The Honored Middle and Gut Health

1852 lithograph of the gut

1852 lithograph of the gut

Some thoughts on gut health ~

Practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) say that gut health actually provides the necessary ingredients to protect the heart (where spirit or “shen” resides). In Japan, the large intestine is referred to as both the “honored middle” (onaka) and “center of the spiritual and physical strength” (hara).  The soul is said to reside in the gut.

In Ayurveda, the 3rd chakra lines up with liver/gal and the glands of the pancreas and the 2nd chakra lines up with the small and large intestine (to me, greatly affecting reproductive organ health due to proximity and the blood/lymph fluid that they share). These two chakras are associated with will-power, self-esteem, self-confidence, self-image, and sensuality. When these two chakras are out of balance, they affect the entire energetic body and other chakra energy bodies (which affect hormone secretion and metabolic function).

So, overlapping these thoughts from various traditional medical systems with what we now know about digestive health in the West (well, we completely forgot and are just now recovering understanding through studies on the human microbiome)…gut health is VERY important. The energy around the gut radiates out and affects other subconscious and conscious realms.  It asks of us:

What do we allow and NOT allow in our lives?
What are we motivated by?
What is our foundation of understanding about the universe?
What are we activated to protect and nourish?
Are we centered and grounded?
Are there leaks in our system where negative energy, pathogens, and the like can enter?

Further, on my journey to healing, I’ve discerned that what we eat/say/think/feel affects our gut health.  When it is strong, our heart/spirit feels radiant and protected (no anxiety…no unnecessary worry).  It is free to express and give thanks.  As well, our spirit/heart is the guiding light for our soul (gut).  Traditional curenderas (healers) of Mexico know this as well.  They teach that a strong soul can protect the spirit and keep it safe.

In the world of trauma, they say that the spirit is always wanting to leave.  A grounded soul is what roots the spirit in the body to feel safe and protected.  Focusing on digestive function and gut health (where not only soul, but instinct resides) can give us the keys to soul integration and wholesomeness, especially after illness or trauma.

As well, our soul needs the light of the heart to see its way on its journey. Therefore, gut health has everything to do with someone’s ability to walk their unique soul path…

Walking our soul path has everything to do with feeling whole, feeling integrated, and feeling satisfied with our life situation…no matter what arises and no matter what situation we are in…  With a grounded soul, we see our circumstances as apart of the unfolding of our personal, unique narrative.

5 thoughts on “The Honored Middle and Gut Health

  1. Lindsay, I’m so appreciative that you have made this such a study and are getting the word out to educate us. I love your integration of the whole of the person at all of the levels in this discussion of gut health. Thank you for awakening us. You’re genius.

    • Thank you dear Tayria ~ I feel more like a synthesizer more than a genius ~ but thank you, I’ll take it! It’s so good to hear from you… I’m on a digestive journey right now and hope to be cranking some more stuff out soon…

  2. Pingback: Forest Soil and Your Gut Microbiome | Sweet Gum Springs Apothecary

  3. For sure what we eat affects how we feel. I’ve been playing around with it for several years. I do feel that there is not a one size fits all diet ( although ditching refined everything is a good place to start). It can be over whelming to find anything to eat that is ok with everything I read. But this sure fits with my experience.

    • Yes, Elizabeth…it is a very personal navigation…the closer we get to food and nourishment at its source…the easier our bodies can find balance and the nutrients it needs…

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