A patient with severe back pain was sitting in front of me. While assessing his case, I asked do you feel you are in stressful condition? He said no, not at all! I love my work, I am ambitious and work hard for it, I exercise regularly, eat healthy meals at proper times. How can I get such back-pain in spite of me so keenly following all these healthy habits! I questioned are you satisfied with whatever you live? Silence prevailed in the cabin...he thought for a while and started telling how he wants to grow in life in his career, economically, socially as well. But then why don’t you feel satisfied, happy in spite of all this? Do you know who controls your thoughts? He said, ‘yes of course, I have full control on my thoughts!’ I corrected him saying, you are not controlling yourself, instead your gut is! He was looking not comfortable with whatever I told. I further explained, what do you wish to eat in food? He said, ‘I can't quit non veg food. Sometimes I feel like eating sweets like ice cream too much. I can’t live without eating Chinese rice!’ I said, ‘Do you think this is contributing to your health in a positive way?’ He answered, ‘no absolutely not!’ Then I asked ‘still do you feel you control your thoughts? You are not able to decide what’s good/bad for your health.’ He seemed to be thoughtful. I further added, ‘It’s our gut which controls us, our moods, our behaviour, our thinking!’ He was absolutely surprised to hear this. I explained.
Our gastrointestinal system is equipped with another brain network which works absolutely like our brain located in the head. This gut nervous system is called as Enteric Nervous System or ENS. It’s a mesh like structure of nerve cells spread all across the submucosa just beneath the mucosal lining in our gut. ENS consists of security cells which carry out selective absorption and elimination of waste products as well. There are millions of bacteria in our gut which help to breakdown food nutrients, produce certain enzymes, vitamins etc. This way they are helpful to us and we call them good bacteria. Similarly, there are millions of bad bacteria as well which grow on our food especially highly refined sugars, added fats etc. When the food containing chemical preservatives, food colours, overtly processed food such as gluten and refined sugars, the gut mucosa gets inflamed. It replaces the security cells in the ENS, thus facilitating the passage of harmful, large undigested particles like some proteins etc. into the blood stream resulting in various inflammatory diseases like asthma, arthritis, auto immune diseases etc. Similarly, such food contributes to the number of bad bacteria in the gut. After the death of such bacteria an endotoxin is released which enters the submucosal layer and harm the protecting cells in the gut lining. ENS loses its protection and the nerves that coordinate all of the processes necessary for normal digestion get damaged. This has a bad impact on brain functions and emotional health giving birth to stress!
The endotoxins can be correlated as Aam according to Ayurveda. This toxicity travels to liver and other organs, muscles, ligaments etc. The resulting inflammation presents various symptoms such as stiffness, pain, fever, tenderness etc. For the complete removal of such toxicity Aam paachan (detoxification) is necessary. This Aam at organ or tissue level needs to be cleared by certain detox processes (shodhana in Panchakarma). After complete detoxification the rejuvenation therapy is prescribed to restore back the normal body functions and maintain its equilibrium. Similarly, as the ENS gets repaired the moods swings, abnormal behavioural issues, stressful condition also diminishes drastically. The person starts experiencing actually “what his gut feels”! This GUT FEELING, if not ignored he can make out what his body, mind needs, what is good/bad for his body and mind. He experiences clarity of thoughts and a higher conscience which guides him to act accordingly! This process cannot be forced and hastily done. It requires consistent efforts and constant vigilance by the expert doctor. Lower the gut toxicity higher the conscience! This way, Arogyam’s holistic approach brings out a human being with healthy body and mind!