What is Gut Brain Science? How does Gut Brain Science works?
Today, I want to talk about the power of the gut brain connection for healing your body with your mind—something no doctor is talking about, and a skillset every single person possesses (including you).
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My Story: Healing My Body with My Mind
Growing up, becoming a functional medicine practitioner and gut health expert was never on my mind. My dream was to be the next Katie Couric on the NBC Today Show or chief editor or 17 Magazine.
But, as things often go, life had different plans.
Just 5 years ago, I was flat on my back, surrounded by machines, in an ER hospital bed.
A frazzled doctor who was juggling 10 patients in the packed ER, walked in, looked at my chart and then delivered the bad news:
“Lauryn, I know you felt like you’re having a heart attack, you couldn’t breathe, and this is serious asthma, or something…
But according to these labs, there is nothing wrong with you. Your lab tests and scans are inconclusive.
As far as we can tell, this is normal…I don’t think conventional medicine is going to fix what’s going on with you.”
When he left, I was so frustrated! This is the 5th time I had been to the hospital the last 6 months, and the 10th doctor to tell me everything was “normal”, even though I clearly couldn’t breathe, I had chest pains and my digestion was all over the place.
No one could help me…
And to get this diagnosis, it was so frustrating!!
And what was super frustrating, I thought I was doing all I needed to get well—I was eating well — low carb, watching my sugar, not drinking coffee or alcohol.
Exercising. Daily — CrossFit, yoga, walking, weight training.
Sleeping — watching my blue light exposure, drinking chamomile tea, doing deep breathing —instead of laying in bed and stressing myself out.
But it still wasn’t enough.
I was doing all the things and it still wasn’t working.
I wondered: Was this a long term impact of my eating disorder?
Because what I haven’t shared is that, like 3 out of 4 women will at some point, I had struggled for my entire adolescent and teens with disordered eating and chronic dieting…big time.
At age 10, I became a trendsetter for the fasting diet, until the day mom found me passed out in the shower. Then it was on to Atkins, South Beach, keto, vegan—whatever was popular at the time. I could have won the gold in the Stairmaster Olympics and my 8 hour workouts became a full time job on top of my Algebra and Biology homework.
In effort to try to help me, mom and dad invested their life savings—including my college and wedding funds—as I spent an accumulated 4 years of my life “behind bars”—in hospitals and treatment centers, seeing 100’s of experts and specialists, many whom prescribed the same 3 P’s —Pop-tarts, pizza and Prozac.
Like the symptoms based treatment for people who are overweight “move more and eat less’; or who have a LIFESTYLE induced chronic disease, “take a pill for an ill,” my symptoms of disordered eating were treated with what made the most sense for food freedom and weight gain—processed foods obviously.
So, to say the least, here I was back at square one—familiar territory, both doctors and diets unable to truly help me.…and I thought: THERE HAS TO BE ANOTHER WAY. THERE HAS TO BE A MISSING LINK.
So I kept digging, researching—what is the missing link?! I started talking to my colleagues…talking to my clients…
And I found it…
What I discovered is that it all comes to the second brain—our gut.
We’ve got to see health as an inside job—not an outside job!
When I learned how to heal my second brain, I sent all 12 chronic diseases into remission.
Even if you think that you’re doing all the things to be “healthy”—eating right, exercising, getting enough sleep…if you are not minding your second brain, you will continue to have health problems.
Enter: Gut Brain Science and “The Gut Brain Method”—the method I’ve developed to help people heal their body with their mind.
Gut Brain Science 101
Gut Brain Science is a revolutionary framework for health and disease that no doctor, diet or prescription plan is currently using.
In case you’ve been living under a rock, your gut health influences everything, including your immune system, your hormones, your cravings, your metabolism and weight, and your brain.
You actually have 500 million neurons—brain cells inside your gut—and 90% of all the messages sent throughout the rest of your body—telling it how to feel, how to think and what to do—come from your gut. (Meaning you finally have an excuse why you ate that whole plate of cookies…they made you do it!).
Ever experienced butterflies in your stomach? Boom! Gut brain connection!
Just like you’ve probably only been able to think about how much your tummy hurts after you get food poisoning or how hungry you are if you haven’t eaten in awhile.
Boom! Gut brain connection!
The gut brain connection explains why, when study subjects watch acts of violence or acts of kindness on a TV show, their gut microbiome shifts to being more inflamed or more healthy—just based on the chemicals circulating via the gut brain connection.
The gut brain connection also explains why kids with peanut allergies have been shown to overcome them when they think positive thoughts. In one experiment on overcoming peanut allergies, researchers gave 25 kids permission to feel good during the challenge—telling them that the re-introduction would be positive experience.
They told the other 25 kids that the food reintroduction would be challenging and that they’d probably experience food allergy symptoms. The result? Those who were challenged to believe the experiment would be positive experienced less stress and food allergy flares.
Boom! Gut brain connection!
So you can perhaps see how stress (physical and mental) can disrupt your gut health, which in turn, disrupts your entire body health.
Since your gut health is related to practically every system in your body, if your gut is unhealthy, it may manifest in a variety of ways.
Basically: Dis-ease in our lives manifests as disease in the body—our “issues end up in our tissues.”
The Inspiration: German Healing Knowledge (German New Medicine)
My Gut Brain Method is inspired by the teachings of “German Healing Knowledge”, or “German New Medicine”— a “gut-brain” science to aid in healing the “root causes” of both chronic and acute illness.
German New Medicine was founded by Dr. Ryke Geerd Hamer, a German medical doctor who began to incorporate the power of the mind and brain in healing from physical illness, based on his own recovery experience from cancer.
Dr. Hamer developed cancer shortly after his son was killed in a tragic accident and died in his arms—a significant emotional stressor.
It was during his treatment and recovery from cancer that he began to question the “root causes” that preceded his disease, and realized that disease in the body is often preceded by dis-ease (a significant emotional stressor(s) in our lives—not only for himself, but his patients as well.
To further validate his hypothesis, he began running CT brain scans on a variety of his patients to evaluate their brains and discovered concentric rings (known as “Hamer Focuses”) formed in different regions of the patients’ brains—depending on very specific “conflict shocks” or stresses, and how the individual uniquely processed the shock.
For example, he found that testicular cancer patients (just like him) presented with concentric rings on the brain stem layer, and the shock manifested as a tumor in the testes.
Whereas, patients with a cold or flu had concentric rings on their Cortex, associated with a “stink” sensory conflict.
And patients with bloating and constipation presented with concentric rings on their Brain Stem, associated with an “indigestible” conflict.
As a result of these findings, German New Medicine or “Gut Brain Science” has now sequenced over 1000 different physical and mental health conditions or “biological programs” that stem from specific conflicts and stressors in our lives.
Here are some every day examples of a Gut Brain Science (German New Medicine) perspective.
Exhibit A: “I’m Fat”
During 4th grade recess, when the most popular girl in school told me I was fat and should lose weight, this was SHOCKING and STRESSFUL.
I instantly felt a lack of self worth (sad, hurt) and I could not fully digest, swallow or process the information (overwhelmed).
As a result, this unprocessed mini ‘trauma’ or stressful event went “silent” for years—the words “You’re not good enough” subconsciously etched in my brain.
Instead of working through the stressor (and speaking up to the Queen Bee), the stressor took root in my body, and soon manifested as an eating disorder and IBS (a self-worth and indigestible conflict, stuck in my body for years).
Exhibit B: Eye Troubles
Another more current example: the stye I got in my eye.
I really liked a boy, buttttt…the boy did not like me back.
Ironically I got a stye in my eye during a week that I was feeling particularly low. He canceled his date on us.
Voila– a red lump formed in my eye the next day.
Come to find out, according to German New Medicine, “eye symptoms” are often related to NOT feeling seen.
However, as soon as I recognized this, acknowledged this, and worked through my emotions of feeling rejected and lonely, magically the stye resolved on its own!
Chronic health issues often linger because stress gets trapped in our tissues and we have not resolved the root issues.
Exhibit C: Bacon Intolerant Becky
Becky developed a bacon intolerance–something she had eaten for years…what gives?
When she did the work to figure out what stressors were going on in her life preceding her bacon intolerance, she realized that she had been cooking bacon when she found out her husband had been cheating on her!
Game set match! Her body locked her issues into her tissues.
Exhibit D: Tinnitus & Tingling
Another client of mine, we’ll call him “Dave” began experiencing random ringing in his ears on the left side of his body at random times of the day.
“Dr. Lauryn, I don’t know what’s up? These symptoms came out of nowhere.”
Given the tinnitus was on his left handed side — we knew this had something to do with a “maternal”, relationship, self worth, or ‘baby’ conflict (either his mom, a female partner, self-devaluation or his business baby).
Come to find out, the symptoms onset after the passing of his mom from cancer and his brain kept getting “re-triggered” every time he was reminded to miss her—subconsciously, his brain was “firing” a “hearing conflict” (“this is hard to hear”, it’s “lousy”), resulting in ringing in his earth.
You get the picture: dis-ease in our lives can show up as disease in the body.
The 5 Principles of the Gut Brain Connection
There are 5 core principles of gut brain science— explaining how this whole gut-brain thing works to manifest as a disease.
Principle #1. “Dis-ease” (Stress) in Our Lives Shows Up as “Disease” (Stress) in the Body.
As forementioned, almost every health condition originates from a SES (Significant Emotional Stressor) in the Unconscious Mind.
The body is a metaphor or a mirror of what’s going on inside us.
Some examples of common stressors that may precede the onset of illness or a health issue include:
- A hard boss, financial, work or relationship difficulty
- Receiving news that was difficult to take in, digest or comprehend
- Feeling stuck in your life
- A loss or separation (job loss or income loss, relationship, move, loss of a loved one)
- Not feeling good enough or wanted
- An “attack” such as an offending remark or self-devaluation (cutting yourself down)
- The inability to conceive
- A life-threatening situation or setback, for example, in the course of an accident, medical trauma or during a medical emergency
Principle #2. The Onset of Disease & Symptoms Happens in 3 Phases:
Stress manifests in the body through 3 phases.
Phase 1: Fight or Flight (“Stress Mode”)
In the first phase (“conflict active”), the body enters in permanent “stress mode” as if it is running from a bear in the wild: metabolism is increased, you have lots of energy or adrenaline, the need for food and sleep decreases—with regular waking up around 3 am, heart rate increases, extremities get cold easily, and the body is using its reserves (energy and nutrients) especially if the stress period is prolonged.
Inflammatory stress signals get sent out from the brain to the gut to various tissues, organs, microbes and cells, where inflammation, cell or tissue loss and breakdown accelerates.
Phase 2: Symptoms Begin
In the second phase (“conflict resolution”), after the initial triggering stressor calms down—like, the bear stops chasing you in the wild, you go into “parasympathetic” (less stressed out) mode and the body begins to “process”, thinking, “What the heck just happened?!”
This is where you begin to “feel” symptoms of all sorts: tumors (cancer), cold and flu, chronic fatigue, skin breakouts, yeast infections, anxiety, hair loss, thyroid flare, food intolerance, constipation, fever, back pain, stress fractures. You name it.
Interestingly, the development of the symptoms always matches the development of the conflict and the type of conflict. (ie. sudden conflict = sudden illness; a building or long term conflict = disease manifests over time).
During this phase, you need to regain energy and you also need the correct mental, emotional and nutritional support to heal.
Phase 3: Resolution (or Chronic Illness)
You have one of two options after symptoms arise: you can either recover or continue being sick. Chronic disease is often a byproduct of unresolved (tissue, organ, bacterial and cellular level) stress. Because, otherwise, the body has the perfect blueprint of health and healing already inside.
For example, break a bone and slap a cast on it, and in 6 to 8 weeks, your bone is “healed.” Your body naturally wants to heal and resolve the issues in your tissues unless…the stressors go unaddressed.
Principle #3. The Mind, Body & Spirit Are Connected
Conventional healthcare tends to separate physical disease from the mind and the spirit.
However, Gut Brain Science acknowledges that physical disease is derived from ‘dis-ease’ in the mind and spirit. Just like, physical dis-ease (such as sleep deprivation, bad gut health or lack of exercise) also disrupts peace and causes distress in the mind and spirit.
Principle #4. Gut Bacteria (Microbes) Drive Disease & Healing
Gut bacteria are not active when the body is healthy. They are balanced and at peace. However, after fight or flight mode, this is when gut microbes go to work to heal (which is why gut issues and stress go hand in hand as well). Microbes don’t cause diseases, instead they play a crucial role during the healing phase.
After, the moment any stress or conflict is “resolved” (fight or flight is over), our fungi, bacteria and viruses GO TO WORK. They become active and begin to assist the healing process. (Gut “problems”, like SIBO, candida, dysbiosis, are often signs that the body is trying to heal and can’t!!!).
Principle #5: Symptoms Are Your Body Speaking…Are You Listening?
Our bodies want to work for us, not against us. Any disease or symptoms we experience are opportunities to get curious into what our body is trying to tell us (ie. What emotional triggers or stressful events have happened lately?). Once resolved, the body is better able to heal!
How do we heal the body with our mind?
Which brings us to the million dollar question: How do we heal the body with our mind?!
Knowledge is power. (And German New Medicine is definitely knowledge)
Awareness alone is sometimes all your body needs to begin healing!
Back to our metaphor of standing in the ocean with your back to the waves. When your back is to the waves, then what happens when that wave strikes? You fall forward. You’re unable to see or brace yourself—sort of like being unaware or unable to see the root causes—what is causing your symptoms.
However, what happens when you turn to face the waves and see those waves coming for you? You’re able to stand stronger! You turn to face the waves and they don’t get you down as much.
Once you gain awareness, we can then chat if there’s more work to be done—that’s what a Total Gut Brain Reset is all about—guiding you through healing both the physical, mental and emotional of unwellness to help you heal, no longer just manage your symptoms.
Book a 20 Minute Health Strategy call today to learn how we can help you heal from the inside out.