Coronavirus Recommendations Part 1: Prevention

Posted

 

 

 

As the world watches the spread of the Coronavirus with great intensity, I wanted to give you an overview of the very latest in the medical literature on how to distinguish the coronavirus from the flu and offer some strategies to reduce transmission of both.

 

So today I offer you, Coronavirus FAQs:

 

 

1.  Is the coronavirus spread the same way that the flu is spread?

 

Transmission of both viruses comes from the inhalation of droplets while talking, spreading through respiratory transmission from person to person.  The flu has been shown to be transmitted by a distance of up to 6 feet, so consider (until direct research on coronavirus is available) a zone of 6 feet to be within reach of the respiratory transmission of infectious material, and consider a distance of greater than 6 feet to be your safe zone.

 

2.  Is the coronavirus the same thing as the flu?

 

No.  Although both the flu and the coronavirus are respiratory tract infections, they are very different viruses and the anti-virals (like Tamiflu) that typically work to shorten the duration of the flu have failed to alleviate symptoms in coronavirus patients.

 

3.  Can you tell a difference between having the flu and having the coronavirus?

 

The truth is, although there is a huge difference in the long term pathophysiology between the two viruses, you can not tell from the initial symptoms alone which patient has the flu and which has the coronavirus.

Infection with both the flu and the coronavirus typically starts with a fever, cough and muscle aches.

There are some distinguishing traits as the symptoms progress, however.  The flu can evolve to include other symptoms that involve the gastrointestinal tract, something the coronavirus typically does not do.  For example, the flu may include sore throat, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, as well as upper respiratory tract symptoms such as a stuffy nose or runny nose.

The coronavirus, on the other hand, dives deeper into the lower respiratory tract as symptoms progress, with over 75% of cases showing visible lung changes on X-ray such as pneumonia and pulmonary edema.

 

4.  If you can’t tell a difference between the flu and the coronavirus at initial onset, how do you diagnose coronavirus?

 

Right now, only the CDC can diagnose the coronavirus, as there are no rapid tests for detection… unlike the flu which has RIDT (rapid influenza diagnostic tests) readily available.

So my suggestion to help make a distinction between the two is to get a chest X-ray and a rapid influenza test:

  • the coronavirus will be negative on influenza test and likely positive for chest Xray changes
  • the flu will be positive on influenza test and likely negative for any changes on chest Xray

 

Secondly, over time there evolves a more noticeable difference in symptoms, as stated in the previous question and answer.  The coronavirus moves into the lungs and can cause acute respiratory distress, while the flu tends to move into the upper respiratory tract and GI tract.  So nasal congestion, nausea, vomitting and diarrhea strongly suggest the flu over coronavirus.

Lastly, another difference in the two is the length of the typical course of illness.  The flu typically resolves (at least in immuno-strong persons) in less than two weeks, while the typical course of the coronavirus lasts longer than two weeks.

So how long a patient has had symptoms and how the symptoms progress is a huge factor in suspecting coronavirus, as well as getting a rapid flu test and a chest Xray while waiting for CDC confirmation of coronavirus infection.

 

(To review the up-to-date medical literature that is available on the coronavirus, hop over here to read:)

 

5.  So then what is the best way to protect against viral transmission in the first place?

 

That’s an easy one — boost your own immune system.  Neither virus is much of a match against a fully competent immune system.

Both viral infections most often take the lives of those who have weakened immune systems and are most deadly in the very young, elderly, and those who already are immunocompromised.

So the single best thing you can do to protect yourself right now, as you watch this public health threat emerge and expand?

 

Boost your own immunity naturally.  And you can.  Absolutely.

 

 

 

 

There are 9 key things you can do right now to boost your immune system and decrease your chances of getting any and all viral illnesses this winter… and yep, that includes the coronavirus.

The goal here is to have such a strong and healthy enough immune system in place that it doesn’t matter if you sit next to someone who has the flu on the bus, it doesn’t matter if you turn a doorknob right after someone who has a stomach bug touched it, it doesn’t matter if you are in line and the person in front of you keeps coughing on you…

 

…the healthier we each are individually, the less any viral illness will spread.

 

And really, the cold and flu season just serves to heighten our awareness of things WE *CAN* DO to prevent the spread of disease, to strengthen our own body, and to teach our children how to reduce their own exposures, like hand washing, changing their clothes/bathing right after school, and taking Vitamin C, among other things I’ll share below.

The more steps we are all take to reduce the transmission of disease and the more we are proactive about the robust health our own immune system, the less viral illnesses we will get… reducing the enterovirus and the flu and the colds and other viral infections we might have otherwise gotten this winter.

It’s possible to make this winter be the winter that you are so aware of your inner health that you don’t pick up a single viral illness, no matter what sea of disease you navigate as you go through your normal life this season.

 

Here are 9 ways to do it:

 

 

1.  Decrease your sugar intake.

 

I started off with the hardest one (for me at least!) because sugar directly suppresses the immune system and leaves you more susceptible for picking up communicable illness.

I have a massive sweet tooth — I’m taking L-Glutamine in order to decrease my sugar cravings and you can too.  There are L-glutamine supplements that you can take with meals, or in between meals, to stop your sugar cravings in their tracks.  They work.  Find my favorite L-glutamine supplements in my online dispensary right here.

Also, consider giving less sugary snacks to children when you send them off to school this fall and winter and you will be ensuring that their immune system stays as high as possible when surrounded by their classmates germs.

 

 

 

2.  Increase your restorative sleep.

 

You absolutely need  restorative sleep at night to keep your immune system working optimally during the day.

Nighttime is a time of not only repair and process and release but also a time of resetting to meet the next day. Studies show that sleep deprivation causes everything from slowed metabolism, to brain atropy, to decreased immune response.

Have a goal of 9 hours of quality sleep a night if possible, and read this blog post I wrote for you with my 14 favorite holistic ways to boost your sleep, naturally.

 

 

 

3. Allow yourself to retain some extra weight.

 

This is a little known fact… but as I blogged about from the medical literature a few years ago, having extra weight on helps you survive overwhelming infection.

There is a reason that newborns and the elderly are the most likely to die from the flu and other viral illnesses — their energy and metabolic reserves are generally less than that of a vibrant strong older child and adult.

Especially in the winter, we are meant to have a little extra cushion of weight to hibernate on.  By a little, I mean those last 5 pounds you are trying to lose — don’t worry about them in the winter months.  Allow yourself this — now is not the time for the stressor of starvation diets.

If you still want to diet, I highly recommend intermittent fasting over daily diets that force calorie restrictions.

Not only is intermittent dieting proven to work better for weight loss, but it has a ton of other health benefits that daily dieting does not.  I blog about that for you here and give you some guidelines if you’d like to try it out for yourself and ditch that diet you are one.

 

 

4. Use colloidal silver spray, both internally and on surfaces.

 

Colloidal silver is a wonderful antiviral that you can use immediately after a suspected exposure to a viral illness.

If you found yourself standing next to someone in line who coughed nonstop over your shoulder — go ahead and spray your oral mucosa with a purified colloidal silver supplement and instantly decrease your chance of picking up their pathogen.

Find the best colloidal silver spray supplements in my online dispensary here. 

 

 

You can also use the viricidal properties of silver topically — by simply spraying hands and face with topical silver sprays after exposures, as well as using silver hand wipes, silver handle wraps (shown above), and room and counter sprays to instantly kill viruses that you are exposed to.

 

 

I swear by using my silver cloth (that I keep attached to my purse, as shown above) for opening doors and wiping my hands down after shaking hands, using shopping carts, touching money, etc…

 

 

 

5. Take immune boosting supplements.

 

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)
  • optional add ons: daily fresh pressed citrus juice, high dose Vit C IV infusions or IM injections

 

Vitamin C is viricidal and bactericidal, so boosting your intake of a high quality Vitamin C supplement, along with drinking fresh pressed citrus juice as often as possible, is probably my favorite way right now to stop any viral transmission of illness in it’s tract.  To me, everyone (especially those who are traveling) should be on high dose vitamin C right now.  You might even consider a Vitamin C IV drip or IM injection.  I think it’s totally reasonable to get an infusion of high dose Vit C prior to traveling (or just for those that want to do it) as extra protection.

It’s also easy to get Vit D deficient in the winter, so I recommend supplementing with an oil emulsified Vit D supplement, and be sure you are on a high quality probiotic.  At least 70% of our immunity starts in the gut — but I still have yet to see other health care practitioners recommend daily probiotics as a way to protect against seasonal viral outbreaks.  To me they are absolutely critical.

Again, you can find all of my very favorite, pharmacy grade, pure and potent supplements in my online dispensary here:

 

 

6. Eat your antivirals.

 

Eating immune boosting foods such as garlic, ginger and oregano can help you boost your immunity to viral illnesses naturally.  Cinnamon and raw honey are both highly anti-viral as well, and have the ability to stop a virus in it’s track.

 

 

 

Try this recipe daily to boost your immunity and take an extra teaspoon full after coming in from being out and about in your community:

Anti-Viral Cinnamon Honey

Ingredients:

Directions:

  • Mix 1 Tablespoon of Organic Raw Honey with 3/4 teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon.
  • Eat 1 teaspoon as needed!

 

This makes three servings — enough to take three times a day during known viral exposures or at the onset of any viral symptoms.  You can eat a teaspoon of cinnamon honey straight, you can use it in your nightly or morning tea, spread over toast (the perfect winter breakfast!) swirl into your breakfast oatmeal, and you can use it to dip fresh fruit into for the added anti-oxidant boost!

This is one antiviral remedy that children ususally take with a smile. (Do not give honey to children under 1 year of age.)

 

 

 

 

 

7. Wash Your Hands.

 

The #1 thing you can do, even if you can’t do a single other thing on this list, is WASH YOUR HANDS!!!

Wash your hand before eating, before touching your face, before rubbing your eyes, after blowing your nose, whenever you come home from being out and about, and before bed.

Just washing your hands more frequently than ever can be the one step that prevents the widespread epidemic of any viral illness, any season!

 

 

8.  Consider small lifestyle changes:

 

There are a few small little lifestyle tweaks you can do to decrease your exposures to viral illnesses during the winter.

Beside the obvious that I talked about before, such as washing your hands, sleeping well, using colloidal silver, and taking immune boosting supplements daily, these are some lesser known ways to decrease transmission of viral illness as well:

  • Wear glasses instead of contacts — glasses are not as good as a medical grade eye shield of course, but viral illnesses can be passed while speaking from human to human through the mucosa of your eyes, not just through inhalation to the lungs.  When we speak and breathe, we cast microscopic sprays of our oral microbiome all over the person we are speaking to, and vice versa.  Consider wearing glasses indoors (and/or sunglasses outside) to act as a barrier for your eyes when people are speaking to you — you can even throw on some non-prescription blue light blocking glasses if you don’t typically need to wear glasses.  Wash them often throughout the day, after washing your hands.  Not only is this at least a partially protective barrier for your eyes, but by not putting contacts into your eyes you will be touching your face less, reducing the risk of inoculating yourself through your eye mucosa.
  • Change clothes right when you get home — instead of flopping down on your sofa, or kitchen chair, or your bed — strip out of your clothes, toss them in the wash, wash your hands and face, then put on clean new clothes.  Get into the habit of putting on fresh clothes before touching surfaces in your home that are less easily washed, like your sofa and bed.
  • Spray home surfaces with a disinfecting spray — I prefer natural colloidal silver to disinfect surfaces I can’t wash, as I talk about in #4 above.
  • Switch to nightly showers — even if you are a die-hard morning showerer, consider showering at night during the winter months.  There is no reason to head to bed with all of the germs you’ve been exposed to all day long in your hair and on your body.  Shower at night and crawl into bed feeling fresh and clean.
  • To dramatically decrease your risk, wear a disposable face mask over nose and mouth (or a cloth one you can wash daily) when out and about in highly populated areas, such as in an airport while traveling.

 

 

 

9.  Stop Worrying.

 

The point isn’t to become fearful of every single person and every single surface you encounter, but to proactively boost your own health so that you could walk directly through an entire street of people with the flu and other germs, and still not get it.  This is absolutely possible.

Exposure does NOT equal active infection.

 

The reality is that you are likely to encounter someone with a cough or sniffle today. Or someone feeling nauseous.  And instead of feeling like the next victim of this or any other illness, you should *know* that our bodies absolutely and 100% have the ability to be exposed to nasty viral illnesses and not become infected by them.  This is natural for us.

It just takes a healthy immune system, lots of hand washing, good hygiene and a few other steps.  Follow the previous 8 steps listed above and #9 — stop worrying — will take care of itself.

 

So… how many of these tips have you already been doing?

 

Is there an extra idea or two in this list that you can add to your self care routines to even further decrease your chance of picking up a viral illness this winter?  Maybe you will start pressing orange juice for yourself every morning, maybe you’ll take a trip to get an IV Vit C infusion, maybe you will add colloidal silver to your home care routine, or maybe you will just be cognizant of the keep-6-feet-away rule for reducing the respiratory transmission of viruses.

If you can help share this information with others than together we can help stop the spread of the flu and other viral illnesses.   The key is empowering each other with positive, helpful, supporting things that we can do every day to dramatically decrease our chance of becoming sick with communicable disease.

It’s not realistic to sequester yourself away from all exposures.

A much more empowering and healthy choice is to walk with the health confidence of believing in your own innate power to be exposed to illness and not personally contract it.

Be sure to sign up for my weekly newsletter on my homepage right here if you’d like to receive the latest health care information from the medical literature, always with an uplifting attitude (never fear based like the rest of the medical world) and packed with lots of actionable things you can do to support your own innate health.

Because I believe that innate health is natural and that we are designed to be resilient.

 

 

 

 

Let your body do what it does best — ward off infection and keep you healthy.

This is what your immune system is made for.

And these are the ways you can optimize that process.

Please share.

 

With much love and faith in your Well Being…

xoxoxo, Laura

Do Your Friends Ask You What Grounding Is And You Don’t Know What To Say?

Posted

 

If so, here is the best resource to forward to them.

Just forward this email or share the YouTube link and let me explain it for you.

I was recently asked to give the keynote speech at a Carico International convention, and into this 30 minute presentation I packed everything I love about grounding, all of the medical research about grounding, and exactly what grounding can do to support the health and resiliency of the human body… and why.

Most people don’t know why grounding works, but in this video I’ll tell you.

I’ll also tell you why I’ve spent the last 20 years focusing on holistic health, instead of practicing conventional medicine.

And if you do nothing else, fast forward to the last 2 minutes of the video, and get a two sentence way to explain to all of your friends and loved ones exactly what grounding does for you.

In the last two minutes I give you an easy analogy that you can keep in your back pocket when someone wants to know why you enjoy grounding, and why it’s important for our long term health.

If you’ve ever wanted to come listen to a grounding presentation given by me, live… at least this video is the next best thing:

 

 

 

 

 

I present this material for the Carico company, so of course I reference their wonderful grounded mattresses.

But you can sleep grounded much less expensively than buying a whole mattress.  So if a grounded mattress that is several thousands of dollars is out of your budget (and heck, it’s definitely out of mine…) you can absolutely ground your own mattress for much much less, simply by laying an organic grounding mattress panel right on top of your own bed.

 

 

Or use a (limited edition) grounding bed roll.  Either one of these options is a fraction the cost, is custom hand sewn in the USA, uses natural materials, and grounds you every bit as powerfully as the highest priced grounding tool in all the world.

Or possibly even more so, as I choose medical grade stainless steel fibers to ground my sleeping systems, so that you can wash them without fear of degrading the ground connection (like the easily degraded silver fibers that other companies choose.)

 

 

And if you use a PureGround ground cord with your grounding tool, it’s even better than the world’s most expensive grounding systems because this cord will also filter and shield your ground connection for you, something other ground cords just can not do.

 

 

I hope you enjoyed the video, and learned some new tools for talking about grounding to all your favorite people as well!

Enjoy grounding and recharging your internal health every single night!

xoxox, Laura

 

 

15 Things You Walk By Every Day That Would Ground You If You Touched It

Posted

 

Hello!  I recently received a great question from a reader asking me to demonstrate with a ground test meter that I was truly grounded while touching cement.

Good idea.

Not only do I show you that you absolutely are grounded when touching cement in the video below, but I show you 15 different surfaces — besides just grass — that you probably walk by each day and didn’t know could ground you.

At the end, I show you the very strongest way to ground out of them all — yes, an even stronger ground connection than standing barefoot on grass… can you guess what it is?

Watch this quick video and I’ll show you!

 

 

 

 

 

Hopefully that will get you inspired to reach out and touch the earth in different ways, instead of just waiting for the grass to green up again this spring.

 

Grass is kind of hard to find in winter and even if I do see some living grass that looks inviting… um no thanks, I’m way too cold for that.

But you can keep your feet toasty inside of thick socks and winter boots on and simply wear these wool fingerless gloves, alternating one hand inside a pocket at a time, and you’ll be surprised how long you can stay grounded directly to the earth outside.

 

 

To recap, here are all the different surfaces that will get you grounded, beyond the “just walk barefoot on grass” tired old advice.

Not that there is anything wrong with grass.

It’s just that most of us (myself included) are not lucky enough to have a lovely backyard full of grass… and who knows what is sprayed on the grass in public parks… so more often than not it is a sidewalk or a rock that will tempt me to reach out and touch it more than grass will.

 

So here you go…

15 Alternative Grounded Surfaces Just Waiting For You Outside:

 

 

1.  Gravel.

Yep, that gravel road, that gravel parking lot, that pea gravel patio… it’ll all ground you.

 

 

2.  Ferns.

I seem to be able to find these even when most other smaller plants have gone dormant or died in the winter… long after the grass is brown, I usually can find a fern on my winter walks.  And yep, any rooted living thing, ferns included, growing out of the ground will ground you.

 

 

3.  Moss.

Even moss growing on a tree, even moss growing on thick bark (which would typically block a ground connection) as I show in the video above, will get you grounded and feels oh-so-good.  So if you are trying to ground through a tree that has a lot of thick bark on it, see if you can find moss growing on it to touch instead.

 

 

4.  Slate.

Slate walkways are my favorite thing to walk barefoot on, I’ve had my hubby put slate walkways in for me leading up to my front door because I love them that much… and yes you are grounded the entire time you stand or walk on one.

 

 

5.  Tile.

This might be a good solution for indoor grounding too.  If you have bare tile placed on a cement floor in your home, you might want to grab a ground test meter here and see if you can ground by touching the tile, inside the comfort of your own home!

Just be sure there is no paint on the tile, it will seal the ground connection away from you.

 

 

6.  Sidewalk.

The sidewalks around your home, the shopping mall, your office, that restaurant you are eating lunch in… they are all grounded and waiting to support your health, even in the most urban of environments!

 

 

7.  Cement.

This is another great way to ground indoors directly to the earth — do you have a cement floor on your basement?  Or your garage?  Or your driveway?  Or your patio?  In the basement of your office building?  Or your parking garage? It’s all deliciously grounded!

 

 

 

8.  Pavers.

Similar to slate and cement and sidewalks mentioned above — pavers will ground you.  In fact, most natural walkways (everything I can think of except dried wood walkways) will ground you!

 

 

9.  Brick.

Did you know that brick will ground you as well, as long as it is directly on the earth?

 

 

10.  Rock.

Yep, you can just sit on a rock and touch it and it will ground you.

 

 

11. Sand.

Sand is really just a collection of mini rocks, and so yes… sand will ground you (especially if the sand is wet, as you’ll see in #15 below!)

 

 

12.  Flowers.

All flowers that are rooted and growing out of the ground outside will ground you just by touching their stems, leaves or petals!

 

 

13.  Trees.

The moist parts on trees (like the leaves and inner wood) will ground you, no matter how high up in the air they reach!

Just be aware that thick bark insulates you from the moist, grounded inner wood (the “circulation” of the tree, the vascular cambium, is what carries the ground connection up to the leaves) so if the tree has a layer of dry, thick bark, it’s better to touch a leaf, look for moss growing on the tree (like I show you in the above video) or find areas where the bark is thin to get grounded.

 

 

14.  Weeds.

Yep just like the fern and flowers I show you in the video above, anything that is rooted in the ground — even a pesky dandelion or a thistle or thorn or other unwanted underbrush — it will all ground you just the same as soft grass would, no matter how gnarly or uninviting the weeds seem!

 

 

15.  Water.

This is the most impressive, strong ground connection you can make — water.  Just having one cell in your body touch one drop of water on the earth will powerfully ground you from head to toe.

One fingertip touching the very top of a stream, lake, pond, river, puddle, or ocean will do the trick!

 

What won’t ground you?

 

(Does anyone want me to make of video of these too?  I’m happy to just let me know.)

  • Thick dry bark on a tree
  • asphalt on the road
  • thick layers of dry powdery snow or ice
  • painted anything (painted tile, painted cement, painted metal)
  • any dead dried out wood (like wood used to build a deck or a picnic table or a bench or a dried out branch that you might use for a walking stick)

…none of these things will ground you.

 

Want to test all the surfaces that are out and about where you live?

 

 

You can grab the same test meter I show you in the video above right here.

I have a special cord custom made, by hand right here in the USA, to use specifically with these test meters, so as far as I know, my Grounding Boutique is the only place to find the complete set up.  I even install a battery in them for you myself before shipping them out.  I’d love to send one your way!

 

To your natural, grounded, ever-resilient state of health!

xoxox, Laura

Two Years Ago Today I Was Headed Into An Operating Room

Posted

 

 

Exactly two years ago, I ignored a growing, intense pain in my abdomen for about 24 hours, because I felt that I could not afford to take a break from all the work I had to do.

 

 

Only when I was passing out from the pain did I have to be strapped into an ambulance and rushed into surgery because my appendix had ruptured.

I ignored it and ignored it until I was in a life threatening situation.  That was so dumb of me.

I wish I could say two years later I was working less and prioritizing my own health more, but honestly I need to write this blog post as much for me as for you.

 

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

It’s actually a medical necessity.

You absolutely, 100% need deep, restorative sleep!

 

Working all hours of the day and night has serious ramifications to your health, which impacts every part of your life… decreasing your concentration, increasing your likelihood of accidents and impairing your judgement.

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

 

So today, to encourage you to make the time to get the rest you need, I want to tell you

the top 3 ways that taking the time to catch your zzZs will ultimately enhance your health:

 

 

1.  Sleeping Protects Your Brain:

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

2.  Sleeping Helps You Maintain

Your Ideal Body Weight:

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

3.  Sleeping Supports A

Healthier Outlook:

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

  •  Sleep Grounded — Connecting to the earth during the day or sleeping grounded with an indoor sleeping product (my Grounding Boutique carries many different options for sleeping grounded!) has been shown in sleep studies to increase the amount of time we spend in deep restorative phases of sleep, as well as treat jet lag and other circadian rhythm disturbances.
  • Sleep Shielded — If you lay in bed and still feel overstimulated, the next step would be to sleep under a shielding blanket or better yet, a shielding sleeping bag for 360 degrees of protection to all of your internal organs.  Or simply wear a shielding robe to bed every night (the most cost effective 360 degree shielding plan I know of, and my Shielding Boutique is the only place to have one hand sewn just for you!).  If you simply can’t turn off your router completely at night, or paint your entire bedroom with shielding paint, or hang a shielding canopy all around the bed (both the paint and the canopy run into the thousands of dollars and they are so cost prohibitive at this point that I don’t even use them myself and don’t yet carry them for my patients until they are a more reasonable price) then the most cost effective thing you can do is to shield your body as you slip into bed.  Ahh… the relief is immediate.  Similar to the relief I feel when I zip up in my shielding windbreaker before heading out the door for the day — you can feel your entire autonomic nervous system relax and appreciate the break from the onslaught of eSmog that is pervasive across the globe now.   You can find the blanket and sleeping bag and jacket all of my other favorite shielding tools right here.
  •  Melatonin At Dusk —  The hormone that signals it is time to sleep for our body, our melatonin levels naturally decline with age.  I know some people avoid melatonin because they believe it decreases your body’s own production, but the truth is that the body naturally makes less and less over time, and is not likely to ever rebound production on it’s own anyway.  So if you find it hard to naturally  fall asleep, you can safely boost your own melatonin levels with a low dose melatonin supplement.  But here is the key, that most people don’t know: most melatonin labels instruct you to take it one hour before bedtime, but that is incorrect.  Actually, 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, because this is the 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.  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
  • L-Theanine At Bedtime — 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 to help relax over active thoughts.  You can find both my favorite melatonin supplements as well as my favorite L-theanine supplements in my pharmacy-grade, trusted online dispensary right here.
  •  Daily Activity — As I talk about in this blog post, walking each day is the one of the single best things you can do to prolong your life. 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.  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.
  • Re-examine Your Work Schedule — Lower your stress at work in order to protect your sleep patterns.  Not only by re-examining your work hours and job responsibilities, but also consider ways to lower stress loads all together.  Hop over here to read my blog post on how to decrease the negative impact that job stress can have on your life and re-consider or re-negotiate your work hours, your job load, your career path, your commute, your training requirements, think of ways you can delegate or ask for help for routinely overwhelming responsibilities, and many more ideas here.
  •  Develop A Nightly Routine — turn off all the lights, make sure there are no computer screens or clock faces or night-lights lighting up the room while you sleep, and drink a soothing cup of warm milk, sleepy-time tea, or take a hot bath to relax your body and transition into bed.  And if you must have your cell phone in your bedroom with you, be sure to put it on airplane mode or place it behind a bedside shield!!!
  • Block Blue Light From Reaching Your Eyes —  Ok I’m a mother of two teenagers (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, or use their phone to arrange plans with friends, or to use their televisions to unwind at night to catch up on their favorite TV shows or (in my son’s case) watch their favorite sports teams play.  And not to mention, I have a bad habit of my own screen exposures at night, including catching up on emails, writing blog posts, and watching some reality TV before bed.  That said, you can make the glow from these screens less disruptive to circadian rhythm simply by wearing truly blue light filtering glasses, like these.  They need to be a dark orange color to truly block out enought light from screens that they optimize your sleep in a noticeable way.  The blue light shield on your regular prescription glasses help prevent eye strain but are not enough for nighttime use.
  • Relax With Magnesium — Magnesium is very relaxing and because it helps your muscles relax and release, it is a wonderful nighttime drink.  On nights when I am feeling tense (especially helpful for anyone who grinds their teeth at night or has restless legs!) 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, found in my online dispensary as well.  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?
  •  Reduce Nighttime Cortisol Levels — high nighttime cortisol levels and constant stress (leading to adrenal fatigue) will sabotage anyone’s best sleep attempts.  Seek help if you are in adrenal fatigue and make sure you are supporting your natural hormonal repair by including healthy fats (like whole fat yogurt, organic butter, organic eggs, coconut oil, fish oil) and consider a supplement like Ashwagandha at bedtime to decrease nighttime cortisol levels.  Sleeping grounded at night will also help normalize your cortisol levels, which is win-win.
  •  Address Perimenopause — hormonal fluctuations and hot flashes can definitely interrupt your restorative sleep.  Seek help if perimenopausal symptoms are ruining your sleep, and consider Maca Root supplementation to support and balance hormone levels.  Honor the energetic transition of menopause by making sure you give your body the space and down time it needs to navigate the journey (more on this right here.)

 

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

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

 

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

xoxoxo, Laura

 

 

It’s Not Too Late To Significantly Lift Your Mood, Even Mid-Winter

Posted

I’m no stranger to the winter blues…

…otherwise known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD.)

 

This temporary blah feeling that accompanies the winter months is thought to be triggered by shortened hours of daylight, which causes an imbalance in melatonin rhythms and decreased serotonin levels in the brain.

SAD is thought to have a genetic component as well, and sure enough, almost every woman I know in my family has a touch of the winter blues.

But there are 8 things you can do right now to help re-balance your mood naturally and feel better this winter than you ever have before.   You might think it’s too deep into the winter to make a difference, but actually you’d be wrong!  Typically you can start to notice an improvement after only 3 days of treating SAD.  So it’s absolutely not too late to begin to address it mid-January, knowing you can start feeling better as early as the end of this very week!

It absolutely IS possible to enjoy winter and feel just as centered and joyful as you do during every other season. 

If you typically feel more tired, crave carbohydrates, lose pleasure in the things that normally bring you joy or feel weepy or sad during only the winter months, you might be suffering needlessly with SAD too.

Read on to support your body holistically during this natural seasonal fluctuation and feel just as good this winter as you typically do in the warm springtime!

 

 

1.  HYDRATE

 

Are you drinking plenty of water each day?

More important than the food you eat today is your hydration status, especially amidst all the dry artificial heat.  Even all natural heat sources like wood burning fires and gas heaters cause the air to become incredibly dry.

Focus on drinking plenty of water during the winter months.

It’s easy to remember to drink water in the summer when you are perspiring, hot, and sticky.  It’s trickier to remember to drink plenty of water in the winter when you are dry and cold and flaky.  Drink it anyway.

Bonus points if your water is filtered and pure — removing toxic fluoride, chlorine and other stressful chemicals from your water supply.  Find my favorite water filtration system here.

 

 

 

2. SLEEP

 

Are you allowing yourself the time to sleep more than you usually do in the spring, summer and fall?

Allow yourself to re-connect to the natural rhythm of the earth.  That means more sleep during the darker winter months.

Bright artificial lights and TV channels blasting shows 24 hours a day can keep us feeling like there isn’t much difference between the middle of the night and the middle of the day.  But there is.  To your body, to your pineal gland, your hormones, your muscles, your brain… the difference between night and day is iron clad.

You are meant to sleep at night, and you are meant to sleep longer in the winter months.  Allow your body to get an extra hour of sleep each night during the winter and watch your mood, energy level, eating habits, activity level and joy all get a boost!

If you need help in getting more restorative sleep, hop over to my blog post here for ideas.

 

 

 

3.  GROUND

 

You knew I had to include this one!  If you only do one thing on this list to feel immediately better today, I would go outside and touch the earth.

There is a beautiful relationship that our brain has with the energy of mother earth.  This helps support everything our brain helps us to do — from enhancing our mood to deepening our restorative sleep — both things that are crucial to support in the winter time more than any other time.

Most people believe that our circadian (day/night) rhythm is dependent on sunlight to set that pattern for us, and that is true in part, as I will mention below.

But scientists have actually known since 1970 that the earth’s energy field has as much, if not more, to do with our sleep/wake pattern than even the sun.

 

Researchers built two underground isolation chambers that completely cut occupants off from any evaluation of time passing.  The two chambers were light proof, sound proof, temperature controlled bunkers, with one difference between the two rooms.  While one was allowed to be connected to the electromagnetic field of the earth, one was completely shielded so that all connection was severed between the earth’s energy and the occupants of the bunker. 

Looking at several hundred test subjects for up to a two month period of time, researchers looked at sleep wake cycles and found that participants who were in the bunker that still allowed the earth’s field to reach them kept patterns that were close to a 24 hour rhythm, while those in the bunker that was completely shielded from the earth’s energies became completely desynchronized and experienced significantly longer, more irregular rhythms. 

Researchers then experimented with introducing different electrical and magnetic fields into the shielded bunker, and only one restored normal sleep/wake patterns…  you guessed it, the one that is our Mother Earth’s natural energy, the Schumann frequency.   From this the researchers postulated that it is actually the frequency of the earth that regulates our natural biorhythms. 

Based off of this understanding, it’s easy to understand how directly connecting to the earth, grounding our body with our planet, can help enhance restorative sleep at night and boost daytime wakefulness… especially during winter when you can feel cut off from enjoying time outside in nature.

To combat this, I highly recommend we all sleep grounded in the winter.

My favorite way is picture above — the world’s only grounding hot water bottle that will keep you toasty warm in bed all winter long, and is hand-made right here in the USA using organic, eco-friendly materials.  Grab your organic hot water bottle, organic grounding fitted sheets, or other grounding sleep systems right here.  

 

 

 4.   POOP

 

It’s normal for everything to slow down in the winter,  but if your bowels are feeling full of rich and hearty winter meals and you are feeling dense or bloated on the inside, getting things moving again can help you feel more balanced.

Up your water intake as recommended above, take tons of healthy fish or flax seed oil, go on a walk every day to stimulate bowel peristalsis, and ground each day to boost vagal tone, which improves digestion naturally.

In addition, one of my favorite remedies is juicing a whole bunch of apples, or eating a prune a day during the winter.  In addition, if you need a supplement to help things move along in the winter months, a cup of nighttime tea with senna in it or a magnesium supplement is a great choice.   We all need more magnesium than we get through diet alone, and taking magnesium at night will help your muscles relax and help you sleep better, so this advice is win-win!

I’ll have a few more supplement recommendations for you below, but meanwhile you can find my favorite magnesium supplements in my online dispensary here.

 

 

 

 

5.  LIGHT

 

Stave off the sadness that can become overwhelming in the winter by increasing your exposure to light.  As I blog about here, light therapy has been actually shown to naturally treat depression better than a prescription anti-depressant!  And yes, you can do both at the same time (take an anti-depressant and use light therapy together) for additional benefit.

So try your best to go outside and get as much natural light as possible between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m each morning. If you can, bundle up and get outside for a morning walk, or at least sit by a window.  Open the curtains or blinds and spend time in the sunniest room in your home or office each and every morning.

Even if it’s cloudy, the natural light will do you good.

If getting some natural light exposure each day in the winter is not enough to lift your mood naturally, one of the most effective interventions for SAD is using a light box daily.  The light from these devices are 10 times the intensity of regular household lighting. 

I use a light box every morning year round… morning light has been proven to help everything from treat depression (as mentioned above) to successfully treating fibromyalgia to boosting libido!  And hey I’m all for that… a healthy sex drive is the spice of life!   

Find my favorite light box right here.  

 

 

 

6.  SUPPLEMENT

 

5-HTP:  One of the causes of SAD is thought to be decreased serotonin levels in the brain in winter.  You can naturally raise serotonin levels by supplementing with the pre-cursor to serotonin, which is 5-HTP.  Basically 5-HTP is a nutritional supplement that provides more building blocks for your body to naturally make it’s own serotonin.  Using 5-HTP in the winter months works really well for many of my patients with SAD (and heck, for myself too!)

MELATONIN:  Another natural supplement that helps combat SAD is restoring nighttime melatonin levels to ensure deep sleep.  If you have low serotonin, you likely have low melatonin, since serotonin is a precursor to making melatonin in the body.  Taking melatonin 1 hour before bedtime can get you that extra winter sleep that your body naturally craves which paradoxically can help you feel more energetic, happy and centered during the daytime hours.

L-GLUTAMINE:  You can use the supplement L-glutamine to help curb your carbohydrate cravings in winter.  This amino acid supplement can help take the intensity out of sugar cravings and help you avoid the carb overload that so many of us turn to in the middle of winter for comfort.

VITAMIN D:  Most of us are Vitamin D deficient and could benefit from Vitamin D supplementation, especially in the winter months.  Vitamin D is important and impacts everything from cancer risk to stroke to mood.  Supplementing with Vitamin D is more crucial during the winter months than at any other time of the year, as we are exposed to less sunlight and are likely experiencing a natural dip in our Vit D levels.

OMEGA 3s:  Start an Omega 3 fatty acid supplement such as fish oil or flax seed oil.  Omega 3s are crucial for  mood support and supplementing with fish oil, flax oil, cod oil, krill oil, coconut oil or flax seed oil will help lift the winter fog in our brains and help protect our body from the brittleness that winter brings.

PROBIOTICS:  Along with the gut/brain connection we talked about earlier, another supplement to consider upping in the winter months is probiotics.  Probiotics have been shown to make a significant impact on mood, alleviating anxiety and depression.

 

Find all of these supplements plus all of my very favorite, tried and true, most trusted pharmacy grade supplements, all at a special discount for my readers, waiting for you right here:

 

 

7.  WALK

 

Engage in regular aerobic exercise, especially if you can exercise outdoors in the early morning hours. Simply walking for 10 minutes each day can make a HUGE difference in your mood all winter long. 

Other options include biking, swimming, yoga.   If you must exercise indoors, try exercising in the morning near a sunny window.

If you can’t walk or get any other form of exercise?  Sauna is your answer.  Medical studies show that sauna is just as good as exercise in boosting longevity.  I blog about that for you right here.

Sauna in the wintertime?  Hells yes.

 

 

 

8.  TRAVEL

 

Most people can’t just get up and relocate to a sunny place, even though the research has shown that ultimately, living in a sunnier climate closer to the equator is a potent cure for SAD.  SAD rarely affects people living within about 30 degrees of the equator.

But realistically most of us can’t re-locate. Instead, if at all possible, plan ahead to take a trip during the winter months to a warm and sunny climate… it only takes about three days of bright sunshine to reverse symptoms of SAD.   

So if you know your mood tends to take a dip in the winter, be sure to go ahead and use up your vacation time to take a much needed break in a sunny location and soak in the relief that the sunshine brings.

You can definitely justify a winter trip as a medical necessity if it gets you through the darkest part of winter in a healthier mindframe!

 

 

 

 

If your depression does not respond to these natural remedies or if you feel overwhelmed and struggling from the winter blues, be sure to seek guidance from a healthcare professional.

Otherwise, enjoy incorporating these 8 tips into your wintertime routine and feel better this winter than you ever have before. 

With a little extra attention on hydrating, bowel movements, sleeping, exercise or sauna, seeking early morning light, grounding and adding on a few holistic supplements, you can work in concert with the seasons and feel your best year round… winter included!

 

xoxox, Laura

Your Food Choices Impact Your Anxiety Levels… Here’s What To Look Out For

Posted

Today I wanted to share some foods that are medically proven affect anxiety,

so that you can use this information to naturally decrease your anxiety levels.

 

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

More on that in a moment.

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

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

 

Two foods that might be worsening your anxiety:

 

1.  Gluten —

 

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

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

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

Although now we need continued research to see if the same reduction in anxiety is true for non-celiac patients, I can completely understand why gluten might trigger anxiety and why going gluten free may help alleviate it.

As I reported years ago that gluten is an irritant to the central nervous system and can even induce brain fog and add to dementia risk.  Read more on that here.

 

 

2.  Sugar —

 

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

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

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

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

 

 

Two foods that can help relieve anxiety:

 

1.  Fish —  

 

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

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

Krill oil is an easy way to boost your intake of Omega 3s.  Find all of my very favorite, pharmacy grade, pure and potent Omega 3 fatty acid supplements in my online dispensary right here.

 

 

 

 

2.  Fermented foods & probiotics —

 

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

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

Enjoy yogurt, kefir, kombucha or fermented foods routinely to naturally decrease anxiety levels, and if you don’t like to consume those foods routinely, get started on a high quality probiotic supplement.

You can find my favorite supplements, including the best strains of probiotics, in my online dispensary here.

 

And a few more tips about eating:

 

 

 

1.  Eat regularly —

 

I’ve found in my past 20 years of practicing medicine that patients who do not eat consistently and routinely have more anxiety and even panic attacks when they are skipping meals and/or not eating enough grounding protein and healthy fats.

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

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

Don’t skip breakfast!

 

 

 

2.  Hydrate fully —

 

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

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

 

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

Don’t ignore anxiety.

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

 

 

 

Did you know that addressing and treating anxiety

actually slows the aging process and reverses the damage

that anxiety does to your body?

It’s true.

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

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

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

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

 

The study:

 

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

 

The Results:

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

And a near complete reversal by addressing that anxiety.

 

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

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

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

I really hope these resources help!

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

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

If these tips are not enough to make your anxiety levels lift, please seek professional support from an in person health care provider and do not suffer in silence.

xoxox, Laura

 

 

 

 

Save Your Winter Skin With These 10 Unique Tips

Posted

 

Winter is a tough time for skin.

 

The dry, heated air that cracks our vulnerable skin when we are indoors combines with whipping cold winds that chaff skin when we are outside…

…absolutely no fun if you suffer from chronic skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema or other forms of dermatitis.  

The very moment you turn on the heat… yes, even heat from natural heat sources such as wood burning stoves or gas fireplaces… the air dehumidifies and the skin begins to dry out.

Another reason skin gets a double whammy in winter is that not only are the elements harsher and more dehydrating both inside and outside, but we tend to ignore and neglect our skin because it is not on display.  

While there are constant discussions, advertisements and products everywhere in the summer to remind us to protect skin from excessive UV exposure, to moisturize our skin, and constant reminder to drink more water in the hot summer months, we tend to completely neglect our skin in the winter.  Out of sight, out of mind!

But this neglect is hard on us… our skin is the largest organ we have!  Our body is in a constant state of stress trying to repair this organ system if we neglect it. 

So right now is the perfect time for a little extra TLC for our skin.

 

Any skin that has a compromise in the skin barrier function needs the ultimate TLC above and beyond regular skin care needs.   

This is especially important in the winter, as any crack in the barrier of our skin can invite inflammation, lead to infection, and even lead to scarring. 

To make it through winter with the best skin possible,  I recommend these 10 all natural, holistic skin care steps, in addition to any skin care steps your physician or dermatologist recommends to treat your unique skin issues.

 

 

My 10 Favorite Winter Skin Care Tips:

 

1.  Protect your skin while outdoors: 

 

Invest in a good pair of gloves to shield your hands from harsh winter elements and a soft scarf to wrap around your delicate nose and lips to prevent windburn and chapping before it begins. 

 

 

 

 

2.  Exfoliate with baking soda or dry brush your skin: 

 

Many of us stop exfoliating in winter as our skin isn’t on show as much.  But giving 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. 

To exfoliate, simply make a paste by mixing baking soda and a little water in the palm of your hand and us it to gently scrub your skin to remove dead skin cells, or alternatively you can dry brush your skin using a natural bristled brush before stepping in the shower or bath.  

 

 

 

3.  Soak in honey: 

 

Add a half cup of honey to your bath water to nourish your skin and speed the healing of any winter whipped irritations.  Honey is all natural, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial, accelerates wound healing and decreases the risk of scarring…. making it the perfect skin supportive, holistic bath soak!

And use warm, not hot water when you bathe.

Even though it is tempting to blast hot water in the shower to warm up, the extra heat strips the skin of its oils more quickly.  Keep the bath or shower warm, not hot, stay in the water for less time, and decrease the frequency of your bathing in the winter months.

 

 

 

 

4.  Slather on coconut oil as a whole body moisturizer twice daily:

 

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 both medically shown to repair the lipid bilayer best.). 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.

 

 

 

5. Protect your nasal mucosa with a humidifier + apply coconut oil to the interior rim of your nose: 

 

Humidifying room air and keeping well-hydrated internally by drinking water copiously will prevent the tendency to develop chapped tight skin and dry, uncomfortable nasal passages.  If you only have one humidifier, place it in your bedroom so that you can sleep in a moisturized environment at night. 

You can also apply a little coconut oil just inside the nasal openings to help protect your nasal mucosa from drying out! 

 

 

 

 

6.  Make organic coconut oil lip balm to use throughout the day:

 

It’s so easy to whip up your own homemade lip protection, it takes less then one minute and you can even use it as an intensive hand and foot salve.

Simply melt 2 parts coconut oil with one part beeswax (for example, 2 TBSP coconut oil and 1 TBSP beeswax) in a microwave or over a double broiler.  Stir and add a few drops of Vit E (I simply snip the end off of a capsule of Vit E and squeeze it right in) and stir again.  You can add a drop or two of honey for sweetness (and honey is incredibly skin supportive as a topical treatment for wound healing) and pour the mixture into a clean, recycled container or small jar.  Empty skincare jars or mint tins work well. 

Use liberally to protect your lips and save them from winter dryness!

 

 

 

7.  Moisturize skin from within:  

 

If you are not internally hydrating your body, there is no amount of external moisturizer you can put on your skin that will effectively hydrate it.  So all winter long, drink lots of pure, filtered water all day, every day.

This is the water filter I recommend to my patients.

Even though it’s so much easier to remember to stay hydrated in the summer when we are hot and sweating, please don’t ignore your hydration status in the winter when it is every bit as crucial, if not more so.  Dry skin is dehydrated skin.

You can also support your skin by eating foods rich in healthy fats that supply your skin with the essential vital nutrients it needs to maintain its crucial lipid bilayer.  Take care to consume foods such as olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, walnuts, almonds, pecans, cashews, pistachios, macadamia nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, fish, flaxseed and kelp all winter long.

 

 

 

 

8.  Take high quality Omega 3 supplements daily:

 

Drinking water and eating healthy fats in the winter may not be enough to maintain a healthy skin lipid bilayer, especially if you are prone to dry skin, psoriasis or eczema.  I highly recommend taking a high quality Omega 3 supplement daily (for so many reasons, from preserving brain volume to decreasing ADHD symptoms to supporting heart health to keeping your skin supple.)

Find all of my very favorite Omega 3 supplements in my online dispensary right here.

 

 

 

9.  Extra sleep: 

 

Take advantage of the longer nights, the soft indirect lighting of winter and the natural urge to hibernate more to repair your sleep deficit and stock up on restorative beauty sleep.  This decreases the stress on your body from the inside and out, allows your skin to repair more easily, giving your complexion a natural boost!

 

 

 

 10.  Re-evaluate your 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.

 

And every winter… during the darkest, coldest months, we get an invitation to go inward re-evaluate our boundaries before we emerge this coming spring fresh and new.   Grab a journal or get into an open meditative mindframe and ask yourself:

  • Are you grinning and bearing 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 9 steps listed above and watch the energy shift and your skin improve dramatically.

 

 

 

skin

 

To your beautiful, radiant, ever repairing body boundary… your skin!

xoxo, Laura