I had the privilege to meet BodyTalk practitioner Angie Tourani in Hong Kong and learned a lot about our gut microbiome and even the third brain (the heart)! Angie spoke about the fascinating new research in the gut brain connection at the Inspire Wellness series of talks on aging in Hong Kong. This series of wellness talks I organized focusing on the 5 + 1 pillars of longevity called for an expert on stress management and the gut microbiome who not only understood the body’s chemistry, but knew how to get to the root cause of some of our modern day illnesses using an alternative approach to medication and surgery.
South African native and Hong Kong resident Angie Tourani was a perfect match with extensive experience and training. I was particularly impressed after I had a session with Angie who helped remove the anxiety I felt after losing one of my best friends in a freak accident. I was familiar with the process of grieving after losing both of my parents, but just wanted to speed it up. She successfully helped me with this and has given me a lot more confidence in alternative therapy.
We had an incredible turnout for her talk “Is Stress Making You Sick?” (May 4, 2018) and now lucky to feature a guest blog from an experienced and knowledgable professional.
THE GUT MICROBIOME
By: Angie Tourani
Advanced Certified BodyTalk Practitioner, BodyTalk Instructor and MindScape Trainer
1. What is your gut microbiome?
Friendly bacteria and other types of microorganisms live in our gut, the digestive tract that begins in our mouth and ends in our colon. There are tens of thousands of different types of bacteria in each inch of our gut lining. These microbes are our tiny friends with benefits.
2. Is your gut microbiome linked to your health?
YES! The gut microbiome is dubbed the gut brain due to the extreme impact it has on our actions. It is also the the key to healthy digestion, a balanced immune system that isn’t prone to allergies and food sensitivities. The gut microbiome:
– Determines whether you are overweight or at a healthy weight.
– Balances our brain and lowers our sensitivity to stress
– Impacts your emotional health
– Contains the key neurotransmitters for mood – which are activated by healthy gut flora – thus influencing your emotional health. 90% of all Serotonin – the hormone for well-being, happiness, learning and appetite – is synthesised in the gut brain.
- Influences our perception of pain
- Alters our taste receptors – making us crave food and change our eating patterns to favour their growth.
3. The gut microbiome in disease
The deforestation of the gut microbiome by antibiotics has been associated to higher stress, anxiety, depression and poor memory functioning. Poor gut biodiversity and imbalanced gut ecosystems have been also been implicated in:
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Celiac disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Other immune and autoimmune diseases
The gut brain also called Enteric Brain – the neurons found through the intestines and the entirety of the gut contain much more neurons than the brain. The Gut Brain has a great influence on the functioning of the immune system.
4. Changes in our modern lives since the 1950s destabilised the gut microbiome & the immune system
Our modern lifestyles: our diets, c-sections, insufficient breastfeeding, antibiotics and anti- bacterial products have all tremendously impacted the biodiversity of our inner ecosystem.
This deforestation of the microbiome has left our immune and digestive system in chaos and is behind the skyrocketing rate of inflammatory conditions, allergies, and autoimmune diseases.
5. Diet: You are what you eat! Feed your bugs!
Our healthy gut flora are very sensitive to our diets. If our diets are high in sugar and high carbs, our gut microbes will influence our bodies to store more calories as fat molecules. What do the healthy bugs like to eat? Fibre, greens! The latest research* suggests that even the minimum daily requirements of fibre are ten times lower than they need to be for our microbiome’s optimal health.
Kill pathogens and our friendly microbes alike, causing tremendous imbalances in our microbiomes that can last up to four years. Furthermore, they make you more vulnerable to pathogens afterwords and tip the immune system into the inflammatory and allergic profiles. Natural alternatives such as BodyTalk and essential oils should be used when possible.
7. Vaginal vs C-section births
The gut microbiome gets seeded during a vaginal delivery from the mother’s vagina. Not during a c- section. Many doctors are now swiping the mother’s vagina and painting these healthy bugs on c-section babies to give them the best start in life.
Builds a healthy gut microbiome and immune system for a baby as well as helping to avoid digestion issues. Some of the sugars in breast milk (not found in formula) are especially designed to feed the bacteria in the gut.
How do you re-balance your gut microbiome and immune system?
1. Probiotics and Prebiotics: Are they right for you?
- Prebiotics are supplements of plant fibre that you take to promote healthy gut flora (a “feed the good bugs” strategy). You can accomplish the same thing by eating greens and fibre!
- Probiotics are supplements of healthy bacteria found in pill supplements at health food stores or in certain natural foods such as yogurt and kombucha. This is an “add back the good bugs” strategy. Since your digestive tract should have thousands of different strains of bacteria adding back a handful is a bit like putting a thimble full of water into the ocean. However, it still can help especially if you have taken a lot of antibiotics or after antibiotic treatment. Probiotics are an excellent way to start rebuilding a healthy ecosystem.
The latest scientific research on the microbiome and the immune system has been combined and used to develop amazing techniques that simply reset balance and bring harmony in healthy gut flora, the nervous system and reset your immune system out of inflammation and allergic reactiveness. BodyTalk treatments help with:
- boosting “good” microbiome and balancing “bad” bacteria
- balancing the communication between the nervous, endocrine and immune systems and the gut microbiome
Receive a HKD300 on your initial consultation with Adv. BodyTalk Practitioner Angie Tourani at IMI Central or Discovery Bay. Simply mention the “Hack My Age” discount on your pre-booked initial session to enjoy the offer. To book an appointment, please call 2523 7121 (Central). This one-time discount does not cover any prescriptions, supplements, or products. Offer expires on 30th June 2018.
Angie Tourani is Hong Kong’s only Advanced Certified BodyTalk Practitioner and Instructor. She has been teaching BodyTalk for the last 10 years internationally and in Hong Kong. Her specialisation is working with digestive issues, immune disorders and emotional conflicts.