When most people think of ways to improve digestion, they always consider what to eat or what supplements to implement into their diet. I’m going to focus mainly on non-dietary ways to improve digestion. Stress is always related to digestion problems because your body handles disagreeable foods much better when you are calm. These are methods that I found very useful in my own case.
My Story with Digestion
A couple of years ago I struggled with IBS at times and it really affected my mood. As many of you know, it’s really difficult to be uplifting and positive if your stomach is bloated and very gaseous.
I tried different foods to help eliminate bloating. I eliminated sugar, I eliminated anything carbonated, and I stopped eating raw vegetables and fruits. It didn’t work. Everyone seems to have a different story about what worked for them and they all have different beliefs about what caused the problem in the first place. This was really frustrating. Nobody seems to have a clear answer even though many claim they have the remedy.
I wanted to try and help others with some of these issues after learning more about the subject so I signed up for health coach training. There was a little method in the training they briefly suggested called “5-5-7” breathing. They didn’t invent this technique since breathing techniques have been around for thousands of years within yogic methodology and other traditions.
I can tell you that whenever I start feeling any kind of indigestion, I simply do a few 5-5-7 breaths(5 second inhale, hold for 5 seconds, exhale for 7 seconds) and my stomach almost immediately responds. I’ve had many stomach pains just disappear after doing this deep breathing a few times and relaxing my inner self.
Why does it work so well?
Did you know that your digestion stops whenever you are stressed? You produce cortisol and your digestive activities actually stop because your body is preparing for fight/flight whenever stress is turned on. Knowing this, it makes sense that if you can tell your body to calm down and not stress, your digestion actually turns on.
The problem is that most people do not know how to relax. One of the easiest ways to calm down your body and let it know that you aren’t stressed is to breathe deeply. It’s really that simple. Relax and digest well. The yogis thousands of years ago knew this secret and they were teaching it.
If you are running around in a rush, worried, or employing any other kind of stress, you are actually telling your body “don’t digest anything right now”. This is the autonomic nervous system at work. It is prehistoric and related to your physical survival. Are you habitually worried or rushed and then wondering why you have stomach or digestion problems? Look around at lunch time and you will see many people rushing while they eat and not chewing well. This is a clear message to your body that you don’t have time for digestion right now!
The Inner Creates the Outer
Stop fiddling around with the outer material world looking for your solution. Realize deeply that outer follows your inner condition. Create a peaceful inside, and your body will respond. Most people have it backwards and spend their whole life trying to organize the outer world so they can feel better inside. It doesn’t work. It never has. It never will.
Are you trying to accumulate? Are you re-arranging your life all the time with a new partner, clothes, houses, or other outer “things”? Sometimes these are difficult questions to face, but they can reveal the root of your problem.
Foods Do Matter
Yes, food matters. You have to realize which foods irritate your body. Celery juice on an empty stomach aids in repairing your gut and it is one food you can try adding. Find out which ones cause bloating and eliminate them, but this is only a part of the equation. The majority of your digestion problems are related to stress and inner turmoil. Work on that and your digestion will respond beautifully.
In addition, as you become more peaceful through meditation and prayer, your intuition will be clearer and you will more easily understand which foods are causing you any problems. Remember, the inner creates the outer. Always. Don’t get it backwards.