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Mind Body Connection

The Mind Gut Connection

We have so many phrases in the English language that talk about the connection between the mind, our emotions and our gut – such as “gut feeling”, “gut wrenching”, “butterflies in the stomach” etc There is a good reason for this. Our brain/mind and our emotional reactions are hugely linked to the gut. We even classify a separate “brain” in this part of the body, known as the enteric nervous system. The enteric nervous system is a network of neurons that govern our digestive function. However, when you realise that this area is also rich in neurotransmitters, many of which are also found in the brain (such as serotonin) then it’s no wonder that the brain in the gut does much more than simply handle digestion.

Furthermore, this area is connected to our solar plexus chakra, the chakra that holds our personal power and momentum to move forward in life and take action to fulfil our wishes and desires.

Triggers from the Brain

Physiologically our brain triggers many important reactions in the gut, such as stimulating the release of gastric juices for digestion. Imagine you are hungry and you see an advert for a juicy (…. you fill in the blank), and your mouth starts watering. This is due to the signal from the brain that kicks your digestive system into action long before you even eat a mouthful.

But what about all those emotions that trigger reactions in the gut? We all know them well. Feeling nervous, anxious, fearful or excited, all create corresponding reactions in the intestines. Stress here is the overall factor in many of the emotions – and from my point of view can be linked to feelings of disempowerment, which is very much associated with the solar plexus. When a person is severely stressed, there can be huge consequences in their gastrointestinal health, not least because being super stressed actually shuts down digestion. But other factors are important too with stress, such as the effects it has on inflammation in the gut, gut motility (constipation and diarrhoea are hugely linked to stress), how it effects the delicate lining of the intestines and the bacterial balance that plays a huge role in health as we are discovering more and more.

Given the levels of stress many people face on a daily basis, is it any wonder that so many people experience chronic stomach problems, such as IBS? In all honestly, I’m often surprised when I meet someone who doesn’t have any gut health issues – it’s pretty rare. Ok, people might think they don’t, but dig a little deeper and usually you pick up on symptoms related to gastric health – it’s just that people become so accustomed to them that they no longer even recognise that the symptoms aren’t normal.

Triggers from the Gut

But what about the other way round? The connection goes both ways, and a person’s stomach or intestinal distress can also be the cause of anxiety, stress and depression. Having stomach pain on a daily basis is enough to make anyone feel pretty anxious – so the whole thing can become a bit of a chicken or egg situation.

However, there are some very real factors that can occur in the gut that create imbalance in the brain. One big one to consider is the presence of food intolerances. Another is the presence of pathogenic micro-organisms that can take up residence in gut. The imbalance created in the gut can have a direct impact on the neurotransmitter activity in the brain as well as other parts of the body.

Functional GI Disorders

These disorders of the brain-gut have been classed as “Functional GI Disorders”. They are some of the most commonly seen disorders in the general population, and account for around 40% of the GI problems seen by doctors and therapists. Basically the term is used to describe a group of disorders classified by their symptoms, such as motility disturbance, hypersensitivity in the gut, altered gut microflora, altered immunity (remember, 60-70 percent of our immune system is in our gut) and altered central nervous system activity. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) comes under this classification.

The problem in the past has been that determining symptoms as brain-gut related, they have in the past been dismissed as psychosomatic. Whilst from an energetic point of view, of course this can be seen as true – a weakened sense of personal power, will and momentum that effects the solar plexus will lead to problems in this area. And even from a more mainstream point of view, psychological factors are well-known to influence gut health. But the dismissal of these factors as psychosomatic (often code for “all in your head”) can be pretty detrimental, given that the symptoms are very real. Yes, psychological factors influence the condition, but this is not the same as something being “in your head”. Plus, can anyone tell me a disease where the psychological status of someone does not affect the physical expression of a condition? Stress impacts pretty much any symptom or disease you can think of. Furthermore, research shows that people with functional GI disorders perceive pain more acutely than other people, because their brains have trouble regulating pain signals from the intestines. So it is definitely not all in the head.

Conclusions

Like all chronic conditions, it is so much more helpful to approach these symptoms and disorders in a holistic way – taking into account the psychological, energetic and also physiological factors. As a naturopathic nutritionist, I always aim to work in a holistic way, so it comes naturally to me to address the issues together, but I’m surprised at the number of people with gut health issues who don’t seem to make the connection between what is happening in their emotional/mental life and what is happening in their gut. Hopefully by talking more about the physical connections, people will feel they are more able to seek help for long term gut health issues without being labelled as having a psychosomatic problem.

Anyway, hope that all makes sense!

Have a good week

Olivia

http://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/the-gut-brain-connection

https://www.iffgd.org/functional-gi-disorders.html

Categories
Foods and Vibration Mind Body Connection

Solfeggio Frequencies & Health

I discovered the Solfeggio frequencies a number of years ago when I needed some help with motivating myself with meditation! At the same time I was reading up on the chakra system and how this links to our physical health.

History

The Solfeggio scale originated centuries ago, coming from sound frequencies in Gregorian chants. They have since been modernized by Dr Joseph Puleo, a naturopathic physician and leading American herbalists, who began researching them in the 1970’s. Basically he translated the sounds into ascending electro-magnetic frequencies using various complex mathematical equations (something to do with Pythagoras apparently). These then became the Solfeggio scale. They are used to put together pieces of music which resonates at different Hertz.

Healing effects

Why is this so important in terms of healing? Well sound is vibrational, so will affect the energetic field. Humans are also vibration and energy, so the power of the Solfeggio frequencies comes from how they affect us on a vibrational, energetic level.

The exact frequencies are thought to correspond to certain emotional blockages and negative thought patterns, many of which may be subconscious. They are also used to balance chakras (energy centres in the body), so I’ve also put down which chakra they correspond to.

396 Hz – helps with turning grief into joy and letting go of fear and guilt liberating guilt & fear – Base Chakra

417 Hz – for cleansing traumatic experiences from the past and facilitating change – Sacral Chakra

528 Hz – for transformation and miracles (DNA repair) – Solar Plexus Chakra

639 Hz – to support with reconnecting and finding balance, harmonising relationships – Heart Chakra

741 Hz – for increasing self-expression – Throat Chakra

852 Hz – to support spiritual awakening and intuition – Third Eye Chakra

Additional research conducted by Dr. Leonard Horowitz claims to have revealed three more Solfeggio frequencies:

963 Hz – this tone awakens any system to its original, perfect state and reconnects you with spirit – The Crown Chakra

174 Hz – the lowest of the tones is believed to be a natural anaesthetic

285 Hz – helps return tissue into its original form

You can find plenty of meditations on YouTube that use the Solfeggio Frequencies, some of which use all of them. Power Thoughts Meditation Club is a good YouTube channel. They are often very long, so don’t feel you need to sit there for an hour! Just do 10 minutes and see how it feels. It’s best to listen with headphones and make sure you are in a comfortable position.

I’m aware that many people will only be interested in them in terms of making it easier to meditate, as they are often pleasant to listen to. But for those of you who are interested in the more spiritual aspects then they really are fascinating as after a while you can actually feel how the different frequencies affect your chakras. You may feel tingling, heat, rushes of energy, feelings of expansion and many others – each unique to that individual. Don’t worry if you don’t feel any physical sensations, it doesn’t mean it’s not having an effect. I don’t know how many people actually feel their chakras, it’s not something that comes up in daily conversation! But it can help give you a focus to your meditation when you know you want to work on a specific area. Or if you simply want to switch off to some beautiful sounds for 10 minutes, then that is just as meaningful!

For those of you really interested in meditation, then I’d also recommend Dr Joe Dispenza – I use his meditations within my own practice and often advocate their use with clients. I talk about it a little more here. They aren’t for everyone, but his directed and powerful information can be pretty life-changing.

Happy Relaxing