This week’s blog, Dynamics of Digestion, is the next in the Spirit or Organs series where I’ve been exploring organs on all levels of being: physical, energetic, emotional, ancestral and spiritual.
This week I’ll cover important elements of the digestive system needed to keep you nourished, empowered and emotionally regulated. You’ll learn how the physical aspects of digestion are a direct reflection of your emotional well-being and how supporting your digestive organs helps you set healthy boundaries, and release the need to control and support your immune system. Learn ways to identify the deeper issues under digestive problems and ways to bring forward deep and lasting change using the practice of Consciousness Medicine. Experience a guided meditation to restore digestive health on all levels of being.
The digestive system comprises a dozen or so different parts that work in unison to take in, digest and absorb nutrients as well as package and excrete waste. You probably don’t put much thought into your digestion, unless you suffer from things like food allergies, reflux, IBS, bloating, irregular bowel movements, heartburn or ulcerative colitis which are some of the most common digestive disorders. Digestion and sleep are key indicators of health and are something I ask all my clients about to get an idea of their general health and well-being. So give yourself a high five if you have a strong digestive system, since this is a great sign of an overall healthy constitution.
If you or someone you know experience digestive issues this will be a great guide to take a more comprehensive look at the underlying emotional, energetic, ancestral and spiritual factors that directly contribute to digestive imbalances. Especially those that seem resistant to treatments targeted at the physical symptoms. In order to bring forward lasting change, we must address the issue across the entire body matrix which I’ll cover here using the practice of consciousness medicine.
Let me start with the physical since there is a lot one can do on this level to help ease digestive discomfort. The most common issues I see in my clinical practice are food allergies, constipation, IBS and decreased ability to absorb nutrients. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying that if you eat a healthy diet, then you are getting all the nutrients you need. This is only true if your digestion is in an optimal state where you can absorb the nutrients you are eating. If the digestive system is sluggish, inflamed or the gut microbiome is out of balance then it really doesn’t matter how good your diet is, your system simply cannot break down what you eat enough to get the valuable nutrients from it.
Taking digestive enzymes is the simplest way to help you get your nutrients from food. But you want to be mindful to not let your body become dependent on them, which can result in your body shutting down its natural production of digestive enzymes. Use enzymes when you eat a large meal, food outside your usual routine or with food you know causes allergies examples of the best times to add them in. Even better, taking ones that support your system to produce your own digestive enzymes is even better as they empower your digestion to do its thing rather than doing it for you.
Enzymes should be used as a short-term solution since they really aren’t treating the underlying issue. And are best used with a nice pro-biotic that supports a healthy microbiome. To learn more about how to support your gut microbiome, listen to the first episode of this series (episode 30).
To understand a weak digestive system, we need to go all the way back to birth. When you are in the womb you take nutrients in through your umbilical cord making your mother your first source of food. When you are born, the miracle of human nature is that the mother’s breast milk contains colostrum, which seeds the lining of the digestive tract setting it up for healthy microbes to attach and build your microbiome.
Unfortunately, the is a generation or two of children who were not breastfed because mothers were told that formula was the best source of nutrients for their babies. Some mothers may have had a hard time breastfeeding for a variety of reasons and had to turn to formula feeding. The good news is that colostrum is present at the beginning of breastfeeding so if a child was breastfed for even a short time, then the chances of their digestive system being set up for success are good. But if a child was not breastfed then their digestive microbiome was never allowed to form properly. When digestion is not functioning properly, food tends to ferment rather than digest which creates toxic byproducts leading to inflammation, pain and irregular bowel movements.
Over time, this inflammation becomes chronic leading to conditions like IBS and food allergies. Inflammation is the body’s first line of defence when it experiences stress. It serves as an alarm bell that activates the immune system to come to the rescue. However, in the cases of auto-immune disorders like IBS, the inflammation response muddles the ability of the immune system to tell what is a real threat. The result is that the immune system will become activated but ends up fighting itself as it tries to regulate the inflammation cascade.
You can rebuild your digestive system, which is something I did, under the guidance of a naturopath and colonic hydrotherapist using a protocol of diet, supplements, enzymes, probiotics and colonics.
Inflammation is associated with almost every digestive disorder and can be treated using cooling nutrients like aloe vera or nutrients with anti-inflammatory properties like turmeric. It’s best to check with a naturopath or nutritional therapist on which one is best for your condition.
Be aware that over-the-counter anti-inflammatories containing steroids can be counterproductive to inflammation in the digestive system. The reason for this is twofold. Steroids can put stress on the liver, which will have a negative effect on digestion as the liver and its companion organs of the gall bladder and pancreas aid in digestion. Steroids can also cause an imbalance in the gut microbiome, which will also have a negative effect on your body’s ability to digest and absorb nutrients.
Once the inflammation cascade is activated it can take on a life of its own, causing excess mucous to be produced to try to cool down and heal the inflamed tissue. Mucous isn’t just found in the nose, and much like too much mucus on the nose, it can cause congestion in the body causing stagnation that leads to illness. Reducing the intake of mucous-producing foods like dairy, sugar and processed are great ways of reducing mucous and calming inflammation. In 1924 a man named Dr. Arnold Ehret wrote a book called the Mucusless Diet Healing System where he demonstrated the power of fasting to dissolve stored mucous.
He wrote, “As soon as you fast–decrease the quantity of your food–or eat natural, cleansing mucusless foods, (fruits and starchless vegetables), the body is afforded an opportunity to loosen and eliminate mucus, which is in fact the healing process.”
If you’ve not fasted before you should only do so under the guidance of a natural health practitioner. I personally use fasting, with great positive effects, if I get a viral or bacterial infection that produces excess mucous. Perhaps this is where the old wives’ tale saying “feed a cold, starve a fever” came from.
Eating a healthy whole food and preferably plant-based diet is the best way to maintain a healthy digestive system free of excess mucous, inflammation or infection. Everything in moderation, including moderation is my mantra so you don’t have to cut out all the fun food, as one of my clients calls it, but taking them in small doses is the best policy. I’ve adopted a 3-day rule I use with my clients and myself which is to not eat unhealthy, sugary, processed foods for more than 3 days. And when this happens then eat healthy for 3 days following the moderation transgression to help keep your body in balance.
The view behind this is that it can take up to 3 days for the inflammatory effect of foods to reach a level where it causes dysregulation, pain or auto-immune flare-ups. If you can bring in 3 days of clean and healthy eating then you are not allowing the inflammation cascade to take hold and wreak havoc on your system. This also allows for all foods to be on the table for consumption, since if we label foods as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ then guess which ones we will most desire. The ones we can’t have. If you’re allowed to eat what you want and know that you have to pay to play using the 3-day rule, then your eating habits will change for the better. I’ve seen this time and time again in my clinic with clients.
If a client has digestive issues and I want to uncover the emotional, energetic and ancestral components to the condition, I will also ask these questions:
How are you with setting boundaries?
Do you need to be in control to feel safe?
Do you tend to give your power away to people or situations?
Did you feel disempowered often as a child?
Do you keep intense emotions to yourself?
Do you feel like a sponge for other people’s emotions?
Do you have a strained relationship with your mother, as a child and now?
What happens for you when I ask these?
If you answered yes to three or more then this is an indication your digestive issues go far deeper than just the physical body. And here’s why.
The solar plexus chakra is located in the abdomen where the majority of the digestive system resides. This is the chakra that plays a part in self-empowerment, boundaries, will, and what you’re meant to do in life and is also where we take in emotions from others.
The solar plexus is coming online between the ages of 8 to 12 and is revisited again in the age ranges of 30 – 34 and 60 – 64. When we revisit a chakra in our lives the characteristics it embodies will be ones we tend to face in our personal growth journey. If something significant or traumatic happens during the age of formation, then you will be called to address these childhood experiences for healing.
If there is early damage to the solar plexus then one will frequently feel disempowered or give their power away easily. Setting boundaries with self and others will be a challenge and you will tend to put others before yourself, usually at a cost to yourself. There will be a lack of clarity on what your purpose in life is, personally and professionally.
If the solar plexus is damaged, then you will take negative energy in from others and the world through that wound, which will build up causing pressure on your entire body matrix. Since our solar plexus is where the umbilical cord connects, your relationship with your mother becomes important in healing this chakra. Until these elements are healing, digestive issues can never be fully resolved.
So now let me take you on a guided meditation to bring healing to any wounds in the digestive system so that you can access greater self-empowerment, set strong healthy boundaries, clear any energetic residue from energies that weren’t yours to begin with and release ancestral entanglements with your maternal line to active a healthy connection with your mother.
- Take a moment to settle into a comfortable position.
- Let your breathing happen naturally as you begin the relax.
- Let go of any excess thinking letting all thoughts float out of your mind like balloons on the wind.
- Place a hand on your heart as you bring awareness to your body, mind and spirit to activate the healing potential for what you are about to receive.
- If you have an intention for this meditation, bring it into your heart. To bring healing to a digestive system issue. To experience greater self-empowerment no matter what life throws at you. To be able to set firm respectful boundaries that prioritise you first. To clear our old emotions and free yourself from the past. To release the need to control and go with the flow of universal support. Or simply remain open to what the wisdom and grace of the divine wish for you in this moment.
- Take a deep breath into your belly. Feel the movement of your belly as you continue to breathe deeply filling your belly with life-force energy.
- With each breath feel the energy of your solar plexus, bright yellow in colour, become brighter and brighter like you are fanning the embers into flames.
- Notice what happens when you do this. Get a sense of your solar plexus chakra and the digestive organs it holds. With each breath allow any constriction, imbalance or weakness to be healed as you welcome in the pure frequency of the solar plexus.
- Allow this pure healing frequency to wash over any inflamed tissue to cool, calm and restore it to full health. See this yellow light flood your gut microbiome amplifying the cultures that support health and well-being while letting any organism go that doesn’t serve your greatest good.
- Sense your gut heal from physical dysregulation or emotional distress as you release any stored emotion or energy from long ago and far away. As it releases access the energy of gratitude so that you can let go fully of the past and make room for a new, bright, life-filled future.
- Keep your breath moving as this will help you release.
- Sense your auric layer around you – in front, behind, right, left, above and below. This is your natural boundary. That holds the essence of the true you.
- Strengthen and heal your auric layer with the golden yellow energy of the solar plexus. Allow it to heal any wounds, breaks or weak points as you now begin to feel your natural boundary become fortified with self-empowerment and discernment. So that you may choose people and situations from now on that support, elevate and respect your boundaries.
- Feel the safety this brings as you continue to fill your auric layer with empowered golden light. This belongs to you and no one else. If you give it away, it will come back to you like a magnet, finding its way home.
- Feel the internal flow of this energy like a figure 8 centred in your belly. Allow the circulation to flow with infinity. As the flow moves sense into your essence of power, and own it. Really own it. After all, it belongs solely to you. And it will keep flowing in this empowered state whether you are conscious of it or not.
- Take a moment now to picture your parents before you are you take a bow in this empowered state to acknowledge your place in the family soul. Here, now, always.
- Connect to the higher self of your mother, who is free of story and personality. Simply the pure frequency of mother energy that birthed you. Feel gratitude from your gut for the life you received from her.
- Promise yourself to make the most of this life, as it is a precious gift.
- Release old hurt and betrayals of the past. Forgive others so that you may find peace. Well done.
- Come back to your breath, your auric layer and your solar plexus energy centre and sense safety, empowerment, will, purpose and a clear boundary between you and the world.
- Breathe here to get a full sense so that you may come back here whenever you need. Know that this is inside you always and available at will.
- Begin to bring your awareness back to this present moment, as you begin to make gentle movements and take this empowered state forward into your life.
Join me for the next Consciousness Medicine Healing Journey for Self-Empowerment that begins November 23, 2023. More details here:
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