A HEALTHY gut has become the fashionable hotspot for focussing popular attention and consumerism.
Accordingly, we hardly need to discuss anymore about the merits of cultivating a healthy gut biome and how to sustain it in a culture mired in unhealthy choices - it has been well covered.
It is of value however, to view the gut through a spiritual lens to understand more deeply why cultivating a healthy digestive system can not only improve our quality of life but it can create optimal conditions to reclaim our personal power. Indeed, the power to thrive and succeed resides in our core.
The nerve receptor sites of the solar plexus are very similar to brain tissue and it is sometimes known as the enteric brain because it responds to the same neurotransmitters as the brain does.
Internal knowing is almost visceral, we all sometimes have that ‘gut feeling’; or perhaps our stomach ‘knots’ or ‘butterflies’ in confronting stressful situations.
It is those gut feelings that announce the stirrings of our instinctual self; when we learn to trust these raw sensations of essential instinct we can consciously temper and refine them to evolve into intuition, the voice of the wiser, inner witness.
The solar plexus in our body is the home of third chakra, known as manipura in Sanskrit, and the seat of our personal power and depository for unrefined emotions.
It is elementally associated with fire, the energy known, as Agni in Ayurvedic scripts.
Plants contain a special form of Agni - the vegetable fire - that allows them to digest light through photosynthesis.
The Agni of plants connects to pranagni in the human body, warming and stimulating the life force.
Spicy herbs are particularly clever at doing this, such as ginger, pepper, turmeric, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom.
In the human energy system, the third chakra is approximately located in the solar plexus, our geometric centre of gravity, sitting over the stomach and the nerve ganglia under the diaphragm.
It is all about assimilation and
filters energy into our vital organs so that they can break down nutrients for digestion.
This chakra governs the stomach, abdomen, upper GI tract, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, kidney spleen, adrenal glands and the middle spine area behind the solar plexus.
It is also responsible for the mechanisms of metabolism for both the gross form of food and the mental aspect of ideas.
As well as being the distribution point of life energy, it is our principal source for action, energy and power; which also applies to emotions and feelings.
Manipura chakra is the area where we store stress and negative emotions especially those that we have not been able to express such as the challenging issues of competition, comparison, control, worthiness and judgement.
The body’s digestive process breaks food into substances that can be absorbed and used for energy, growth and repair.
We should be more mindful of every type of food and herb that we put into our bodies; cognisant of its nutritional value and action on our different body systems; asking ourselves whether it is cleansing, alkalising, too high in sugar, congesting perhaps or is it strengthening for bones or calming for the nervous system?
We must follow our wisest instincts about how healing each bit of food will be for us, or whether it robs us of vitality and life force.
Energetically, the solar plexus chakra stokes up the fuel reserves of our body and when it is awakened, we feel fearless and any obstacles in our path are burned away as we meet the world on our own terms.