Digestion is the process by which we breakdown food so that it can be used by the body. Our digestion fluctuates with what we eat. It is dependent on the microbial biome present and the health of the tissue itself. Plain and simple. As we age, the muscles of the digestive tract don’t contract as well as when they were young, creating crevices in which all kinds of microbes can make a nest. Therefore the absorption rate lessens. The movement through the system isn’t as strong and the build-up of biofilm (sheath of microbes) reduces the ability of the microvilla. This is a natural process and it means that everyone at some point will suffer with digestive issues.
In Eastern Medicine a healthy digestive system is directly associated with the heart and lungs. These organs require significant amounts of nutrients to function. In fact, Western Medicine is beginning to prove this connection. CoQ10 is an antioxidant required for proper heart function. This antioxidant is fixed by the gut microbes and a lack of CoQ10 is indicative of poor absorption in the small intestine and therefore poor heart function.
Did you know that on one square inch of surface area there are roughly 30 million microbes? Now consider that when you flatten out the intestines along with the microvilli, it can cover as much as a tennis court. We are talking about a number of microbes that not one of us can comprehend, living inside of us. So dealing with poor gut health is difficult at best.
The good news is that microbes have a short life span, so if we can be consistent with our food, we stand a chance of improving our digestion. By eating real food with plenty of lightly cooked vegetables each day we get the fiber, vitamins, and nutrients we need for a healthy micro flora. The bad news is that microbes have a short life span, so those microbes who feed off of sugar and processed food can replicate quickly when under stress and make you crave “junk food” more than ever as soon as you start to eat better. They literally wage war multiplying in your gut in an attempt to maintain their positions. There are many reasons why people fail at dieting and this is one of them. So how do we at Ground Luminosity recommend you improve your digestion?
Massage Tips for Digestion
Massage Tip #1
This is not actually a massage tip, but rather a suggestion that is part of our mantra at GL. We suggest making one small change every 3 months, making it part of your routine before you make another. In this case, it would be a food change. If you are not good at eating veggies, add 1 or 2/day either at lunch or as a snack. In another 3 months add another or add in some oats, beans, or other grain with plenty of fiber. In another 3 months you might try to take away something from your diet that doesn’t serve you.
I don’t recommend you take away anything at first because it’s difficult, but with 6 months under your belt of doing some good things, you will be strong enough. This method changes the microbiome slowly and you are less likely to go through the sugar crazies. The trick is making changes that work for you and you can keep as part of what defines you.
Massage Tip # 2
The belly wave is a massage technique used to stimulate the muscles of the GI tract, enhancing absorption and processing. Boys put right hand over left, girls the opposite over the abdomen. Slide your palms away from each other so that your hands span the belly. Gently press the heel of the right hand into the belly from the bottom (pinky side) up. Now press the heel of the left hand from the top (thumb side) down. Keep doing this. Find a rhythm. The rest of the hand will get involved as you find a rhythm. This creates a circular feeling in the belly along the path of the large intestine. It stimulates what is called peristalsis (natural movement of the GI tract).
Massage Tip # 3
The spiral is a technique that helps to move excess of the the gut and again to stimulate peristalsis and absorption. Place hands palm down, fingers facing the pubic bone. With the finger in a chop formation press with the right hand along the interior of the hip socket, press moving upwards in this motion along the interior of the ribs on the right hand side. When the right hand has reached the mid-line of the body just under the breast plate use the left hand and move from the mid-line down along the ribs and into the interior of the hip socket with the same motion. This follows along the large intestine.
When the left hand meets the right just above the pubic bone move the hands slightly inward towards the belly button about 1-2 fingers width (depending on the size of the abdomen). Follow the same as above just inside the path of the large intestine, working the small intestine. When the left hand meets the right move inward again. This should bring you about 1-2 fingers around the belly button. Move in the same motion. Once the left hand meets the right, start at the beginning. Do this at least 3 times for the best results. You are creating three circles, starting from the outside in moving in the direction of digestion from the right to the left. You are clearing the large intestine and moving the excess from the small intestine into the large to be expelled.
Our digestion is the basis of our daily energy. We each are born with a set amount of energy (sometimes called life force) to be spent over the course of our lives. In addition, we consume food in order to have energy for normal function. That phrase “you are what you eat” is a real statement. Each of us has different energy requirements, but regardless of what we put in our mouth if the digestive system is in dysfunction, we will not meet those energy needs. If you care for the digestive tract, you will regularly have energy and feel clear.
Click here for video of the techniques.