Gut Brain

Healing the deepest level of your consciousness.

Science is only beginning to discover what the ancient Greeks knew – the state of your gut can have a huge influence on your state of mind and energy, as well as your overall wellbeing.  This is the true meaning of the diagnosis of ‘hypochondria’.

‘Hypo-‘ means below, and ‘-chondria’ means ribs.  The ancient Greeks understood that it a lot of anxiety was caused by what was going on in your gut, which sits below your ribs. This has recently been confirmed by science through finding neurons within the gut with similar neuropeptides (nerve chemicals) as what’s in your brain. Hence it has now referred to as your enteric or gut brain.

It’s been found that about 90% of the serotonin (one particular nerve chemical) in your body is actually in your gut, which is interesting because most of the anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication work by effecting your serotonin levels.

Gut brainThe gut brain talks to your ‘head brain’ via a big nerve that runs from your brain through the middle of the body and into the gut. This nerve is called the Vagus Nerve. Most of the nerves (~80%) of the nerve cells in the Vagus send signals to the brain from the gut. The Vagus is the main way the gut can control the brain, and induce anxiety and other mental states, when it’s unhappy. This unhappiness has a lot to do with your gut flora – the friendly bugs you have in your intestines – which is also called microbiota (meaning ‘small life’). The ‘head brain’ talks to the ‘gut brain’ mostly through the nerves that come off the spine. Together these form an important communication loop in the body.

The importance of the gut brain means that if we’re going to achieve true wellbeing we need to make sure we’re achieving it in our gut, or body consciousness if you prefer – the deepest level of our consciousness, as well as in our spirit or higher levels of our consciousness.

Here are some simple patterns you can use in order to support the health of your gut brain. These patterns come from the fact that your gut is made up of different parts which do different things at different stages of digestion.
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  1. After chewing and swallowing your food the stomach continues to break it down. The stomach sits just below the ribs. If you get indigestion or reflux the problem is likely to be here. This may mean your liver, which supports the stomach, is weak or the bile that it produces is not flowing well.  A liver tonic or a bitter digestive may assist. Liver tonic is generally going to be a herb like St Mary’s Thistle (or milk thistle).Bitter foods and herbs, which is what is in your digestive bitters, get the bile flowing.  A few centuries ago your ancestors would have eaten a lot more bitter foods than you do.  In those days even carrots and beetroot were bitter but they’ve been bred to be sweeter.  A splash of old-fashioned vinegar such as apple cider or white wine vinegar (balsamic vinegar is also sweet)  can help to strengthen your digestive system.If your symptoms also include some chronic fatigue you may also need to take supplements to assist your mitochondrial health, such as co-enzyme Q10.  Mitochondria are like friendly bugs that live inside your cells rather than in the gut.  The liver has the highest concentration of these to help with all the detoxing it does.
  1. If your problems feel like they don’t happen immediately and they’re located around your belly-button area they might be connected to the small intestine.  This is where your friendly bugs are really important.  Taking probiotics here can really help.  Your gut operates in many ways like a forest with different bugs living in different niches, such as right in the middle or up against the gut wall. Also like a forest, you need the floor to be healthy for all the rest of it to be healthy.  If your probiotics aren’t working you may need to take a particular bug called Saccharomyces boulardii to help. This likes to live right at the bottom of your gut floor and is sometimes the key to creating a truly transformational shift in the pattern of your gut.
  1. The pancreas helps things along in the small intestine by providing many of the digestive enzymes which make digestion more efficient. This is one of the main reasons why you may get so much benefit out of pickled and raw vegetables. Cooking, even on a low heat, destroys the enzymes in what we eat.  You can also take digestive enzymes in a capsule.The pancreas also produces your insulin.  Taking cinnamon everyday has been shown to help improve your glucose metabolism and so relieve any insulin stress you may have.
  1. Your appendix is located right next to the valve between your small and large intestines. You may have heard it doesn’t do anything, but this isn’t nature’s pattern. If we have something in our system, it’s doing something.  Your appendix is actually a vat for growing your own friendly bugs.  That means if you’ve had your appendix removed you need to take probiotics every day – if you haven’t you really only need to take them when you’re stressed or your gut is stressed.Sometimes, unfortunately, the wrong bugs can get into the vat and take over.   This can cause not only a lot of discomfort and bowel issues but a general loss of energy.  Taking olive leaf extract, along with your probiotics, will often resolve this issue.
  1. Your large intestine is the last part of your digestion. It reabsorbs water.  This is why not drinking enough water can make you constipated – the large gut will try to reabsorb all the water it can because you’re not drinking enough, until the digested matter has the consistency of a brick.The large gut will also get the last bits of nutrient out of the most fibrous parts of your diet. That’s why you need fibre – think of it as eating fibre, such as raw vegetables or fruit, is like push-ups for your gut brain.

These are general guidelines.  Remember, variety is the spice of life. It’s unlikely you’d have to do all these things, unless you’re working through a serious transformation for your gut. Generally, you’ll only need to focus on a couple of these things at a time.  Developing your Soul Seat Awareness will assist you to know which ones will best for you on any particular day.  Your Fractology Practitioner or wellbeing practitioner can assist you also.

*Disclaimer:  These are general guidelines for educational purposes only.  They are not meant to address your specific healing and health needs. For specific advice on your situation please consult your wellbeing professional.