Our 3 Brains: Head, Heart, and Gut
Recent scientific research is beginning to form a new understanding of our brains and our bodies and is revealing that we don’t just have 1 brain but 3 brains! This knowledge was actually something that certain Eastern traditions (like Ayurvedic and yogic traditions) were aware of but Western scientific understanding is finally catching up.
So what are the 3 brains and what do they do?
The first brain is the one that we have always thought about- the one in our head. This brain is in charge of thinking, cognition, and perception. It helps us to make meaning out of things and masters our communication in language.
Our second brain is located in the heart. This is our emotional brain and it is also connected to what we value in life.
Our third brain is in our gut. This brain is all about our core identity- what is us and what is not us. The gut brain is also important for protection as it has many key immune functions.
The average brain (in the head) has around 100 million neurons but the gut has around 500 million nerve cells and 100 million neurons and is almost the same size as a cat’s brain! Our gut brains are also responsible for producing around 95% of the body’s serotonin, the “happiness hormone.”
The way that these 3 brains communicate with each other is through the vagus nerve. What is fascinating is that research shows that the majority of information flows up the vagus nerve to the head brain rather than down to the other two brains!
Anil Rayvanshi writes, “Recent studies have shown that heart sends signals to the brain that are not only understood by it but also obeyed. Scientists have discovered neural pathways and mechanisms whereby input from heart to brain inhibits or facilitates brain’s electrical activity – just like what gut is capable of doing. Thus both gut and heart mind help in overall thought process.”
So how can you utilize all 3 brains more effectively?
One basic way to work with integrating and synchronizing all 3 brains is through the Cortices Technique, a simple self-tapping technique that you can learn more about here.
Another way to utilize all 3 brains is to be more aware of their different roles. For example, allow the heart to express its emotional intelligence and wisdom by listening to it, rather than shutting down your feelings. With the gut brain, taking good physical care of your digestive system through eating healthy foods and using strategies to heal your gut can help optimize the gut brain.
BodyTalk is also a healing system that is focused on all 3 of these brains and getting them to communicate with each other more effectively. By receiving a BodyTalk session for a practitioner, your 3 brains can be optimized, synchronized and balanced to work more effectively. Learn more about BodyTalk by reading about it here.