Updated: Aug 29, 2019
Yes, I changed the old saying that goes, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” with the title of this post. This saying actually applies to all of us as the stomach and entire digestive system is actually the way to our health and emotional well-being as well as our heart! Our digestive system is one of the ways we can not only give love to man but also our family and ourselves every day.
Often called our second brain, the digestive system plays a major role in our health. This system is so smart and influential it can indicate how well our immunity is holding up, what our sleep quality is like and how our body uses and stores energy. This system is also a key influence to our emotional health going so far as to trigger feelings, instincts and memories through our relationship with foods and circumstances we find ourselves in. As a result of this complex interconnection of our digestive system to the rest of our body it is often the very place we can turn to when looking for answers to our health problems or wanting to improve our overall health.
When we are working to improve our health, a lot of people start by changing their diet or beginning an exercise program. These are great changes to make but often not what will jump start our results. It can in fact become a miserable change with discomfort in our stomach, cramps and loose stool or even constipation. I’m not saying we should not eat better and exercise more but before or in combination with those changes we need to seriously look at our gut health so it is equipped to align with the healthier choices we want to include in our life.
Your Gut’s Morse Code
Do you frequently have heartburn or indigestion?
Do you have regular solid bowel movements?
Do you frequently crave sugar or salt?
Do you have a stomach that makes constant noises even though you’re not hungry?
Does your stomach hurt or is it hard when you press on it? Does it hurt to lay on your stomach?
Do you frequently have gas, bloating or water weight?
Even when we eat a proper diet we can suffer from stomach issues as a result of our body needing help digesting foods. With so many preservatives, fake coloring and other unhealthy ingredients in our food, including our healthy foods, our bodies often do not have the proper amount of enzymes to break down foods and turn them into energy our bodies need. Add in stress, emotions, hormones and overall physical health and you have a perfect recipe for gut health problems. Some of these can be small like an occasional bout of heartburn to major like irritable bowel syndrome.
Our emotions and hormones are influenced through the condition of our gut. We can be triggered emotionally and hormonally to be drawn to certain foods certainly but the reverse can happen through our gut to our emotions and hormones too. Our gut becomes trained to respond to circumstances it feels and knows the pattern of how we typically respond. This can override our thinking and emotions to become a self-soothing strategy our body applies to protect us from what is happening around us.
We each have a gut instinct that tells us if something is safe and good or not. Our stomachs are connected to everything else in our body so it can turn triggers into messages to give us that instinctual alert something is going on. We may or may not be in tune with those messages but they are there.
These messages are our body’s alert system where action initiates from our adrenals and causes the signs we see from stress, emotional pain and so on. This can be felt through our stomachs with a tightness in our stomach, the butterfly feeling, diarrhea or constipation, heartburn and a myriad of other messages. These messages our the body’s way of saying it knows something is going on and is preparing to help us as best it can. If we continually ignore those messages, over time the messages get louder and more severe to respond to when we are in full fledged fight or flight mode. Then we have the situation of finding ourselves overproducing cortisol that turns everything into fat that we store until it is “safe” to not need it anymore.
Some other cues you may experience are when we crave sugar, salt or carbs it is often a sign our body is needing extra support during hormonal shifts. When we are under a high amount of stress or going through trauma our gut will respond by letting us know we are more hungry or the stress is causing our stomachs to not be able to process foods correctly. These messages can be confusing and if we haven’t listened to our body in a long time we may not even realize what is going on.
The Thanksgiving Digestive Study
During the week of Thanksgiving, I ran an online class for a group of women participating in a digestive health study. This group contained women between the ages of 25-65 and said they had a variety of digestive needs such as regular heartburn, IBS, and so on that they were living with or taking medication to manage. For 7 days leading up to Thanksgiving and a couple days pass the holiday the women were asked to use 3 doTERRA digestive support products we provided them. No other changes to their diet or plans for the holiday were needed.
Throughout the week we asked for their feedback on any changes they saw. On day 3 most said no changes were noticed or if they were it was very small. However, by the end of the week all, every single one of them, said there were changes. They had less heartburn, they didn’t have as much IBS, they didn’t feel discomfort after eating large meals or it went away quickly. In just 7 days each and every one of these women changed their gut from reactions to food and situations to at least having support that worked when triggers did occur.
This was just a basic small digestive workshop but with some hefty impact.
Responding to Our Gut’s Messages
Since our stomachs are so critical to our overall health, I believe we should start there when we want to improve our health. Without our stomach’s aligned to the rest of our body’s changes we will increase our challenges in achieving new health goals like losing weight or simply eating and feeling better.
When I first started addressing my gut I started with a detox. There are many options available to detox but many can leave you feeling puny, ill, hungry and miserable. The point of the detox is to take out what is not serving you so your body can perform better. It cannot do that though if you completely strip your system of both good and bad things at the same time. For that reason I recommend a very natural cleanse using the doTERRA GX Assist supplement. You take it for 14 days to gently support your body in detoxing while producing what you need to support the cleanse. It helps your body do the detoxing it already knows how to do and support that process for a much more comfortable and easier time getting this accomplished.
The next step is to follow this up with some good solid supplements and digestive support that will take your newly cleansed system and work to reform your digestion so it runs better. The products I used in the Digestive Study are incredible as well as whole foods based supplement through doTERRA’s Life Long Vitality.
Interested in more?
If your working on improving your health this year, start with what your gut is telling you. That very smart system of yours knows how to help you and with just the right support you can realize incredible results throughout your body.
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