The COHERENT Method: A holistic approach to comprehensive digestive health
The COHERENT Method offers a holistic approach to comprehensive digestive health.
People with digestive health issues usually have a number of complaints. A lot of times symptoms are moving around. They are going from place to place, and they have other things that come and go. Aches and pains, headaches, and what have you.
A lot of people who haven't been helped by a conventional approach are, for the most part, kind of out there on the Internet reading blogs, Facebook-ing, looking for advice and things like that. And if any of you have done that your experience has sort of been all over the place.
So you have people telling you, "This is the way. This is going to be your cure. This is going to fix everything for you," and then you will find someone else who says, "That's the worst thing. That will make you feel awful. Don't ever do that."
So what I developed as a methodology is what I call The COHERENT Method. COHERENT is an acronym. Each letter stands for a different aspect of digestive health which we will touch on today. But it also alludes to the idea of bringing all these things back in focus and give people something to go back to in order to determine, "What is my starting point?" "What are the things that I need to work on in order to improve my digestive health over the long term?" So I am going to get into those one by one, spend a few minutes on each, and then open it up for questions.
The thing that I usually open with that helps people understand things a little bit better, and to maybe take the tops off of your heads a little bit and help you see things in a new way, is if you can all imagine a donut. Imagine there is one big donut here floating in the room in front of me. If you imagine that there is a donut here and I put my hand through the hole of the donut, have I entered the donut? ... I got a couple no's, a couple are not sure right? *laughing*
I haven't actually entered the donut, right? My hand is still outside the donut. The reason I bring that visual to mind is because our digestive tract is like the hole of the donut. So our body, essentially, or topographically speaking, is in the shape of a torus. We are pretty much in the shape of a donut with a couple arms and legs flapping off the top. We are basically like a long cylinder.
For many people, what we think about our digestive tract is that we put food in our mouth, we chew (maybe), and then swallow and it is inside our body. But it is not actually inside our body yet. It is still outside our body. The food that enters into our digestive system has to be broken down and then absorbed over a barrier in order to get into our body.
That barrier there- the layer between the inside and the outside- is where about eighty percent of our immune system resides. Our body has to determine what needs to come in and what is "self," what is good nutrition that needs to come in, and what is "not-self." And most -but not all- of our digestive problems stem from this.
So we have this model in our mind that kind is really kind of old and comes from a sort of "Industrial Revolution" type of mindset where our digestive tract is inside our body and is sort of like a steam engine. We just sort of shovel food in and then it "burns" and we get energy. That's the model that most of us have about food and our bodies. We just shove some food in and it "burns" and then we get calories and energy to move around and do stuff. But that's really not how it works at all. There's a whole complex process that goes on in between.
A lot of the things that we do just in terms of our diet and lifestyle, and other things, enters here with this process. So a lot of the work that I do is to help people get things working in a better fashion.
Now if you imagine that the donut is glazed, that glaze is bacteria. We know now actually... we sit here and look at each other and see human beings... we say that we are human. But what we know now is that we are actually at least ninety percent not human. Ninety percent of the cells that live in and on our body are actually bacterial cells, and we have many, many more viruses even living inside those cells, that we are just beginning to learn about.
The reason that is important is because we really need to start thinking about our bodies in terms of an ecosystem. There is more than one form of life here, and when we support the life that is growing in and on us, that life, in turn, supports us and helps us grow.
When we don't do that- we don't even have a mind or an awareness that it is even there at all- and we are just shoveling things in and hoping that it "burns"- we may not get the benefits from those bacteria that are living inside us.