Gut Health and How it Affects Physical and Mental Health
25 May 2018
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.
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