Everyone has a belly button, but do we truly understand the importance of this anatomical feature? While the physical belly button is actually a scar left over from attachment of the umbilical cord, it doesn’t simply cease to function after we have entered this world. In order to best understand the relationship between our belly button and our current physical, emotional, and mental well-being, we must first look into the relationship of the brain and the gut brain.
What is the Gut Brain?
Have you ever had a “gut feeling” about something going on in your life? What about experiencing the feeling of butterflies in your stomach when you’re nervous or excited? That’s more than just your brain talking—that’s your gut brain!
The gut brain refers to the complex system of nerves in your gut (enteric nervous system) that manage the proper digestive functioning of the body. Your enteric nervous system carries with it a colossal army of about 100 trillion gut microbes that work very hard to carry out the functions of the gut brain. What’s remarkable about this little known gut brain is that it is so powerful that it can and does act independently of the brain and the central autonomic nervous system. This means that even if the brain above the head stops working, the gut brain will still be able to digest food through its own enteric nervous system. But! It does not work the other way around: if the gut brain fails to function, the brain will stop working too.
A common misconception is that the brain–with the central nervous system–is responsible for producing most of your body’s hormones that regulate happiness. However, it’s actually the enteric nervous system of the gut brain that produces a whopping 95% of your body’s serotonin (happiness hormone) while in comparison, the central nervous system only makes about 5%. Specialized cells in the gut brain called enterochromaffin cells store the serotonin produced by the gut to use for sensory and motor regulation of the enteric nervous system. Belly Button Healing–with its gentle stimulation of the gut brain–can create an ideal environment not only for gut microbes to flourish but also for enterochromaffin cells to produce serotonin effectively.
The Brain and Gut Brain Connection
With the many complex components of the gut brain at work, understanding how the brain and gut brain are intricately connected is the first step towards harnessing the power to lead a more centered, healthy life. The gut brain enjoys a direct connection to the brain through a complex highway of nerves called the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is like a net of nerves that blankets over the body’s major organs to oversee that they are functioning properly and to turn on the rest-and-digest response of the body that counters fight-or-flight stress mode. It’s imperative to activate the rest-and-digest signals through the vagus nerve to your brain to enjoy a prolonged feeling of rest, relaxation, and satisfaction. Because of its net-like structure, the vagus nerve can be triggered by stimulating any one organ that it touches to have rippling effects on the others.
It just so happens that one of the organs that the vagus nerve touches is the small intestine, which, (conveniently enough) sits right below the belly button! Other organs of the vagus nerve are well protected with limited access like the heart and lungs. However, the belly button is open and vulnerable–unprotected by any bone or large amounts of tissue and fat–and thereby offering the easiest access point between the outside environment and the internal body. Belly Button Healing sees the belly button as a key window of opportunity to activate the all-important vagus nerve below it to switch our bodies from perpetual stress to comfortable relaxation and stability. It’s ultimately when our body is in a state of rest that it starts to heal itself naturally.
Both the brain and the gut brain are connected to the emotional state of a person, and the key to accessing the power of the belly button is by tuning into the emotions that take root deep within the core of the body. Have you ever noticed that holding onto fear, anger, or tension results in an uncomfortable feeling in your stomach? That’s the direct connection of the brain and gut brain at work. Having “gut feelings” or holding onto emotions in the pit of your gut are possible because of the inherent power of the enteric nervous system, which processes information and stimuli from the outside environment–truly like a “second brain.” Because of this intimate brain-gut brain connection, negative emotions have a negative effect on the gut, its activity, and the microbes living in it. Conversely, positive emotions have a positive effect on the gut’s overall function and environment.
Through acknowledging and tuning into the messages that our gut brain is telling us, the belly button becomes an important access point to massage and release any uncomfortable emotions or information stored there. Belly Button Healing is a powerful self-healing method to gently stimulate your brain and gut brain to return the body in a state of balance to heal itself naturally without introducing any substances into the body.
How does Belly Button Healing Work?
To put it simply, Belly Button Healing is a self-healing method that gently massages the intestinal muscles of the gut brain. There’s no doubt about the need to massage muscles in your body that feel sore or tense from stress. However, many people forget that the intestines are muscles too, so they overlook the buildup of tension that happens there naturally like any other muscle in the body. Add this muscular tension year after year without releasing it, and no matter what great supplement or food you eat, most likely your gut will still feel like a big ball of hard muscle.
So then why do we push down on the belly button? We use the belly button as an access point not only because of the vagus nerve beneath it but also because the navel is actually an important reflexology point. There are recorded instances where ancient practitioners of Eastern medicine have revived someone who’s fainted by stimulating the reflexology point of the navel. This is possible because a large portion of your entire body’s blood supply (⅓ to be exact) lies in the gut, so stimulating this rich blood source with pumping motions from Belly Button Healing circulates the blood in the gut to enhance smooth digestive flow and activation of the vagus nerve for rest and relaxation.
Dr. Emeran Mayer, M.D., a world-renowned gastroenterologist and Professor of Medicine, Physiology and Psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA says, “any kind of activity we can exert mechanical activity from the outside, be it acupressure, Belly Button Healing stimulation, or abdominal breathing has effects on the gut, its activity, and the microbes living in it.” The effects and potential of Belly Button Healing make it a well-rounded self-healing tool to circulate essential nutrients in the blood, while enhancing the function of the all-important gut brain and strengthening the brain-gut brain connection through the vagus nerve. It’s important to consider gentle abdominal massaging like Belly Button Healing for your wellness routine.
Belly Button Healing is a powerful self-healing method to gently stimulate your brain and gut brain to return the body in a state of balance to heal itself naturally. Visit www.bellybuttonhealing.com to discover more.