The occasion of National Women’s Health Week May 14 - 20 is a very good time to get serious and talk about my mission here at Firebelly. American women are afflicted disproportionately by frustrating digestive difficulties, and I am here to draw the connection between this diminishment of metabolic power and our ability to rise into our full potential as a culture.
If, as the Dalai Llama is quoted as saying, the Western Woman will save the planet, its my mission to help her overcome the physical, energetic and spiritual malaise that is distressing her in epidemic proportion, manifesting as unease right in her very own root and effectively taking her out of the game in her prime. This will not do.
The numbers are startling, and make no mistake that the struggles I hear of daily – lack of vitality, exhaustion, chronic pain, depression, anxiety, lack of focus and productivity – these complaints ARE about the state of our gastrointestinal wellness, just as much as nausea, acid reflux, diarrhea, constipation, and many more.
The fact is, that each one of us inherited our individual digestive legacy from our mothers, which has been down-modulated over the last several generations by the paucity of plant-foods in the diet, diminishing nutrients, highly acidic Ph levels in the gut, the increase in antibiotic and anti-microbial use, the rise of chemical toxins, and the increasing amounts of stress we now accept as ‘normal’. Lack of exercise is another one. And it is now becoming clear that our efforts to restore our friendly flora have been woefully inadequate. Turns out its not just as easy as taking a probiotic in a capsule and calling it good.
My message for you is this:
Leaving the legacy of a healthy microbiome for future generations is crucial.
METABOLIC POWER = PERSONAL POWER
A healthy and diverse microbiome not only assures a strong immune system, optimal metabolism, robust brain function and protects against ALL disease, but plays a central role in how well-equipped we are to handle daily stress as well as the deeper movements of our emotional lives. The biochemistry of the gut-to-brain axis is so profound that in the field of psychology, there are already specialties that treat depression and anxiety with microbiome medicine. Because each newborn baby receives its friendly-flora from its mother, what I believe the world needs now is for every woman alive to increase her awareness of what it takes to restore her healthy microbiota, full digestive power and full potential as a human. This power translates directly to our ability to achieve greater personal potential and significance in effecting change. I will go as far as saying that we are being shown very clearly that our effectiveness in career and relationships is only as great as our capacity to be nourished by the food we eat and the ideas we digest...or don't. Today's rising epidemic of digestive diagnoses are here to show us exactly where we need to do our work.
Of particular note in drawing that connection to personal empowerment, consider that the holistic model of healing includes the way our thoughts and emotions contribute to our physical issues. Sense of self-worth, connection to community, creativity, willpower, financial responsibility are the internal struggles that those afflicted with digestive complaints tend to find it invaluable to work with. Its not uncommon for my clients with mild issues to achieve a quick and lasting resolution when they address their most profound life challenges. Those with more advanced cases tend to have dealt with trauma or PTSD, which points squarely to the connection of empowerment.
After being afflicted with lifetime gut issues as well as deep self-esteem challenges from childhood trauma, my personal journey to a fulfilling sense of empowerment and vitality recognized the central role of my growth in emotional intelligence. I encourage you all to educate yourselves in the leading thought about healthy microflora, and teach others so that we may see a legacy of improving digestive health to replace the current trends of diminishing health and enormous reliance on a faltering health care system.
And the place to get that education is right here. In my June issue, I will focus on tips to create a healthy microbiome. Thanks to those already in the Firebelly Community. If you are not already receiving my somewhat monthly newsletters, please sign up to get it at the bottom of this page.