- Your Gut is Your Brain. Your Brain is Your Gut.
- Gut is so much more than morning poops.
- Through the Vagus Nerve, both your Brain and Gut are the whole of your LIFE… and other people’s lives.
How many of you die a little each day when you can’t poop?
I know that many of us, mostly men, depend on that morning session on the toilet much to the chagrin of the rest of our families at times.
But why is this so important? Why is it so ritualistic?
Gut health is becoming one of the most popular topics in natural healthcare today and for good reason.
Did you know…
- 80% of our nervous system is in our gut?
- 80% of our immune system is in our gut?
- 80% (or more) of the serotonin (the feel good neurotransmitter) is made in our gut?
- Many of our B vitamins (ahem methylated folate and B12) are made in our gut?
- We have collectively MORE microbial cells (about 10x) in our gut than we do total human cells in our body?
- our gut microbiome has a larger volume than our entire brain?
Did you know the gut actually begins at the mouth?
So… morning poops. Totally essential practice for a healthy gut.
But it’s so much more than just poop. That’s one function of the gut.
As I mentioned, the gut begins in the mouth. The saliva that begins secreting at the sight or smell of food is actually full of immune cells and digestive enzymes preparing your body to eat. Yes, your brain knows before the food even reaches your mouth and once food hits your mouth you are supposed to CHEW.
Ahem, men and boys, chew your food.
Maybe take it a step further and TASTE your food.
Because you tastebuds and the sensory receptors in your teeth will literally send signals to your brain which then relays those signals through your VAGUS NERVE to the rest of your digestive tract telling it what types of foods you are eating.
Yes, your body is THAT SMART….
Olivia will touch on the rest of the digestive process as it relates to the Gut/Brain Connection.
For the rest of this blog, I would like to talk about the vagus nerve.
Cranial Nerve #10 – The traveling nerve.
It travels throughout your whole abdomen beginning at the base of the cranium.
If we had to pick one nerve in the body that was THE MOST IMPORTANT. It would be the vagus nerve.
Because all of your organs exist to maintain the health of the Central Nervous System.
Your liver makes sure you blood is as pure as it can be in order to send clean blood to the brain.
Your lungs allows for oxygen to be carried to the brain.
Your GUT… well every function of the gut is there to ensure that the nutrients that makes it to the brain are in forms it can use to function optimally.
- From the mechanical breakdown of food in the mouth.
- To the breaking down of proteins in the stomach.
- To the breaking down and absorption of other nutrients in the small intestines (aided by the pancreas and gall bladder).
- To the removal of waste by the bowels
What does not being able to poop do to your brain’s ability to function?
Trust me, it’s not just physiological… not being able to poop means you might be full of $hit and that’s frustrating for all ages!
But Cranial Nerve #10…
One of the most unknown roles of this nerve is that is highlighted in a book entitled “The Polyvagal Theory” by Stephen Porges PhD.
In this book, he notes the neurophysiological foundation of emotion, attachment, communication and self-regulation as all being a product of the Vagus Nerve. That irritation of this nerve, which can happen as early as BIRTH or through suboptimal positioning in utero, can lead to alterations in how we relate to others.
Did you know that a major reason parents bring their infants to pediatric chiropractors is colic?
Do you know what the cause of colic is?
Probably not and neither do most medical providers…
In his book, Porges talks about infants specifically about their cries and vocal tonation as being a window into the state of their nervous system. Do colicky babies connect with their external environment as well as non-colicky babies?
We pride ourselves in attracting some of the most complicated cases in pediatric. Especially when it comes to gut health.
A baby that can’t poop, that spits up all the time, that cries all day… what do you think is happening to the vagus nerve? More than likely functionally and mechanically it is irritated. That type of subluxation is not good at any age.
The Vagus nerve arises from the medulla oblongata (lowest portion of the brainstem) and leaves the cranium through the jugular foramen and travels throughout the whole of the abdomen. Physiologically it controls your heart, lungs and the entire digestive tract and because of its role in the “social” aspects of life, its health becomes ESSENTIAL.
See, gut health is so much more than poop.
The vagus nerve is comprised of up to 90% of the visceral afferents in the body. In regular human talk, this one nerve is responsible for knowing 90% of what is happening in the whole of your organ system.
What we know about chiropractic is that the nervous system is at least a two way street!
Information goes from the brain to body, coordinating, controlling, orchestrating all bodily functions AND it is also goes from the body to the brain, readily informing the brain about what’s actually happening.
Why is this important?
To be truly optimally well, you need a highly functioning nervous system. We have talked extensively about this… your adjustments take care of this.
This one nerve highlights the fact that we actually need to live well in order to be well.
In a modern chiropractic practice, there is no question about whether you need to change your lifestyle.
A steady progression to optimal living is not negotiable if you want to get great results!
But with the vagus nerve and its relationship to our social ‘brain’, getting adjusted and continually eating well will literally improve your emotional resilience, connection through bonding and communication, as well as your body’s ability to self-regulate.
This ultimately why we have Olivia taking on a greater role as our nutritional therapy practitioner.
Your adjustments have started the process of getting your nervous system to function optimally.
Olivia’s job is to help know what your body needs in regards to foods!
This one blog is one of the major reasons why chiropractic care with a lifestyle component built into it is one of the answers to the major problems in healthcare.
Can’t poop – Take a laxative.
Heartburn – Tums or worse a PPi
Food Sensitivities – Don’t Eat It
Can’t taste – get over it or let’s do exploratory brain surgery
Gall stones – cut it out
Appendix problems – cut it out
Do you think subluxation affecting the vagus nerve could cause your body to react poorly in all the above situations?
I am not by any means saying that appendicitis can (or should) be treated by adjustments but do you think it would adjustments would improve the function of the appendix?
The point is the nervous system is the MASTER system in the body. It controls all functions and is essentially all-knowing so long as it is able to communicate. The vagus nerve is more powerful than we ever imagined and it will only grow more in significance as we know more scientifically.
Chiropractic care, in the end, is also non-negotiable.
We all need a healthy spine and nervous system.
For our Gut and morning poops.
For the whole health of our bodies and for the healing of our relationships through our social brain.
Chiropractic care, for the good of humanity.
- Eat ‘perfectly’ 85-90% of the time. This is very important. Consistency is king.
- Eating socially helps your vagus nerve function better too. Ditch fast food FOREVER.
- If you have not yet, schedule with Olivia and see what foods need to become priorities in your life.