Digestive issues are all too common today. The digestive system is paramount to your overall health and wellness. It is the part of your body where you absorb nutrients and eliminate waste.
Very often our clients complain about poor elimination patterns or constipation. Dr Mercola’s article: Epidemic Numbers of People Suffering from Constipation states that 15% of the US population suffers from Chronic Constipation and the costs associated with this condition account for $12.7 billion US dollars annually. Certainly a real food, whole food diet and exercise plan and proper hydration are important components for effective elimination. Making an appointment with a Holistic Health Practitioner to focus on healthy lifestyle changes is important. Both of these strategies would certainly be very effective in improving overall health and elimination.
But SMA could be the reason you are constipated.
Not so obvious but equally important, there is one more element to consider for improving poor elimination patterns and constipation. As Somatic Educators and SomaYoga Therapists we look at the overall function of the entire Soma, the sensing and feeling body, to evaluate how that body is moving or not moving well. When constipation is present, we have to consider that some of the muscles of the trunk could be in a state of Sensory Motor Amnesia or SMA. In other words the muscles are stuck in contraction and unable to release and creating a stopper like action in the flow of digestion and elimination. These could include everything from the diaphragm and the rectus abdominus muscles, to the obliques, hip flexors, pelvic floor muscles, sphinter muscles and lower back/sacral muscles. Basically, if any combination of this muscles are stuck involuntarily short, unable to release then how can they do their job to support your digestion and elimination? SMA could be the reason you are constipated.
Consider this, muscles that are in chronic contraction hold the body in patterns of tension and pain. What if the muscles that support and control digestion are chronically contracted? Could this be a contributing factor to constipation? Absolutely it can.
There are several scenarios that can contribute to constipation such as tight hips and hip flexors, over contracted abdominal muscles, tight low back muscles and all of these conditions contribute to poor breathing patterns which affect digestion and elimination.
The diaphragm is the primary muscle for breathing and controls up to 80% of the work of breathing. When it works well, this important muscle of breathing massages the entrance to the digestive tract and massages all of the organs in the belly. Your organs stay healthy when they are rhythmically massaged, squeezed and flushed by the contraction of the diaphragm pressing down into the belly.
When the diaphragm is tight or restricted from Sensory Motor Amnesia the range of movement of the diaphragm is limited and subsequently affects the quality and depth of your breath. Breathing is restricted, the nervous system is agitated and digestive health is compromised.
So what’s the solution?
Releasing the chronic contractions in the muscles of the trunk through re-education. Somatic Neuromuscular Re-education retrains the brain so that tight muscles can let go and work more optimally.
It is that simple.
Release the tension in the muscles, teach them how to work efficiently so that they can better support the function of elimination in the digestive system. Optimal health is whole being well being. Eat well, breathe well, move well.
Want to find out how you can help your body heal? Want to find out if SMA is the cause of your constipation? How about learning about how Sensory Motor Amnesia is causing other problems/symptoms in your body?
Check out our Video on Demand site page to experience movement classes and educational videos to learn how to release SMA and learn more.