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Enteric Nerevous System (The Second Brain)

20 August 2017 @ 12:30 - 14:30

Organised by : Martin

Our bodies have two brains. There’s the one we all know about and a second one – in our guts. Both of these brains begin to form almost from the…

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Our bodies have two brains. There’s the one we all know about and a second one – in our guts. Both of these brains begin to form almost from the moment an egg is fertilised and develop from the same clump of tissue. As this embryonic tissue divides during fetal development, one section evolves into the central nervous system, another into the enteric nervous system. Later these two nervous systems connect via the vagus nerve – the longest of all the cranial nerves. The vagus nerve stretches from the brain stem through the neck and finally ends up in the abdomen providing continuous two-way line of communication between the gut and the brain. In the last decade or so scientists have discovered that each brain influences the other and imbalance in one can mean imbalance in the other.

‘About 90 to 95 per cent of the vagus fibres are carrying signals from the gut to the brain – not the other way around,’ 

Evidence suggests that IBS originates from a change in the serotonin system. In a healthy person, serotonin in the gut is whisked out of the bowel by a Serotonin transporter found in the cells that line the gut wall. In cases of IBS, this may not be happening and the sufferer ends up with too much serotonin swirling around the system, causing diarrhoea, then overwhelming the Receptors, shutting them down and leading to constipation. Gershon believes the most effective line of treatment for IBS are serotonin-based drugs – ‘intestinal antidepressants’.

In this workshop we will cover how the digestive system works as well as explore the connections to the subtle body.

Digestion starts even before food enters our mouths. When we smell or even anticipate food, our brain secretes hormones that start the digestive process. Imagining a food can cause you to salivate, and salivation releases digestive enzymes that will later be used if you eat that food. This is why many people’s stomachs start growling as they wait for their food to arrive at dinner.

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