The Joyous Pancreas
When you think about of the pancreas, what comes to mind? Most people would say, blood sugar. That is correct. The pancreas regulates blood sugar balance. However, it does so much more. Having an emotional healing brain, the first thought that comes to my mind is, joy and the sweetness in life. When someone is deprived of enjoyment, happiness and laughter, the physical organ that takes “the hit” is the pancreas. Blood sugar is related to food sugars. Food sugars are related to comfort and joy. It makes us feel better, even if it is temporary. Thus, you can start seeing the connection between eating sugar, emotional eating and weight issues. We are craving sugar, or translated into emotional terms, we are craving joy. Joy, happiness, joviality and pleasure, are all traits of a happy pancreas.
The pancreas is located just beneath the liver, and behind the bottom part of the stomach. In order to regulate blood sugar, it needs to make certain digestive enzymes to break down foods. Interestingly, the liver and pancreas are both connected to the duodenum, which is the beginning, or first part, of the small intestines. They help facilitate elimination of toxins, however, if blood sugar (aka joy and happiness) is imbalanced, elimination doesn’t happen very well. That is why I like to create a holistic approach that encompasses the physical body, mind and heart, all together, to get everything on the same playing field to work together and “take out the trash”. Have you ever noticed, that when you don’t eliminate properly, blood sugar feels off? Or if you have diarrhea, you feel like you are in a fasting and detoxing crisis? Think pancreas and blood sugar regulation, but also, where is your joy? Why are you not happy? Where are you not happy? What can you do about it?
My holistic approach of connecting the physical body would be proving the right nutrients and foods to help balance blood sugar. For me, that is good essential fatty acids like an Omega 3, 6, 7 & 9 supplement, along with avocado, nuts and salmon. Protein which can help sugars go to work and get eliminated, so they don’t hang around and get stuck. And of course, vegetables, minerals and digestive enzymes. Mentally, you have to support that gut-brain connection. If the gut is not happy, and serotonin cannot make its way to the brain, then you are not mentally happy. I like a probiotic with bacopa as I find it highly beneficial to work on both the gut and brain, simultaneously. Adaptogens are a huge key to mental stableness, rational cognition and ability to multitask, even when stressed. And you have to address the heart, the center for your inspiration, motivation, commitment and connectedness. If your heart is not into something, you won’t commit to accomplishing it, right?
An unhealthy pancreas can be the culprit of many dysfunction in the body and mind. One pattern I am starting to see is with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), lupus and Lyme’s disease, is trouble at the pancreas-liver junction. Proper tools are not being made to facilitate the breakdown and elimination of nutrients and toxins, thus chaos is happening in this region. Supporting the body’s physical ability to produce the right enzymes, in the right quantity and get them where they need to be, coupled with aiding the liver to function better. The liver does over 500 jobs, including breakdown bad toxins into a form that can be eliminated, or taken out of the body via our normal elimination channels. Mentally, supporting and encouraging positive thinking, optimism versus pessimism, and connecting to your belief system can help. Emotionally, gather your essential oils, create a custom blend and let their aromatic power link your head, heart and gut together. This will help you feel in alignment and fuel your drive, determination and perseverance through any situation.
As a clinical phyto-aromatherapist and herbalist, my go to remedies are essential oils, botanicals and herbal supplements. I’ll share some of my favorites that help physically, mentally and emotionally –
- Essential oils (inhaled or applied topically in a carrier oil)
- Banaba leaf
- Licorice root
- Dandelion root
- Fenugreek seeds
- Adaptogenic herbs
Joyful Body Lotion
2 oz. Shea butter
2 oz. Aloe vera gel
10 drops grapefruit (Citrus paradise)
8 drops cinnamon (Cinnamomum zylancium)
8 drops peppermint (Mentha x piperita)
6 drops thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
5 drops orange (Citrus sinensis)
Tags: Cinnamon, grapefruit, happiness, Joy, laughter, pancreas, sweetness, thyme