Blog# 133 This is Colon Health Month
Taking good care of the colon, like taking care of the spine, is an essential way to support body and mind. Since this month (March) is colon health month, let’s cover several ways to effectively improve health by optimizing the condition of the GI (gastrointestinal) tract. Although there are virtually endless ways to improve health, and also specifically colon health, I will focus on three main approaches: 1. nutrition and hydration, 2. posture and exercise, 3. stress management.
Because many people have not been breast-fed, received numerous courses of anti-biotics, or have eaten primarily processed foods, their colons may not be populated with optimally beneficial probiotics referred (“friendly bacteria”). Optimally healthy gut bacteria is transferred to a nursing infant when the mother is in good health and has a diet containing many high quality whole foods, such as fresh, organic vegetables, fruit, legumes, and grains. These whole foods also supply prebiotics, that is, fiber and nutrients that the colon’s bacteria feed and thrive on. Foods that are especially well-known for supplying high quality probiotics include sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, natto, yogurt, kefir, and small quantities of apple cider. All these foods must be naturally fermented, with live cultures. Some nutritional supplements also supply high quality probiotics, especially several lactobacillus, and Bifidobacterium strains. I recommend consuming organic foods and products as much as possible. Soy, dairy and apples tend to be especially contaminated with pesticides, so these especially should come from organic sources. Since peoples’ ecosystems differ, it may be necessary to try out various foods and probiotics to establish which is best for you. Just as there are no one-size-fits-all medications, there are no carbon copy nutritional programs either.
POSTURE AND EXERCISE
Using regular exercise to make sure that muscles contract and relax, that blood and lymph flow properly, and that neurological signals connect brain, spinal cord and the rest of the nervous system will help ensure that the body’s cells are detoxified and renewed. That includes the cells and organs of the gastrointestinal tract. Sitting for long periods of time folds the body and interferes with life-giving processes, especially involving the eliminative and reproductive systems. Additionally, standing and walking bent forward, backward, or to either side will result in sub-optimal body function. Chiropractic adjusting and Massage therapy can help address many postural issues. Sometimes specific therapeutic exercises are needed to correct posture. Yoga, Tai Chi, Chi Gong, Pilates and strength training can also be helpful.
There is some overlap with the previous two approaches to health, since optimal nutrition will help a person become more calm and centered, and as long as a person is not extremely depleted, regular exercise helps lift the spirit and calm the mind and emotions. Additionally, disciplines such as regular meditation, self-hypnosis, cultivating a positive attitude, self-help with beautiful music, inspirational reading, spending time in Nature, and similar positive measures will help alleviate digestive and eliminative problems, such as irritable bowel syndrome, to which stress contributes significantly.
THE GUT IS THE SECOND BRAIN – this link is this blog’s offering for this month
It is essential to take good care of the entire body, including the gut. Below is a link that explains this concept simply and clearly. It is suitable for children and adults. I hope you enjoy this short video. You may need to cut and paste it to your browser. Have an enjoyable and healthy month!