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Fire in the Belly—Digestive and Colon Health?

Go with me on this proposition: If thinking healthy, positive thoughts can anatomically change the structure of the brain (see Dr. Caroline Leaf’s research and my latest book Holy & Wholistic Health!), and if regularly experiencing the healthy emotions of God may potentially benefit the heart (also in my book), is it possible that experiencing healthy abdominal emotions might be healthy for the digestive tract (colon, intestines, etc.)?


Disclaimer: The following concepts are not proven, just some thoughts.


If it is possible that regularly experiencing healthy gut emotions—especially deeper, lower abdominal emotions—might benefit gut health, what does that even mean, and what might those emotions be?


My take on this, partly from my own experiences, is there are emotions that seem to go deeper… seem more visceral… seem to be experienced in the “belly and bowels.” For me, compassion, passion, joy unto tears, healthy mourning (when appropriate), and healthy travail (when appropriate) are just a few healthy deep emotions I seem to feel in my gut, in my belly.

Conversely, painful emotions and experiences tend to hit me “in the gut” (gut-punches), like rage… fury… bitterness and resentment… deep anger… hatred… unexpected loss… unexpected fear… and others. These deep-seated experiences tend to be more visceral, more earthy, and seem to connect more with the earthy side of the soul.


I experienced bouts of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) in my teenage years, which were brought on by deep emotional turmoil. It caused my intestines and colon to be in spasms and knots, like a painful fire in my belly. My unsettled belly pains resolved quickly when I surrendered to the Lord and started experiencing healthy emotions.

When I have deep encounters with the Lord during devotional times of worship, I often feel it deep in my belly. The Bible will often substitute the fun word “bowels” and also the word “womb” for belly when describing the deepest and lowest and most inward part of the soul-body. More thoughts to come on this in my next blog.


My book Holy & Wholistic Health! is available on Amazon and at jonathclarkmd.com. My intermittent fasting book Waiting To Eat is available as a free digital eBook also on my website.



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