Gut Sense by Caroline Shaw, Colonic Hydrotherapist

Our identity tends to be locked in our head, where our main sense organs are located; sight, smell, hearing, taste and the command centre for the nervous system – our brain. The brain controls, thought, memory, emotion, touch, motor skills, vision, breathing, temperature, hunger and every process that regulates our body.

Is it any wonder that we often feel like we are walking heads? The rest of our body servile to the needs and demands of this ‘top heavy’ centre of attention?

It’s almost as though we have a disconnected relationship with the rest of our body, formed by our perceptions and experiences. As a child I remember; counting the moles on my legs and wondering, if I joined the dots, what shape might emerge? My mother saying that my arms were too long when she knitted me a jumper. Looking at my face in the mirror and studying the scar left after I had fallen downstairs.

Like most people, my connection with the rest of my body was one of its external, physical appearance. What was going on under my skin was a complete mystery.

Usually, it is only when we suffer injury or feel pain that a channel of communication is opened with that part of our body. But then, more often than not, it is a negative one;

Annoyance that it has let us down in some way

Fear that we don’t know what’s going on

Frustration that we can’t get better

Resignation that there is nothing we can do

Another way of perceiving our body is to understand that each and every part of us, internal and external has a massive and significant role to play in our total universe. Our feet, for instance, carry us every day, balance our weight and give us a sense of connection to the ground. This is truly remarkable and deserving of much praise, love and attention!

If you were to study T’ai Chi, for instance, one of the first principles you would learn would be to drop your centre of attention from your head into your Tan T’ien. Your Tan T’ien is your centre of gravity. It is located in your abdomen and is the source of your vital energy.

You would learn to move from that point, not your head. You would feel, from that point, how your weight distribution flowed through your legs into your feet and down into the ground. You would feel and become aware of tension in your feet, that inhibited the flow of that energy, making you feel disconnected and ungrounded. You would feel how when you softened and relaxed, your feet opened and you were ‘rooted’.

It is possible to shift your ‘point of view’ of reality from your head to any part of your body. All it takes is a little time and imagination. It is then, only a small step to opening up a dialogue with your internal organs. Ask your heart how it is, what it needs, listen. When we do this, we begin to understand that our brain, rather than being the director of communication, is the receptor, receiving information from every part of us and trying to make sense of it.

We now know that our long tube of gut which stretches from the esophagus to the anus is embedded with sheaths of neurons, some 100 million neurons, more than in either our spinal cord or peripheral nervous system. This mass of neurons forms the enteric nervous system and helps us to ’feel’ the inner world of our gut. Because this enteric nervous system relies on the same type of neurons and neurotransmitters that are found in the central nervous system, some medical experts call it our ‘second brain’.

Interestingly, the primary visceral nerve, the vagus, carries most of its information from the gut to the brain and not the other way round. Every day we pick up messages for our gut, that can include not only physical sensations like indigestion but also emotional feelings. Our gut can transmit to us a sense of well-being and happiness as well as stress, anxiety and even depression. Understandably, problems in our gastrointestinal tract, GI, can make us anxious and depressed but also anxiety and depression can make GI problems worse.

This ‘conversation’ between the brain and digestive system is pivotal in our understanding of health and disease. We now know that the gut and brain not only communicate through the nervous system, but also through hormones and the immune system. Microorganisms in the gut help regulate the body’s immune response.

Medical researchers exploring symptoms such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, autism, anxiety, depression and Multiple Sclerosis are also looking at what is happening in the person’s gut. They are also examining how problems such as ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, and Crohn’s disease, for example, can affect the brain.

One of my first major body awakenings occurred when I had a colonic. Before that treatment the default for my digestive system was constant discomfort. It was so constant it was normal. Gas, indigestion, constipation, bloating, were my companions. I didn’t question it because it seemed like it had always been there. After my colonic, I felt peace in my digestive system. The turbulence dissipated. This was so remarkable it was almost miraculous. Then I realised if I ate certain foods, my stomach and gut might protest, if I ate other foods, it would be quite content. I began to learn what my gut wanted me to eat. All I needed to do was listen.

But listening to my gut, gave me information beyond my dietary needs. I began to hear what made it stressed, and how that stress also contributed to my symptoms. I began to hear just how stressed I was.

As I listened to my gut, I made changes to my diet, but also significant changes to my life and lifestyle, which included introducing a daily practice of T’ai Chi and meditation. I moved my centre of gravity from my head to my Tan T’ien.

My body then ceased to become the fearful, separate ‘other’. I realised how my thoughts and patterns of behaviour were totally interconnected. I realised how my body was trying to do its very best for me, even under the most adverse conditions! It just needed a bit of help.

We are coming to the end of Spring and entering Summer. The extra warmth these months bring is conducive to a healthier diet. Now is an excellent time to embark on a de-tox, however short and allow your body and mind to reap the benefits! Choose good quality, alkaline foods, and refresh your gut with a colonic.

From June 1st we are having to increase our prices for a Colon Hydrotherapy treatment, initial and follow-up, to £75.00. The cost of implants and infusions will stay the same. Lesley and I look forward to your next visit!

Here is a reminder of some Alkaline Foods;

Vegetables                

Asparagus  Artichokes  Cabbage  Lettuce  Onion  Cauliflower  Radish  Swede  Lambs Lettuce Peas  Courgette  Red Cabbage  Leeks  Watercress  Spinach  Turnip  Chives  Carrot Green Beans  Beetroot  Garlic   Celery  Grasses (wheat, barley etc)  Cucumber  Broccoli  Kale Brussel Sprouts

Fats and Oils

Flax  Hemp  Avocado  Olive  Evening Primrose   Borage

Grains

Almonds  Pumpkin  Sunflower

Fruit

Most Fruits:  Lemon  Lime  Avocado  Tomato  Grapefruit  Watermelon  Rhubarb

Drinks

Green Drinks’  Veg Juice  Pure water   Lemon water  Lime water  Herbal Tea  Veg Broth Soy Milk  Almond Milk

Seeds, Nuts and Grains

Almonds  Pumpkin seeds  Sunflower seeds  Sesame seeds  Flax  seeds  Buckwheat  Spelt  Lentils  Cumin Seeds. Sprouted Seeds

Others

Raw Honey  Bee Pollen  Bragg Aminos  Humous  Tahini

Caroline Shaw, Colonic Hydrotherapist and Naturopath

COVID Lockdown 2 – Clinic remains open for some practitioners/studio closed

Update: 5th November 2020. We are now only able open for certain therapies as detailed within the Government Guidelines.

These are:

Acupuncture, Cranio-Sacral Therapy, Colonic Hydrotherapy, Foot Care and Osteopathy.

Our Studio and Reception will be closed until 2nd December 2020. Appointments can be made or changed online or via email info@chhc.co.uk.

We look forward to welcoming everyone back as soon as possible.
Wishing you all well and stay safe.

Free 40 minute osteopathic baby checks!

Our osteopaths, Louise Megan Owen  and Stuart Wilson, are now offering a FREE 40 minute baby check. This will involve a full case history, an osteopathic assessment and recommendation as to whether a further treatment can help.
Cranial osteopathy is a gentle, effective technique which can be used to treat babies and young children. The treatment can gentle and quickly unwind tissue tensions and calm stressed nerves caused by pregnancy and birth. Many parents bring babies that are struggling with feeding, sleeping and digestive problems.Book online or 01242 584140.
 baby osteopathy

Qi Gong – Starts November 5th – Harmonising Body and Mind

We are very excited to announce that a new Qi Gong class will be starting on Tuesday 5th November at 12-1pm.

The first class is a free taster! Book by calling the centre on 01242 584140. Subsequent classes are £7 when booked as as course of 6 or £8 for a drop in.

Classical Chinese exercises which flow through a variety of graceful, strengthening postures. Suitable for all ages and abilities.qigong