Why meditation can improve your gut health
Here’s something you probably didn’t even realise: getting mindful can help beat the bloat. “The digestive system is often called the ‘the second brain’ as there is a clear connection between the gut and the brain. For example, stress and other emotions noticeably affect digestion, to greater and lesser extents, in many people,” explains Phoebe Boonkerd, director of wellness operations and development at Phuket’s Amatara Wellness Resort.
Meditation, she adds, helps to produce a relaxation response and turn off ‘fight or flight’ (aka the stress response). “When this occurs, the body moves into parasympathetic mode, allowing it to better regulate and heal body systems, including the digestive system,” she says.
If you’re looking for signs you need to meditate, Boonkerd lists poor concentration, difficultly sleeping or needing to be constantly ‘busy’ as good ones. If you aren’t able to sit and ‘be’ when you are on the beach, on a bus, or waiting for something (i.e. you can’t do these activities without checking your phone every few minutes), she suggest adding some meditation to your daily routine.
Even if you’re not suffering the above? “Everyone needs to meditate!” says Boonkerd. “In the modern world, we are bombarded not only by constant stimulation but by pressure to do and produce. Meditation gives us space to just be, to allow what is, and to let go of the need to do or be anything but fully present to ourselves.” Try this easy session from Boonkerd:
STEP 1 Sit cross-legged on a yoga block or firmly rolled towel to support a comfortable sitting posture.
STEP 2 Close your eyes.
STEP 3 Relax your shoulders, soften your face.
STEP 4 Gently deepen your breath, no strain.
STEP 5 Settle your attention on your breath.
STEP 6 When your mind wanders, settle your attention on your breath again.
* Amatara Wellness Resort currently has an awesome flight offer available: Book any wellness package for a minimum of 5 nights for stay between now and 25 December, 2017, and your flight to Phuket from Australia is complimentary (conditions apply). Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more.