My Unconventional Approach to Gut Health

 

I have been living with digestive issues most of my living life, it’s one of the many side effects of being a highly sensitive human, and of growing up with allergies and asthma (in the 90’s when antibiotics was the answer for everything!)

I was recently having an incredible run with my digestion. I felt the best I had felt in a very long time, and what I noticed was how much better I am at making good choices for myself and my life, when my digestion is happy and working correctly.

When my stomach is working efficiently, I eat without deliberating on what choice is less likely to upset my gut, I can simply listen and connect with my body better and know what it needs and doesn’t! I can rest better, and exercise with more vigour, and there is so much more space in my head to allow for creative and fun things to give my energy to, rather then being bogged down by the discomfort I live in when my gut health is out of balance.

When my gut is out, I find it hard to make decisions, any decision, I am indecisive and foggy, and can’t seem to feel in to my intuition! I exercise less, purely based on the discomfort of bloating, and tend to want to eat to pacify the anxiety that is usually paired with my digestive upsets. I also find it hard to feel my worth and connect to my self esteem due to the above, instead I feel a little upside down and off kilter!

I have had bouts of mysterious stomach issues in my life where I have been in bed for months, in immense pain, throwing up (often after an emotional upheaval) and have been to gut specialists, had endoscopies, colonoscopies, been tested for stomach ulcers, I have been probed, poked, and I have done all sorts of cleanses and interventions… with real symptoms, but no medical diagnosis. It’s been a long and testing journey at times.
If it wasn’t for the little warrior that lives inside of me and her exceptional skills at diverting me away from corners that are self destructive and not helpful, I would be easily unraveled by how my gut imbalances could effect me as a person in the world.

Science has been talking of the gut brain connection for years now, so it makes sense that when our gut is out, our mental health will be affected also. I could go further down the biochemical path but I will leave that to the experts… today I wanted to share my own unconventional journey to health, in all it’s glorious woo woo’ness!

It wasn’t until I stepped outside the realm of conventional medicine and got curious as to what the stomach and gut represented emotionally and energetically with a psychologist (emotional) and metaphysical (energetics) mentor that I started to heal properly!

What I have learned through psychology and spirituality – is that the stomach is the third chakra, otherwise known as our solar plexus. It governs our sense of will and power, it’s element is “fire” (we need a good fire to metabolise the food we eat) and it’s purpose is transformation – transforming food in to energy and digesting our emotional world so we can speak our truth and exercise a sense of autonomy in the world.

It is now the key modality I use to bring my digestive issues back in to balance! No amount of chowing down probiotics or vitamins (though they help) gets me there the way working through my emotional and spiritual world does… it’s no quick fix, but it’s personally been the lasting answer to better health.

It has meant going in to the dark places, those shut down nooks we are oh so good at avoiding and numbing out from… but as a result it’s been transformative, liberating, uplifting and well worth the time and energy spent learning and understanding.

It’s has helped guide what action (or non action) I need to take in order to assist my body and mind to live in a state of congruency – this is when I feel my best, when my mind, body and soul are communicating together, and working on this level is what gets me there, it’s when I feel my happiest and healthiest.

It’s always an opportunity to delve deeper inward and get to know myself more, in my becomingness, gently teasing new dimensions of myself out to play and have a say, it can feel pretty counter-intuitive at times, but the results speak for themselves.

The following helps to heal my digestive issues exponentially:

Yoga – I practice a combination of power yoga and yin.
I see my psychologist and metaphysical counsellor regularly
Journal and self inquiry practice – e.g what realities am I having trouble digesting in my life?
Working on my core strength – strengthens will and self esteem.
Taking risks – I start the things I am holding back on – surfing, work risks, new skills etc.
Speaking up in difficult situations with truth instead of avoiding them.
Taking responsibility for my words, actions and life.
I eat warming soups/root vegetables – I find them grounding and soothing.
I chill out on alcohol and coffee during these times
I have infrared saunas to detox and reduce inflammation
I spend more time naked… odd fix I know, but it is a thing – get super comfy with yourself naked, when your 5kg heavier or lighter, love it all!
I do yoga nidra (Tanis Fishman has a great one on Youtube) this helps restore my body by switching off it’s stress response.

I basically need to spend less time in my head and more time in my body. I use the mantra, “the answers are not in your head!” useful! For intellectual/heady types this will feel so untrustable at times, but when I learn to let go of control, some amazing solutions often unfold. When my gut is out, it’s a reminder I need to trust in the natural unfolding of my life, by listening to and trusting my gut. It’s committing to acting from a place of integrity – to myself and to others, and to believing in my ability to pave my own path.

“It is not the power we seek so much as the overcoming of victimisation – the ability to determine our own lives. For what greater responsibility than to allow the divine within, the freedom of it’s unique unfoldment!” ~ Anodea Judith

You may also find this overview of the Solar Plexus interesting – From the book based on Western Psychology and the Eastern Chakra System ~  “Eastern Body, Western Mind”

Physical Malfunctions of Third Chakra:

Eating disorders
Digestive disorders
Hypoglycemia
Muscle spasms
Chronic fatigue
Disorders of the stomach, pancreas, gall bladder and liver.

Basic Rights:

To act and be an individual in the world.

Symptoms When out of Balance:

Low energy
Weak will – easily manipulated
Low self esteem
Cold – emotionally and physically
Attracted to stimulants and sedatives
Driving ambition
Poor digestion
Stubbornness
Competitive
Controlling
Hyperactive
Victim mentality – blaming others

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None of this is a diagnoses. I am not a doctor and I always encourage and advise you to approach your own health in the way that best serves you. This has been an important part of my own physical healing and treatment for my health and I share it as an invitation to get curious and stay open if a conventional (or otherwise) approach is not getting you results.

I myself still use both, however I always err on the side of looking to emotions and energetics when dealing with the root cause of my health imbalances, rather then filling myself up with medication, or spending loads of money trying to get rid of symptoms. As mentioned in this article, I have ventured down many conventional paths and have seldom had great outcomes. I will always respect and use a conventional approach when necessary, and I do use vitamin therapy at the prescription of an integrative doctor to re-balance my biochemistry!

What do you think? Comments welcome below...