The small, still voice within
In the last blog post, I mentioned “gut feelings” Let’s continue this topic and note that there is evidence that the small, still voice is linked to the hormonal messages sent from our gut. Some physiological findings help us understand how bowel-disorder treatments such as antidepressants and mind-body therapies can improve gut health. It is not uncommon to be prescribed antidepressants by a gastro-enterologist to treat gut health. Also, patients who take probiotics show twice as much of an improvement in mood compared to the placebo. With an improvement in the gut, comes an improvement of well being. If our belly is not functional, or is compromised what is happening to our “gut feelings”? We can approach healing our gut with movement as well, so it will digest and eliminate better, and you will have more awareness.
Tension in the gut is fairly common, so it makes sense that relaxation techniques can help. So can gentle, self-massage. Place your hands softly on your belly. Note your breathing, no changes, no striving. Allow your hands to follow the up and down motion you feel as you breathe. Paint a color on your belly, going from inner to outer, center to edge. Notice the parameters: the ribs, the diaphragm, the pubic bone, hip bones. Paint the color so that you do not miss a spot. Rest your hands, and repeat. You will notice your belly soften. Enjoy the feelings and sensations while you pause.
You were inducing a relaxation response with your hands, congratulations! With a relaxed belly, you now are more aware of your messages…so listen carefully, and respond with kindness and support. Perhaps you now feel more back pain, gently use slow movement to help alleviate that, move in a way that your body directs, not something your think you should be able to do. Allow an impulse to move arise. You may find you have to go to the bathroom…do not delay! How does it feel to walk with a softer belly? Be kind to yourself today!
If you get a message from your body, heed it, it will only get louder! Our bodies have an innate capacity to heal itself, and also to alert us to any untoward environmental stress. Long ago I was told “even an amoeba can avoid a harmful substance!” We have so much more capacity for interpreting messages!