Did you know that your beautiful little baby is born with two brains?
Yep, you heard that right! Not one, but two.
The first is the Central Nervous System located in the head and spine and the second is The Enteric Nervous System (or little brain) located in the abdomen and digestive tract. One is in charge of cognitive tasks, such as reasoning, processing, imagination and memory, whilst the other is responsible for the babys here and now responses. It is the Little Brain which plays a role in dictating your baby’s mood, well-being, emotions and needs.
For thousands of years in ancient cultures all over the world, the belly has long been recognised as the hub of spiritual energy and power: the centre of emotion. Recent research seems to confirm what ancient civilisations have long maintained. If you heal and nurture the belly, the rest will follow.
The babys belly will tell you so much about their emotional state. If you hold the belly when baby is happy and content, it will be soft and malleable, just like marshmallow. Do the same when baby is fractious or anxious and the tummy will be hard and unyielding, like stone. This is when we can use massage to “relax the belly, to relax the baby”, one of the mantras you’ll hear me say a lot. During episodes of anxiety parents can use ‘Tiger in the tree’ to manipulate the belly using the three techniques I teach. Inbetween these epispodes of anxiety, you can massage the belly from side to side to relieve tummy tension and encourage the baby to relax and begin to slow their breathing right down. Happy babies allow their bellies to expand and contract harmoniously when inhaling and exhaling. This is an outward sign that their diaghragm is functioning well and baby is receiving enough oxygen.
When we syncronise our breathing with our happy babys breathe, focus on deeper, more mindful exhalations and put our love and energy into the palms of our hands, especially when holding, touching and massaging our little ones, we can calm our minds, restore heartfelt unconditional love, truly connect with our babies and have them literally sitting in the palm of our hands. Its a practice that can transform our lives, teaching our children about emotional intelligence and arming them with the skills necessary to avoid overreacting in tense situations as they grow. Utilising that long exhalation breathe in moments of stress will encourage adults and children alike to let go of intense emotion, quieten the mind and begin to calm as the belly relaxes, which will have huge influence on the emotional outcome. Hence why my second favourite mantra for adults is ‘Don’t shout, breath out!
Now chant with me…..
Relax the belly
Relax the baby!
Don’t shout, breath out!