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:

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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 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

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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

Posted

 

 

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

Easy Ways To Bring More Movement Into Your Daily Routine. Even In Winter, Even At Home.

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

So for the next several weeks, all winter long actually, I’m going to be giving you a weekly blog post full of uplifting ways to improve your health, 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!

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:  Movement

 

Today our goal is to find ways to move that we truly enjoy and will stick with.

Medical studies (like this one, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition) show that sitting sedentary for 6 or more hours a day is the single greatest risk factor for morbidity and mortality — and exercising did not protect against this risk or prolong lifespan.

Let me repeat that: It’s not about exercise.

Exercise is not what fixes our sedentary lifestyle.

In the study I link you to above, even those who exercised strenuously had a higher risk of death if there were prolonged periods of sitting in between work outs!

Turns out, sitting 6 hours or more a day raises your mortality risk no matter how hard you exercise before or afterwards.

Sitting increases diabetes risk, cancer risk, disrupts sex hormones, decrease bone density, increases back pain, high blood pressure, depression rates… and even reduces cognitive function!

So sustainable health is not about working out, it’s not about exercising hard, it’s not about being a weekend warrior, it’s not about how hard you push yourself on the treadmill, and it’s not about fitting into any Body Mass Index category.

Real health is just about enjoying the body you are in and moving it!

We are simply not meant to sit in one place for hours.  Which is something we really need to be mindful of when we are home practicing social distancing, for weeks and even months on end.

That’s why today, as the very first step in this mini-series, we are going to identify at least one way that you can invite movement into your body — in a way that feels right to you — five times a day.

Ideally, you can come up with a way to move your body:

  • upon waking in the morning
  • as a mid morning break
  • as a mid day break
  • as a mid afternoon break
  • and end with a before-bed stretch.

That way you are never sitting for more than a few hours at a time.  Sitting for more than a total of 6 hours of your waking day is more predictive of poor outcome in serious disease than any amount of exercise that you can do.

So let’s find ways that — even if your area is under quarantine — nothing will get in the way of your maintaining or ever increasing your level of health.

We can move our bodies daily, right in the comfort of our own homes.

Because it was never about hitting the gym anyway, it was always about simply inviting movement into our bodies.

So even if your gym or exercise studio is closed right now, you can stay every bit as healthy, and maybe even healthier, by inviting movement in throughout the day instead of just in one intense bout of exercise.

All you’ve got to do is stand up and walk around a bit every hour or two, get into some gentle stretching routines in throughout the day, walk up and down your stairs if you have them, and do a before-bed yoga routine to reap massive benefits.

If you do that, you’ve done more to protect your long term health than you could ever do trying to reverse 6 hours of sitting by hitting the gym.

Our bodies don’t work like that… and now that you know it… you don’t have to work like that either.

(For those that want to read a good medical study summarizing this, hop over to read this medical report published in 2015:  Sitting At Home Is Deadly.)

 

 


 

 

 

 

Idea #1: Morning Stretch

 

Develop a stretch routine that you do when you first wake up, before even starting your day.

Once you get into a habit of morning stretching, you will realize how much this impacts your entire day and you’ll never want to skip this again.

Getting into a morning and evening stretch routine is just one of the many many ways that you can actually benefit for the rest of your life from self care routines that you start during quarantine.   Seriously!  I honestly believe that if we take this time while under social distancing precautions to focus on developing healthy routines and self care strategies, we will actually be healthier for our entire lives than if we would not have had this pandemic.

To get ideas of stretches that feel good for you, here is a great YouTube video that includes some of my personal favorites, and is only 10 minutes long.  Take what you like from these suggestions and create your own routine that you will stick with:

If you prefer looking at stretch suggestions instead of watching a video, this page has 4 great stretches for you:

And then you can add these 6 on to create a simple 10 stretch routine to start your day:

 


 

 

Idea #2: Mid-Morning Walk

 

If at all possible, I highly encourage you to go outside mid morning and mid afternoon on a walk.  Do as little or as much as you like, anything is absolutely better than nothing.

Walk the sidewalks of your neighborhood, walk the perimeter of your yard or driveway if you have one, walk back and forth to your mailbox several times, walk any neighborhood trails if you have them.

If you can not even go outside on a walk, find a pattern to loop inside of your home, going in and out of each room or simply up and down hallways.

Aim for at least 10 minutes of walking in each session, more if you can.

 


 

 

 

Idea #3: Mid-Day Steps

 

An easy way to get more movement into your day within the comfort of your living space is to seek out a flight of stairs, or even one single step if that is all you have.

You can walk up and down the steps leading to your front door, any steps you have inside your home if you live in a multi-story house, any steps that you have leading to your parking area or garage, or any steps you might have in your neighborhood.

Even if all you can find is one step, you can so some great calve strengthening exercises on that one step alone… a great mid-day pick me up.

Here are some ideas:

 


 

 

Idea #4: Mid-Afternoon Walk

 

Repeat the same walk you did mid-morning (see above) or find a new way to walk — for example, if you walked around your neighborhood in the mid-morning while it was cool, you may wish to stay inside and loop your living room a dozen times in the heat of the afternoon.  Or vice versa!  Just keep moving for at least 10 minutes.

 


 

 

 

Idea #5: Before Bed Yoga Stretches

 

Never head to bed without stretching your body out — releasing tension from the day and giving your muscles one more deep release.  If you enjoy following a video, here is a great one:

 If you prefer reading over a written list of stretches (with pictures) here is my favorite set — this is one is very similar to the routine I do each night before I go to bed myself!

 

 


 

 

 

Idea #6: Invite Heat Into Your Muscles

 

There have been so many studies recently looking at the health benefits of routine sauna.  Sauna increases the circulation of blood all throughout your body — getting the blood pumping through your cardiovascular system, your muscles, your skin, your joints, your brain — so it turns out that routine sauna has many of the same health benefits that exercise does.

So if you have mobility issues or find that inviting movement into your body through the day is really hard when you are on “stay at home” orders… sauna is a great substitute (or addition) to any wellness plan.  Something to remember for even after this pandemic has long since resolved.

There are several major medical studies that back this up, that I’ve blogged about for you already.  Click the button below to read more:

If you don’t have access to a sauna (and most of us don’t while under quarantine) you can still use this healing principle to invite heat into your body in other ways.

Pick one of these ways (or use them all!) and write it down in your worksheet so you remember to use it:

  • a microwavable rice pack to wrap around neck and shoulders
  • a hot water bottle to place on stiff lower back muscles
  • a 15 minute hot bath with magnesium salts to relax all muscles
  • a 5 minute hot shower to release tension from head to toe

I love a hot bath every few nights, as well as wrapping a hot rice pack around my neck whenever I feel muscle tension throughout the day — you can buy these online but if you are crafty you may even enjoy making your own out of an old hand towel and a bag of rice:

 

 


 

 

 

 

Idea #7: Body Work

 

The feeling of worry and stress and anxiety is often the stress of energy that is accumulating in the body without release.

I know I personally feel this as a ball of pressure right in my solar plexus, as well and incredibly painful tension in my shoulders and neck… but where stress shows up for you in your body is different for everyone.

Irritability, crying, headaches, diarrhea, nausea, tension, muscle stiffness, decreased or increased appetite, weight loss or gain, insomnia… often these all represent energy that just needs to be released to make room for the natural healing process and optimism and energy to return.

If you are feeling stuck and in need of physical release, along with movement and heat like we addressed above, body work can help assist your body in letting go of stress.

If you are quarantined with a partner, take turns giving massages to each other.  But if you are social distancing alone, don’t let that stop you!  You absolutely can perform wonderful self massage techniques that release tension from your neck, shoulders, hands and feet.

Just click on one of the videos below and follow along!

 


 

To Summarize:

 

This week try lots of different movements out & find a few ways you can get into a routine of moving your body multiple times throughout the day, inviting heat into muscles, and doing daily body work.

And I’ll have more ideas for you — in a whole new topic — next week! 

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

Your Body Is Continually Speaking To You. Here’s How To Listen To It.

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Every single one of us gets a constant stream of information coming to us from a deep, internally knowing of what is best for us in any moment of time — call it a gut hunch, call it a “felt sense,’ call it your inner truth, call it your intuition… whatever you call it, you can learn how to drop your awareness out of your monkey mind and into a deeper awareness that resides in your body.

Our bodies are always speaking to us about what is going on inside of us, and all we need to do is listen.  I meet so many people who don’t feel that they are getting any type of guidance from their body, but they are…. we all are. Today I’m going to help you figure out where in your body you get your information and help you figure out how to use that information to navigate decision making, so that the decisions you make are in deep alignment with you.  Not just aligning with your mental thoughts, on a mind level, but on a deeply rooted mind, body and soul level.

Here is how you connect to your inner guidance system.  First you figure out what part of your body speaks to you most clearly.  Then you drop your awareness to that area of the body and you ask yes/no questions, to see how the body responds.  It will tell you clearly what path is most aligned with your highest good.

We each have at least one intuitive center that we can lean on to get deeper knowings about our health, about how to  navigate relationships, or how to develop a soul career… in fact, there is no area of life where intuitive understanding can’t support us!

Today, let me walk you through how to figure out which way that intuitive information reaches you most easily.

Let’s figure out where your awareness lives!

 


 

 

First, get comfortable.

 

Sit or lay down.

Take a big deep breath in, and release it slowly.

Enter a place where you are neutral and not forcing any particular outcome at all.

You are relaxing into being a receptor, just receiving.

So this means:

  • you do not have to create any feelings
  • you don’t have to force any response
  • you do not have to come up with any answers
  • you don’t have to picture anything in your mind

Your job is only to be an active listener and feel in your body if you get a positive response at any time while connecting to these intuitive centers.

 

Now we will run through all the different ways your body can speak to you:

 


 

 

 

1.  Kinesthetic Intuition:  A Knowing In Your Bones

 

To see if you get intuitions on a kinesthetic level, first drop your awareness all the way down your spine.

Feel the connection you have with the floor underneath of you — how it is holding you up… supporting you.

Bring your awareness down to the base of your spine.  If you are sitting down, then feel down your back right into the area that you are sitting on.  If you are laying down, feel the lower most portion of your spine, right at the base of your glut muscles.

As you bring awareness to this portion of your body, ask yourself this:

  • Do you tend to get a knowing deep down in your bones?
  • Do you make decisions based on something indescribable all the way down to your core?
  • Do you ever use the phrase “I knew it in my bones.”
  • Do you ever get a feeling of deep comfort when making a decision?
  • Do you ever feel like sometimes your body moves itself when making decisions — like you are able to just watch it play out, knowing your body automatically makes the decision for you and moves when the time is right.

If this is how you tend to know when to say *YES* to a decision, then you are likely to be a grounded, rooted kinesthetic intuitive.

To access your natural intuitive abilities, you can focus on doing a body scan when making decisions or asking intuitive questions.  How your body responds: if you feel an itch, if you feel pain, if you feel your body tense up, if you feel your body relax, if you feel comfort or if you feel anxious after you ask yourself a question, a body scan is your go to tool for easily accessible intuitive information.

 

Follow your feelings of comfort:

 

My advice for a kinesthetic intuitive is to make a decision based on which choice provides you with a deep seated level of comfort during your body scan…  that will be your most true *YES*.

 

 


 

 

2.  Movement Based Intuition: Creative Expression

 

To find out if you get your best knowings based off of a creative movement, move your awareness up to your lower abdomen, just below your belly button.

As you bring awareness to this portion of your body, ask yourself this:

  • Do you tend to get intuitive information flowing to you while you are creating?
  • Do you find that doodling, or painting, or drawing, or sewing or cooking or gardening or doing any creative hobby is when your best answers and solutions arise?
  • Do you find that sex or focusing on physical pleasure allows creative solutions to flow more easily?
  • Do you find that after a massage or love making that you are able to open up to creative solutions?
  • Do you find that when you are creating music or art or working on another hobby, time stands still?
  • Do you tend to follow your pleasure to know when to say yes to an opportunity?

If creativity or pleasure is the strongest intuitive guidepost for you, then you are also likely a kinesthetic intuitive, — similar to the grounded kinesthetic above — but this is a more action oriented intuitive, one that needs to be doing something physical in order to allow the intuitions free range to flow.

For these types of creative or sensual kinesthetic intuitives, it is imperative that they get body work and allow for open ended, non-goal oriented expression.

Expressing themselves without an end point (so painting freely, not because you are hired to create a painting for a customer; or writing freely, not because you are creating copy for your website, etc…) is how these kinesthetic intuitives allow the answers to rise up from within.

So, knowing this, when trying to access intuitive information these types of intuitives often get great success when asking a question and then getting active — taking a hot sensual bath, receiving a massage, doodling on a sketch pad.

 

Take a temperature reading:

 

My advice for a sensory kinesthetic is to ask yourself: “does the decision make you feel warmer or cooler?

Visualizing a thermometer and watching how it goes up or down depending on your different choices and options, or simply feeling if your own body gets warmer or cooler in response to asking intuitive questions, can tell you everything you need to know about your best path.  Going with the choice that brings you a feeling of warmth, or a deep seated feeling of pleasure, is your best *YES*.

 

 


 

 

3.  Gut Intuitives: Follw Your Gut Hunches

 

To find out if a gut hunch or gut knowing is your clearest intuitive center, move your awareness up to your solar plexus.  This awareness center is in your upper abdomen, between your belly button and rib cage.

As you bring your awareness to this portion of your body, ask yourself this:

  • Do you ever get a strong gut knowing?
  • Do you know when to make a decision based on how it feels to you in your stomach?
  • Do you feel a sense of freedom or empowerment when you know you have made the *right* choice?
  • Do you get spontaneous answers and solutions best if you are exercising or totally enveloped in a task?
  • Do you prefer to take action — any action — instead of doing nothing when facing a choice?
  • Do you feel relief after making a decision, and would you rather make any decision than no decision at all?

 

If you know that you hit a home run when making a decision because you immediately feel in your gut that it’s the right call, then your type of intuition is through getting direct information into your solar plexus core.

It’s great to know if this is your intuitive type because those that receive gut knowings can work with this type of incoming information to go with their first, initial impression.

The gut response — quick, quiet, sure, immediate, direct knowledge — is direct intuitive information. Gut intuitives should not deliberate or wait or weigh the pros and cons or over think decisions.  Gut intuitives get a distinct first impression that aligns them with their inner knowings immediately. Waiting for more hits, second guessing the first gut response, letting the mind come in and overthink things, or dismissing the initial reaction and waiting for something bigger to come in can obscure intuitive information for these types.

Gut intuitives can work with their unique intuition flow by recognizing that the initial response is the most accurate, and they can carry a journal around to immediately jot down first impressions or desires, so that this direct intuitive information is not lost later on when second guessing or deliberating the decision.

Go with a feeling of expansion:

 

My advice for gut intuitive is to bring their awareness down to their solar plexus whenever faced with a decision, and feel whether there is an expansion (a yes) or a constriction (a no) in the solar plexus when asking for intuitive guidance.  Making a decision based on the choice that provides you with a deep seated feeling of expansion, power, or freedom is your most accurate *YES*.

 

 


 

 

4.  Emotional Intuitives: Heart Centered Alignment

 

To find out if your strongest intuitive center is your heart, move your awareness up to the center of your chest.

As you bring your awareness to this portion of your body, as yourself this:

  • Do you make most of your decisions based on emotion?
  • Do you feel like you’ve made all of the best decisions of your life based on it’s pull on your heart?
  • Do you feel that you can sense other peoples emotions, even when they are not physically present in front of you?
  • Do you feel so connected to others that you feel markedly drained or highly invigorated by spending time with them?
  • Can you have tears spring to your eyes simply by witnessing other people’s emotions?
  • Do you feel in your heart when you know exactly what you need to do?

 

If so, you are an emotional intuitive.

If intuitions come to you most easily through your heart energy center, then you can use your emotional guidance scale to make intuitive decisions. You can feel in your heart when you align, or do not align, with a particular decision. You can often sense a feeling of fullness in your chest or a lifted vibration when an option is intuitively right, and you can sense a heaviness or a subdued vibration when an option is not in your highest alignment.

Emotional intuitives can often feel the emotions of others, which sometimes helps in intuitive decision making because you can be privy to information that other people are trying to conceal.  Often emotional intuitives just *know* when other people are lying.

 

Visualize a heart connection:

 

My advice for helping emotional intuitive make decisions is to imagine an energetic cord leading from your heart to each particular decision, and follow the one that makes the strongest and most positive connection. Visualizing a heart centered connection is a fabulous tool for emotional intuitives to use when trying to obtain the clearest intuitive picture.  Which cord feels the strongest?  Which is the least knotted or tangled?  Which cord is shining the brightest?  Making a decision based on the choice that provides you with a deep seated feeling of love, energetic strength, and connection  is your most accurate *YES*.

 

 


 

 

5.  Inner Voice Intuitives: Guidance From Your Inner Truth

To find out if you get your clearest intuitions through your inner voice, move your awareness up to the center of your neck, in your throat.

As you bring your awareness to this portion of your body, ask yourself this:

  • Do you ever use talking or journalling to make big decisions?
  • Do you ever use singing to de-stress or to amp up your energy before tackling a big task?
  • Do you hum or whistle a lot?
  • Do you like to make a list of pros and cons, do you like to talk big decisions through, do you prefer to bounce your ideas off of others?
  • Do you feel like you get your best and most clear *YES* by talking out loud about your options and as you speak about each option, the decision becomes clear?

 

If journalling and using the written word or speaking out loud to hear your inner voice helps you to get that intuitive hit of clarity, then you are likely adept at connecting to your inner voice to get intuitive information.

For people who connect most easily with their inner truth through the use of vocal or written expression, it helps to simply get your mind out of the way and let the words arise in a free flow format — whether by talking out loud or stream-of-conscious writing.  If you have this as your most easily accessible form of intuition, it might help you to begin each day writing a page or two uncensored in a journal, or ending the day this way. It might also help for you to talk out loud to yourself when making big decisions, instead of quietly thinking.

 

Speak it until you *know* it:

 

My advice for inner truth intuitive is to go outside for a walk or get into your car and go on a drive — talking out loud the entire way — when making decisions.  Other techniques that can help are to use chanting, humming, singing and even simply whistling to help intuitive information flow through through your throat to pick up on words or sounds that resonate with your inner truth.  Making a decision based on the choice that provides you with a deep seated feeling of truth — what feels true for you, right now, in this moment… that is your most accurate *YES*.

 

 


 

 

6.   Sensory Intuitives: Messages From your Minds Eye

To find out if you visualize or “hear” intuitive information best, move your awareness up to your mind’s eye, in the center of your forehead.  Close your eyes for this one if you do not already have them closed.  This is nothing to do with what you are actually seeing thorough your eyes and everything to do with what images or words are floating up in your minds eye.

As you bring your awareness to your mind’s eye, ask yourself this:

  • Do you ever get sudden pictures or images that seemingly come out of nowhere?
  • Do you have a little voice in your head that allows you to make quick decisions (like which street to take when you are driving or to wake up at a certain time in the morning)?
  • Do you ever see energy around others?
  • Do you ever get distinct impressions or visions in your mind’s eye?
  • Have you always been thought of as having an *active imagination* as a child?
  • Do you get mental images that are seemingly co-incidental to reality — for example, you think of someone and then they call you later that day?

 

This is the most traditional way that intuitive information comes in… yet most of us filter out this information automatically, without even realizing we are filtering it out.  I actually think we all get intuitive information in this way, but we discard it before it comes into our awareness.  But if you are a visual or auditory intuitive, you are still open to getting this information without filtering it out!  Go you!  This is awesome.

Keep a journal and record all messages and visualizations as they come, before your analytical mind erases them for you.  Make sure to express gratitude for these intuitions and to not discount them.  Receive them and acknowledge them… acknowledging and recording the intuitive information you get is the best way to keep strengthening your gift.

 

Watch Thoughts Like Watching Clouds:

 

Let your mind bring up any image, words, sounds or songs it likes as you ponder a decision you are making… not attaching too much to any one image or voice but watching them all float in and out as if watching clouds blow by.  Acknowledge all incoming sensory information, in the form of visuals that pop into your awareness, or songs that play in your mind, or words or voices that speak to you.

Practice letting them come and go freely.

You will know when a visualization is important to listen to.  Very often you can actually hear or *feel* a resounding YES when you are hitting on the best choice for you.  Making a decision based the choice that gives you a deep seated feeling of wisdom and alignment is your most accurate *YES*.

 


 

7.  Unity Intuitives: Aligning With The Big Picture

 

To find out if you receive intuitive information best from a spiritual source, outside of your body, move your awareness up to your crown, slightly above your head.

As you bring your awareness to this area, ask yourself:

  • Do you get your best intuitive information through dreams?
  • Do you have vivid dreams, instructive dreams, dreams where you receive information or dreams where you get to speak to loved ones who have passed?
  • Do you wake up knowing what to do better than when you went to sleep the night before?
  • Do you feel like one of the best things you can do when facing an important decision is to sleep on it?
  • Do you find more clarity after taking a quick cat nap?
  • Do you enjoy mediation?
  • Do you feel comfortable in silence?
  • Do you often prefer to take a break and leave a stressful environment than stay in the struggle of it?

 

These intuitive types can be the opposite of the gut intuitives — instead of acting on that very first gut feeling they have, often they need to take the time to let a day or two pass before making a big decision. Sleep allows for information to integrate and process, and for intuitives that allow divine information to come in when the brain is most receptive and relaxed can be their smartest intuitive move.

These types of intuitives should absolutely have a dream journal by their bedside and should get into the habit of recording feelings, thoughts, words, images and sensations that they have while they are still in that open hypnagogic state, before becoming fully alert.  While in the hypnagogic state, your intuition can access information that is closed to it when the mind returns to it’s daytime state.

Another great tool for these types of intuitives is to work with meditation, as deep meditative states induce the same type of brain frequencies that deep sleep induces. Even deeply relaxing yoga states can create this type of open brain function, and grounding (touching the earth directly) can help enhance this as well, particularly when you sleep, it will prolong the amount of time you are in that deep open restorative sleep state.

The core of the earth, the mind in restorative sleep, and the mind in a deep meditative state all resonate at the same frequency (the Schumann frequency) and you can use your ability to receive intuitive information while in that open frequency by utilizing all three modalities to make decisions: sleep, meditation, and earthing.

 

Let Your Body’s Edges Inform You:

 

Feel the outer boundaries of your body.  Feel the space around you and try to notice how connected you are to the air and energy around you, or not.  Visualize energy tendrils, or sensors, or little sensory hairs feeling into the space around you.  As you bring different choices or decisions to mind, see how this changes how connected you feel to the energy around you.

The right answer will make you feel fully enmeshed in the fabric of the universe.  You may feel your body’s boundaries soften, relax or expand, you may see your energy tendrils become interwoven into the air around you.  Your sense of separateness may lessen and you may feel more connected to the bigger picture when you are making the right choice for you.  Making a decision based on the choice that provides you with a deep seated feeling of unity is your most accurate *YES*.

 


 

 

As an intuitive physician, I’ve learned a few things about how the body speaks to us, and how we can use our physical bodies as an informant, letting us know when we are on the right path and when we are veering off of it.  So I wrote an online class and I run it once a year.

This time around I am not only updating the course content but I am adding two live Q&A sessions so that I can personally support you in your journey!  I’d love to help you strengthening your connection with your inner guidance system.

 

Expand Your Intuition

an online class with Laura Koniver, MD

 

Class starts at the beginning of a fresh new year, on Jan 11th (which will be here before you know it!)

It’s entirely online, so you can do it from the comfort and privacy of your own home.

Class includes two live Zoom Q&A meetings, where I personally answer any questions you have on opening your intuition.  Because of this, I am keeping the class size to 50 people or less.

Not only am I capping the class at 50 participants, but I only run this class once a year, so this will be the only time to join in for the entirety of 2021.

I would so love to see you there and connect with you, supporting your inner knowings and helping you get practice using intuition in your daily life.

This class is a *must* for all empaths who find their energy affected or drained by others.  I’ll teach you how to become more resilient and strong by tapping into your intuitive gifts, instead of depleted or drained by others.

 

Click over here to find out more, or to reserve your spot today. 

 

 

No matter which way you resonated with receiving intuitive info as you read through this list, you absolutely can use your body to feel your way to your best decision making.

Whether that’s for your health or any other decisions in your life (big or small….) get used to dropping your awareness into your body and feeling your way towards an answer.

xoxoxo, Laura