How to Reduce Stress for a Happier Gut
Guest Blog By: Tiffany Cagwin, FDN-P, RYT
Medically reviewd by: Victoria Williams R.H.N.
Est reading time: 8 minutes
Simple Tips to Help Reduce Stress and Support Better Digestion
You’re tired all the time, feeling ragged and run-down, and now you’re beginning to notice some signs that your health is suffering too. Sound familiar?
As a functional health coach, I have seen personally and professionally, how stress symptoms and sleep disorders can negatively affect our health. Knowing how to reduce stress and get deeper sleep is so important for wellbeing. In fact, stress can take a huge toll on gut health in particular. Why?
Well, your gut and brain are interconnected through the gut-brain axis, and stress can really disrupt this connection and lead to various gut-related problems. But there is an ancient tool that can help support deeper sleep and stress: Castor Oil Packs.
Let’s first look at . . .
How stress disrupts digestive balance
When you’re experiencing symptoms of stress, your body releases hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. These fight or flight hormones have a direct affect on your digestive system because they cause the muscles in your digestive tract to contract.
And guess what this leads to?
Cramps, bloating, and diarrhea. On top of these discomforts, stress can also slow down digestion5 which can lead to constipation and a decrease in the beneficial bacteria that helps maintain a healthy microbiome. Plus, digestive discomfort contributes to sleep disorders, and sound sleep is what you need to restore better health. It’s a vicious cycle!
One significant symptom of stress is inflammation which can cause damage to your intestinal lining – making it more permeable and prone to conditions like leaky gut4. Without some stress relief, the substances that are normally kept safely inside your intestines begin to seep out and slowly enter your bloodstream. Now, the stage is set for the vicious cycle of immune reactions and more inflammation – something you definitely want to avoid, agreed?
Overall, chronic stress can contribute to a variety of gut problems1, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and other digestive disorders2,4, and this is just one reason why it’s so important to learn how to reduce stress.
How to reduce stress for gut health
Here’s the thing. Whether it’s work-related, personal relationships, financial worries, or physical health concerns, stress is an unavoidable part of life, but it doesn’t have to be debilitating.
Reducing stress is the key, and how you choose to do this can make all the difference in your overall health and quality of life. But you’re wondering where to start, right?
Well, here are some stress relief techniques that I often recommend to my clients, and if practiced regularly, can lead to more sound sleep and fewer symptoms of stress.
Also, you don’t have to sit for an hour or even a half-hour to benefit from this practice. Mindfulness meditation simply involves paying attention to the present moment without judgment or distraction. It helps to calm your mind and promote a sense of inner peace. Regular practice may even improve sleep quality6, lower blood pressure7,8, and reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression8.
Start small and just try to bring your awareness to the present moment throughout the day, or dedicate just 10 minutes a day to mindfulness meditation, and gradually work your way to longer periods of practice. You can also wear a Medical Mystic Mask when you sit! It can help you center and relax for better presence!
Physical activity is a great way to relieve stress, get more sound sleep and improve your overall health9. Exercise releases endorphins, which are natural mood-boosters10. Exercise can also help to reduce muscle tension and promote relaxation11. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each day, such as brisk walking, cycling, or swimming. Ideally, exercise outside so that you are also getting the benefit of the healing power of sunlight.
Lack of sound sleep can increase stress symptoms and make it more difficult to manage daily challenges. But you might be thinking, “How can I Improve my sleep?”
Start by aiming for 7-9 hours of sound sleep each night, and create a relaxing bedtime routine to help you unwind for deep sleep. Adding the gentle compression of a Queen of the Thrones® Castor Oil Pack to your bedtime routine may help move your body into the parasympathetic ‘rest and digest’ state14-17, and may support your body in its detox and repair processes.
Self-care is essential for managing symptoms of stress and promoting overall health and well-being. Make time for activities that bring you joy, such as reading, listening to music, or spending time outdoors. Set boundaries to protect your time and energy, and prioritize self-care and deep sleep as an essential part of your daily routine.
How Castor Oil Packs may support stress relief and deeper sleep
As you can see, managing symptoms of stress is crucial for promoting overall health and well-being. And if you want to improve your gut health, you must begin by learning to manage your stress in a healthy way.
By incorporating mindfulness meditation, exercise, a healthy diet, adequate sleep, and self-care into your daily life, you’ll be well on your way to relieving stress and getting deeper sleep. But there is one self-care tool that I particularly love, because it can support relaxation, deeper sleep, and less stress easily and conveniently: Castor Oil Packs.
The use of Castor Oil dates back thousands of years. In the last 100 years, Castor Oil was poured on a piece of cotton fabric and applied to the body as a Castor Oil Pack. Using Castor Oil this way proved to be pretty messy, but Queen of the Thrones® Castor Oil Packs provide all the benefits with less mess.
How to Use Castor Oil Packs
Step 1: Apply 1 tbsp of organic Castor Oil.
Step 2: Place the pack over your liver area and tie it in place.
Wear for 1 hour daily or overnight.
Ideal for supporting deeper sleep, Castor Oil Packs may help stimulate the pleasure centers of your brain21, 22, 23 and may help support the production of dopamine, a feel-good hormone that helps you feel satisfied.
One enormous benefit of using Castor Oil Packs is that there are almost no known side-effects associated with them. In short, developing the use of Castor Oil Packs into your wellness routine is a smart choice. You’re providing your body with another opportunity to restore and reset which is always an important part of self-care.
As a functional health coach, I am here to support you on your wellness journey and provide you with the tools and resources you need to thrive. Visit my website to know more about how we can work together.
About the author:
Tiffany Cagwin, FDN-P, RYT.
Certified Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner
Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner
Are you a practitioner, health coach or wellness influencer? If you’re interested in recommending our easy-to-use tools and practically applying them in your health and wellness professional practice, in clinic, or online with the people you serve, you can join now!
Click here for references
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18. Walker SC1, Trotter PD2, Swaney WT2, Marshall A3, Mcglone FP4. C-tactile afferents: Cutaneous mediators of oxytocin release during affiliative tactile interactions? Neuropeptides. 2017 Aug;64:27-38. doi: 10.1016/j.npep.2017.01.001. Epub 2017 Jan 19. PMID: 28162847 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28162847
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20. Rolls ET et all. Representations of pleasant and painful touch in the human orbitofrontal and cingulate cortices. Cereb Cortex. 2003 Mar;13(3):308-17. PMID: 12571120 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12571120
21. Francis S, Rolls ET, Bowtell R, McGlone F, O’Doherty J, Browning A, Clare S, Smith E. The representation of pleasant touch in the brain and its relationship with taste and olfactory areas. Neuroreport. 1999 Feb 25;10(3):453-9. PMID: 10208571 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10208571
22. Löken LS, Wessberg J, Morrison I, McGlone F, Olausson H. Coding of pleasant touch by unmyelinated afferents in humans. Nat Neurosci. 2009 May;12(5):547-8. Epub 2009 Apr 12. PMID: 19363489 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19363489
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