of what you want to say while the other person is talking, then you are absolutely not active listening.

The compliment to this is that when you fully focus on what the other person is SAYING (instead of thinking about what your response should be) you are gifting them and you with an intensely accessible and palpable connection — they feel the attention of you listening to them as they speak, so immediately they feel more validated and HEARD.

Generally, this means they are more open, more honest, and more able to listen to you and validate your expression when YOU speak.

But regardless of how they respond to your pure, intentional listening… do it for you.

Do it as a practice.

Do it as a way of life.

Over time your love relationships will benefit, your children will benefit, your friendships will benefit, your co-workers and employees will benefit.

Active listening with full attention will become your default mode once you start to sense the shift in energy, the connections become deeper, the response of the person speaking becomes more authentic, and ironically own power in the conversation actually increases.

Find out what it can transform for you today to become an active listener.  If your connections must be digital for now, you can still 100% connect with others and be an active listener digitally, through:

  • Marco Polo (my favorite video messaging app)
  • Zoom Meetings (live online chatting)
  • Phone Calls (yep, an oldie but goodie!)
  • Facetime (live video calls)

Do your best to enter into a discussion with the pure positive intention to actively listen for the entirety of their speaking.  You absolutely can and should reply to them — it doesn’t limit your talking or expression at **ALL** to actively listen.  On the contrary, it frees you up to access your own deep seated inner knowings as you respond directly from inner truth and not from premeditated thought.

Active listening will strengthen ***everything*** about your communications, from what you speak, what you hear, and what you offer in return.  Being an active presence for someone while they are talking is **enough*** — actually, it is more than enough!  It’s more than they are likely to get from anyone else all day long.  And they will feel the difference!

Active presence, authentic presence, witnessing…

…this energy transforms everything.

 


 

 

Idea #8: Examine Your Background Noise

 

Chronic background noise doesn’t just irritate you… it’s actually impacting your long term health.

Chronic levels of noise found frequently in modern society has been shown to significantly increase your risk of heart attack, heart disease, heart failure, stroke, even atrial fibrillation.  Not to mention upping your risk for insomnia, a huge health crisis in-and-of itself!

And it doesn’t stop there.

Not only is chronic noise increasing your blood pressure, increasing inflammation in your arteries leading to heart attack and stroke, but it’s also increasing your risk of metabolic diseases and type two diabetes!  That’s right, if you have stubborn abdominal fat that just isn’t falling away, on top of considering what your diet is and what your exercise goals are, you should also be considering what chronic noise pollution you are exposed to!

Chronic noise is absolutely part of the reason you have stress induced metabolic change.  Because the disease burden of chronic noise is so directly linked to heart disease, high blood pressure and increased inflammation of the arteries, it’s important for clinicians to start treating noise pollution as a cardiac risk factor on par with smoking history, family history of heart disease, age, blood pressure, and weight.

What is interesting is that it’s not just loud sounds that affect your health, it’s the small chronic ones that do too.  So it’s not just an airplane passing by or the occasional sound of construction, but the level of normal talking, phones ringing, and sounds of cars on the street all impact your heart attack and stroke risk, and they all up your risk for metabolic disease too.

Noise pollution is no longer about loud noises causing long term hearing issues.  It’s not even about loud noises at all any more.  We are now aware that normal volumes of speaking and car sounds result in much more insidious health risks over time — compromising the health of your heart, of your brain, of your body.  The new term is Noise Annoyance — which is all that is needed to produce these increased rates of chronic, life threatening health issue.

In this blog post, I go into more depth on the latest medical studies on noise pollution and also give you 10 actionable ways to reduce your noise pollution… even including a free printable handout for you to print!

 


 

 

 

Idea #9: Outdoor Sounds

 

On the flip side of the noise pollution information from above, you can actually connect to background noise in a positive way — as a way to anchor into the present moment and release the anxiety of fearing the future or the trauma of reliving the past.

Anchoring in the present moment allows you to release the stress of figuring out your next moment or carrying tension from the past moment into right NOW.

So today, go outside (or sit next to an open window while staying indoors) and take three deep breaths while becoming aware of your outdoor surround sounds.

Simply close your eyes, and draw your awareness outside of your body.  Breathe in and listen for the sounds that you can hear.  Birds, wind, cars honking, children laughing, distant music playing, dogs barking, or simply the full presence of stillness in the air.  Even complete quiet has a felt sense, a sound quality if you listen to it.

As you exhale, expand into the environment and become one with the sounds.  Repeat several more times until you truly feel connected to the outdoor sounds in your living space.

Practice this daily to get outside of your own head and drop your awareness into the present moment.

 


 

 

Idea #10: Indoor Sounds

 

Today, sit in stillness in your living space and take three deep breaths while becoming aware of the background sounds of your home.

Simply close your eyes, and draw your awareness outside of your body, expanding to fill the room you are in.  Breathe in and listen for the sounds that you can hear.  Pets napping, the refrigerator humming, plumbing, air conditioning, neighbors murmuring, even complete silence has a noise if you listen to it.

As you exhale, expand to fill the room and become one with the sounds.  Repeat several more times until you truly feel connected to the energy of your indoor living space.

Practice this daily, in every room in your home, even while in the bathroom — it will help you get out of your own head and drop your awareness into the present moment, which you will find is incredibly centering and stress relieving once you get into a habit of doing it.

 


 

 

Idea #11: A Journal Activity

 

If you enjoy journalling, it may be incredibly eye opening to journal about communication patterns you were exposed to as a child… it will help you to understand your level of noise tolerance as well as understand any difficulties you may have in using your own voice as an adult.

Journal questions inspired by: The Sevenfold Journey, by Anodea Judith and Selene Vega!

Get out some paper or a journal and free flow your thoughts and words and inner truths out onto paper… don’t sensor yourself in any way.  Here we go:

 

1.  What were the patterns of communication in your family growing up?

2.  Were you encouraged to speak your truth or discouraged from speaking up?  How was this encouragement or discouragement done?

3.  How often did you feel sincerely listened to growing up?  Who was the best listener, who made you feel most heard?

4.  Who was the worst listener?  Who made you feel the most invalidated or shamed?

5.  Do you have any difficulty feeling heard now?  What do you look for or need from a listener in order to feel validated and heard?

6.  What are your hesitations or fears in speaking out?  Where do you feel these sensations in your body?

7.  When you feel shy, what part of your body do you shut down?  What is your posture?  What does your energy do?

8.  Is there anyone you have unfinished communication with?  Make a list of all the people you have unfinished communication with.  What do you want to say (or wish you had said?) to them?

 

If possible, communicate directly with anyone you listed as a response for question number 8 as a way to facilitate a healing release.

If not possible, if the person is deceased or if the sharing of your inner truth with that individual feels too daunting or unsafe, let’s write a letter to get this energy expressed and released.

You can write anything you like — do NOT censor yourself this time, as you may have felt the need to do in the past.  This letter is for YOU.

Often you have to learn to give YOURSELF closure, especially from relationships where you have been violated in some way and are not likely to get respectful closure from sharing and reaching out.

Write about your feelings, about your truth, what you’ve learned from the situation, what you would have liked or requested from them in return for this sharing, and release it.

Burn it over a flame and drop into a bowl of water or simply shred it and throw it away.  Release, release, release.

Do this as often as necessary and with as many people as necessary until you feel a palpable unburdening of any inner suppressed truths that you have carried silently.

 


To Summarize:

 

Today, practice awareness of the sounds in your environment… outdoor, indoor, and even with your own voice and breath.

You can create major energy shifts in your living space simply by clearing the air, intentionally using music and mantra, and focusing on listening over speaking.

Create a few playlists and have fun watching a documentary or two tonight and I will see you back here again next week with more ideas on a whole new healing topic.

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