VIVA Wellness founder & Nurse Practitioner Jennifer Hruz has been open regarding her weight loss story, how CoQ10 helped regulate her heart palpitations, and is constantly talking about how various VIVA-offered products and services have improved her life (which is simply put why she’s an NP and why VIVA Wellness exists), but one angle of her story has not been shared too widely outside those lucky enough to hear this conversationally. Today, Jennifer shares with us her experience with the gut/body connection, or the gut-brain axis, and how colon hydrotherapy was a pivotal part of that healing.
“A growing body of evidence shows that people with neurological conditions have altered gut bacteria and that certain bacteria can affect our neurological state and either improve or worsen our mental health. And now, a new study from researchers at the California Institute of Technology shows us that some types of gut bacteria may have a role to play in anxiety as well.” —America’s Gut Dr.
We’ll go more into the science after the story because we know you’ll want to read it afterward. If you want to read up on it first, you can also visit this article for a quick education on the topic.
In Jennifer’s Words: How Colonics Helped Her with Panic Attacks
I found colonics after experiencing a cerebellar stroke in 2019. I was born with a common congenital anomaly called a Patent foramen ovale (PFO), which is basically a hole within the heart—this hole caused a stroke, which prompted the insertion of a medical device to close the hole.
Due to the traumatic nature of the stroke and simply processing the whole experience afterward, I had intense panic attacks daily. I searched for medication-free management strategies, often without much success when I tried them, and learned about the gut-brain connection. When I went down the rabbit hole of gut health and alternative healing strategies, including approaching my healing from a more energetic and open-minded perspective, I found colonics.
After a series of colonics, I stopped having panic attacks and they also helped my daily anxiety levels. Regular colonics, in addition to managing my mental and emotional health with other practitioners and staying on top of my healthy diet and movement, has kept the panic attacks away.
As I’ve reflected back on my experience with colonics, I’ve intuitively known that gut health was linked with my mental health. And if you think about your experience of both gut and mental health, you can likely see some correlations, too. But what’s exciting is that there is so much, and I’m SO excited to see it, of this type of research and discussion now taking place. My sincere goal is to help the medical community and public to see colon hydrotherapy as a valid, safe, and effective adjunct treatment for a variety of conditions—including improving mental health!
“Colonics are Included in VIVA Wellness Services Because I Believe in the Benefits”
My personal experience with colonics is why I decided to add colonics as a service offered within VIVA Wellness. Because I know about this connection between gut and brain, and because I truly believe holistic healing which means no symptom or experience exists in a silo—the whole body’s experience may be involved in the healing journey. We see this with just about everyone who walks in the door, whether they are coming in for weight loss, digestive health, or something else.
If you are struggling with panic attacks, anxiety, or other mental or emotional health concerns, we always suggest first and foremost receiving the support of a healthcare provider, therapist, or other mental health provider. We have an exhaustive list of providers we know, like, and trust that we can send you to. Once we know that you have a safe space to talk to, we’d be honored to see how your gut health plays into your healing journey.
If the idea of colon hydrotherapy makes you a little uneasy, we’ve outlined the experience moment by moment here—our I-ACT Certified Colon Hydrotherapist is incredible at making you feel at ease, informed, and supported at each step of the way.
The Gut and Brain are Connected
The gut and brain are inseparable and in fact, based on the way they are connected, we’re actually beginning to see some scientists leaning toward the concept that mood and emotion may not be influencing the gut, but instead a gut in distress is influencing the mood. We tend to believe that they can either cause or be influenced by one another in a true “two-way conversation” style. Meaning, the gut can influence the brain, and the brain can influence the gut.
“Hidden in the walls of the digestive system, this ‘brain in your gut’ is revolutionizing medicine’s understanding of the links between digestion, mood, health and even the way you think. Scientists call this little brain the enteric nervous system (ENS). And it’s not so little. The ENS is two thin layers of more than 100 million nerve cells lining your gastrointestinal tract from esophagus to rectum.
The ENS may trigger big emotional shifts experienced by people coping with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and functional bowel problems such as constipation, diarrhea, bloating, pain and stomach upset. “For decades, researchers and doctors thought that anxiety and depression contributed to these problems. But our studies and others show that it may also be the other way around,” Pasricha says. Researchers are finding evidence that irritation in the gastrointestinal system may send signals to the central nervous system (CNS) that trigger mood changes.” SOURCE HOPKINSMEDICINE.ORG
When the Gut is Functioning Properly, The Whole Body Can Benefit
The way we at VIVA Wellness view this and how the colon hydrotherapy world discusses it is that colonics can help reduce the stress on the ENS by reducing the stress on the digestive tract by removing the waste and toxins that reside there. When those are gone, no longer flagged as a threat to address by the body, there is drastically less burden on the colon. When the gut gets to relax, and the ENS is able to focus on healthy functioning, all of the other systems in the body may benefit.
Just like Jennifer’s experience, VIVA Wellness colonics clients may feel an immediate change in mood. Some clients feel surges in happiness, a sense of “weight lifting,” and a greater sense of ease with life. Don’t take our word for it, come see for yourself.