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Let's Gut Real - Easy to Digest Nutrition Science

Making nutrition science accessible and easy-to-digest. Andrea Hardy, Canada’s Gut Health Dietitian, is on a mission to connect people to credible, up-to-date nutrition information about gut health and digestive disorders. Nutrition misinformation is rampant. If nutrition advice online scares you, it’s probably not true. Let’s Gut Real is all taking the fear out of nutrition messaging, cultivating critical thinking, and helping you understand nutrition science. Andrea talks with guests about digestive health, the gut microbiome, hot nutrition topics, and nutrition misinformation, sharing messages that are easy to consume and that inspire sustainable action. Andrea likes to say her goal is to get people to take nutrition a little less seriously – which may come as a surprise coming from a dietitian. Through humour, she injects fun into her science-based media messages. After all, poop jokes aren’t her favourite kinda jokes, but they are a solid #2.

Jul 7, 2020

This week I interview Renee Simons, RMT on her massage and visceral manipulation work with patients with digestive disorders. In particular, we highlight a discussion around polyvagal theory, that can be applied to massage practice to enhance patient wellbeing and symptoms, especially in functional gut disorders.

Renee's interest in human kinetics and functional muscle movement began with Kinesiology studies at Simon Fraser University (SFU). In 2004, she graduated from Okanagan Valley College of Massage Therapy completing a 3000hr program and is a member of the College of Massage Therapists of BC and the Canadian Massage and Osteopathic Therapists of Alberta.

Since becoming a Registered Massage Therapist, Renee has focused her post-graduate training and clinical practice around Myofascial Release and Visceral Manipulation techniques and is committed to providing patients with individualized treatments to discover and resolve the underlying reasons why they may have pain and dysfunction in their bodies. Her practice has a strong connection to women’s health, GI dysfunctions and the Gut-Brain Axis.

Renee’s treatment paradigm follows a biopsychosocial model and Stephen Porges Polyvagal Theory. Teaching is a way for Renee to pay it forward and share her passion about massage therapy and mentor the next generation of therapists. She currently teaches for Alberta College of Massage Therapy.

Renee and I talk about:

  • How does massage fit within digestive disorders?
  • What is visceral manipulation & myofascial release?
  • How do physical restrictions contribute to pain in digestive disorders?
  • Who is visceral manipulation suited for?
  • What can you expect when going for massage therapy that is focused on visceral manipulation and myofascial release?
  • What is polyvagal theory?
  • What role does the vagus nerve play in digestion?
  • Regulating vagus nerve function
  • Tips on how to shift your nervous system into ventral vagus in order to improve/assist digestion and digestive symptoms like constipation.
  • Ways to stimulate the vagus nerve to increase vagal tone.

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