The article I read stated that although the man’s gunshot wound had healed, his abdomen had not yet closed up. Dr. Beaumont fed the patient directly through his abdominal opening and then observed the process of digestion.
One thing he noticed, in addition to the process of breaking down food, was the effect of the subject’s emotions on his digestive system. When the patient was angry, the lining of his stomach turned very red; when he was frightened, it turned a blanched shade. In those instances, his digestive system did less than an adequate job of metabolizing and assimilating the nutritional substances fed him.
Dr. Beaumont’s study revealed how our daily food includes all of life’s experiences, not just edible substances. The digestive system judges whether our intake, in all its forms, is acceptable, comfortable and usable.
Think about all the common expressions in the English language that pair digestion with emotions:
▪ He has so much gall.
▪ You give me a stomachache.
▪ What’s eating you?
▪ I’m starving.
▪ I’m dying of thirst.
▪ She’s a pain in the gut.
▪ Everything I eat goes to my hips.
▪ I’m so fat.
▪ I can’t seem to gain/lose weight.
▪ She’s hungry for knowledge.
▪ It’s just easier to swallow my emotions.
Perhaps we should pay attention to the messages we are giving our digestive system.
Perhaps we shouldn’t eat when we’re upset or anxious.
Perhaps the practice of holding hands and bowing our heads to say a prayer of gratitude before we eat also serves the purpose of settling us into our bodies and the present moment; calming our minds and our gut.
When training to teach reflexology, I made it a point to learn a lot about the digestive system – in fact, it was one of the two systems I taught as part of the evaluation process I went through. As a young person, I did not have the best elimination and I wanted to understand why and to correct it.
It was my own personal interest in how what we take into our bodies in all forms affects our digestive system, and ultimately our entire health that led to my discovery of how powerful reflexology is in supporting proper functioning of this system. I always pay close attention to these reflexes when giving a session.
If you would like to learn how to relax and calm the digestive system and help it to do its job better, consider joining us for an upcoming workshop! Click here to see what is scheduled.