A Tale of Two Brains
May 27, 2017 02:09PM
We all have neurons in our brain, but did you know we also have neurons in our gut? These special nerve cells form our two nervous systems: the central nervous system composed of the brain and spinal cord, and the enteric nervous system, or gut, which is the intrinsic nervous system of our gastrointestinal tract. While Eastern thought has long understood underlying systems for health, Western research is beginning to recognize the gut as a “second brain” that “talks” back and forth with the brain, and shares information with profound results.
Have you ever “gone with your gut” when facing a decision? Those signals we receive are likely coming from our “second” brain. Have you ever experienced the visceral sensation of butterflies in your stomach when you’re nervous, or had an upset stomach when you were very angry or stressed? To help calm emotions, our body produces serotonin—a neurotransmitter found in the brain that is linked to mood. Yet our gut produces even more serotonin than the brain. Both “brains” work together to address the emotions and the physical response to emotion.
The flipside is also true. Sometimes the problem in the gut (leaky gut, gluten insensitivity/intolerance, GAPS, etc.), can trigger big shifts in emotional well-being. Anxiety, depression, a disruption of normal hormone activities (affecting the reproductive system, sleep patterns and weight gain/loss), lack of focus (ADD/ADHD) are only a few of the mental/emotional responses to out of balance gut flora. However, because our two brains exchange information, a therapy designed to help the body may also help the mind and emotional well-being.
Therapies designed to guide both systems back to balance are readily available and easy to research. In the end, you might “ask your gut what’s right for you.”
Location: Kaminski Wellness, 616 Bloomfield Ave., Ste 3C, West Caldwell. Holistic Family Care, including Network Spinal Analysis (NSA), Somato-Respiratory Integration (SRI , Reorganizational Healing (ROH) & Nutrition Counseling. 973-228-6624. KaminskiWellness.com.