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Brain-Gut Connection

Many of us have heard the term “Brain Gut Connection” but what does that really mean?

In the human body there is a network of neurons that line your stomach and your gut. Surprisingly, there are over 100 million of these cells in your gut. Many refer to it as a ‘second brain’.

Traditional Chinese Medicine has always been aware of this connection that Western medicine is now discovering.

In TCM the Stomach’s element is Earth. Just as Mother Earth’s job is to nurture growth and all living creatures, Stomach Qi is what “feeds” all the organs enough power to perform their jobs.

The mouth is the sensory organ related to the Stomach. If you have any mouth issues, such as bleeding gums or bad breath, it may be a sign that your Stomach function is compromised.

The muscles are the tissue associated with the Stomach. If your muscles are weak and underdeveloped, or if they cramp or tire easily, you may have a Stomach or Spleen dysfunction.

The taste that corresponds to and supports the Stomach is sweet, according to Five Element theory. If you crave sweets, perhaps your Stomach needs support! The taste of sweet naturally supports the healthy function of your Stomach. Like a baby, the Stomach loves warm and hates cold. Reducing intake of cold drinks will support healthy Stomach function.

Worry, anxiety, and overthinking are the emotions associated with the Stomach. If you constantly worry or over-think things (especially negative thoughts!), get anxious easily, you may have a Stomach imbalance or function disorder! Experiencing any emotions chronically or excessively can damage Stomach and digestive health, as the digestive system processes not just the food you eat, but the thoughts and emotions that you internalize. [Courtesy of]

The study reveals “a new set of pathways that use gut cells to rapidly communicate with the brain stem,” This study reveals the gut has a much more direct connection to the brain through a neural circuit that allows it to transmit signals in mere seconds. The findings could lead to new treatments for obesity, eating disorders, and even depression and autism, all of which have been linked to a malfunctioning gut.

Check out this great article that discusses more about the recent research.

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