Chronic stress which we experience or have experienced in the past releases hormones which affect the function of the body through inflammation and other processes. The brain has more connections to the gut than to any other system and the gut has many connections to the brain through the neurotransmitters made by the bugs which comprise our microbiome. The mind gut connection must be addressed bidirectionally to achieve lasting results.
The gastrointestinal (GI) system is central to many bodily functions. Digestion is a clear part of the role of the GI tract. The GI tract however, serves many roles in immunity, metabolism and particularly our mental well-being. We often hear terms such as "gut feeling" or “butterflies in my stomach” illustrating the central role of the GI tract in the mind body connection. This is referred to as the “Gut Brain Axis." At Whole Gut Health and Wellness, we address the root cause of health issues which frequently include emotional health, stress, significant past experiences, and other aspects of the mind body connection. This helps us provide a complete care to achieve lasting results.
Any negative experiences we have, especially in early life, can create a learned imprint in our brains through neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity means the brain’s ability to adapt and make new connections and networks based on life experiences. We learn from a positive experience the same way as through a negative experience. Our brain cells organize and create learned patterns. This is how we can learn to tie our shoes, read, write, and perform any action. At first it takes time, and then it is instinctive because of created patterns of brain cells. A child who did not receive enough attention may learn believe the world is a cold place. This child may go through life, using that experience as framework in interpreting personal relationships. This can create a chronic stress pattern. Chronic stress can cause many negative effects in the body including inflammation, motility changes, sleep disturbance and more. We are integrated beings where physical health, emotional well-being and mental states are interconnected. We cannot isolate symptoms from the entire person or context. The body possesses innate healing mechanisms. A state of balance in the mind and body creates and optimized atmosphere for self-healing. By utilizing techniques that engage the power of the mind, individuals can enhance their ability for self-healing.
Whole Gut Health utilizes the following mind body therapies to address the emotional root of health problems:
Meditation has many known health benefits. Our podcast (link) has a number of guided meditations for health. We create customized meditation programs for our patients.
Conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) such as Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, and reflux and indigestion often show a strong correlation with stress, anxiety, and emotional distress. Emotional and psychological factors can contribute to worsening symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. Chronic stress can be associated with flares in conditions like IBS and IBD highlighting the connection between the mind and the gastrointestinal system. At Whole Gut Health we see the impact of the mind body connection and the need for mind body therapy in many conditions from gastrointestinal, to autoimmune, to mental health and beyond. This type of therapy can break the stress inflammation cycle, promote better sleep.
The Gut Microbiome can influence emotional well-being, stress management, anxiety, depression and more. Important neurotransmitters, chemical substances which the brain uses to communicate are created in the gut by the good bugs in the microbiome. At the same time negative thought processes, chronic stress, lack of sleep, depression and anxiety can affect the bug populations in the microbiome. Mind-Body therapies can create a positive influence on the gut microbiome affecting far further than the GI tract.
Conditions that we treat with mind-body therapy along with other treatments for a full 360-degree treatment program:
- • Abdominal pain
- • Anxiety
- • Autoimmune disorders
- • Bloating
- • Constipation
- • Crohn’s Disease
- • Depression
- • Diarrhea
- • Gastritis
- • GERD
- • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- • Nausea
- • Overeating and imbalanced eating habits
- • Sleep Disturbance
- • Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)
- • Ulcerative Colitis