Nearly all of us experience abdominal pain at some point in our life. In most instances it is not caused by a serious medical problem. Abdominal pain can originate from any of the internal organs such as the stomach, small and large intestines, liver, gall bladder, spleen or kidneys.
The severity of the pain doesn’t necessarily reflect seriousness of the condition causing the discomfort. Severe abdominal pain can result from gas or cramping and is usually not an indication of serious health issues, unless it last longer than twenty-four hours and is accompanied by a fever. Mild pain or an absence of pain or sensation may be present with life-threatening conditions such as cancer or the early stages of appendicitis.
Abdominal pain may vary from being generalized throughout the midsection or focused in specific areas. Localized pain is more likely to indicate that there is a problem in one of the internal organs such as the appendix, gallbladder or stomach.
There are many possible causes for abdominal pain and bloating such as diverticulitis, food allergies, food poisoning, stomach flu and indigestion. Pain in the upper portion of the abdomen may be an indication of a heart attack. Pain or burning sensation in the upper abdomen that is either relieved or gets worse when we eat may result from gastritis or an irritation of the stomach resulting from an ulcer. A stomach that is very tender to the touch accompanied by bloody diarrhea or stools that are black and tarry or vomiting blood may be an indication of appendicitis, infectious diarrhea, bleeding from the bowels or bowel blockage. Pain in the upper portion of the abdomen that worsens when we eat fatty foods may indicate an infection of the gallbladder. Pain in the lower abdomen accompanied by blood or mucus in the stools could be a sign of ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease which is an inflammatory disease of the large intestines. Going without a bowel movement for a few days or longer or having to strain while using the bathroom is usually an indication of constipation. Abdominal pain may also indicate the presence of parasites or obstruction within the intestines resulting from a tumor or polyp. Chronic dull pain associated with the loss of body weight and the presence of blood in the stool, black tarry stools, vomiting or jaundice may indicate the presence of cancer or hepatitis. Pain experienced in response to an injury sustained after an accident or blow to the stomach may be an indication of internal bleeding, rupture of the spleen or damage to other internal organs.
Mild discomfort or a feeling of pressure in the lower abdomen that is accompanied by burning sensations when urinating may be an indication of cystitis which is an infection of the urinary tract. Sharp sudden pain that starts in the back near the ribs and moves down towards the groin may indicate the presence of kidney stones or kidney or bladder infection.
A number of disease processes that occur in other parts of the body have their origins within the gastrointestinal tract. Diseases associated with the gastrointestinal tract disorders include depression, migraine headaches, asthma, sinusitis and fibromyalgia.
Consistent pain in the lower abdomen accompanied with vaginal discharge may be a sign of pelvic inflammatory disease which is an infection around the ovaries, uterus and fallopian tubes. Lower abdominal or pelvic pain in pregnant women accompanied by abdominal bleeding may be an indication of an ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage.
It’s important that we not ignore symptoms of disease, but to see a physician to determine the cause and administer proper treatment if necessary. We need to seek medical attention if we are unable to pass stools, if we are vomiting blood or passing blood in our stools, experience burning sensations while urinating or if we have a fever over one hundred degrees Fahrenheit. Electrolyte imbalances caused by chronic diarrhea can have especially severe consequences particularly in young children and the elderly and may result in dehydration, brain damage, kidney failure, heart attack or stroke. A physician should be consulted if diarrhea persists for longer than twenty-four hours. Diagnostic measures such as blood tests, ultrasound of the abdomen and gastroscopy and colonoscopy can help to determine the source of the problem.
Gas and bloating
Gas and bloating are signs that food is not being properly digested. Stress or anxiety, gastrointestinal infection, parasitic infestation, bowel obstruction and diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis and Celiac disease can also contribute to bloating. Abdominal bloating may also result from consuming gas producing foods such as beans and broccoli.
People who experience lactose intolerance may experience bloating as a result of their inability to digest dairy products. Others may experience an allergic reaction to gluten which is a component found in wheat. It’s fairly common for people with a history of trauma to have food sensitivities that cause them to react adversely to a number of foods. That can severely limit the range of foods they are able to consume.
Cramping and bloating is often accompanied by abdominal pain. Cramping often occurs because of muscle spasms in the internal organs that occur in response to allergic reactions to certain foods. Cramping in the region directly behind the navel is related to the small intestines. Cramping near the sides, top and bottom of the lower abdomen is associated with the colon or large intestines.
Poor dietary choices are often the source of abdominal pain and bloating. Consumption of highly processed foods, artificial sweeteners and carbonated drinks contribute to bloating. Greasy, fried, fatty foods can cause gastrointestinal irritation. Foods with high amounts of cholesterol are conducive to the formation of bile stones. Consumption of fatty foods can lead to the formation of fat cells throughout the body. Fatty foods also cause bloating by slowing down the body’s ability to empty the stomach.
Diets high in fiber consisting of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds help to support healthy digestion. Peppermint tea, ginger, pineapple, parsley and yogurts containing intestine-friendly bacterial cultures can enhance our digestive process thereby reducing bloating.
We need to remember that digestion begins in the mouth. We can decrease bloating by taking time to taste and chew our food thoroughly. We also need to be drinking plenty of fluids and getting at least thirty minutes of physical activity a day.
Digestive enzymes are essential to the body’s ability digest, absorb and utilize nutrients in foods. The body’s capacity to produce digestive enzymes decreases as we age. The body has a difficult time digesting foods when it lacks proper enzymes. Foods are more likely to ferment within the digestive tract when there are insufficient digestive enzymes and bile acids to break them down. Difficulty absorbing the nutrients of foods and the resulting toxicity of unprocessed foods that accumulate within the digestive tract can result in a variety of chronic disorders. Taking digestive enzyme supplements can help to alleviate the symptoms of gas and bloating and improve digestion.
Diet and supplements are critically important to maintaining healthy digestion. Some people take the notion too far, assuming they can solve all of their digestive issues by eating the right foods and taking supplements. Our digestive tract will never fully heal until we learn to digest the difficult or painful emotions and heal the traumas that place so much stress upon our physical bodies.
A large percentage of issues affecting the digestive tract are stress related. Our life experiences and any subsequent feeling that arise in response to what’s taking place need to be digested. The feelings we fail to digest turn into a heavy congestive residue that is stored within the body’s internal organs and tissues. The stagnant residue of our undigested emotions and other stresses impair the functions of the internal organs.
Physical toxins begin to accumulate within the body when the cells, tissues and organs become loaded down the additional stress of our unprocessed emotional baggage. The combination of age and the accumulation of physical toxin may cause our metabolism to slow down. Many of us start gaining additional weight. Our bodies become very dense from the accumulation of emotional and physical toxin. We may then begin to feel heavy, bloated, stuck and stagnant.
Stagnant emotional residue that accumulates within the body has a deadening effect upon our consciousness. The congealed residue of the feelings and other stresses held within the body impair our ability to process our emotions and work through issues.
Laura internalized much of her mother’s anger during the years she was growing up. She was sexually abused during her childhood and adolescence and held a great deal of emotional pain pertaining to former abusive partners. She works in the financial industry and is also holding a great deal of stress related to her work and the long daily commute.
Laura was very slim as a young woman, but the stresses have been accumulating within her body for many years now. Her metabolism has slowed down and she has gained a considerable amount of weight in recent years. Her naval chakra had broken down completely and was no longer functional. I could also feel a hardened mass within her abdomen.
Laura told me that for much of her life she would decide she wanted to do something and then she just got up and did it. But the accumulation of stress in Laura’s abdomen had shut down her instinctual drive. She has dreamed of going back to school to become a homeopathic physician, but her fears of not succeeding have been holding her back for some time now.
Disrupting the flow
Uma gave birth to her son by Cesarean section. The incision made during the surgery severed the meridians in her lower abdomen and that was causing the life force in this part of her body to pool up and become very stagnant. It also caused considerable damage to the naval chakra.
Uma’s body wasn’t healing on its own. The invasive physical trauma resulting from the surgery left her very dissociated and that was making it difficult for her to function. Uma was overwhelmed by the demands of caring for a young child. The stress upon her body was also compounded by working excessively long hours and getting far too little sleep.
Self-Medicating Our Feelings Away
Varsha has been experiencing a great deal of anxiety about her financial situation. She has been drinking and eating lots of refined sugar and other junk foods over the past few months to cover up the stressful feelings. Varsha started putting on additional weight and her mid-section was becoming very dense.
People who are not dealing with their emotions are more likely to consume refined sugar and other unhealthy foods to diminish the intensity of their anxiety and other stressful feelings. They may also smoke, drink or use other substances to deaden the feelings. The process of desensitization that takes place as we numb our feelings diminishes our capacity to process or work through our emotions and issues. The consciousness within the abdominal region becomes deadened and that leaves us very disconnected.
Treatment for Digestive Distress
People in our western culture have for many years primarily relied upon conventional Allopathic treatment modalities to address symptoms of digestive distress and abdominal pain. Medications are commonly used to alleviate symptoms of gas, bloating, constipation, acid reflux or the pain and inflammation associated with conditions such as ulcerative colitis. People suffering from ulcerative colitis may require surgery if their symptoms do not respond to the medications or if they experience complications such as bleeding or perforation of the intestine.
More people are now turning to holistic treatment modalities such as acupuncture and massage. Herbal remedies such as ajwain seeds, fennel, mugwort, horehound and chamomile help to relieve symptoms of gas and facilitate digestion. Bad bacteria are another common source of digestive issues. The use of probiotics promotes a balance of healthy bacteria within the digestive tract that boosts the immune system and supports good digestion.
Conventional Allopathic and holistic treatment modalities may help to provide momentary relief from the symptoms of digestive distress, but they do not repair the damage within the physical or subtle bodies. Fasting, colonics, acupuncture, acupressure and massage can free up the stagnant energies and other stresses held within the body, but in many instances people do not have the capability to process the feelings and memories that are being brought to the surface.
The stresses of daily life can overwhelm our bodies and minds. I can feel the stress accumulating within my own body in response to the difficulties that I face from day to day. I have to make time to digest these stresses by breathing into the feelings and sensations I experience within my abdomen and various other parts of my body.
I spend a lot of time doing intensive practice, but there still times when the stresses of daily life take their toll on me and I can feel parts of my consciousness contracting. I’m fully cognizant of the fact that I cannot completely heal on my own. Deep tissue body work has helped me to free up the stagnant emotional energies stored in my body. Healing sessions and vision quests help me to digest the emotions that surface, repair damage within my physical and subtle bodies and restore my system. I always experience a greater sense of aliveness throughout my body afterwards.
Our bodies tend to be very resilient during our younger years. But the stresses that we fail to digest tend to congeal within our bodies and minds. The combination of physical and emotional toxins that settle within our abdomen can cause us to feel very heavy and dense and contribute to symptoms of gas and bloating. The subtle bodies, consisting of the aura and chakras support the structural and functional integrity of the organs and systems of the physical body. In many instances the naval chakra breaks down and stops functioning.
Breathing with our attention focused within the feelings and sensations present within the abdomen will help us to become more fully rooted in our bodies. People who are in good shape are more likely to experience sensations of warmth, comfort and aliveness within their digestive tract.
Many people initially tell me that they feel very disconnected from their lower abdominal region. The intestines and other internal organs feel very cold, inert, deadened, inflamed, dark, scary and foreign. Breathing into the sensations within the abdomen helps people to heal and reconnect with this part of their bodies.
The process of reconnecting with our body can feel very uncomfortable at times. Breathing into the physical sensations we experience within the abdomen can bring all kinds of feelings and memories to the surface. The physical toxins that get stirred up in the process may cause us to feel nauseous or experience diarrhea, but the discomfort will subside as we continue to work with the practice.
Breathing into the feelings and sensations within the abdomen awakens the innate healing intelligence that resides within our bodies and minds. It will help us to process the heavy stagnant emotional residue stored within the abdomen. Our bodies will begin to gradually cleanse themselves of the emotional and physical toxins that have been building up within. Our bodies will feel lighter, internal organs become more highly functional and digestion will improve.
Our deeper instinctual consciousness resides within the abdomen. The Enteric nervous system (ENS) which has been described as a second brain consists of over a hundred million neurons and is embedded in the lining of our gastrointestinal system. The ENS produces over thirty neurotransmitters, most of which are identical to those found in the central nervous system such as acetylcholine, dopamine and serotonin. Neurotransmitters are responsible for the signaling that determines our thought processes, emotions, planning and other types of behavior and the functions of our organs and systems.
Breathing into the feelings and sensations within the abdomen awakens the deeper instinctual consciousness inherent within this part of our bodies. This instinctual consciousness gives us a clear sense of the direction we need to be going in our lives.
The abdominal region is the foundation of our consciousness. Becoming fully present is one of the most important aspects of our personal and spiritual development. We become much more firmly rooted within our bodies as we breathe with our awareness focused within the lower abdomen. We also begin to feel much more connected to the Earth.
Breathing with our awareness focused within the lower abdomen is one of the most powerful self-healing practices we can do. This practice becomes considerably more powerful as we do it more often and for longer periods of time. I recommend that people breathe with their awareness focused within the feelings and sensations present within the intestines for thirty to ninety minutes at a time. This practice should be done daily by those who suffer from digestive issues.
The damage within the intestines and other digestive organs may be so great that it requires additional assistance to facilitate healing. I’ve worked with many people who suffer from a wide range of digestive issues such as gas, bloating, impacted bowel and abdominal pain. The presence working through me during the individual healing sessions cleanses the body of toxicity. Damage is repaired within the physical and subtle bodies and the old stagnant emotional residue is purified so it can be digested. In many instances the stomach flattens out and people experience a greater sense of aliveness within their abdomen and other parts of their bodies.
Digestive disorders such as Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis usually respond very well to the individual healing sessions. The presence working through me rebuilds the naval chakra and repairs damage within the digestive tract. People usually begin to notice improvement within a few sessions. I worked with an elderly man who suffered from ulcerative colitis that complained of abdominal pain and bloody stools. The symptoms of pain, inflammation and bleeding completely subsided after five to six sessions. He went back to his enterologist who confirmed that he had made a dramatic recovery.
A large percentage of the population suffers from abdominal pain, bloating and other digestive issues. The good news is that you can heal with the right combination of foods, supplements and healing practices. These conditions are usually very responsive to the practices I teach and the form of healing power I work with. Feel free to call me at (913) 927-4281 when you’re ready to take the steps that will facilitate your healing.
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