Music and mindfulness for better digestion.
By Miria Robinson
Many people now see a physician about digestive health issues, but prior to the massive amount of pharmaceuticals that have entered the market, digestive problems were frequently treated with herbal remedies; like teas with ginger and peppermint. These are both still used to help women handle morning sickness. While herbal remedies help to alleviate symptoms, it is better to learn ways to prevent the problems in the first place if we can.
In his book ’10 Tips on Healthy Ageing’, Patrick Holford suggests, “Don’t eat when you’re stressed. Too much adrenalin shuts down digestion. Take a break, sit down, chew your food well and enjoy your meal.” Nutritional therapist Erica Gibbon explains that there is a nerve highway connecting the gut and the brain. In fact the gut has its own ‘brain’ which can react to stress by shutting down parts of the digestive process and Cillín Cleere of Eats of Eden in Limerick suggests eating in a ‘Rest and Digest’ or ‘Alpha state’.
Harnessing stress management techniques such as mindfulness meditation can help create this Alpha state, as can by playing calming music, such as classical music or brain wave slowing music, like ‘Silence of Peace’ by John Levine. The music helps our ‘gut-brain’ to become relaxed, which can help keep our digestion running smoothly. Levine’s Alphamusic, recommended by nutritional professionals, such as Holford, has been shown to help people chew their food slower and lower cortisol levels.