You have probably heard the gut is the ‘second brain.’ Many researchers have discovered the connection between the mind and gut, confirming people that have suffered from childhood trauma are more likely to develop Leaky Gut syndrome and a host of other GI issues including chronic stress held in the body in the form of bound up energy. This can cause tightness, tension and contraction which can affect our digestion and emotional health. Being a surTHRIVor of CPTSD (Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) from childhood abuse, I can confirm I was likely born with both intestinal Candida and Leaky Gut Syndrome. I had food sensitivities and GI issues in middle school. Emotions such as fear, sadness, stress and anger can all affect our gut. The word emotion literally means ‘energy in motion.’ Emotion is the experience of energy moving through the body and these energy currents can increase or decrease the movements of the gut and the contents within it; making the digestive system susceptible to bloating and other types of pain.
We live in a world that is constantly “thinking” and “doing” so we are less likely to tap into our “feeling” senses because of our conditioning and habits. Understanding the subtle signals we receive from our bodily sensations can access a powerful reservoir of knowledge. To feel and deal is to heal!
The gut also plays an important function in our internal body-sensing and intuition. We have often heard of the expression ‘trust your gut’ – this speaks to the subtle signals we get from our gut to guide us or to avert danger. Another function of the gut is like an internal compass to support us with intuitive decision-making while also engaging the mind. It pays to listen to your gut!
A healthy digestive system can affect energy levels, motivation, clarity of thought and intuitive decision making. A brain or mind that has adequate stimulation, nutrients and rest can support improved gut functioning. When both are healthy, our intuition or “feeling body” is more alert.
Role of Vagus Nerve
At the center of this dialogue between the brain and gut is the vagus nerve, which conveys messages in both directions. The vagus nerve is the major neural connection between gut and brain. It connects the brain to the gut and other vital organs.
Signals are sent via the nerve into the brain and the brain transmits signals to the peripheral body and gut. Gut instincts and visceral sensations are transported up to your brain via the vagus nerve. It is the translator from the gut to the brain.
When we are stressed, we are in “fight or flight mode” and the body is under strain. The vagus nerve impacts the parasympathetic nervous system which manages our “rest and digest” response. Stimulation of the vagus nerve increases the vagal “tone”, meaning your body can relax faster after stress reducing cortisol levels. Studies have shown that stimulating the vagus nerve could help people suffering from PTSD and in some cases depression.
Trauma: Effect on Nervous System and Gut
A study conducted by a Columbia University has discovered that traumatic childhood experiences can cause stomach or gut problems which may manifest in adulthood as mental or emotional issues. People feel grief, anger, sadness and anxiety in the gut or stomach. For us to heal, these emotions need to be felt slowly with mindful awareness so that they can move through us and pass.
Emotions that arise are full of information and it is our body’s way of communicating to us when something is wrong or “off” or when something is right. There is wisdom in the body. If there are old emotions which have previously been suppressed, they can become trapped or lodged in the body until they are ready to be released.
If we experienced traumatic experiences as a child or adult, we may have needed to dissociate or suppress our emotions in order to survive. Current experiences may trigger these emotions which may need to be worked through and released in order to heal. This is why I developed Savage Life Untamed–a digital membership for women over 40 who are ready to reclaim their voice, health, and passion after trauma, divorce, loss, or anything else that might be in the way from living life untamed.
I designed Savage because it supports Gut/Brain healing:
- Customized Breathwork: Most of us are unaware of how we breathe unless we bring our awareness to it. Connecting to your breath consciously can relax the mind and the nervous system. Whether it means walking away from your desk at work, going for a walk at lunchtime, pausing in your day to stop and breathe. Closing the eyes for 5 minutes and allowing the body to settle and the breath to calm can be a really simple yet highly effective tool. As a Yoga Therapist, specific breathwork to calm the nervous system rather than unskilled variations of breathwork that could exacerbate your nervous system is key.
- Making Boundaries a Priority: Know your limitations and don’t take on extra responsibilities—Breaking free from codependency once and for all by becoming Savage! Before responding to something, it takes 24 hours to think about it before deciding. This can give you space to think and see how something feels before committing. Being a part of the Savage network you receive a 1-1 call every month to process and discuss how to best navigate these old conditioned patterns of our past.
- Connecting with nature: Taking a short walk in the park or beach can be highly rejuvenating. Maybe introducing more plants into your home to connect to nature. We offer simple tips like this in the private Savage portal that is all yours once you SIGN UP
- Exercise: Physical activity can be a great stress reliever. Moving the body can get the heart pumping and oxygenate the blood. It also helps to clear the mind and can be a great way to shift your focus and allow the energy to move. The results can be increased energy and mental clarity; even 15 minutes of movement such as walking can be highly beneficial. I will give you techniques to stimulate your Vagus nerve within the Savage portal!
- Yoga: Yoga is an excellent way to calm the mind and body. Stretching and opening the body can relieve tension and support stress reduction. Meditation: Quieting the mind even for 5 minutes can be a fantastic way to reset. Sitting in silence and bringing focus to your breath can give your mind a chance to stop and reboot. In the same way, we recharge our phones; we need to do the same to the mind and body. Each of the Savage methodology pillars comes with its own guided meditations for you to truly embody the principles of Self Love, Awareness, Vibration, Action, Guidance and Edge.
- Diet: Ensure that you are eating regular and proper meals with adequate nutrients to support your digestive health and wellness, especially incorporating wildly fermented foods–This is very calming to the nervous system within your gut. Along with addressing your heart and mind, if you have suffered trauma you likely have Candida. Stop drinking alcohol, eating sugar (including all fruits but small amounts of berries, and drink Ferm Fatale instead. It is the only kombucha that won't feed your Candida. If you crave sugar or alcohol you have it. Candida carries its own vibration thus attracting certain energies–Ones that challenge boundaries and are takers. I will help you uproot this pathogenic yeast, parasites, etc in the form of live organisms both creatures and people, once and for all. Are you ready for freedom? Within the Savage Society you will be nurtured to heal your Candida or any other GI issues but most importantly address the underlying core beliefs and wounds that feed these patterns of self sabotaging, self doubting, shaming behavior.
- 1-1 Coaching Support every month: Talking about a problem or stressful situation with someone you trust can be extremely effective, as you get to share your concerns and have a listening ear, providing feedback when asked. Having an accountability partner can be the single most important part of healing. Besides having me as your rock, you will meet other like minded women as well on our Group calls as well as attending one of our incredible Retreats where you are truly supported to disconnect from everyday life and heal deeply while uncovering, discovering and recovering parts of yourself using silence, time for solitude, personal journaling time, precise mindfulness techniques along with daily lectures on the SAVAGE methodology that include guided meditations, yoga, and of course, pool, beach and fabulous Savage minded meals, to return you back to everyday life more Savage than ever!
In summary, yes your past trauma is affecting your digestion. However, I have already done the legwork for you and developed an easy digestible system to help you heal yourself just like I did with diet, exercise, yoga, breathwork & mindfulness, but that is curated for women over 40 who have dealt with trauma. Trauma held in the body will be released + the shadow work (dealing with your core wounds being held in the subconscious mind until they are seen) will be addressed. You are a complex energetic being seeking the be what is also seeking it. Living Clean is the means to Drinking Dirty. Stopping alcohol is only ONE part of the equation. Please continue the conversation and join us—I am really excited about sharing my life’s work with you and seeing you live a life untamed.