Brain. Huh? Usually we hear digestion starts in the mouth with the stimulation of enzymes in the mouth and it preps the rest of the digestive system to get ready for something delicious.
But what is in charge of this whole process? The autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system has two branches: the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system.
Sympathetic is often referred to as your fight or flight system. And the Parasympathetic as your feed and breed system. Guess which one you want activated when you eat?
If your parasympathetic is activated
saliva production is increased
gastric juices are secreted and motility increased
digestion is increased
If the sympathetic nervous system is stimulated
saliva production is decreased
peristalsis reduced (that's what moves your "contents" along through the digestive system
the kidneys produce norepinephrine & epinephrine
heart rate & blood pressure increases
What system gets your vote? My is for the parasympathetic system. What does this mean for you & I?
Choose to eat your meals in a relaxed state. I'm sure we all are guilty of eating on the go, sitting in front of the TV. #guilty
- Before eating take 3 deep breathes 5 seconds on the way in and 5 seconds on the way out.
- sit down with loved ones for a meal
- Clear out toxic emotions that may be keeping your Body in an Sympathetic dominant state. Schedule an emotional release session and see the change that can bring about for your mental & physical health.
- Use Lavender on your temples before dinner or lunch if you are in a stressed out state. Lavender stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system
- Get checked for a Nervine herbal at your next session. Nervines are a type of herbal combination that nourish the nervous system and enable you to handle stress in a more balanced way.
What helps you get in the right frame of mind before a meal? What changes are you going to implement?