September’s book of the month is Gut Instincts- What your stomach is trying to tell you – by Pierre Pallardy.
Gut Instincts, written by Pierre Pallardy, osteopath, dietician and physical therapist is very easy to read. Mr. Pallardy’s approach to maintaining health and wellbeing focusses on abdominal health in a straightforward manner.
His theories were based initially on his own experience and gradually confirmed through his hands-on experience working with clients successfully over the last 30 years.
Until relatively recently he only had his own practical experience to rely on but much of his instinctive understanding of the importance of abdominal health has been confirmed by research carried out by Dr Michael Gershon.
Dr Gershon’s fascinating and groundbreaking book The Second Brain: The Scientific Basis of Gut Instinct and a Groundbreaking New Understanding of Nervous Disorders of the Stomach and Intestine is well worth reading.
Whereas Pierre Pallardy’s book is a practical self-help book, Dr Gershon’s Second Brain is a fascinating journey through the scientific world of neurobiologist and the field of neurogastroenterology. Although Second Brain is intended to be read by non-scientists it’s packed full of information on the bowel and all the amazing discoveries which relate to the discovery of neurotransmitters in the gut. Although aimed at the non-scientist by the very nature of the research the detailed explanation of the chemistry of neurotransmitters is difficult to follow at times – but this book will definitely be a candidate for further study – but instead of book of the month it would need to be book of the year!
So Pierre Pallardy’s intuition has been supported by the amazing discoveries of the scientific discipline of neurogastroenterology.
In the Introduction to the book he writes:
On the face of it, asserting that everything relates back to the abdomen may not appear particularly logical or even defensible. Since my early days as a practising therapist, however, I have believed that treating the abdomen is an essential part of the therapeutic process. I would even go so far as to say that the abdomen is the epicentre of life. Introduction – Gut Instincts
Looking back with the benefit of hindsight his claim doesn’t seem so far fetched. But when he first made this claim there was no validation or backing for his views. As far back as 1979 Mr Pallardy was emphasising the importance of abdominal health. I admire his courage for as he says it “may not appear .. logical” and there may well be many people who will still find it so.
It will probably be many years before we understand how the upper brain and the second brain in the gut communicate. The enteric brain is able to function without direct communication with the upper brain. The same chemical neurotransmitters found in the upper brain are also found in the enteric brain.
The intestine produces between 70 and 85 per cent of the body’s immune cells, affording protection against serious illness
The same type of lesion (tissue damage) that is found in the brains of patients with Parkinson’s disease is also found in their enteric nervous systems.
There’s so much still to discover with relation to the upper brain and the enteric brain.
But if Pierre Pallardy is correct we can all take some easy steps towards better health.
What do you think? Worth trying?