How Osteopathy Impacts Digestive Health

Posted In: Digestive Health

How’s your digestive health today? Your body’s ability to process foods and beverages, absorb nutrients, and expel waste is essential to your physical and mental health. If your gut struggles to process foods or cannot perform optimally, you may experience pain or discomfort in your belly or throughout your body. 

Often, an unhealthy gut can also lead to emotional stress and malnutrition or overeating. If left untreated, it can lead to diseases like diabetes and thyroid issues. 

The good news is osteopathic treatment can help you restore your gut health to its proper working form.  Keep reading to learn how your Osteopath can support you and your digestive health so you can live your life free of pain and discomfort caused by your gut. 

The importance of digestive (gut) health

Digestive health is pivotal to overall health and well-being. Your digestive system helps break down food and liquid into its chemical components, which you then absorb into your body and expel the rest as waste. 

Your digestive system starts as soon as you put food in your mouth. It travels through your esophagus and into your stomach, where healthy bacteria and gut enzymes break it down. From there, it moves into your small intestine, where it’s broken down further for absorption into your bloodstream. Anything not absorbed by your body goes into your large intestine (known as your colon) and is expelled from your body through urine or fecal matter. 

Digestive disorders Osteopathy can help

Osteopathy can help support the maintenance of your digestive system and can help you address symptoms or healing from the following digestive disorders:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Acid reflux
  • Bloating
  • Chronic constipation
  • Dietary intolerances
  • Hiatus hernia
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

How do you know you have a gut problem? 

There are signs and indicators that your gut health is struggling. Here are a few of them:

  • You feel constantly bloated or constipated
  • You have unexplained abdominal pain
  • Eating is uncomfortable
  • Expelling waste (urine and fecal) is painful or irregular
  • You have diarrhea
  • You experience persistent heartburn
  • You’re visiting the bathroom too often or not as often as usual
  • You’ve been diagnosed with an autoimmune issue (Thyroid issues, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes)

 

While the occasional experience of the above issues isn’t usually cause for concern in otherwise healthy individuals, if they happen more regularly or you suspect something else is contributing to it, book an appointment with your doctor or Osteopath for an assessment. 

How Osteopathy supports your digestive health

Osteopathy is a holistic manual healthcare practice that treats pain and dysfunction related to your muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, nerves, connective tissue, and internal organs. Osteopathic techniques encourage the body to heal quickly and efficiently.

 

Here are five ways osteopathy can support your digestive system:

Calms your nervous system

Your nervous system helps send important communication throughout your body. If it’s damaged or signals are not getting through, it can affect the optimal function of your body’s systems, including your digestive system. 

The Vagus nerve helps control your digestive tract. The act of swallowing and breathing depends on this nerve. Your Osteopath can look for any dysfunction in your vagus nerve that may be causing your digestive struggles. 

Promote effective detoxification and expelling of waste  

Your lymphatic system helps expel waste products and toxins from your body. This system contracts and relaxes, acting like a pump to remove waste from your body’s tissues.

 

Through gentle massage and muscle manipulation, an osteopath can ensure your lymphatic system flow is unobstructed and functioning optimally to promote effective waste removal from your body. 

Calms your mind

We all know how stress affects our body. Often, when we’re experiencing higher or sustained levels of stress, anxiety, or depression, we don’t feed our body what it needs to survive. We can quickly become malnourished or feed our bodies too much unhealthy food that our body is not meant to process. This can lead to weight gain and digestive distress. 

 

An osteopath can perform calming massage techniques to help you minimize any emotional or psychological stress you may be feeling. They can also help advise you on healthy eating and exercise routines to ensure your body gets the right amount of healthy nourishment it needs. 

Aligns your spine

An aligned spine benefits all bodily systems. Spinal restriction can damage nerves, which send signals throughout the body. If your spine is injured or restricted in nerves that communicate with your digestive system, your digestive system may get the wrong signals and not function properly. This miss-signalling worsens over time unless corrected. 

 

An osteopath gently manipulates your spine’s tissues and skeletal system to encourage better alignment so communication is unhindered. 

Optimizing your gut health through Osteopathy in Vancouver

If you suspect your digestive health is struggling, book an appointment with your osteopath. They can assess and determine the cause of your digestive discomfort. Your osteopath will likely ask about the following:

  • Your diet (what you’ve been eating and if there have been any changes recently)
  • When you eat (when do you eat your meals and snacks, and has that changed recently)
  • Have there been any other physical or mental changes? (like bloating, headaches, or inflammation) 
  • Your bowel movements (frequency and consistency, including any changes you’ve noticed)

 

Your osteopath will then design a program of osteopathic treatments to help restore your gut health. Their recommendations may include specific eating plans, supplements, or other complementary therapies to support your healing. 

 

Are you ready to get your digestive system back on track for summer? Book your next Osteopathic appointment online at Thuja Wellness