You probably haven’t thought of your digestive process as a factory or a business site, however, when you break it down there really is quite a lot of work going on internally, for you, when you make a decision to eat something.
Food is fuel for the body, and food needs to be broken down by the digestive system to be used by the cells. Cells need the molecule size morsals, known as nutrients for energy, growth and repair. That’s basically why we need to eat. But as you will find out a whole lot of other elements come into play……
The first part of your digestive process starts in the brain! Yes that’s right, you have made a decision to eat something and the process starts in the brain, where in some cases their can be an emotional tug of war going on, depending on your beliefs. Emotional Molecules are just as real as protein molecules or calcium molecules. For example, your decision to eat bacon and eggs has evolved over time, because you have associated bacon and eggs as a delicious breakfast that fills you up and you may have read somewhere that there is protein in the eggs and bacon, and ‘real men and women’ eat bacon. Your father ate bacon, your fathers father ate bacon and they were strong and wise, so you are going to eat bacon for the same reason. There is emotion and memory and connectedness with this food.
The strongest memories of this particular breakfast are built around a happy family scene, perhaps your family scene – smiles, warmth, contentment and joy. The reality of this meal is quite another thing, especially from a ‘vegans perspective’. If you are vegan your beliefs are completely different, and you may associate the bacon and egg as the final end of life for the pig and in many cases the chickens that lay the eggs. Your belief and knowing tells you that to consume an animal based meal would be to go against the very essence of your respect for life, all life, and so you will not be eating this particular combination for breakfast. Your belief is so strong that the smell of bacon and egg being cooked is repulsive and it does the opposite of attracting you to this meal.
What makes one person salivate, causes another to regurgitate. Belief, thoughts and images have come into this scenario. This is the first part of the digestive process, what you believe about what you are eating and all the education and situations that are attached to the particular meal. The mind is the director, the CEO of the digestive process. Now let me introduce you to the personal secretary and the foreman of your factory.
The personal secretary is the nose. After all the nose is the part of the body that controls scents and smells. The receptors for messages of satisfaction. The nose will pick up everything! Aromas have a strong influence over us. A sense of smell was historically, one of the most potent constituents of behavior, indeed of survival. Sadly we seem to have neglected this acute sense these days, becoming increasingly reliant on vision and hearing, scarcely aware that the sense of smell is one of our most subtle means of communication. It is, after all, the first means with which we form a bond with the world.
When a baby is born, it inhales the different odours in the air with its first deep breath, and because of poor eyesight, uses this sense of smell to recognise its mother and the security she represents. The odours inhaled stimulate fine hair-like projections called cilia. These are tiny nerve endings and are part of our olfactory sense organ. The olfactory nerve is an extension of the brain itself and can be reached directly through the nose, which is why I term the ‘olfactory nerve’, as the personal secretary to the brain.
There are three kinds of response signals that can be pulsed back to the nose, they are:
- An excitation response
- A suppression response
- Neutral ‘no’ response
These responses directly affect the digestive, nervous and sexual systems and thereby, the emotional behaviour of an individual.
Even before your first bite of food, your digestive system springs into action. The sight or smell or thoughts starts the saliva process. Your body makes more than a litre and a half a day of saliva. Chemical rich saliva mixes with the tongue to assist the process; I’d like to introduce you to your foreman, (saliva) he is the guy that is waiting there in your mouth monitoring and assessing everything that comes in, so that he can direct the process and call on the enzymes to come into play to assist your food molecules journey. There will be masticating (chewing) and considering (if you are an adult), you have 32 teeth in your mouth, they all have a role to play.
Most of our problems have occurred over the years because we are using our teeth less, due to the lifeless, stodgy food that we are eating. We have replaced leafy green salads, and root vegetables with stodgy supermarket – re-heating type meals, and we are brain washed by labels and brands like ‘Healthy Choice’, promoting a reprieve for any shortfall of our nutritional inadequacies, because, ‘healthy choice – means looking after yourself’… ha ha..! Who are they kidding.
The brain, your personal secretary (the nose), the mouth (including your teeth and foreman – saliva), are the first 3 parts to the digestive process, they are your employees. Once you know how to treat them, when you understand them, you have more control over the process. Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to digestion… In a later post we will explore the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine…. stay tuned…
When Annie Clark first found her way to the world of Natural Health she was 13 years old. An older brother brought home a ‘Vegetarian girlfriend’, and Annie watched her mother with amusement, as her mum ‘a full on carnivore’ didn’t know what to cook. Annie was inspired by her brother’s girlfriend, so four years later, she left home so she could have her own kitchen and experiment with Vegetarian food. Fast forward 33 years later she has 17 self-published lifestyle and health books and runs a private lifestyle retreat in Cooroy. Annie is now a fully qualified Lifestyle Health Consultant, Author and Guest Speaker on topics that affect life, health, the bowel, raw foods and mindset. Annie’s two best sellers are IN THE RAW and THE POO IN YOU.
She continues her passion of writing books, carrying out workshops and events like THE ART OF WELLNESS founded in May 2009 – take place approximately 3 times a year. Annie and her husband Darryl, also have a private retreat – Sunshine Ridge, where guests stay by arrangement and experience valuable time out, peace and wisdom.