Gut health is all the rage these days, and I can’t say I am upset about it. Gut health is one of the most important key factors when it comes to integrating nervous system regulation and boosting mental health, and on the same token, it most easily gets bombarded and impacted when it comes to stress, poor nutrition and a toxic environment.
Throughout my childhood, I dealt with severe gut issues, GERD/acid reflux, and was even diagnosed with Barrett’s esophagus in my early 20s. It was when I found the book Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr Natasha McBride that I realized that my gut issues were very foundational for the mental health issues that debilitated me during my teen life and young 20s, including depression, anxiety and anorexia. I remember feeling so inspired- I had just finished my bachelor’s degree in nursing and NEVER had learned about the root causes of psychological disorders, so to finally be able to be putting together some pieces of my puzzle put me in a place that I no longer could unsee or turn a blind eye to the big causes of mental health issues.
Fast forward a decade, and I started learning more about the emotional and spiritual causes of illness. How trauma, both in our childhood and generationally impacts our fascia, organs and gut. It was like a light bulb went off as to why SO MANY are dealing with gut health issues, especially in our western and industrialized society in the U.S.
There is a ton of information out there when it comes to gut health, what you should be doing, taking, all of it, and I wanted to breakdown 3 truths and a lie because 1) we like to make health fun around here, and 2) you absolutely NEED to have this information moving forward with supporting your gut.
THE LIE (ok ill be including a few things here!): That leaky gut, digestive issues issues and indigestion are entirely physical issues and that a single cure all with a treatment or supplement will resolve symptoms. This may seem like an obvious lie, but I find sooo many people expect that external solutions will completely solve an internal issue. There are many layers here, and while I utilize some different supplements to improve the microbiome and gut brain axis health, the reality is if you want to hold the change and build long lasting optimal gut health, you need to also acknowledge what emotions and stress are patterning within the gut. Most of us have some familiarity with acknowledging this. We may feel “worry” or “stress” in the gut. But do we have any awareness of how to resolve or connect with this beyond the intuition? Keep reading.
1. Your gut issues are largely emotional and energetic issues. Let’s back up here and talk about the nervous system and how it impacts the gut (I will keep this super simple!) So the vagus nerve is the major neural connection between gut and brain, and it connects the brain to the gut and other vital organs. Signals are sent via the nerve into the brain, and then the brain transmits signals to your peripheral body and gut. Gut instincts and visceral sensations are transported up to your brain via the vagus nerve, which interfaces with every organ in the body. It is the translator from the gut to the brain. This is why tools in my free Find Your Calm guide to support the vagus nerve tone are SO important in starting to resolve any gut symptoms or health issues you are dealing with!
When we are stressed, we are in “fight or flight mode” and the body is under strain. This is a good thing, a survival mechanism of the body. However, it’s when we are chronically stressed that this becomes problematic, as we find ourselves in a chronic inflammatory state. In addition, the vagus nerve impacts the parasympathetic nervous system which manages our “rest and digest” response. Stimulation and toning of the vagus nerve increases the vagal “tone”, meaning your body can relax faster after stress reducing cortisol levels, which is key in long term gut healing and support. When we experience worry, anxiety, fear, we often will store this in our gut, and it’s when we do the work of releasing trapped emotions and limited beliefs with mind body spirit release work and metaphysical healing work that we really can start healing on another level!
2.It’s not compartamentalized- let’s talk meridians. As I mentioned in our first truth, gut issues are often energetic issues as well, and this is where I want to highlight traditional Chinese medicine and meridians. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, a meridian is a channel through which qi, or circulating life force and energy, and the other fundamental substances flow. They can also be known by many other names, such as acupuncture meridians, acupressure points, and energy vessels. These meridians function as a network, much like a highway system, that can be mapped out throughout the entire body. Using bioenergetic testing, client assessment and muscle testing, I am able to identify on an energetic level with my health coaching clients what meridians need extra support.
The stomach is our primary organ of digestion, and it sends usable nutrients to the spleen and the rest to our intestines. It’s job is to assimilate, deciding what to get rid of, and what to keep to nourish us. The spleen (which also largely gets impacted by shock) continues the digestion, taking the nutrients and passing them on to the rest of the body. It also acts as a blood reservoir, it destroys and recycles old red blood cells and is the place where white blood cells trap harmful organisms. The spleen nourishes all energy on all levels. If one has a challenge with change, or releasing the old to let in the new, this will absolutely impact spleen and stomach health.
When these meridians are out of balance we can feel fatigue, weakness, and dullness, like lack of focus and brain fog. It can also manifest as ulcers, anorexia, obesity, infertility, indigestion, restlessness and feeling ungrounded. When we are in balance, we can feel grounded and connected to ourselves. We easily take in nourishment and self care. We are able to have clarity in decision making and experience contentment.
3. If you want the added support of a supplement, this is what you should look for: When it comes to choosing gut health supplementation to support your microbiome, you want to look for a high quality probiotic supplement that contains multiple strains of bacteria, since different strains have different benefits. It’s also essential these products are organic, gluten and allergen free, and that there is thorough third party testing done to ensure the quality. I also want to emphasize the importance of looking at brands that due test for heavy metals, glyphosate and other harmful toxins, as you do not want to be gettin that in your supplement.
I utilize a variety of gut supportive supplements with clients, but one that I have been particularly impressed by for both adults and kids is a 3 part synergistic gut health pack from the company called Amare. This is a mental health company that has a variety of mental health and gut-brain axis supportive products that are geared specifically towards rebalancing and optimizing the gut health for improved adrenal, hormone, immune, mood, digestive and mental health. You can read the clinical studies here to get a better idea of some of the research! I utilize this supplement known as happy juice for my kids, as well as myself and have found it particularly helpful for end of day energy, motivation, mood, and for those who are more histamine sensitive. You can grab it here with my $10 off coupon and you will get a mini text series on how to take the product.
Ultimately, gut health is layered and working 1:1 to get to the root of different symptoms and issues is paramount to see huge shifts. If you are ready for your last first appointment, check out my alignment package to connect in a 1:1 six month container that helps you work on physical, energetic, and emotional components of illness. If you have more questions, make sure to connect on a free discovery call.
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