The Silver Lining: Connections Between the Gut, Brain and Immune System

Isn’t it nice when the dots are connecting in some new way when it comes to our health? In my last article I shared the latest research and subsequent discovery of the glymphatic system. This has tremendous import for how we can understand the health of the brain and the techniques that can contribute to that health.

There is another discovery to share. But before I do, let me say a word about the health of the gut. Our society seems fraught with gut issues, everything from IBS to leaky gut to constipation, to bacteria deficiency just to name a few. One issue I wish to bring us is leaky gut.

Just like the brain has a protective barrier to support and help it maintain balance in the meningeal and craniosacral system, the gut has a mucosal lining acting as a protective barrier to help keep the digestive process protected and in tact. When acid is too high in the digestive tract holes called microtears happen. And as these holes grow the gut leaks (hence leaky gut syndrome,) and food leaves the protective cavity entering the abdominal and pelvic cavity.

That sounds terrible doesn’t it? To make matter worse the immune system, patrolling the body to tackle invaders that might be harmful perceives the food as a foreigner and dangerous. Rightly so, for the food is in a place it is not supposed to be. The immune system swarms in, using valuable resources meant for true invaders, and gobbles up the food.

Why does leaking gut happen? It seems one of the main contributors is our poor eating habits. Processed and high sugar foods increase the acid that in turn eats away at the lining. In addition, Jeffrey Smith says GMOs are harmful in this way as well. GMOs are genetically engineered mechanisms engineers to ‘create rips or holes in the gut of insects to destroy them.’ Sometimes they come from a whole range of things we eat and creep into the flora and fauna of our gut and seem to evoke the same stress response.

It seems we have moved far away from the brain haven’t we? Well not for long.

This brings me to the other piece of latest research. Recently scientists at the University of Virginia discovered what has long been suspected but never proven: there is a nerve track running from the meningeal system directly to the gut! Meaning the communication between the two is hard wired.

Where there is stress in one, the other will be influenced. That is certainly the down side. But the up side is that the opposite is also true. Where health prevails in one, the other will be influenced. And techniques working with the meningeal and craniosacral systems reach through the body all the way to the gut.

This is one way healthy eating can contribute to a healthy brain. And when modalities such as CranioSacral Therapy are utilized the cleansing and balancing for the brain reaches the gut. In turn the immune system is free to do its job with TRUE invaders.

These are basic connections. I look forward to getting deeper in the interconnectedness of our systems and the power this knowledge can reap for us.

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