You know that term gut feeling? Well it actually explains a lot about the digestive system and gut health.
You see, a large percentage of your serotonin levels (which affects mood) is produced in the gut. In addition, the digestive system is responsible for the absorption of nutrients, lymphatic function, the immune system, and elimination, so when any of these functions are off, your whole system will feel out of whack.
The majority of my clients come into my office with digestive complaints, looking for ways to promote a healthier gut. It’s almost an epidemic! Much of this can be linked to our soil not containing the enzymes it once did, our stress levels being at an all time high-which can lead to lower nutrient levels, pesticide and heavy metal exposure, which can weaken the gut lining, and poor food choices such as the overconsumption of sugar, food additives, white flour products and simple carbohydrates.
It is key to identify and remove any toxins that might be upsetting the digestive system.
This could be candida, parasites, bacteria, allergies or heavy metals. These toxins can contribute to a host of problems and although you can add nutrients in to alleviate symptoms, the toxins also need to be removed. This would involve seeing a practitioner to guide you through this process.
Finally, the digestive system is also linked to a large energy center known as the Solar Plexus chakra. This energy center controls how worthy we feel, how we are seen in the world, our self-esteem, our feeling of personal power and how we are actually digesting life. This chakra can even become imbalanced from the way we are parented-if there are not enough boundaries, or there are way too many-this can throw off our ability to discern for ourselves, and to feel like we are confident to make it in the world.
There are many ways to balance and strengthen the digestive system. I just put together a few tips below to get you started.
Tips to Balance the Digestive System and the Solar Plexus Chakra.
This energy center can be strengthened, even if this issue is rooted in childhood upbringing. First off, awareness that it may be imbalanced is a huge factor in bolstering it. But other tools to help are things that make you feel strong physically and emotionally.
I often recommend creating and reading affirmations. An affirmation for this chakra might be, “ I am worthy of a beautiful life and I radiate confidence.”
This chakra is all about feeling strong-internally and externally. So whether it is working out or even just doing Tai Chi, making your body feel strong will help this chakra tremendously. Also exercise moves digestive fluids which is great for elimination.
3. Face a Fear
Do something that you are intimidated to do-maybe its public speaking or even just allowing yourself to be seen. Maybe its wearing a bold color. Maybe its speaking up on an issue in public. Part of this chakra is knowing that what you have to say matters and that you have value!
Surrounding yourself with the color of this chakra-yellow. You can eat more yellow foods such as squash, yellow pepper and turmeric or you can wear more yellow or buy yellow roses. The color actually strengthens this energy center.
This is an amazing nutrient that can actually repair the gut lining, strengthen the nervous system and keep bones strong and healthy. It is also a great source of protein and minerals! I add a scoop to smoothies or even soup. It is often not vegan but if you are vegan there is a source of collagen from Anima Mundi that is meat free.
6. Fermented Foods
Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi and kefir can boost the body’s probiotics, assist with the immune system and help to curb sugar cravings. I take 1-2 Tbsp of Turmeric Sauerkraut before dinner each night.
Probiotics are key for boosting the beneficial bacteria in the gut. I opt for a dairy free brand but I test my clients to see which is best for them. They truly are essential for the immune system as 90% of your immunity is found in your gut.
8. Fennel, Ginger, Papaya, Pineapple, Digestive Enzymes
Fennel, ginger, papaya and pineapple are helpful for digestion but I often recommend digestive enzymes for an added boost.
9. Essential Oils
Peppermint oil, ginger, lemon, and clove can all be helpful for digestion. You can mix a few drops with a carrier oil such as jojoba oil or sweet almond oil and rub it on your belly. You can also look into oil of oregano which can be taken internally or used externally but it may be best to go very slowly with this one as its is very strong.
Citrine is a wonderful crystal for digestion and for the Solar Plexus Chakra. It can ease stomach pain, ulcers, relieve heart burn, stimulate digestion and move negative energy. You can place it on your stomach or intestine area and rest for as long as you feel is needed. Do this for several days. You can also wear it in your pocket or keep it nearby and see similar effects.
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