The Gut-Brain Connection
Updated: Nov 12, 2022
I’d like to share with you some fascinating insights into the connection of the gut and its significant connection to emotions, depression, fear and anxiety. As well as digestive problems, living in a constant state of fear and anxiety can cause, to name a few, depression, cardiovascular conditions, impaired immune system, respiratory conditions, urinary conditions, insomnia and personality disorders and even suicide. Great for the Big Pharma.
We have all experienced butterflies in the stomach when we are nervous, we get gut feelings about things, and go with our gut when making decisions. These messages are sent from a surprising source, the second brain - the gut Your gut has its own nervous system, totally independent from the rest of the body, which is called the Enteric Nervous System (ENS). It is called the second brain because operates independently from the brain and the spinal cord (the Central Nervous System) I will call it the gut-brain. The gut-brain is in the digestive walls and consists of two thin layers with over 100 million nerve cells which is even more than the entire Central Nervous System (CNS)!
We have always known that emotions trigger abdominal and bowel problems. I have treated a number of clients successfully who have had irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and it was interesting to note that at the time of onset of IBS, many had suffered trauma or were having some sort of emotional chaos. IBS, Crohn’s disease, stomach upsets, constipation and diarrhoea are all things that can be sparked by emotions.
Although the gut works independently from the brain, the brain and the gut are constantly communicating. It is only recently that the medical profession has acknowledged that not only do emotions trigger gut problems, but it can also work the other way around, that in fact digestive and bowel problems can trigger depression, anxiety and mood disorders. This is revolutionising medicine’s understanding of the links between digestion, depression, anxiety, mood, health and even the way we think. The gut-brain send signals to the CNS, which triggers mood changes. This is quite significant as 30 to 40% of the population suffer from bowel and abdominal complaints. Most of us suffer from short-term ones at some time or other. So this could be a vicious circle unless we intervene.
In present-day society, we are all living in a state of stress, anxiety and fear. Many people have stressful jobs. Home and work-life can be stressful. We are anxious about the future, what could or could not happen and what we think might happen. We worry about not having enough money, paying a mortgage or rent. Now we have the added stress and anxiety of the ongoing effect of COVID restrictions and world chaos. We, as humans, are becoming more and more disconnected and this goes against basic human needs. The world desperately needs connection.
The body‘s reaction to any type of fear, stress or anxiety is to go into survival mode. Your body wants to preserve energy for the fight or flight reaction that it thinks you should have to survive. All your body systems slow down, including your immune system. I mention this because 80% of our immune system is where? Yes, that’s right, it’s in our gut!
Serotonin is the happy chemical our body makes. 90% of it is produced in our gut! We HAVE to keep our gut healthy!!
When we bottle up our emotions and don’t release them, where are they stored? In our gut! Because of our social conditioning, we are taught to suppress emotions so there is a constant build-up. This stuck energy does not go anywhere. It remains stuck within our bodies where it creates disease (look at the word - dis-ease!), tension and all manner of mental and physical illnesses.
Harbouring negative, painful emotions can have a profound effect on quality of life. Along with causing significant emotional damage, they can also greatly affect physical tissues, digestion and health. These stored emotions literally fester and prevent us from having meaningful, lasting relationships.
All these things I have mentioned cause inflammation within the gastrointestinal tract. The gut-brain sends messages to the central nervous system, which in turn triggers mood changes, ie anxiety, depression and other mood disorders.
Even if we are eating incredibly healthy food, if our digestive system is not working optimally we will not absorb the nutrients all this wonderful food gives us.
So what can we do? The journey to self-love, respecting our body and developing a more positive outlook is in fact a journey. As with everything else changing to a healthy diet involves time and patience, one step at a time. As soon as you feel deprived of something you set yourself up for failure. Forget all those fat diets, they DO NOT work, they are just there to make the weight loss industry a lot of money. As soon as we think of the word diet, it conjures up images of deprivation and causes us to focus on food we can’t eat rather than all the amazing food we can eat. Diets in themselves cause stress! It takes time and should be taken in gradual steps. It is not about deprivation or huge lifestyle changes, it is taking it one step at a time, at your own pace, being kind and gentle with yourself and just doing the best you can. Many people need a helping hand and I have a 10-module amazing health and positive mindset journey to help you reach these goals. For more information please CLICK HERE You deserve to enjoy life and this journey will teach you the tools to do so.
Remember bad things will happen and your worrying will not make any difference in the outcome. We as humans fear change but is it a bad thing? No, it's just a different path and we have to learn to trust in the process and believe the universe is unfolding as it should be. Trust in the process!
All those bottled up emotions festering and embedded in the tissues of your gut need releasing. Arvigo Therapy does just that (for more info CLICK HERE) Emotional release is a healing mechanism that enables us to become more whole. In other words, it can also be seen as an integration of our true selves. Whether you experience a traumatic event or develop negative feelings over a period of time, by releasing these emotions you can achieve greater well-being and live a more positive, productive life. Releasing trapped emotions is necessary for both our mental and physical wellbeing. Without some sort of emotional release therapy, we will be forever stuck and controlled by our emotions. Find an Arvigo practitioner CLICK HERE
You can accomplish anything you set out to achieve because you have ultimate control. You can literally reprogram your brain to want to live a positive, healthy lifestyle.
As well as the 10 module journey to health and wellness I also do a mini one-to-one online workshop on gut and digestive health. For more info CLICK HERE