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  • Autumn Jensen L.Ac.

Could Stress be Affecting my Digestion?

4 easy ways to improve your digestion!

Stress is a part of everyone's life. It can be caused by work, parenting, personal relationships, or even by something fun like planning a vacation. No one is immune to stress.


Why does stress affect my digestion?

A lot of energy is required to efficiently digest your food and absorb the nutrients. When we are stressed or in a state of fight or flight, our body's resources and energy are being used to run from the tiger, not to digest our food. Blood flow is directed away from the gut and towards your limbs in preparation for fight or flight. When your gut is deprived of the resources it needs, it can affect your gut lining, gut flora, and gut motility, leading to digestive symptoms.


Often people get prescribed medications in these situations and find that they don't always work. And if they do, it's often just a bandaid. As soon as they stop the medications all their digestive issues come back.


That's why these 4 tips can help with digestion and get to the root of the problem when stress is the cause of your digestive issues.


Eating is its own activity

When you eat, let that be your main activity. Don't scroll on your phone, watch tv, or drive while eating. This takes your attention away from what eating and places it somewhere else. Driving can be stressful, and scrolling through the news is stressful, so when you are doing these things while eating, you are automatically eating in a stressful situation. Also, you aren't paying attention to the amount of food you are eating, you're probably not enjoying the flavors of the food, and you're likely not chewing your food thoroughly.


Digestion starts in your mouth!

Chew your food well, eat mostly cooked foods, and skip cold beverages. These things will help jump-start your digestion. If you are struggling with digestion, why not give yourself all the advantages you can? It's much easier to digest cooked foods than raw foods. It's easier to digest foods that have been chewed well. And it's easier to digest foods when you don't dilute your stomach acid with large amounts of liquids -especially cold liquids that your tired digestive system then has to work to warm up.


Get acupuncture to manage stress

Sometimes stress is so high that it's hard to know where to start. How to begin to manage it and get it under control. This is where acupuncture comes into play. Acupuncture will help calm your central nervous system and take you out of the fight-or-flight state. Once you are out of the fight-or-flight state, your mind is calmer, you can think clearer, you feel more grounded, and can make decisions easier. All of these things will help you manage your stress. Acupuncture doesn't make your stress disappear, it helps you manage it better. When this happens, your blood flow and energy can then be used to properly digest food.


Breathe before you eat

Before you eat, stop for a moment to take 5 deep breaths. Taking deep breaths is a simple way to signal your central nervous system to calm down. If you do this before eating, you will be in a better state to digest your food.


Can acupuncture help you?

If you're curious if acupuncture can help you, feel free to reach out with any questions or book an appointment online.




 

Do you have health concerns & wonder if acupuncture is right for you?


Key Element Acupuncture is here to help you with pain, digestion, stress, anxiety, fertility, and so much more! Call or email with questions or book an appointment online!