Myths & Realities
Oy vey – this is an ancient myth that continues to be debated by those in the science field. Obviously I have some feelings (and FACTS!) about this one.
Let’s start with biology. The vagus nerve is the 10th cranial nerve in the brain and it begins behind the eyes and travels down into the heart and then all the way through the digestive organs and lands in the gut. It takes all the information we see and translates it to the brain. That information is then transported to the other organs picking up more wisdom from the body traveling all the way to the enteric nervous system (ENS) in the gut. Michael Gershon, MD coined the term “the second brain” to explain the vast wisdom held in the gut. Gershon’s research shows that the ENS is responsible for the “gut instinct” and it is wiser than the brain in our head as it carries information from both the mind and body. The vagus nerve is connected to the para-sympathetic nervous system which activates the relaxation response in the body. It is only when we are in a more relaxed place in our body that we are able to effectively connect with the wisdom of the gut. The ENS is responsible for helping us connect with our feelings and intuition. Mind blowing, right?
Given that in our culture we are mostly focused on the rational, linear thoughts in our mind, we are often disconnected to the wisdom detailed above.
Keep reading below for more ways that the mind and body are connected!