How is your Gut?

gut health kinesiology

 

Over the festive season many people “over-indulge”, typically, eating too much and eating more of the “wrong” foods, as well as drinking too much as well. January comes and with it people have resolutions, goals or intentions to lose weight, get fit and go to the gym. But have you considered this question when thinking about your wellbeing: “how is your gut?” This may seem like a strange question, but having a balanced gut can avoid certain issues and even address current problems you may be experiencing.

Our gut is a long hollow tube running through our body, from mouth to anus. It has many names including gastrointestinal tract and digestive tract. The gut may sound like a simple part of the body, simply needed to eat and pass waste, but it is a lot more complicated and significant than this. “Our digestive system is the body equivalent of an oil refinery. It processes raw material to produce fuel that powers every cell in our body and keeps oil of other system running”

 

Here’s how it works in a nutshell:

  1. The gut receives the food and other substances and its job is to digest this into small molecules that then are absorbed and transported into the blood stream to nourish the body.
  2. It destroys germs or makes condition difficult for germs to survive; therefore protects our body
  3. It disposes of waste such as indigestible parts of food, toxins and waste products of normal bodily processes and excreting them in stool

 

Digestion uses up lots of energy in the process of breaking down food. Our digestive system is also supported by 3 other organs, liver, pancreas and gallbladder.

In 400bc Hippocrates wrote that a bad digestion the root of all evils. He was on to something… 80% of our immune system resides in the gut; so you can see that the gut is not insignificant.

Unfortunately, not everyone takes care of their gut in the way it deserves and illness related to digestive system are rising fast, such as; constipation, diarrhoea, heartburn and bloating. Other type of problems varies from eczema, psoriasis, depression, lack of energy and the list goes on. Food intolerances are also commonplace and on the rise too! All of these health issues are affected and sometimes even caused by imbalance in the gut.

It is true that common sense steps are probably needed; do not eat in excess, eat the recommended intake of fibres, drink alcohol in moderation; avoid processed food high in sugar; exercise regularly and minimise stress. Due to our biochemistry and uniqueness, not necessarily the so labelled “good food” has a beneficial effect on everyone. Through kinesiology, I can test whether particular “innocent” foods are detrimental to your well-being.

Additionally, evidence shows that gut functioning can affect our emotional health and vice versa too. The emotional nature of our digestive system is noted by expressions such as “gut feelings”, “butterflies in the stomach” or simply feeling “gutted”. You can read what I’ve written about the gut and mental health here.

Good digestion promotes good feelings, calmness, optimism, vitality, energy and a clear mind. Bad digestion causes indigestion, bloating, heartburn, pain, discomfort, tiredness, feeling down, foggy mindedness/cannot think straight and more.

So whatever the time of year, I would encourage you to consider: “how is my gut?”

As a Diplomate Kinesiologist, I have trained in nutritional therapy as well as going to the root of the problem. So if you are experiencing health issues be it gut based or emotional or otherwise, or you simply feel energetically out of balance, do get in touch to find out how kinesiology can help.

 

 

Gut Health and How it Affects Physical and Mental Health

The 29th May is World Digestive Health Day and I wanted to take the opportunity to talk to you about gut health. As a Kinesiologist I use muscle testing to understand what is going on in your body and your meridian system. My work encompasses principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine and other techniques that support physical and emotional healing and getting your body in balance. This includes looking at nutrition and gut health.

Avocado Berries Gut Health

Have you considered the expression “you are what you eat”? Or more appropriately we could say, you are what you digest.

Until recently doctors didn’t understand the link between the gut and the brain and they treated them as two completely unrelated parts of the body. Neuroscience has moved on and various news reported in the mainstream press have shown the scientific proof that the gut and the brain are in-fact very linked. Many doctors now refer to the gut as the “second brain”.

The new evidence reveals that there is a direct communication between gut microbiome (the microorganisms in a particular environment) and brain. The microbiome has direct communication to the brain and they constantly exchange messages. The highway between gut and brain is called the Vagus nerve – it is the longest cranial nerve running from head to stomach and it has the widest distribution area of all nerves in the body. This nerve connects the body in a way that means what affects our gut will affect our brain. If you are not eating the “right” foods, or indeed not getting all you need from your food [see my post on supplements here] then it stands to follow that this will not only affect your gut, but your brain too.

Our microbiome are completely unique to us and no one can have the same make-up as ours – similar to our unique fingerprints. Yet unlike a fingerprint, our microbiome can change and change fast – based on factors such as medication like antibiotics, lifestyle, diet and more. These changes to our microbiome will have knock on affect to our brain and our body.

It is emerged, for example, that significant stress can produce dysbiosis (this is a term for a microbial imbalance or maladaptation on or inside the body, such as an impaired microbiota – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dysbiosis) in a very short period of time. Meaning, that the response to mood or emotion it will impact the balance of our microbioma.

There are studies that show autistic children have distinctly different microbiome compared to neurotypical children. Read more about this here.

Mainstream science is reporting what Eastern and alternative practices have believed for some time that beneficial bacteria in the gut may replace the need for antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs. These new developments could mean some “depression and anxiety” is seen as symptoms and not illness.

I have seen clients suffering with low mood, depression and lack of self-esteem – the majority have seen great improvements after balancing the gut with different Kinesiology techniques as well as looking at their diet introducing probiotics, looking at food intolerances and lifestyle.

If you are keen to explore the gut and brain link, or simply want to find out more about how I can help you, do get in touch Barbara@equilibriumvitae.net