Toot, Toot, Toot My Own Horn . . . I’m Right, I’m Right, the Belly IS the Master Brain . . . Dr. Mate Says So!

“The nervous system of the gut contains about one hundred million nerve cells — we have as many in the small intestine alone as there are in our entire spine!  These nerves do more than coordinate the digestion and absorption of food and the elimination of waste — they also form part of our sensory apparatus.  The gut responds to emotional stimuli by muscle contractions, blood flow changes and the secretion of a multitude of biologically active substances.  Such brain-gut integration is essential for survival.  Large volumes of blood, for example, may need to be diverted from the intestines to the heart and to the muscles of the limbs at a moment’s notice.”

“In turn, the gut is abundantly supplied with sensory nerves that carry information to the brain.  Quite to the contrary of what we believed until recently, nerve fibres ascending from the intestines to the brain greatly outnumber ones descending from brain to gut.”

“The brain relays to the gut data from sensory organs such as the eyes, the skin or the ears — or more correctly, relayed to the gut is the interpretation of such data by the brain’s emotional centres.  The resulting physiological events in the gut then reinforce that emotional interpretation.  The signals sent back to the brain give rise to gut feelings that we can apprehend consciously.  If we lose touch with the gut feelings, the world becomes less safe.”—-“When The Body Says No; Understanding The Stress Disease Connection” by Gabor Mate, M.D. — Page 146 paragraphs 3-5

So the head brain and the belly brain are in cahoots!  Saying that out loud makes me also say to myself, “Of course they are, what else could they be!”  It sounds to me like Dr. Mate is saying the head brain is an extension of the belly brain . . . a sensor and interpreter of information for the belly brain . . . information the belly brain uses to make judgments . . . gut feelings . . . intuitions.

Is this what Dr. Mate is saying?  I think so.  What do you think?

Toot, Toot, Toot My Own Horn . . . I'm Right, I'm Right, the Belly IS the Master Brain . . . Dr. Mate Says So!

“The nervous system of the gut contains about one hundred million nerve cells — we have as many in the small intestine alone as there are in our entire spine!  These nerves do more than coordinate the digestion and absorption of food and the elimination of waste — they also form part of our sensory apparatus.  The gut responds to emotional stimuli by muscle contractions, blood flow changes and the secretion of a multitude of biologically active substances.  Such brain-gut integration is essential for survival.  Large volumes of blood, for example, may need to be diverted from the intestines to the heart and to the muscles of the limbs at a moment’s notice.”

“In turn, the gut is abundantly supplied with sensory nerves that carry information to the brain.  Quite to the contrary of what we believed until recently, nerve fibres ascending from the intestines to the brain greatly outnumber ones descending from brain to gut.”

“The brain relays to the gut data from sensory organs such as the eyes, the skin or the ears — or more correctly, relayed to the gut is the interpretation of such data by the brain’s emotional centres.  The resulting physiological events in the gut then reinforce that emotional interpretation.  The signals sent back to the brain give rise to gut feelings that we can apprehend consciously.  If we lose touch with the gut feelings, the world becomes less safe.”—-“When The Body Says No; Understanding The Stress Disease Connection” by Gabor Mate, M.D. — Page 146 paragraphs 3-5

So the head brain and the belly brain are in cahoots!  Saying that out loud makes me also say to myself, “Of course they are, what else could they be!”  It sounds to me like Dr. Mate is saying the head brain is an extension of the belly brain . . . a sensor and interpreter of information for the belly brain . . . information the belly brain uses to make judgments . . . gut feelings . . . intuitions.

Is this what Dr. Mate is saying?  I think so.  What do you think?

My “Very Spoiled” Nervous System

 

This morning I lay in bed musing about my life as it is right now.  The health problems I am experiencing prevent me from doing anything the least bit stressful.  I had to miss my 40 year class reunion last weekend because every time I thought about going, my body would hurt as if I were badly sunburned and my mind would scramble like eggs in a hot frying pan.  I had looked forward to this reunion for the past few years, but I did not attend.

I also had to cancel some fun activities I set up for a sweet group of young girls.  The slight stress I felt was too much for my body, and I would get the same physical reaction.

The doctors said I probably have conversion disorder, which was brought on by having stuffed my emotions for too long, and the body finally says, “No More!”  A person with conversion disorder is forced to pay attention because their body does an intervention and all the cells say, “Pay attention!  Something’s wrong!”  And you have to.

As I lay in bed I found myself sinking deep into my center, paying quiet attention to how I was feeling.  I understood I was feeling a combination of emotions:  Guilt over having told people I was not going to be able to teach the girls;  Worry about what people will think of me;  Sadness because I feel less able than other people to do things and I am missing out on some things I thought I wanted to do;  Joy because I am able to rest and stop worrying about those responsibilities;  Excitement because I am only able to focus on things that bring me joy;  And an over arching feeling of just being still and peaceful.  In the stillness I felt things shifting deep within me.  To exaggerate, the shifts felt as if a big, old, neglected machine were suddenly turned on and the sound of the mechanism, whirring, with large, heavy gears moving, making loud clunks, creaks, rattles, bangs, shivers, and groanings.  Sounds of rusted metal on metal.  Sounds of movements echoing through large hollow spaces.

In reality, the shifts and movements were practically imperceptible, but in the stillness I could feel the changes happening within me . . . and the shifting continues to happen whenever I remain relaxed, quiet inside, and allow the movement.

I told my husband, recently, that my body will not let me do anything I don’t want to do, or anything that gives me any stress.  My body allows me to do only the things that bring me joy.

He said, “You have a very spoiled nervous system.”

I said, “Yes, I do”, and I smiled, feeling great love and gratitude for my very spoiled nervous system.

The shifts this morning felt like a falling away of old beliefs; old “shoulds” and worries that had taken over my life.  There are many things I thought I wanted to do that were made impossible too. I suppose total release of worry was necessary so I could rebuild from a place of peace and nothingness.  For decades I abused and broke myself by allowing things in my life that hurt me on a continual basis.  Now I am forced to pay attention to what “I” need, what my body needs, and let go of the “shoulds” while I nourish and heal myself from within, with joy and delight, like a child.

I realize I don’t want to get “better” if it means I go back to my old self destructive ways.  No.  Getting better means keeping all the shifts that serve to bring peace and joy into my life, and allowing myself to remain relaxed and open enough to perceive and allow further blessed shifts.

My "Very Spoiled" Nervous System

 

This morning I lay in bed musing about my life as it is right now.  The health problems I am experiencing prevent me from doing anything the least bit stressful.  I had to miss my 40 year class reunion last weekend because every time I thought about going, my body would hurt as if I were badly sunburned and my mind would scramble like eggs in a hot frying pan.  I had looked forward to this reunion for the past few years, but I did not attend.

I also had to cancel some fun activities I set up for a sweet group of young girls.  The slight stress I felt was too much for my body, and I would get the same physical reaction.

The doctors said I probably have conversion disorder, which was brought on by having stuffed my emotions for too long, and the body finally says, “No More!”  A person with conversion disorder is forced to pay attention because their body does an intervention and all the cells say, “Pay attention!  Something’s wrong!”  And you have to.

As I lay in bed I found myself sinking deep into my center, paying quiet attention to how I was feeling.  I understood I was feeling a combination of emotions:  Guilt over having told people I was not going to be able to teach the girls;  Worry about what people will think of me;  Sadness because I feel less able than other people to do things and I am missing out on some things I thought I wanted to do;  Joy because I am able to rest and stop worrying about those responsibilities;  Excitement because I am only able to focus on things that bring me joy;  And an over arching feeling of just being still and peaceful.  In the stillness I felt things shifting deep within me.  To exaggerate, the shifts felt as if a big, old, neglected machine were suddenly turned on and the sound of the mechanism, whirring, with large, heavy gears moving, making loud clunks, creaks, rattles, bangs, shivers, and groanings.  Sounds of rusted metal on metal.  Sounds of movements echoing through large hollow spaces.

In reality, the shifts and movements were practically imperceptible, but in the stillness I could feel the changes happening within me . . . and the shifting continues to happen whenever I remain relaxed, quiet inside, and allow the movement.

I told my husband, recently, that my body will not let me do anything I don’t want to do, or anything that gives me any stress.  My body allows me to do only the things that bring me joy.

He said, “You have a very spoiled nervous system.”

I said, “Yes, I do”, and I smiled, feeling great love and gratitude for my very spoiled nervous system.

The shifts this morning felt like a falling away of old beliefs; old “shoulds” and worries that had taken over my life.  There are many things I thought I wanted to do that were made impossible too. I suppose total release of worry was necessary so I could rebuild from a place of peace and nothingness.  For decades I abused and broke myself by allowing things in my life that hurt me on a continual basis.  Now I am forced to pay attention to what “I” need, what my body needs, and let go of the “shoulds” while I nourish and heal myself from within, with joy and delight, like a child.

I realize I don’t want to get “better” if it means I go back to my old self destructive ways.  No.  Getting better means keeping all the shifts that serve to bring peace and joy into my life, and allowing myself to remain relaxed and open enough to perceive and allow further blessed shifts.