Your Belly Brain

Recently scientists have discovered that we have another brain located in our belly. Because I’m a bellydancer, this information interests me greatly.

This ‘belly brain’ contains neurotransmitters, just as the brain in our head does. Neurotransmitters are specialized nerves that send messages to the body via the release of a variety of chemicals. We interpret these chemical messages from our head brain as ‘thought’. We interpret the chemical messages from the ‘belly’ brain as ‘intuition’, feelings’, and ‘knowing’.

We’ve all experienced having a ‘gut feeling’ or ‘gut reaction’. Science is now saying that these reactions, feelings, and intuitions are a real phenomena based on the neurotransmitters in our abdomen – as real and valid a way of perceiving reality as the thoughts in our head.

I love exploring the connections between the art of bellydance and mind/body/spirit fitness. We know that bellydance is great exercise for the body. With its’ movement vocabulary centered in a dancer’s abdomen, maybe bellydance is also healthy for our feelings, intuition, and higher knowledge. My ‘belly brain’ says, “yes!” to that idea.

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