When it comes to physical symptoms, I’ve noticed many of us can tend to have a vulnerable spot – a place where symptoms often manifest, while other systems of the body seem to stay relatively unfazed.
Have you noticed that?
For many of us, it’s the gut.
When I say gut, I’m pointing to the organs of digestion, assimilation, and elimination.
I can postulate why this area in particular is such a sensitive one for many of us, an area so rich in metaphor.
Depending on the lens you’re looking through, you’ll find some kind of mix of variables like food choices, stress, chakra imbalance, ignoring intuition, congested pathways of elimination, and more…
Today I’m sharing four practices to get you started for reduced symptoms and better digestion.
1. Belly breathing:
Don’t you think it’s curious that you can eat the exact same food but digest it differently from one day to the next? This often points to the state in which we eat. Slow, belly breathing helps shift the body into the optimal state for better digestion. Many people are focusing on the quality of their food but forget the quality of the breath.
2. Abdominal Massage:
The past two years, I’ve been traveling to New Mexico to study with the curanderas/os of the SouthWest and Central and South America. One of the therapies I’ve just loved is abdominal massage, often used as a healing therapy for “empacho” – a blockage in the digestive system. You can practice abdominal massage with circular, clockwise motions from your navel and circling outward and then back in toward the center a few times. I like to self-massage in the morning with a little oil on my belly.
3. Whole Foods:
What you eat is absolutely a workable and worthwhile place for improved digestion. As an experiment, you might be curious what it would be like to integrate more and more whole foods into your diet and see how your digestion responds. Think plantain and sweet potato and nice starchy foods, leafy greens to keep things moving along, and dietary fat to keep your intestines from getting too dry. There are plenty of dietary interventions to support your digestion.
4. Tending to core life stressors:
I’ve always thought of the gut as a “truth teller” of sorts, expressing not only difficulty we have digesting certain foods, but also difficulty digesting and assimilation certain aspects of life. What I’ve learned in my work in eating psychology as well as my training in parts work (IFS) is that symptoms can point to stressors and life that need more space for processing and how to offer relief so symptoms can reduce.
5. Finding flow states: (bonus)
Any state that puts you “in the zone,” feeling flow, being at peak natural state, I have a strong feeling helps turn on metabolic power so we’re “cooking with all burners,” as my partner likes to say. Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature, nourishing and stimulating conversation, or some type of self-expression regularly and see what I mean.
I hope you’ve found this helpful.
Until next time..
If you likes this post, you might also like: 8 Ayurvedic tips for healthy digestion