What’s up with the GUT?

By Talismanicidols on December 23, 2016

The Gut:  Our Second Brain

Today, ladies and gents, I’ll be talking about the enteric nervous system.  That’s the neurology of the gut.  Most people wouldn’t have guessed but each of our organs have are innervated by the vagus nerve (the cranial nerve that doesn’t travel through the spinal column).  

I’ve been studying the enteric nervous system for a while.  Firstly through learning Chi Nei Tsang which is a modernized Taoist abdominal massage technique.  It works with fascia and bringing breath and awareness to quadrants of the gut and specific organs.

Anything without scientific verification gets classified as alternative or Woo in this day and age but I felt there was something I would learn.  I went to Ohio and learned under Mary Ellen at Be in the Tao.

I don’t mind looking into techniques that are considered snake oil by the purely scientific minded because those people often are afraid to put their name behind anything until popular science names say it’s okay.  They need trail blazers to make them feel safe.

However, all scientific discoveries require a human to conjure up articles and ideas of what the evidence means.  In a dynamic systems theory, you need to understand that you don’t know the ultimate relevance of any evidence until you understand the greater context that it exists within.  Since no one understands all functioning systems as a unified whole, we are left to infer what scientific evidence means in the greater picture.  

We can know some things from laboratory or case studies, but unless people live in the exact environment as the lab or those people in the case studies, then the greater system of variables can only be hypothesized.  

So why is the dynamic systems theory relevant to the gut?


We do know that serotonin is produced primarily in the gut.  Not in the brain.  What’s the primary role of serotonin?  It’s hard to identify but we know that it’s of extreme importance when it comes to mood.  That’s the beauty of the gut.  It has more to do with our health and mood than we give it credit for.  It’s not just a food processing factory.

We know that fascia (connective tissue) hold all our cells, organs, muscles and body parts in the general place they’re meant to be.  

Over time, because of postural distortions, our fascia gets tacked down into place and holds our body in the distorted position.  

We know that with common postural distortions like a hyperkyphosis, our lung capacity can be limited by a third.  What are the implications?  

Well I can’t say conclusively because there have been no ivy league schools funding this kind of research, but I would guess that lower oxygen levels would cause pH to lower (acidify), the nervous system to creep towards anaerobic operation and cause other serious complications, physical and mental performance to suffer and even spiritual practices that require uninhibited breathing to be thwarted.  


Though I cannot say this with peer reviewed accuracy, I believe massaging the gut with the hands brings physical and conscious attention to specific regions of the gut.  Organs that may be squashed by a sunken chest in the common postural hyperkyphosis might have low blood, oxygen and vital energy flow.  

However, just breathing correctly with the proper postural corrections could act as daily abdominal massages while carrying on with your day.  

Yogic breath techniques as well as those in Tai Chi and even native america traditions might all be linked to this same understanding.  The more we move and stand properly, the easier our breathing will be.  

Proper breathing forces the diaphragm to push and pull the fascial sacks that the organs live in.  Think of old school laundry washing.  Pulling the laundry up and pushing it back under the water.  Up and down, again and again.  This forces fluids in and pulls them out.  It causes vacant space and then compression of the organs.  


Thomas Myers at Anatomy Trains mentions in a youtube video about 3 core ingredients to fascia health.

  1.  Movement – Pushes old, toxic water out 
  2. Hydration – Puts fresh water back in the body
  3. Rest – Allows for fascia to relax and accept the fresh water


The health of our gut is not simply about high fiber, bone broth, pre and probiotics, etc…  It’s largely about how we breath, how we hold our midsection while standing, moving, sitting or lying down, and how relaxed we can get the tissues to be when we breath and “laundry wash” the gut.  

Try standing tall and straight and breath.  Feel how easily and softly you can breath into the lungs.  

Now let your chest sink down and upper back bulge out.  You should feel a significant decrease in your oxygen intake and your ability to breath naturally.  I won’t pretend that this little exercise is the answer… but if you experiment with what feels better and what feels worse, your own bodily intelligence should take over and eventually you can program your  subconscious posture and behavior to breath more naturally day by day, week by week and year by year until you are breathing up to 30% more efficiently.

I recommend everyone check out this documentary for more info on gut chemistry and the importance of giving your gut some daily attention:

The Gut:  Our Second Brain


Thanks for tuning in and please keep checking back because I’ll be giving more insights on ways to improve health through simple, effective and best of all FREE methods.  

I don’t believe you need expensive products or gurus to bring you back to health.  What I feel you really do need is time and inspiration to experiment with your breathing.  

It’s sound overly simple because commercial culture implies that everything you need has a price tag.  It’s also so much easier to try a pill instead of changing old habits.  It makes it easier to accept if some pharmaceutical company lied to you than if you lied to yourself.  

My advice is to stop buying shit.  Start employing simple tried and true methods for your health and experiment with breath.

Happy Holidays everyone. 

Much love.

Ben Stewart












Categories: Featured, Health, Movement and Mind Training, The Student, Uncategorized.