So what does gut health have to do with Craniosacral Therapy?
In Craniosacral Therapy we work with the nervous system and I have previously written about the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems but did you know the gastro intestinal tract (GI) has its own nervous system call the Enteric Nervous system. The enteric nervous system regulates both digestive and absorptive processes and is located all along the GI tract from the mouth to the anus. The enteric nervous system connects with the central nervous system via the Vagus Nerve and other neural pathways. However it can also act independently of the Central nervous system which is why the digestive system is often referred to as the Second Brain as it has its own system of neurons and glial cells.
Have you every thought about the expressions 'gut instinct' and 'listen to your gut', having 'butterflies in your tummy'? Have you noticed that you may need to go to the loo more often when you are scared or stressed, or the opposite if you find that you are 'holding onto things"? These are all messages from your enteric nervous system and I would encourage you to listen to it.
Sometimes the lining of the gut can become 'damaged' and the protective epithelial layer develops 'holes' allowing allergens and pathogens to enter the blood stream. This is often termed leaky gut.
What else happens in the gut?
70% of your immune system is in your gut
50% of your domaine is found in the enteric nervous system. Dopamine helps nerve cells to send message to each other.
90% of the hormone serotonin is produced in the intestinal tract. Serotonin is the hormone responsible for affecting our mood, learning and memory. Without the correct balance of gut microbiome in the gastro intestinal tract, 40% less serotonin is produced. Not enough serotonin is thought to contribute to depression, so this is one of the link between food and mood.
In order for these processes to work effectively we need to look after our gut. Read on to find out what you can do to improve the functioning of you gut and enteric nervous system.