In Japanese-style acupuncture (Chinese Medicine comes in all shapes and styles here in Victoria B.C.) understanding what’s behind any health concern requires feeling your abdomen, also known as your second brain. This is the enteric nervous system (ENS) in medical terminology. And because form follows function, how your gut brain responds to stress can relate to structural imbalances.
The ENS senses internal changes and initiates immune, digestive, hormonal, and emotional responses. From the esophagus to the large intestine, the various organs of the ENS are surrounded by fascia. And like layers of an onion fascia keeps our organs, bones, muscles and skin together. Fascia are full of mechanoreceptors that coordinate how our muscles move (or don’t move), maintain postures, and muster strength. Acupuncture works on the fascial lines (or meridians) that have become less stress-tolerant from chronic strain or old injuries. The goal is to restore agility in the neck, shoulders, abdomen and hips. Resolving these clears the clutter of sensory overstimulation to the ENS, and parasympathetic ‘rest and repair’ system. And better form leads to better function. This video talks about this mind-gut connection, and this research reminds us of the power of gut instincts.
A gentle acupuncture treatment may seem to focus on the surface, but the effects run deep.