When I was going through puberty, I discovered the world of food and binging as a doorway to self-medication; and a pathway to help me deal with my emotional stresses.
During my teens, I learned how to burrow my sorrow in dozens of donuts, reclaim my broken heart with death by chocolate and deal with my personal insecurities by ordering large ice-cream sundae.
At the same time, I was trying to escape the danger of gaining weight, so I would often ‘’punish’’ my body with extreme workouts. Treadmill was my GURU and I could not skip a day without heavy cardio workouts-which would still leave me; however; ‘’empty on the inside.’’
My life was built on two extremes- one side was world of eating, and binging; and the other consist of calorie counting, extreme diets and punishment through exercise. There were no days filled with love, rest and self-compassion, as I was constantly at war with my body- especially with my core.
However; years of playing with food, and ignoring my natural hungers, has created an environment where my body stopped processing food very well.
Outside of my emotional wounds, I began to suffer with constipation, and often would go for days without going to toilette. My belly would swell extensively, and people would congratulate me on being pregnant. In addition, I would often be in bouts of pain, that I had to curl in the bed and spend hours without any movement.
In my early twenties, upon meeting my bellowed teacher Jill Miller, creator of Yoga Tune Up®, I knew that my life, and my relationship to food, is going to change-forever.
Jill’s love of human core, and her signature ‘’CORE INTEGRATION’’ work has COMPLETELY helped me to overcome my eating disorders and changed the way I relate to myself and my body every single day.
The human core consists of multiple layers of abdominal muscles, including the rectus abdominus, internal and external obliques,transverse abdominus, quadratus lamborum, psoas major and respiratory diaphragm.
All of these tissues effect your digestion, because all of these muscles are wrapping around the abdominal organs, or effecting the position of the ribcage to pelvis (which has profound effect on the correct downward movement of food).
If some of these tissues are weak or filled with scar tissue, compensatory movement patterns and incorrect biomechanics will set in- massively affecting your ability to absorb nutrients and experience wellness in your core.
In addition, the health of your gut is vastly based on the amount of stresses your body goes through life. If you are constantly exposing yourself to alcohol, large amounts of caffeine, garbage food or lack of sleep, you are creating an envirovement in which your gut might be more vulnerable to painful cramps, gas and constipation.
THE MAGIC TOUCH OF YOUR BELLY
One of the incredible technique Jill has taught me is massaging my abdomen with squishy air-filled ball, also known as the ‘’COREGEOUS BALL.’’
Placing the ball onto the abdomen, and practicing deep breathing combined with gentle spinal movements is incredible way how to restore circulation into the gut. The enhanced movement of blood will help condition the digestive track to better performance; thus reducing pain, improving core mechanics and even inducing whole-body relaxation.
According to Dr. Kelly Starrett, founder of Mobility Wod, this practice ‘’should be the first stop for anyone with back pain, post-abdominal surgery, post-partum depression etc.’’
HOW TO MASSAGE YOUR GUTS
- Place a COREGEOUS BALL into your abdomen (the balls can be substituted with rolled up towel)
- Take a deep breath into your belly
- Hold the breath, while at the same time co-contract the abdominal tissues (as a result, the ball won’t be able to enter you as deeply as before)
- Continue to hold breath within your body, and begin to roll your torso from side-to-side
- Exhale, pause, allow the abdomen to relax
- Repeat 5 times
THE HEALING JOURNEY
Fast forward 10 years, I am happy to share that I am in love with my belly, respect my food and comfortably process all of my emotions.
I am not a fan of shredding my abs, or crunching myself into pieces, but I adore intelligent core work that respects and honours all of my abdominal tissues at once.
Exploring the ‘’wounds in my core’’ was and is a process of deeply conditioning my abdomen, on a regular basis, from inside-out.
The journey of creating wellness in our core might not only involve sitting in front of therapist- it requires for us to look deeply inside of ourselves, and start to honour every aspect of our being: the parts that are wonderful, the parts that we want to improve, and everything in between.
3 chances to learn more about holistic approach to core rehab, science of gut massage and how to build wellness in your core:
DETOX PROGRAMME: (30th Oct-27th Nov)/ Waterford
Thursdays 7.15-8.15pm in Spirit Leisure centre
COREGEOUS: REDEFINE YOUR ABS FROM INSIDE-OUT/ Cork
1st Nov; 10.30am-1pm in Yogaloft
COREGEOUS: REDEFINE YOUR ABS FROM INSIDE-OUT/ Dublin
9th Nov; 10.30am-1pm in The Pilates Room