How to Improve Your Second Brain: Your Gut
Your stomach is a hub of intelligence, holding the equivalence to a small pet’s brain. It’s host to 200 million neurons and hundreds of billions of bacteria that influence our personalities.
Your brain and stomach are in constant conversation. They both use the same neurotransmitters, it’s the language that nerve cells speak.
In both IBS and IBD, the mind and body are connected; however, it’s unclear which symptom started first. Did the mind affect the body or did the body affect the mind? Either way, we know they are intertwined and that we have to heal the ‘whole’ person in order to improve the condition of any ailment.
HOW YOUR DIGESTION AFFECTS YOUR WHOLE BODY
All health starts in the gut! Our digestive tract contains most of our immune system and 90% of our serotonin (the feel good chemical). These are just some of the many reasons why maintaining a healthy digestive tract is so important for the health of our entire body. Here are a few tips to help keep your body – and your digestion – running smoothly:
CHEW YOUR FOOD
Digestion starts in the mouth. The act of chewing not only breaks down our food into smaller particles to swallow, but it secretes saliva, coating the food with enzymes that begin to digest fats and starches right in your mouth.
EAT YOUR MEALS STRESS-FREE
The state of mind that you are in when eating will affect your digestion. Eat meals at the table with loved ones. Turn off the TV. Put away your phone.
DECREASE DRINKS AT MEAL TIME
Drinking too much with meals will decrease the amount of stomach acid which is needed for proper breakdown of food and nutrients. In fact, drinking too much during a meal will actually shut down the digestive process. Take small sips of water at room temperature if thirsty.
How to Tune the Circadian Rhythms in Your Body
Never before have we lived so out of sync with the rhythms of nature. Can the resulting damage to our health be reversed? The new science of circadian medicine shows great promise in doing just that.
Until the industrial revolution, humans lived in accordance with the natural cycles of light and dark, or circadian rhythms. That all changed with the advent of electricity and artificial light. Today, our modern lifestyles and especially our exposure to blue light from electronic devices, have been making a major impact on our internal biological clocks. Research in an emerging field called circadian medicine is finding that there are ways to reset our circadian systems and bring us back into balance.
Dr. John Douillard is a renowned ayurvedic practitioner who’s been following the developments in the field and incorporating what he calls “circadian wisdom” in his practice for years.
“So the research is telling us that there are biological clocks in pretty much every cell of our body,” Douillard said. “But those biological clocks have to stay, like every clock, you have to set the clock to make sure it’s right and telling the right time. So the biological clocks are in sync with the circadian rhythms which are the light/dark cycles, both daytime, and the seasonal light/dark cycles.”