Sometimes it can all feel like such a struggle. Going from place to place, trying new supplements, protocols and medication, getting all the testing, experimenting with different diets… all just to be let down because, at the end of the day, it all just comes back.
No one ever seems to know what to do with you (and can’t hurry you out the door quick enough).
Naturally, at this point, you’ll no doubt be Googling all your symptoms and coming up with a bunch of articles and recommendations to try (not going to lie, I still do this sometimes!). But this just leads to more confusion because there are far too many options, ideas, and opinions that all contradict each other.
I’m willing to bet that you’re keeping most of this to yourself. Perhaps you wish you could open up more but don’t know how. Your friends and colleagues probably see you as calm, strong and independent, which of course you are, but a lot is going on inside too.
Holding things in probably seems like a good strategy because it enables you to keep going. But it comes at a detriment to your health.
Unprocessed emotions become stored in organs, muscles, skin, tissues and glands. These all have receptors on them which access and store emotional information. This means that emotional memory becomes stored in many places in the body, not just the brain.
This has been studied at length. Body mapping has even been done, where researchers used computer-based topography to visually capture changes in the body based on emotion.
Source: Nummenmaa, Gleneran, Harbi & Hietanen, 2013
As your body fills up with emotions, it’s a bit like a dam getting fuller and heavier. The pipes start behaving inefficiently, the sides start to crack until it all becomes too much and it overflows – or the dam itself breaks.
Negative emotions that are stored in the body create tension in your muscles and organs, including your digestive system. This tension prevents your food from being digested, absorbed, processed and eliminated correctly, and you end up with digestive symptoms like bloating, gas, reflux, pain and unpredictable bowels – chronic constipation or diarrhoea.
Tension makes your body feel unsafe, which activates the flight or fight response in the body, and this essentially shuts off any chance your body has of healing itself.
A great way to relieve some of the tension and help your body relax is by moving emotions through the body. Bodywork such as massage, acupuncture or reiki can be great for this, but a daily practice of stretching, meditating, journaling or simply doing something you enjoy like a walk in nature is helpful as well.
In the long-term you’ll need to look deeper into your beliefs around why you feel the need to keep pushing and have trouble expressing how you feel. What are you worried will happen if you rest and open up?
I’m certainly one to keep pushing and pushing and never giving myself the time to rest and restore. I also tend to hold things in rather than talking about it. It wasn’t until I peeled back the layers to investigate my belief systems around why I felt the need to keep working myself into the ground and worked through that, that I finally saw massive improvements in my health.
For some more support with mindset shifts that will literally turn the tables on your digestive health, make sure to grab a copy of my free Modern Woman’s Guide to Gut Health from the right hand side of this page to discover the quickest and most simple techniques to help you feel more calm, connected and in control of your health.