Dr. Laura Hughes http://www.drlaurahughes.com Women's health and empowerment Wed, 14 Feb 2018 03:15:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.4 http://www.drlaurahughes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/cropped-Untitled-design-11-32x32.png Dr. Laura Hughes http://www.drlaurahughes.com 32 32 Introduction to Aromatherapy and Essential Oils http://www.drlaurahughes.com/introduction-essential-oils/ Tue, 24 Oct 2017 14:24:41 +0000 http://www.drlaurahughes.com/?p=407 Plants, natural health, and connecting with you all over the world is my everything! So, if you are curious about doTERRA, essential oils and have no idea what the big deal is, where to start, or who to trust for advice, I’ve got you covered.

You really can learn everything you need to start reclaiming your health, supporting your mood & detoxifying your home with this intro class I recorded for you. Pour some tea, click below, and find out what essential oils are, the three ways to use them, how to use them safely, the top 10 oils that provide hundreds of solutions, the magic that doTERRA is creating in the world, and how I will personally support you as you get started!

For more, visit my essential oils page.


How to make a life actually doing what you love http://www.drlaurahughes.com/make-life-love/ Tue, 18 Jul 2017 16:10:01 +0000 http://www.drlaurahughes.com/?p=399 A mentor once asked me to list everything that lit me up, because somewhere in that list was what I was meant to be doing in this life.

I resisted it. I TOTALLY resisted it. Deep down, I had convinced myself that there was no way I could make a life or career doing random unrelated stuff I actually liked to do. But she insisted, so I listed them…

✨Creating art through photography. Connecting with people and sacred places all over the world. Translating my wild imagination into novels that actually got published. Sharing my light, knowledge of the human body and nature’s healing wisdom with those ready to receive it✨

That list was all I could think about, as I stood here, in St. Nectan’s Glen, knee-deep in “wellies” that I lugged in my carry-on luggage all the way to England. For a long time, I realized that I have given my power away. I have sought answers about my purpose from “experts” and external experiences. But as I stared at these photos on my phone, and then up at the crazy beautiful waterfall that was crashing down from a 60-ft cliff in front of me, I realized what had become possible when I finally tuned into “me”. 

To the outside world, this might have seemed like another trip. After all, everyone knows I like to travel. But this trip was more than that. It was a very conscious expression of my life and work.

I had just created my art, in one of the most mystical places on Earth, alongside some of the most amazing women I’ve ever met, while ideas for books flooded my mind, all made possible by the fact I finally said yes to an opportunity that let me share my knowledge of the human body and nature’s wisdom with people all over the world. This wasn’t just another vacation. This is my new reality.

I’m not saying this to be smug. I’m saying it because I want you to know that you are worthy of your dreams, and it is possible to make them happen. They happen when you do YOU. When you actually listen to those random sparks that you think are too random to fit together in any coherent way. When you stop accepting that you have to do life in a certain way, or that it is ‘too late’ for you.

Just do “you”. Tune out the critics. Embrace the journey. Become your own Guru. Find the vehicle that drives it all forward. Your only purpose here is to be happy, and your happiness will change the world. 💗

Are you sitting there nodding? Wistful? Fired up? Are ready to stop ignoring those little pings (or big ones!) of your soul, but wonder how you can ever create this feeling of freedom for yourself? You don’t have to do it alone. Click here to learn about open positions on my global wellness team. 



Soul Travel: Nicaragua http://www.drlaurahughes.com/soul-travel-nicaragua/ Tue, 18 Jul 2017 14:38:31 +0000 http://www.drlaurahughes.com/?p=384 This article was originally published March 2014 on a previous rendition of www.drlaurahughes.com, and sheds light on the role of natural healing in global medicine. 


It’s just past noon when the large woman slides into a plastic lawn chair and offers me a smile. The Nicaraguan sun radiates over our al fresco physical exam station, but her weathered skin doesn’t seem to notice. Like most of the patients who make the pilgrimage to the NDI clinic in Ometepe, she’s been waiting since the crack of dawn for her chance to be seen by our ‘Brigade’, which includes a physical exam by students from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, and a consultation with a seasoned naturopathic doctor. Despite her size, there is a gentle spirit about this patient, and I can’t help but return her smile. I’m on a tropical island in the middle of Central America, and I’m about to examine my first patient. Ever. 

Ometepe rises out of Lake Nicaragua, flanked at either end by thpeaks of the Concepción and Maderas volcanoes. It is home to more than 40,000 people who depend on livestock, agriculture and a burgeoning tourism industry for a living. There is a haunting beauty to Los Angeles, the village that houses both the NDI clinic and our homestays. Set against the backdrop of Concepción, children and animals share a playground in the dusty streets, and open doors require only a greeting to enter. Despite the bustle and knowledge curve of being in clinic, my life here slows down, and as I walk to and from my homestay each day, I can’t shake the feeling that I am in a special place. As one young tour guide will later tell us, “There is something about Ometepe that draws you in. It draws you home. Life here is simple, but it is good.”  

For a privileged few, life in Nicaragua is very good; several billionaires reside behind gated estates in the large cities of Managua and Grenada. However, Nicaragua remains the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Per capita health care expenditure is $59 US a year, the lowest in Central America.  Consequently, general medical appointments are limited to a few minutes. Diabetes is rampant, but the average citizen cannot afford standard treatments such as metformin. Antibiotic resistance is the norm, not the exception. The teenage pregnancy rate is 25%, one of the highest in Central America, and clinical psychology is almost unheard of.  According to UNICEF, 1 in 5 children suffers from malnutrition, but achieving health goals through diet and lifestyle is difficult when sugar is a staple and most families survive on less than $2 US a day.  I am naïve to all of this when we roll in, armed with nothing more than excitement, our medical equipment, suitcases full of generously donated supplements, and vague clichés that this trip might change our lives. 

I focus on my patient and prepare to take down her information. “¿Como se llama?” I say. What is your name?  She mumbles something that I don’t understand, and my confidence wavers. “¿Dónde vives?” I try. Where do you live? It is an important question; the medical registry is organized by village or town, and NDI records link patients accordingly. Either my accent is horrible, or she doesn’t seem to remember where she came from that morning.  The line of people waiting is so long that I decide to start her physical and then walk with her to the doctor and explain. We go through the checklist in my broken Spanish, from the top of the body to the bottom. Some parts go better than others. What kind of doctor will I be if I can’t even see down her throat? I think. Is she really missing an eye, or has she just been squinting into the sun for too many years her lids are frozen shut? Finally we are done. I hold up my hands, “Finito!” Finished. She jumps up grabs my hand again. Then, she proceeds to hand me a small bag, full of lemons. “Limón! Vitamina!” she says. Lemons! Vitamins! Indeed. Is she trying to show me what she eats? I give her a thumbs up and hand the bag back, but she won’t take it. There are four of us on physical exams this afternoon, and everyone else is occupied.  We’ve had months of physical exam practice at CCNM, but they didn’t teach us what to do with a bag of lemons. Another question for the doctor. 

NDI is the oldest naturopathic global health organization in North America, and operates under the mantra that healthcare is a human right. Since 2005, the clinic on Ometepe has provided more than 20,000 patients with free naturopathic care, and has dispensed nearly half a million dollars (US) in natural medicines and supplements. As NDI founder, Dr. Tabitha Parker, explains in a recent video created by a recent American Brigade (and can be seen in its entirety at www.ndimed.org), “This all started out as just an idea. We were just all inspired to do international medicine, we wanted to be able to give back as naturopaths to our greater global community, and at the time, we didn’t have a vehicle to do that. Because we are such a holistic profession, we also, from the beginning, wanted to be able to include everyone in that that dream, to be able to bring natural medicine to underserved communities around the world.”  In addition to providing naturopathic care and jobs to the community (the clinic employs a local Clinical Psychologist and office manager, as well as offers stipends to women in the community to host a student at their home for the duration of our trip), NDI also offers each Brigade a week-long course on Global Health and Social Justice. It is a truly revolutionary experience.  

I stare at the ever-evolving white board in the front room of the clinic, and see that Dr. Dawson Farr is almost ready for his next appointment. I find him buzzing around the NDI dispensary, a marvellous room made possible only by generous donations from companies such as Seroyal. He’s finalizing a treatment plan for a young patient with chronic migraines. I hold up the bag of lemons and being to explain myself. He just laughs. “You’ve met Maria,” he says. My body floods with relief that he knows her. He explains that Maria has a mental disability, and comes from a community not too far away. Although relatively healthy compared to other patients here, she makes the trek to Los Angeles for every NDI Brigade. She brings fruit in exchange for multi-vitamins. Last month it was oranges. 

The afternoon wears on, and I have a few more physical exams under my belt when I see Maria again. She is swinging her bag, empty of lemons, but full of vitamins, krill oil, and a blend of herbal tea. She wanders over to our table and before I can react, plants a wet kiss on my cheek. Then she does the same to every other student in the field. “Gracias doctora!” she says to me. “Ángel!” Thank you doctor. Angel.  Is this what people meant when they said that this trip would change my life? I am not yet a doctor, and I am certainly not an angel. But Maria put her faith in our medicine, she put her faith in me. The feeling gives me chills.  

And the feeling sticks with me, even now, more than a month after returning to chilly Toronto.  Maria was one of 190 patients that our Brigade treated that week on Ometepe. There were babies with giardia, an elderly man who had to be rushed to the ER because of a blood glucose reading five times the normal level, countless cases of MSK pain from a lifetime of work in the plantain fields, depression over losing a child, excitement over a pending birth, headaches, sore throats, the list goes on. But no matter what the problem, Dr. Parker and Dr. Farr shared their knowledge and worked to heal, if only just by listening for half an hour about the problem. 

My Spanish improved marginally. I can do vitals in under three minutes. I actually remembered how to calculate botanical tinctures. I still have no clue how to read TCM pulses. But most importantly, I have seen our medicine work in the direst cases. I have seen our medicine draw people from miles away. I have seen that naturopathic medicine has a place in the world, far beyond the constraints and whatever political situations may exist in our own jurisdictions.  It is our duty as naturopathic doctors and healthcare professionals to use our privilege; we can make a difference. The people of Ometepe taught me that.  




For more information on Natural Doctors International and this work in Nicaragua, click here.  

For more information on supporting global health and development through the doTERRA healing hands foundation, click here.

Essential oils for entrepreneurs, creatives & heart-centered leaders http://www.drlaurahughes.com/essential-oils-entrepreneurs-creatives-heart-centered-leaders/ Wed, 17 May 2017 15:33:02 +0000 http://www.drlaurahughes.com/?p=344 If you are reading this, I know that you were put on Earth to do Big Things. Maybe it’s starting your own business. Maybe it’s writing that book. Maybe it’s just finding the courage to make some changes in your health and circumstances, so that others around you feel courage to do the same.

Trust me when I say that I’ve read every self-help book out there. I’ve dipped my toes into the theory of manifestation, synchronicity, goal setting, mind-mapping and everything under the sun in order to get momentum in my business, my dreams, and my mission. But, until recently, it stayed there… with theory. What if I told you that Essential Oils are the tool that we’ve all been missing? What if Essential Oils could help you tap info flow, fuel your vision, and manifest that missing alignment and abundance?

I’m so excited to share this free masterclass where I teach you about specific oils that can do just that. A bit of science, a bit of spirit, and a whole lot of possibility (oh, and a few juicy treats, like $50 in free essential oils for those who listen all the way through!)

Click the picture below to access!


Why I quit my medical practice http://www.drlaurahughes.com/quit-medical-practice/ Thu, 23 Feb 2017 20:14:46 +0000 http://www.drlaurahughes.com/?p=117 I get asked all of the time why I am not practicing as a Naturopathic doctor or seeing patients in a clinical setting anymore. I mean, who voluntarily goes to school for 4 years and spends an obscene amount of money for the sole purpose of becoming a doctor, and then doesn’t …doctor? If you clicked through this blog, I assume that you want to know, too! So, pour yourself a cup of tea (or wine!) and let me take you on a journey.

It’s 2011. On paper, it looked like I had my life together. I was going to be a doctor twice over. I’d lived all over the world. I had a wonderfully supportive partner (with a cute accent to boot), close family, friends and two rescue cats who were obsessed with me. But then, my previously healthy, vibrant Dad was diagnosed with cancer and died two weeks later. All of a sudden I was forced to feel, more deeply than I’d ever felt before. But the thing was, I wasn’t a feeler. For my whole life, I’d prided myself on being “keep calm and carry on” Laura. That was my role. I was even-keeled, rational and independent. Nobody had to worry about me. I had been told my whole life that I was smart, and my brain was the thing that was going to get me ahead in life. I’d gone as far as I could go in academics to assure my ego that they were right. But why did I always feel like I was faking it? What was I trying to prove? What if I died tomorrow, like my Dad? Two weeks had unravelled almost thirty years of certainty. I suddently felt that none of my achievements mattered, because none of them felt like ‘me’. I craved connection to something so much deeper. I wanted to feel that this life on Earth, which could be so sad, was all worth it. I wanted to embrace my inner storyteller and imagination. I wanted to be turned on.

Comitting to four more years of school to become a Naturopathic Doctor after my PhD was the first time in a long time that I made a decision that didn’t entirely make sense, and that felt good. At a time when most of my friends were settling down in adult jobs, buying homes, and having children, I was investing all of my time and money to go back to school (again) at 29 years old. At first I revelled in the philosophy of the medicine, but instead of being the answer to all of my problems, it started to shine a mirror. What good was the healing power of nature if I was ignoring so many parts of myself? I was ashamed to be a PhD trained scientist and admit that I also believe in energy healing, spirit guides, and intuition.  I was being taught to treat the whole person, but I thought people would laugh (or worse, think I was lazy) if they knew that when I came home from clinic each night, I was working on a time travel romance novel instead of writing professional articles. I didn’t know how to reconcile all of the different parts of myself, because I’d spent so long letting society and other people’s beliefs mould me. The worst part was, I felt guilty and ashamed for letting my ego win. On the surface, keep-calm-and-carry-on Laura was alive and well. But underneath, a constant level of anxiety churned.

Then my Dad started visiting me in dreams. I knew with every fibre of my being that it was him, it wasn’t just my mind playing tricks on me. He would hang out with me for awhile without saying anything, like he already knew what I was thinking and didn’t have to ask. But before he left, he would tell me he loved me and that he was proud of me. I would wake up in tears, because although those were things that were definitely implied in real life, he was a man of few words. Suddenly, I was a crier, but it woke me up. I was tired of living in fear of what people would think about my decisions. I was tired of not being me. I was tired of being the good girl and fitting into moulds. It was time to be free.  Around the same time, my patients were showing me the same thing. The ones who came to me wanting more than a band-aid for their health problem were the ones who made the most miraculous transformations. I couldn’t unhear what was calling me any more, even if it meant shifting paths again.

So, like a true research scientist, I hit the ground hard. I became a self-help junkie. I devoured books on meditation so I could figure out how to still my mind (still a work in progress!). I followed lectures on law of attraction and manifestation. I stalked YouTube for resources on the new paradigm I felt earth was shifting into. I consulted with other naturopaths, homeopaths, mediums, astrologers, tarot card readers, quantum physicists…basically anyone who would be able to tell me how to fix what was wrong with me and help me hurry-up-and-enlighten. But, I was spending so much time trying to connect to this mysterious source of elusive light, that I was floating away. The more I sought, the more I expanded and understood what was possible, but the more frustrated I got with my lack of arrival. And then I realized that I was doing exactly what I’d been doing my whole life– seeking external answers, trying to prove myself worthy through brain knowledge alone, thinking instead of doing, and hiding my light until someone else gave me permission to shine.

When I surrendered to the idea that everything I ever wanted to feel, experience and become was already inside of me—that it has ALWAYS been inside of me, the universe led me to the amazing tools, mentors, coaches and sisterhoods that have held the space to help me figure out how to express it. It required grounding down, digging in, opening up, messy cries, exhalted highs, turning off my brain, opening up my heart, and rewriting my story. It involved embracing my feminine energy, giving myself permission to fail, loving my bad moods and anxiety for the gifts that they bring me, and travelling each day with intention. It is a practice that encompassess moon cycles, essential oils and intuitive wisdom. It has me saying outloud and for the whole internet to hear that I believe that women are magic. That we are so much more powerful that we’ve given ourselves credit for. That we are complicated for a reason, and that when we connect to ourselves and each other, the world will change. That was the birth of Quantum Luminosity.

Although this was all super empowering, it left me at a crossroads. I passed my board exams and had my naturopathic license virtually in hand. There was a list of clinics that I had been eyeing for years. And… I didn’t want to do it. Any of it. I didn’t want to sit in an office all day interpreting lab reports and making treatment plans (super, super important jobs! Just not for me). I just realized that personally, I didn’t want to treat people. I know that my most potent medicine comes from leading, motivating, inspiring, and setting an example of what is possible. I know that the purpose of my journey wasn’t to be come a doctor in the clinical sense; it was to awaken so I could build my toolbox and share what it means to live an abundant life.

So, now I serve people like you. And, if you’ve made it this far, I think you are in the right place. You know there is more, too. You know how you want to feel, and what you would do with your days if you weren’t afraid to start. Or, like me, you’ve tried, but you keep getting caught up in the same old stories and patterns. I’m here to tell you that it is okay. The future is bright.  Our world is bright, and quantum leaps start with tiny changes.

I have never felt more free, alive and excited as I have since I decided to build my business through coaching and essential oils. While it’s not a career path that I ever envisioned for myself, it’s soul-aligned like I’ve never felt before. So, if you woke up this morning with a tug in your soul…a niggling feeling that you want more/better/different/other… let me be the first to show you that it is never too late to re-write your story.




The world will be saved by the Western woman http://www.drlaurahughes.com/world-will-saved-western-woman/ Wed, 22 Feb 2017 23:40:11 +0000 http://www.drlaurahughes.com/?p=113 What does this statement bring up for you? Does it make you feel powerful? Hopeful? Overwhelmed? Maybe an eyeroll or two?

Our world is going through a weird period of simultaneous suffering and spiritual upleveling. This has been on my mind a lot lately, with all of the environmental, political and violent chaos happening near and far.

About a year ago, I decided to ignore the suffering bit of the equation, and went on a ‘news detox’. Given that I am a total news junkie and there is actually news being reported EVERYWHERE, it was pretty challenging! But, I was determined to do it. A coach that I followed online and admired said that not reading the news was the answer to staying ‘high vibe’ and in the positive mindset you have to be in to attract abundance and happiness. All that happened was for 2 weeks, I felt paranoid about bad news leaking into my life, and missed out on timely, passionate discussions with my friends.

The thing is, you can’t change the world if you are asleep. Gabrielle Bernstein says, “Being conscious of the darkness in the world fuels our desire to bring more light. Consciousness inspires us to speak up when its necessary…it connects to all the soul throughout the world who don’t have the privileges we have. Consciousness reminds us to be grateful, joyful, and kind.”

I often wonder why I was chosen to be on Earth now. In peaceful, nature-abundant Canada now. A female, here, now, with an education and a million-and-one opportunities. What did I do to deserve it, when there is so much suffering elsewhere? I don’t know what I did to deserve it, but I’m done feeling guilty about it.

We were born into an environment where we are free to choose how we are going to live our lives. It might not always seem like that, but it is true. You ALWAYS have a choice. And, our true power comes when we choose to lead from love. And that has to start with yourself first. There is no shame in focusing on the desires that make your heart sing, even if they seem silly or frivolous. Even if, in light of everything else going on the world, they seem selfish. There is no shame in making personal decisions that cultivate personal happiness, career contentment, and spiritual fulfillment. When we nurture ourselves and those sparks of curiousity, we can truly lead from a place of focus and love.

I don’t know (yet!!) how I am going to solve the war in Syria. Or the pipeline issues in the USA. Or childhood poverty two neighbourhoods over from me. But I do know that our calling as Western Women is to live consciously, and to take advantage of the gifts we have been offered. Let’s wake up to this! Let’s decide to be present, to be aware, to nurture ourselves, and then to lead with love and inspired action. Let’s unleash our genius, service, and compassion.

We can change the world.