The purpose of this blog is to share some of the thoughts that inform my practice and to offer some helpful ideas to my clients. Please feel free to comment. I welcome the feedback and hope to provide you with information that you find valuable.
I must admit to being a bit of a science buff with a special interest in how diet affects our moods. I am a huge fan of the NPR radio show Radio Lab and in April they aired a show called ‘Guts’ which included several interesting stories about our intestines. One story discusses early research on the understanding of how we digest food. Another story talks about the experience of a man who looses his ability to eat due to a health condition and shares his mental reactions to this state.
What I found the most fascinating and most relevant to my work as a psychotherapist is the middle story (“Gut Feelings) which I have embedded here. In the story Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich talk about the bacteria that inhabit our gut and how they affect our moods. They talk about the nerve connection that seems to provide some feedback from our guts to our brains. The story also discusses how a healthy gut appears to lessen the experience of anxiety.
For me this raises the issue of whether we should consider taking probiotics as a supplement or increase naturally existing probiotics in our diet (e.g. pickled food). Doctors of Traditional Chinese Medicine seem to have known about this gut/brain connection for a long time and tend to recommend probiotics to their patients. A number of health experts would also argue that, given the kind of diet we mostly eat, such as lots of sugars and refined flowers, we tend to feed the wrong kind of germs in our guts.
Now without further ado:
Let me know what you think about the gut/brain connection. Have you noticed a difference when taking probiotic supplements? Have you come across other research or literature that discusses the use and benefits of probiotics?