Emotion, Stress, Immunity, Imbalance, Energy: ENS, Emotion, Energy
- The abdomen is connected to psychological and emotional states, including overall sense of well-being and feelings related to power.
- Related physical sensations are often used to describe emotion, e.g. feeling “kicked in the gut,” knowing something “in the gut,” etc.
- “Research shows… the correlation between an exaggerated stress response and gastrointestinal conditions like irritable bowel syndrome.” (Mary Richards)
- In subtle body anatomy, the abdomen is associated with the manipura chakra.
- Popular western culture promotes controlling and strengthening abdominal muscles.
- Eastern culture focuses on the abdominal area as a center of power while physically displaying more ease and freedom than is typical in the West.
ENS Affects Sense of Well-Being
Your sense of well-being relies deeply on the condition of your enteric nervous system, which connects to your central nervous system via the vagus nerve and several other pathways. The belly brain and central nervous system work together to control digestive function and how you react to stress. When your belly feels painful, acidic, or heavy, your nervous system and perception often mirror these qualities; you may find yourself sticking to a hard, narrow view, and have trouble adapting to change. In particular, stressors such as chronic disease, sleep deprivation, work-life imbalance, and emotional suffering stimulate the vagus nerve and changes in hormone levels, blood pressure, metabolism, and mental clarity. – Mary Richards
The Gut Holds Vast Majority of Immune System
Your gut has its own immune system, the “gut-associated lymphatic tissue” (GALT). It represents 70 to 80 percent of your body’s total immune system. This speaks volumes about the importance — and vulnerability — of your gut. If the events that take place in the gut weren’t so critical to life, then the majority of your immune system wouldn’t have to be there to guard and protect it. The reason most of your immune system is deployed in your gut is simple: the intestinal wall is the border with the outside world. Aside from skin, it’s where your body has the most chances of encountering foreign material and organisms. And it is in constant communication with every other immune system cell in the body. If it meets a problematic substance in the gut, it alerts the rest of the immune system to be on guard. – David Perlmutter, M.D.
The Importance of the Gut
So, we know the gut produces 80 to 90% of your body’s serotonin and has so many neurons that it qualifies as your “second brain.” Got it. Did you know that 70 to 80% of your IMMUNE SYSTEM is also in your gut? Think about that for a moment. The vast majority of your immune system IS IN YOUR GUT! Yet another data point to emphasize just how important it is for us to focus a proper amount of energy on optimizing our good ol’ gut, eh?! – Brian Johnson
A Potent Well of Emotion
The umbilicus [belly button] is an important landmark on the abdomen… the motionless center of human gravity as represented in Leonard da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man. Perhaps even more important is the psychophysiology of this center of the belly, the portal of nutrition and development in the nine months of our embryonic life. Throughout life it is a potent well of emotion and for many a focus of obsessive attention and sculpting connected to feelings or projections of sexuality and power. It is also the home of the Manipura Chakra, the subtle energetic source of willfulness in the world. – Mark Stephens