Speaking To Your Second Brain

Your second brain is unseen, it has no shape, no colour and no name!

Despite being invisible, it’s extraordinarily powerful and without you realising, pretty much runs your life!

This invisible force is the second ‘brain’ in your gut.

You can’t touch it or see it, it is in fact, an independent nervous system that can function either with information from the brain in your head  or it can happily do its work without any input at all  from your brain!

It’s a network of nerves that are found in your oesophagus, stomach, small and large intestine.

We often talk about our ‘gut feeling’. You might recognise it as the feeling you get  when you meet someone for the first time, it’s an immediate sense of “I like them” or I don’t like them”.   If you were asked why you liked or didn’t like them,  you wouldn’t be able to say after just meeting them for a few minutes, but you ‘know’ at a gut level that the meeting just felt right.

Or you might trust your ‘gut feeling’ when you have to make a difficult decision.  One decision feels right and the other doesn’t, even though the one that doesn’t makes more logical or intellectual sense.

You probably know that sinking feeling in your gut when you open your credit card bill and it’s much bigger than you expected.

This second brain is huge. Imagine this: that there are more than a hundred million nerve cells in your small intestine which is about the same number as nerve cells in the spinal cord.

So what does this amazing brain in your gut do?   depression

It is tuned in to your every thought and feeling.  Much like a radio transmits different programmes according to which frequency it is set at, so too your gut transmits the physical effects of your thoughts and feelings.

When my mum was just a few days away from dying, I rushed home and that night discovered that the whole of my abdomen was covered in a dark red rash.  My first thought was, ‘Oh no, I can’t be ill now…’ but I quickly realised I wasn’t ill , it was just my body’s response to the grief and stress I was living through.

It’s a chemical warehouse.  95% of your serotonin is found in your gut.   What does that mean ?   As you know,  serotonin  affects your sleep,  your mood  and appetite,  as well as your memory, so it begs the question of what happens to your serotonin levels if you have a diet that is high in refined carbs and sugars which can alter the balance of the good and bad bacteria in your gut, because here is the really interesting fact; we now know that if you have healthy gut bacteria you are less likely to get anxiety and depression.  The other side of that is that in our new 21st century society where we’re given copious amounts of antibiotics and we’re eating non – nutritious food – with sugar in everything – we end up with a decidedly unhealthy gut, often with yeast/candida overgrowth, bacterial infections and even parasites.

Did you know that gut problems are one of the main reasons people go to their doctor and here’s the interesting thing; there are no obvious anatomical or chemical defects and yet the person is in pain or constipated or has diarrhoea or cramps …….

How often does your doctor talk to you about your diet or what’s going on in your life when you go to the surgery with gut problems?

This is a great article to read:

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/gut-second-brain/

 

 

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