With growing concern over the numbers affected by mental health in the UK, there is mounting evidence that a key to physical and mental balance may lie in the gut-brain connection. MNC Member Nathalie Sansonetti from Gut Loving Life shares with us a simple explanation of why this ‘connection’ is incredibly important to your mental and general wellbeing and how to harness its power.
How it works (in a nutshell):
- The vagus nerve (VN) connects your brain to your stomach and intestines via the face, throat, inner ear, heart, lungs, gut.
- The VN transmits messages back and forth from your gut to your brain, triggering beneficial ‘rest and digest’ or negative ‘fight or flight’ responses. These will in turn either switch off or on: inflammation, digestion, nutrient absorption, blood circulation, and immunity among many other systems.
- The communication between your gut and your brain goes both ways and determines how you interpret and ‘process’ your environment. So if your brain is sending ‘stress’ messages to your gut, you’re likely to suffer from various gut issues as your digestive functions diminish.
- So gut issues such as IBS, constipation, diarrhoea and even acid reflux are strongly influenced and sometimes caused solely by perceived stress.
How to stimulate the VN and create the right ‘healing’ responses:
You can help to strengthen your vagus nerve and reduce the stress messages by practicing some of these techniques:
Ujayi breathing (daily): This deep breathing method (search videos online) is one of the quickest ways to change your stress response and positively impact your gut and mental health.
Relaxation techniques: from meditation to hugging, connecting with community and loved ones will go a long way to changing your stress response and creating a positive feedback loop with your brain.
Humming: this technique helps to switch off the ‘fight or flight response by stimulating the throat, lungs, inner ear. Practice the ‘OM’ sound when doing yoga or meditating, sing or hum your favourite song – every day.
Never underestimate the power of bathroom singing!
The vagus nerve connecting your brain to your gut plays a crucial role in transmitting information about your environment. There are many techniques you can use to switch off the stress signals picked up by your brain, hence triggering a sense of wellbeing and restoring good functions in all systems of your body, including gut functions.
MNC Member, Nathalie Sansonetti is a fully qualified Nutrition & Food Allergy Therapist and Certified Health Coach & Speaker. Over the past
Nathalie works mainly one to one online via phone or video, so contact her to discuss your gut – or other chronic health issues that are affecting your quality of life. Book a complimentary ‘Breakthrough Session’ by
Connect with her on social media! www.facebook.com/gutlovinglife/