I recently met with a friend from grad school who I hadn’t seen in 20 years.
We exchanged stories of getting sick a few years after leaving school. I told her about beating IBS and she shared how she got over two debilitating auto immune illnesses (which also start in the gut).
We took two different but equally effective approaches.
I healed myself with diet, supplements and self care (stress reduction and restoring my nervous system) but her story was even more amazing.
She tried everything; going to multiple doctors, diets and treatments galore, but nothing worked. One day, deeply exhausted from trying she concluded that her health was not likely to get better.
While most people would get depressed by that thought, she came to peace with it. She fully embraced and accepted her illnesses. In spiritual terms it is called surrender. Giving up her fear, anxiety, anger and grasping for a cure and making peace with her pain and body.
It was a strangely liberating moment for her because she was able to relax into her reality. And her nervous system (which controls involuntary digestive function) was also able to relax.
After she surrendered and relaxed, something unexpected happened. Her body began to heal and her two chronic and severe autoimmune conditions went into remission.
Since then she’s done what she loves most, traveled the world at every opportunity.
Two different approaches
While our healing stories are different, there’s a similarity. Both of us calmed down and that’s when we were able to heal. I calmed down because I met someone to finally help me. And I took time off from work to prioritize my health.
But before I met the nutritionist that helped me, I surrendered too. When nothing I tried for years worked, I gave up trying. I told my husband “maybe the doctors are right, maybe it is in my head.”
That’s when I decided to work on my head. I signed up for a meditation workshop at a retreat center and that’s where I met the nutritionist who helped bring me back to health. She was vacationing there. And I had a good feeling about her.
Surrendering the tight grip on negative emotions, thoughts and patterns is often required to allow the body to actually heal. But it is one of the hardest things for humans can do. The resistance is too great.
Both my friend and I were at the end of our ropes. Feeling tired and defeated. We did something that was out of our usual personalities. We let go of trying so hard.
We fell into a type of acceptance and the rest fell into place. Now she gets to travel and I get to help people who were as lost as I was.
How do you learn to surrender?
Like us you can simply get to the end of your rope and get lucky by letting go and opening up in a positive way.
But I have a better solution. You can teach your body and mind how to let go so you can find the support you need and stop getting in your own way.
My favorite practice for getting unstuck is chi gong. It is a practice that will allow you to access a place of surrender, acceptance, healing and calm. And help you stop fighting, resisting and fearing your health challenges.
How chi gong can speed up and support gut healing
Chi gong is very similar to tai chi. It’s a slow and gentle practice that moves stuck energy through the body and encourages the free flow of healing body fluids like lymph fluid. It does this by melting and moving contracted knots of tension, stress and trauma from the body. These stuck emotions in the body have a physical effect.
You can practice chi gong sitting down or laying down if you have trouble standing.
In the 8 years I’ve practiced chi gong I’ve seen similar amazing healing stories among students and have gained great benefit myself.
Chi gong helps with ailments that doctors medicate or call incurable. Two students rid themselves of symptoms from thoracic outlet syndrome, a condition that causes intense pain in the shoulders and neck and numbness in the fingers.
The health benefits of chi gong
Here are the emotional issues that chi gong can address:
Tendency to panic, always expecting the worst to happen, all or nothing behavior, addictions, being easily overwhelmed, emotional and physical reactivity.
All these things above have an effect on digestive health.
Other physical benefits include:
Improved organ function
Release of trauma and stored stress
Gets body fluids moving, which speeds recovery.
Improves breathing, bowel function and immunity.
Lowers pain and inflammattion
Calms the nervous system (gets you out of fight or flight).
Two way to improve digestion
You can approach it through diet, supplementation, testing for infections/overgrowths and habit change.
Or you can address it through mind, emotional health and calming the nervous system.
Or you can double the efficacy by doing both.
Chi gong balances your autonomic nervous system (ANS), which is responsible for motility and peristalsis. If your ANS is out of whack your digestion will follow.
Most people get IBS after going through a stressful, super busy or difficult time that they never properly recovered from. Chi gong offers an opportunity for that recovery.
It will help relax perfectionist, compulsive, and anxious tendencies and improve depression.
How I’ve benefited from chi gong
While I got over IBS, the trauma from having it remained.
And it manifested as hyper vigilance or always scanning my body for trouble and panicking at any sign of digestive unrest.
Even though IBS was gone, I still didn’t trust my body. This is something chi gong helped me with.
It has also helped me better serve my clients without absorbing their anxiety.
If diets, supplements and other complimentary treatments have not helped, the missing piece may be releasing past trauma and stress from the body so it can work right.
While chi gong does not provide instant relief you’re likely to feel a bit lighter and better after the first session. The effects are cumulative. The more you do it the more benefit you get.
Chi gong is also the reason I was able to heal from SIBO in 6 weeks instead of the 4 months indicated by my test results. It dramatically sped up healing.
I was also able to heal h pylori, candida and my adrenals, after the stress of starting my business, without seeing any practitioners.
How to practice?
My chi gong teacher is one of the most amazing healers I’ve ever met. And I can finally share him with you.
He is offering online workshops for the very first time. The workshops will happen monthly, staring March 25th 2018. There will be 10 total. One class is $70 for 4 hours or all 10 session for $500. If you can’t make it to a class, it will be recorded and sent out.
If you want to chi gong sample, I recorded a video years ago.
Is IBS in your mind or is it in your body?
If IBS is in your head, it’s also in your body and vice versa. Mind and body are connected through the vagus nerve and many other ways. Your brain and your your gut (your second brain) are in constant communication.
Healing one will effect the other.
You can get lucky, like me or my friend, and stumble into a state of surrender.
Or you can explore a practice that cultivates that state, and better connects body and mind so your intuition becomes sharper.
Online chi gong classes start March 25th 2018. You can join anytime. To sign up or learn more visit the website or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any questions leave them in the comments below or e-mail me through the sidebar on my website.
Angela Privin is proof that IBS is NOT an incurable disease or a disease at all. IBS is a body out of balance. It’s an invitation for change. After solving her own IBS mystery more than a decade ago Angela trained as a health coach to help others.
Angela uses both science and intuition to help people figure out what’s out of balance in their body. She works with lab tests, dietary changes, supplementation and nervous system rebalancing. Get help rebalancing your digestive system and solving your IBS mystery here.