Drills For Digestive Relief

Nov 24, 2022

Do you ever feel like food just does not want to move through you?

Well, we're gonna talk about that today.

My name is Bryan. I've been in the health and wellness world for about 20 years, and I've been in the pro metabolic side of things for close to 10.

Today, I'm going to share with you some of my favorite tips for helping you with digestion. Okay, first off, what is digestion, digestion? we often think of digestion as you eat stuff, and then things happen.

Let's give you a little breakdown on what that actually includes. Your process of digestion actually starts before food even enters your body. People often think it starts in the mouth, because salivary amylase is what's getting produced by the salivary glands, and you're going to break down carbohydrates and starches in the mouth.

And that's true, that does happen. But you actually start the process of creating amylase, creating insulin secretions preparing your body for the intake of food before it even enters your body.  You actually start the process of digestion through things like smell, if you smell food in the air that can start to trigger a digestive process.

If you see food that can trigger a digestive process. If you hear the sound of bacon sizzling on the skillet, that can lead to the production of all of those digestive processes. So your body is always on the lookout for foods your brain is wired to look for and find food. And all of those cues that you've learned over your lifespan that lead to the ingestion of food, or things that your brain is looking out for. And when it senses those, it starts that process.

So you eat food, your mouth starts to break down the starch, you swallow it, it gets to the stomach, the stomach acid starts to break down. And then as it's really eroded in the stomach, you start to put it into the intestine, at which point if it's broken down enough, you can actually extract nutrition from there. Eventually it works its way through the intestine into the colon. The colon is where you start to create most of your bacterial fermentation of food, you pull water and moisture out of it, or put water and moisture in, depending on what you need, and then you have a bowel movement, and your food is no longer yours. And that is digestion in a nutshell.

Now when it comes to a lot of the steps along the way with fats, and with gallbladder and bile and liver, that's a whole other conversation, we'll get into another time. But the big thing I want you to think about it, if that process of food moving through you is not happening as well as it should. It's very easy to feel full, it's very easy to feel bloated, it's very easy to feel like things just aren't moving the way they should. 

That can show up in you not wanting to move. That can show up in your mood.  That can show up as pain.

And so today we're going to talk about ways that you can address that.

The first thing I want to discuss is one of my favorite drills, this one's actually going to take place lying down. 

This first exercise is called the diaphragm stretch.

What you're going to want to do is lie on the ground. Lie somewhere firm, not your mattress, because you want somewhere that's going to make sure that your spine is stable. What you're going to do here, feet flat on the floor, knees bent, arms overhead. And what you're going to do here, then tuck your pelvis, you're pulling your belt buckle towards your chin. And then you're going to take a nice big inhale through the nose and then follow with a really long exhale through the mouth.

Now I'm going to warn you if you've never heard this sound before, you might be a little surprised, possibly even scared, but this is about the level of intensity we want to go for for what's about to happen.

So as I'm here, my arms are overhead. I'm going to big inhale. Big exhale, ah you're looking to try and empty your lungs. by exhaling as fully as possible, you're going to move the abdominal cavity and you're going to change your breathing which then massages your abdominal cavity the rest of the day.

The diaphragm stretch is best suited for before you eat. As you stretch everything out, as you mobilize the abdomen, as you mobilize the diaphragm, what'll end up happening is that every breath you take after that will be bigger, deeper and fuller. And that will help to make more room and create more movement for the foods you're about to ingest.

Second one we're going to do today, we're actually going to work on what I call the arm swing drill.

Now, this is something you're going to do after you've eaten. If you've already eaten, you've already got stuff in you, but you need to get to move around, we're going to work on the arm swing drill.

So what this is, you're going to take a nice wide base, feet about hip width apart, shoulder width apart. And what you're going to do here, you're going to rotate, and shift.

Think of it as you are wringing out a washcloth; you're twisting your abdomen, you're shifting your weight, and you're moving side to side. Now the big thing here, in order to drive relaxation, we want to make sure that your arms are loose, we don't want stiff rigid arms, we want loose and relaxed.  You should almost be hitting yourself in the back and in the stomach every time. That's how you know you're reducing tension, you're reducing stress.  That will help to drive circulation, that'll help to improve digestion.

The third drill we're going to do is called fixation bouncing.

The third drill we're going to do, if the other two haven't helped, you've got another option. This one, you're actually going to pick a target something about eye level that you can look at, it can be far away, it can be in the same room as you, whatever you're going to do, you're going to pick your target, and bounce.

So your eyes are fixated on your target. And you're gonna bounce up and down on the balls of your feet for about 30 seconds. Try that. And if that doesn't move things through you, we've got more.

The next drill we're going to do, as far as bouncing, as far as twisting, as far as stretching your diaphragm is concerned, we have other options.

If we have a problem with digestion, oftentimes what will happen under a stress response, our sympathetic tone will go up. One of the main things that happens when you see an increase in sympathetic tone, is you will see a decrease in blood flow to the gut. When you see a decrease in blood flow to the gut, you also will see a reduction in your gastric function.

What this means is that your body is actually preferring to send blood flow to the muscles involved with evading danger to defending yourself. Because it's sensing that you're in a survival situation. Digestion, a survival function long term, yeah, but short term in that stress situation, your brain is saying, 'I don't care, you've got to get out of danger.' 

So with a reduction in blood flow, that usually follows an increase in sympathetic tone. Another way we can reduce sympathetic tone is slow nasal breathing.

The fourth drill we can do is 6:6 Nasal Breathing.

What we're going to do here, very straightforward, very simple. We're going to do a six in, six out nasal breathing.

So you're going to nasal breathe the whole time. Nasal inhale, nasal exhale, and you're looking for about a six count both ways. So six second inhale followed by a six second exhale do that for a good 2345 10 minutes if need be, to lower your sympathetic tone. And as a byproduct of reducing sympathetic tone and up regulating parasympathetic tone, you'll be on your way to improving digestion.

I hope this was helpful for you. I hope you learned something new today. I hope you found some tools that you can take with you. I will see you soon. Be sure to like this video, subscribe to this channel and stick around for more.

Take care

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