your gut-brain = your second brain

You may have heard me call this the “heart-gut” in class. Here’s more research from Brian Johnson who covers “One Spirit Medicine,” written by Alberto Villoldo. Very interesting stuff!


Consider this: You have a second brain in your gut, and it’s every bit as important as the brain in your head. This second brain is a network of more than 100 million neurons that communicate directly with the brain in your head. The neurons form a latticelike sheath surrounding the entire alimentary canal, or digestive tract, the nearly 30-foot-long tube running from your mouth to your anus. This sheath isn’t concerned with poetry, love, philosophy, or whether there’s life after death. Its main preoccupation is the daily grind of digestion: breaking down food particles to extract the nutrients, absorbing those nutrients, and then eliminating waste. It’s an enormous job, yet all this neural firepower isn’t dedicated exclusively to digestion and elimination. The vagus nerve—the longest of the cranial nerves—snakes up through the body from the gut to the brain, carrying a variety of vital information.”

—Alberto Villoldo, Ph.D. from One Spirit Medicine

100 million neurons.


Every time I read that I’m blown away.

You have a second brain. And it’s every bit as important as the brain in your head.

Alberto calls it your gut-brain and it’s constantly communicating with the brain between your ears.

Get this: “The gut-brain produces—and uses—95 percent of the serotonin in the body. Serotonin is both a hormone and a neurotransmitter. It plays a crucial role in developing our forebrain, which processes our emotions. Serotonin also enhances the growth of new neurons in the hippocampus, the part of the limbic brain that regulates the fight-or-flight systems. The hippocampus enables us to have new experiences and learn from them. Both the forebrain and the hippocampus have to be functioning optimally for One Spirit Medicine to work.”

Alberto goes on to make the point that serotonin, the “happiness” hormone, is chemically similar to DMT, “the spirit molecule.” He believes that serotonin plays an important role in the creation of DMT—allowing us to access higher states of consciousness in which we perceive the inherent interconnectedness of our existence.

Check out the book for more on that.

For now, KNOW that if you experience ANY emotional, mental or physical challenges, it’s wise to start the healing process by looking at what you EAT.

Might sound weird, but the growing body of research is unequivocal—if we want to optimize our lives, we need to start by optimizing our gut-brain.

Get the gut-brain right and the head-brain follows and we have a solid base from which we can most powerfully take the next steps in our actualization.

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