“The integrity of the life depends on the balanced functioning of the twelve “officials” or organ systems.” – Lonny S. Jarrett
You may think of digestion simply as breaking down the food you consume to pass nutrients into your body for energy and growth. However, there are many connections between the gut and the brain, forming a unique axis for activity and energetic potential. The gut-brain axis is the connection between your neurological pathways in your brain that travel throughout your body to your gastrointestinal tract (GIT). This insight has help formed many hypotheses about how our emotions and mental state are connected to our gut health and ultimately our digestive patterns.
This may be new a new hypothesis for western medicine, however, Chinese medicine and Natural Medicines have known this for many millennia and so many patients were treated by the way of their emotional and mental state as treatment for their digestive health.
Two intricate and sensitive systems regulate the digestive system, the hormonal (endocrine) and the nervous system. Thought, sight, smell and touch all trigger these systems, before we consume our first mouthful of food. Both of these systems work together to keep the digestive state in a homeostatic balance. When one or the other is compromised, over worked or dysfunctional, digestive health will thus follow showing signs and symptoms many people describe such as constipation, diarrhoea, bloating, cramping, fluid retention, headaches, lower back pain, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, reflux, early satiety, the list can go on.
The Endocrine system regulates the production and release of hormones from the following organs and glands; pancreas, adrenal glands, hypothalamus, pituitary gland (anterior & posterior), stomach, kidney, thymus gland, ovaries, testes, placenta (pregnancy), thyroid gland, & parathyroid gland. All of which secrete hormones which are released upon specific stimulation, such as stress, food consumption, elevated heart rate, increased or decreased blood glucose, increased or decreased oxygen supply, and the list goes on.
Disruptions to hormonal health can stem from many internal and external factors such as diet, stress, emotional wellbeing, chemical exposure, pharmaceutical medications, and general homeostatic regulation.
As an example, stress is often associated with dysfunctions of the GIT. This is because stress hormones act on the digestive system by slowing down the motility and digestion of food, whether the food is in your stomach, small intestine, large intestine or colon, stress can prevent movement which often results in symptoms such as distension, cramping, pain, constipation and fluid retention. However, stress is only one example of how hormonal and nervous system dysfunctions can cause digestive symptoms.
At Diamond Creek Natural medicine centre, our practitioners are extremely knowledgeable in the field of digestion, hormonal and neurological functionality and how each system functions together. In your consultation with our Naturopath, Chinese Medicine Doctor & Acupuncturist, Chiropractor and Shiatsu practitioners, all areas of the body are consider to effectively treat digestive symptomatology to restore your internal homeostatic balance.
TCM, Acupuncture and digestive health
Chinese Medicine recognised millennia ago that the digestive system was intertwined with our emotional and mental functionality, so much so, that a whole school of thought “Earth School” was born. The Earth refers to the Spleen and Stomach organ system. Li Dong-Yuan, the founder, recognised how the functioning of the ‘Spleen and Stomach’ would reflect on the rest of the body, and in order to maintain strong digestive health, the manner in which one conducted themselves needed to be addressed. He developed ‘Yang Sheng’ guidelines (Ways of Living Well), and Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicines formulations to support his findings, that are still referred to in modern practice.
The most current western research shows Acupuncture has a potential for positive effect on IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), constipation and obesity. And has a positive effect on postoperative nausea and vomiting. Please refer to the Acupuncture Evidence Project for further information
Traditionally, Chinese Medicine has been used to assist a wide variety of digestive symptoms, but the national law requires to state efficiency and strong evidence must be demonstrated. Current western research is still to be conducted.
Chinese Medicine has traditionally been used to assist; Bloating, distention, discomfort, pain, diarrhoea, constipation, flatulance, food intolerances, increase or decrease of appetite, reflux, burning, weight changes and poor metabolism.
Clancy has assisted her clients to achieve balanced digestive health by working with patients on a regular basis (weekly or fortnightly) with the use of customised Wellness Plans that include Acupuncture, Detoxification Programs, Functional Pathology testing (including Parasitology and Food Intolerance).
Naturopathy and digestive health
“Naturopathy aims to treat the gut as a whole and works towards getting it to a state of optimal functioning. It’s understood in naturopathy that if the gut is not 100% then you will not be functioning at 100%”
Our Naturopath Karyn Campbell is an integral part of our digestive health care team, she has many years of experience guiding people back to balanced gut health through dietary, lifestyle and supplementary advise and influence.
Much like the ethos of Naturopathy, Karyn believes everything starts in the gut. It’s believed to be the second brain of the body and if it’s not functioning optimally then other areas of the self will be affected by symptoms of dysfunction. Health begins in the gut. When a patient presents with symptoms of gut dysfunction, the most likely cause is diet, lifestyle, stress or medically diagnosed conditions within the gut which may present with internal and external symptoms. Naturopathy is working from the core out. Gut health is linked to many areas of health and functioning such as fertility, hormonal health, behavioural and psychological conditions, and many disease or intolerance states.
Each patient presents with individual symptomatology so Karyn will treat each client individually and work on a wellness plan to best suit their needs. Karyn works with clients on a regular basis (weekly or fortnightly). Karyn is continuously undertaking ongoing training to ensure her treatment is up to date with the most recent evidence and technology available.