When you think of your brain, you more than likely think about your grey matter sitting in your head. Maybe you consider various lobes of the brain and their functions, be it the cerebrum with it’s higher functions of emotions, reasoning, problem solving; or the parietal lobe with it’s control over movement and what not. That all happens because of a massive network of neutrons that exist in the brain, allowing electrical impulses to travel to and from various parts of the body communicating back and forth. I know when I did my degree in psychology we learned lots of the brain and all of it’s functions!
There\ thing is, though, there are two other areas that have these network of neutrons similar to the brain, and in great numbers as well. Not in the same numbers, but still quite massive in their own rights. One of these networks is located in the heart and the other the gut, and they both have very different functions than those found in our head. The thing is, it’s those neutrons that the world of science has identified and called a brain.
Marvin Oka, a leader in this field, is quoted as saying:
They have their own intrinsic nervous systems. They’ve got neurons. They’ve got the whole range of [capabilities] in order to do complex adaptive processes. They can take on information, process it, store it, change and adapt. Basically, if it can learn, it’s a brain.”
That sounds like a brain to me! So what are the functions of these two other brains? Well, the heart brain, unsurprisingly, is associated with deep feeling. It’s the place that we process emotions, where we store our values, and express those.
The gut is all about self-preservation, fear, anxiety, taking action (or not) and immune health. It’s also where our core identity resides. When we say we have a gut feeling about something, that’s not mere words. Thats your gut brain speaking up! To me, this seems to be a place our intuition likely lives.
Have you ever had the experience of your brain and your heart or gut telling you different things? Maybe complete opposites even? Maybe it’s time to start listening to your heart and your gut a little more, you know, work those neutrons and build them up. We are so much more than our logical brain and our knowledge centres. I had a client ask me this week why we do we give in to cravings when we know better? It makes no sense. She’s right, it makes no sense, and as I told her it’s the path of least resistance – we go along the same neural pathways we always have. The thing is, those pathways are in more places than the head.
Taking care of gut health and heart health is vital to our overall health and wellness. What we put in the body – what we digest – whether food, information, visual or aural stimuli is affecting all of our brains. Making good choices, then, is important to keeping in line with your values, your core identity, keep your emotional IQ high, your fears in check. It allows us to grow in our human experience here on earth. And if we stop growing, we stop living.
Look after your brains, they are all working to keep you fulfilled and alive! If you aren’t sure where to start, message or email me for a free session on what health coaching can do for you. Then decide if it’s right for you, and if I’m the right coach for you!