One of the most common complaints I see at my clinic is Tummy problems like Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Constipation. Let's have a brief chat about these today and how it can connect to detoxification. It has been said that our intestines are like our Second Brain. The same neurons connected to emotions firing in your brain also fire in your intestines, meaning emotions such as anger, worry, sadness, happy, joy, and love will indeed manifest in your intestines. There is a strong potential correlation between many intestinal related issues and states of emotional stress. However, what I have noticed is that the average person doesn’t ever consider that their emotions and feeling are linked to tummy problems. For example, did you know that when you stress or worry, your intestines do not function as efficiently as they should? Potentially causing cramps, constipation, and bloating. This is just one example.
There are so many claims out there about “10 steps to detox your body!” and we’ve done our best the past month to cover a lot about Detoxing. I mentioned last week that massage is beneficial in promoting the natural homeostasis of your body by aiding in Peristalsis. I also said that the best form of this is Movement – Just getting up and moving. Obviously, when you are moving, your muscles are engaged (this is how you move) and when your muscles move, it promotes peristalsis to allow your lymphatic system to function more efficiently. Not to mention that movement also enhances general blood circulation, which also allows our body systems to operate optimally (including our detox systems).
What better way to do this than with yoga? Again, let me stress, Yoga is NOT going to detox your body, what it IS going to do, is promote movement within the muscles and, hopefully your intestines. The intestines are a part of our waste management system; helping to sift through, sort out, absorb and recycle what we need, and eliminate what we don’t. Last week was about the Lymph System, now lets take a look at your intestines.
Just like the lymph system, our intestines require Peristalsis to move and do their job effectively (this is sometimes referred to as “gut motility”). In a perfect world, the intestines will do this on their own, without any supplemental interventions. Nevertheless, stress and worry and anger tend to cause our muscles to tighten, which makes the fascia around the intestines to tighten, which can inhibit this action. Massage can allow the fascia to begin to relax around the intestinal area, which can aid in helping the intestine to function more efficiently. Yoga, though, can also help increase your gut motility.
When practiced regularly, yoga can help your mind to begin to relax. When your mind starts to relax, your central nervous system can begin come to calm down. When that happens, your intestines can begin to work a little more efficiently. Now, it doesn’t stop there. Certain yoga poses can also help. The gentle twisting action causes a wringing like motion on the intestines and forward bending applies just a slight amount of pressure, which also encourages movement.
Try this short yoga sequence to get your day moving.
1) Sukhasana – Easy Pose with a Twist
2) Marichyasan III – Sage Pose with a Twist
3) Jathra Parivartansana – Belly Twist
4) Uttanasana – Standing Forward Bend
5) Parsvottanasana – Side Stretch
6) Parsvottanasana with a Twist – Side Stretch with a Twist
7) Prone Sucirandhrasana – Prone Thread the Needle