Scientific America Article about the amazing role the gut plays (click here to read article)
First off, this stuff is cool. I mean rad, awesome, super spectacularly cool (at least in my geek out research world). And although the title of this post is a bit snarky, it isn't entirely, because I really DO love when western science "catches up" with stuff that is old news in TCM, it's both extremely validating and extremely frustrating all at the same time.
So get this... Here's what the article talks about western science now showing:
There are more nerves (over 100 million to be exact) in your gut than their are in your spine OR peripheral nervous system?
The gut is known as the enteric nervous system aka the 2nd brain of your body, by neurogastroenterologist and western science?
Over 70% of the immune cells in the body are aimed at the gut and the gut plays a huge role in immune relays and the interplay of our internal bodies and the external world?
Over 95% of the bodies Serotonin is found in the gut and just as serotonin imbalances in your brain can cause psychological disorders, serotonin imbalances in your gut are linked to things like IBS or "mental illness of the gut?"
Many neurochemicals that are associated with emotions are in the gut and our gut commonly responds to (and maybe also triggers) emotional responses... think butterflies in the stomach and worried sick...
But here's the killer... traditional Chinese medicine has said for literally THOUSANDS OF YEARS...
That the gut is closely linked to emotions, especially anxiety, worry and over thinking. And that it is easily effected by stress, irritability and depression (wood overwhelming earth in 5 element theory).
The gut is directly linked to mental processes.
And that the gut is largely responsible for healthy immune function (or lack there of when it is off balance).
Sigh & Hurrah! Cool right!?!
So next time you use the phrase food for thought, give it some more thought. It's pretty interesting to think about. And if you have issues with over thinking, poor digestion, anxiety, immune dysfunction and want to think about ways to work on yourself holistically... there is good news, treating the one root, very well may work on these all together at the same time!
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I'm an acupuncturist, teacher, fertility specialist, patient centered advocate, mom, activist and more! This blog is a place for me to write down the things on my mind, the things I discuss over and over, and the things I find helpful, interesting, and inspiring all in the hope that someone else out there, maybe YOU, will find some of these things to be helpful, interesting and inspiring too. I love learning, I love sharing, and I am passionate about helping others lead more balanced, fertile, and healthy lives - while trying to do the same myself. So here goes... The Blogging Life...