July 10, 2020
9 Holistic Methods to Improve Digestion

There’s loads of talk right now about how to solve digestive issues.

But, what if the solution isn’t just about what you eat?

In my own journey of healing, and in the process of helping my clients heal their gut, necks, knees, backs, and more, I’ve often come across someone or something that left me stumped. Their problem wasn’t solved by the “normal” solutions. So, that forced me to delve into some non-traditional ideas and new ways of thinking. And it’s been miraculous what I’ve learned!

If you have been on restrictive elimination diets like Low FODMAP (ugh, I totally get how much that sucks) and yet you’re still suffering – THE SOLUTION IS OUT THERE! It’s just not what you thought.

Here are 9 things I bet several of you haven’t heard about that will help heal your gut. When I learned these, they absolutely blew my mind!

9 Holistic Ways to Improve Digestion

1. Start Working Not Just On Your Diet, But On Your Stress.

The way you think has a profound impact on your body’s ability to “rest and digest”. When we’re stressed, our guts literally seize up and stop breaking down food to absorb nutrients! Also, positive self-talk can help strengthen your body’s ability to digest (see #2 for more).

2. Start Gargling, Singing, Laughing More, And Deep Breathing (Qigong Is Amazing For This, Or Try Out This Simple Technique Before You Eat).

Increased digestive problems (SIBO, IBS, Chrone’s, bloating, acid reflux) are closely related to decreased Tone (strength) of the Vagus Nerve. This nerve is strengthened by simple things like positive self-talk, gargling, singing, laughing, and deep breathing.

3. Start Looking At How And When You Eat, Not Just What.

If you’re eating while stressed (think fight or flight mode), your body won’t be able to digest, period. Also, if you aren’t chewing your food until it’s the consistency of baby food, or you aren’t getting your saliva juicing before you eat, you’ll be missing out on a huge part of the digestive process.

4. If You’re Taking Supplements, How, When, And Why Matters.

Don’t just pick a random enzyme or probiotic off the shelf. Not all are created equal! Also, keep in mind that healing the gut is a process, not an instant thing. Some people may need to start with 1/2 a capsule of probiotic before moving on to more.

5. Consider The Position Of Your Diaphragm And The Way You Breathe.

Bad posture and unexplained chronic pain are largely linked to the alignment of your upper and lower diaphragm and the way you breathe. That means that learning to breathe correctly can transform your posture and possibly solve knee, shoulder, neck, hip pain, and mobility issues.

6. Ensure Adequate Sleep

Lack of sleep can adversely affect your digestive health, leading to an increased risk of obesity and related conditions like heartburn and acid reflux. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night to support digestive health.

7. Quit Smoking and Limit Alcohol Intake

Smoking can harm your digestive system, leading to conditions like heartburn and ulcers, while excessive alcohol consumption can cause a range of digestive issues including acid reflux and can damage the lining of the stomach.

8. Listen to Your Body

Pay attention to foods that don’t agree with you and try to avoid them. Keeping a food diary can help identify triggers for digestive discomfort.

9. Chew Gum Sparingly

While chewing gum can help produce saliva, necessary for digestion, it can also lead to swallowing air, which can cause bloating and gas. If you enjoy gum, opt for ones that don’t contain artificial sweeteners, which can upset your stomach.

Exercises that Help Digestion

Consistent physical activity is essential for maintaining optimal digestive health. Exercise changes the composition of the gut microbiome, favoring beneficial microbes, and has been linked to a reduced risk of colon cancer, improved IBS symptoms, and efficient bowel movements.

Walking

Walking is one of the simplest and most effective exercises for aiding digestion. A gentle walk, especially after meals, stimulates the stomach and intestines, promoting faster processing of food. This activity encourages regular bowel movements and can help regulate blood sugar levels, making it a perfect low-impact exercise for digestive wellness.

Cycling

Biking, whether outdoors or on a stationary bike, aids in moving food through the digestive tract more efficiently. It helps in reducing bloating and gas, thanks to its ability to strengthen abdominal muscles and relieve stress, which is often linked to digestive issues. Incorporating regular cycling sessions can lead to noticeable improvements in digestive health.

Core Strengthening Exercises

Exercises targeting the core, such as sit-ups, crunches, and pelvic floor activation, can significantly impact digestive health. Strengthening the abdominal wall not only helps reduce bloating and gas build-up but also improves posture, which can positively affect the functioning of the digestive system.

Deep Breathing for Stress Reduction

Stress has a direct impact on digestive health, potentially causing or exacerbating symptoms like heartburn and IBS. Deep breathing exercises are a simple yet effective way to reduce stress levels, improve oxygenation, and promote a healthy gut by regulating the internal balance.

Tips for Incorporating Exercise into Your Routine

  • Start Slow: If you’re new to exercise, begin with short, low-intensity sessions and gradually increase the duration and intensity.
  • Listen to Your Body: Choose exercises that feel good and do not cause discomfort or exacerbate digestive symptoms.
  • Consistency is Key: Regular exercise has cumulative benefits for digestive health, so aim for a consistent routine.

Small Habits, Big Changes

One of my clients started healing chronic neck pain in days from just deep breathing techniques. It also helps to get you into a more relaxed state and lets the food move down the digestive tract more smoothly.

This all just goes to show that what we do DAILY has the greatest impact on our health.

It’s not a fad diet or a mega workout that will fix your health- it’s the tiniest, most seemingly insignificant habits – like breathing and nerve stimulation – that will change your life.

Anyways- all that said, here’s an awesome video that explains two of the ways you can start improving your digestion without changing your diet.

If you like this info, I’d love it if you’d let me know! Just shoot me an email at [email protected]. Try the techniques out and tell me how they go!

Also, if you found this post informative, please share it with others who could benefit! Get a hold of our fitness trainers and we’ll be glad to be part of your transformation journey!

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