The Enteric and Autonomic Nervous Systems

The Enteric and Autonomic

Nervous Systems

The enteric nervous system (the abdominal brain) and the autonomic nervous system (the cerebral brain) and their communication effects sleep, stress and anxiety.

The communication between these two systems represents the age old challenge between our instinctive responses (enteric nervous system) and our brain’s logical integration of a response.  The stress response usually occurs in our gut first, then our mind has a think about it.?  (I won’t complicate this blog with conversations of sympathetic nervous system vs parasympathetic.)

But we do need to know that when there is conflict between the cerebral brain and the abdominal brain there is going to be more stress than ever.  People who have gut problems have brain problems, and vice versa.

We are all aware that stress messes with our sleep, we get that.

But we might not all be aware of this great solution, offered by Geraldine Gallagher in her Sleep With The Experts webinar in 2009.

So in order to create calm and sleep peacefully, do the following:

Hold one hand 3 finger widths below your navel, flat to your stomach. It will cover the martial arts point known as Dan Tien (or ‘one point’).

Hold the other hand on your forehead.

Whilst thinking of the problem or stress that you have, breathe in and out slowly, and rotate your eyes around in a circle.

In one direction, completely, then back into the centre (straight ahead).  Then the other direction, completely, then straight ahead.  Still breathing slowly and deeply.

Now close your eyes, and do the full eye movements and breathing again.  Breathing slowly, still thinking of the stressor, and moving your eyes in the circles and back into the centre, then the other way.

Sometimes this exercise will even generate a message for you.  So write it down immediately.  Can be a resolution or a new option that has been generated.

This is a very powerful technique, you will feel better actually WHILE doing it, but continue right to the end before opening your eyes again.

This method is similar to Andrew Verity’s Options Generator described here:

This exercise doesn’t make a lot of sense.  It messes with my cerebral brain… but just do it… BECAUSE it actually does… and aligns the two nervous systems to reduce stress around any issue you direct it to.

It’s amazing actually… this, and Andrew’s Options Generator are my two absolute favourite stress reduction strategies….  apart from heading to the beach for the day with a good book.

Actually, that was a joke, but there’s gotta be something more to that beach story… might do a PHD on that one day!

I’m rambling..

To hear it explained in full detail by the experts visit



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