Everybody experiences ‘feelings’ that seem to originate from our abdominal region. That sinking sensation before addressing a room of people, ‘butterflies in your stomach’, or that awful twisting feeling from negative situations, are a few of the common experiences. While a mostly unexplained phenomenon, humans have learned to trust and acknowledge these feelings. They are highly relatable to our intuition, growling our subconscious thoughts and feelings when our mind is preoccupied.
Your nervous center can be broken up into your central and peripheral systems. The central is your brain, where we make use of all of those awesome cognitive processes. The peripheral is where impulses are sent from the brain to various systems and functions. Researchers have been probing the concept of these ‘gut feelings’ and finding out we may need to re vamp the peripheral nervous system’s definition.
A dense network has been found in the abdominal cavity. This network consists of over one hundred million neurons and is called the Enteric Nervous System (ENS). Dr. Jay Pasricha, Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Neurogastroenterology, has conducted internationally renowned research into the topic. The Dr. explains,
“Its main role is controlling digestion, from swallowing to the release of enzymes that break down food to the control of blood flow that helps with nutrient absorption to elimination. The enteric nervous system doesn’t seem capable of thought as we know it, but it communicates back and forth with our big brain—with profound results.”
There are studies across the world being conducted to better understand the ENS and its relation to the rest of the body. There are prevailing suppositions that this system is related to Irritable Bowl Syndrome, metabolism control, and may be a potential way for us to reduce risks type two diabetes.
By understanding the ENS system more we will learn more about neurology as a whole but also more about the intricacies of the human body as a whole. Uncovering the secrets between this connection and our emotions will prove invaluable.