Our digestive system cleans itself throughout the day, in a process called the Migrating Motor Complex (MMC). First described in Western scientific literature in 19051, it remains surprisingly unknown to most. Also known as the ‘Housekeeper’, it is responsible for cleaning the digestive tract in between meals. About an hour after a meal is digested in the small intestine2, three phases of contractions of increasing intensity sweep any remaining undigested particles and microbes from the stomach and small intestine towards the colon for excretion. At the same time, gastric, biliary and pancreatic secretions are released to remove bacteria from the small intestine1.
Lower back pain is a common disorder, affecting up to 80% of people during their lifetime1. According to Ayurveda, the lower back is ruled by a subtype of Vata, known as Apana Vata, or ‘downwards flowing wind’. Apana Vata is centred in the colon, pelvis and lumbosacral region of the lower back. Here, Vata has found its natural throne from where it governs a variety of physiological functions, including movement in the lower back, hips and thighs, and all excretion
Ayurveda considers healthy digestion as the foundation of good health. In fact, healthy digestion is so essential that it is the first consideration in any Ayurvedic treatment plan. The term Kaya, which is used to denote the body, means ‘to collect’. In this case it refers to collecting food - the body is thus defined as being built up by food.
Agni is the principle of ‘fire’, responsible for all digestion and transformation in the body. Just as fire has the power to transform raw food into cooked food, our inner Agni digests and transforms food into nutrients for the body to absorb.