Think Twice: How the Gut’s “Second Brain” Influences Mood and Well-Being

Below I am sharing an article I found so interesting, and I hope that you will too! As a massage therapist, I am allowed the opportunity to treat the “gut” and can closely see how massage helps with a wide range of issues from indigestion to something as abstract as how we feel about our decisions. Let me know…do you think about your belly? Do you perform self-massage here? How does it feel when someone else puts their hands here?

By Adam Hadhazy on February 12, 2010

The emerging and surprising view of how the enteric nervous system in our bellies goes far beyond just processing the food we eatBy Adam Hadhazy on February 12, 2010
As Olympians go for the gold in Vancouver, even the steeliest are likely to experience that familiar feeling of “butterflies” in the stomach. Underlying this sensation is an often-overlooked network of neurons lining our guts that is so extensive some scientists have nicknamed it our “second brain”.

A deeper understanding of this mass of neural tissue, filled with important neurotransmitters, is revealing that it does much more than merely handle digestion or inflict the occasional nervous pang. The little brain in our innards, in connection with the big one in our skulls, partly determines our mental state and plays key roles in certain diseases throughout the body.

Although its influence is far-reaching, the second brain is not the seat of any conscious thoughts or decision-making.

Read more at Scientific American

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