Building a Healthy Brain from the Ground Up

woman against blue background holding her stomach
[Photo by wayhomestudioo via Envato Elements]

Our brains closely link to the rest of our body. Taking good care of our bodies, especially our guts, helps us take good care of our brains.

For the brain to function properly, we need to keep it in good condition. What is the root that determines the state of the brain? It’s our physical energy. It’s the energy in our lower energy center, in our first and second chakras, and in the state of our gut.

Just like a tree cannot grow well if its roots rot, if we don’t have enough physical energy our brains will be foggy, scattered, or anxious. No matter how much knowledge they hold, the brains in our head cannot work well if our intestines are full of bad bacteria. When our intestines are uncomfortable, and our bodies feel uncomfortable, then nothing good will come out of our mouths, or our brains. On the other hand, when our guts are comfortable, then our brains will also be stable.

Taking good care of our intestines is a shortcut to building a good brain. One mind-body exercise that builds up the energy in our lower energy center, calms our minds and emotions, and moves waste through our gut is Intestinal Exercise. With Intestinal Exercise, we can clean our bodies, clear our brains, and develop strong, healthy roots for our thoughts, words, and actions. Newsletter signup banner

How to Do Intestinal Exercise

The essential movement in Intestinal Exercise consists of moving the muscles of the lower abdomen in and out. It can be performed standing, sitting, or lying down in various postures. Different postures stimulate different energy channels (meridians) in the body. Here is a basic way to do it.

  • Make your spine long and straight while keeping your shoulders relaxed.
  • Imagine a string behind the navel pulling it back toward the spine as far as it can go. Then release it and relax.
  • Let your breathing happen naturally as you keep your mind focused on the sensations you feel inside your lower abdomen.
  • To help you focus, rest both palms on your abdomen, making a triangle with your thumbs meeting at your navel in a straight line and your index fingers meeting in a point below them.
  • Exhale any pressure you feel through your mouth.
  • Move at a steady, comfortable pace.
  • Start with one hundred repetitions of moving the abdomen in and out.

If you don’t have a lot of time in your day for regular Intestinal Exercise practice, you can add it to other activities. You can practice it while watching TV, standing in line, or riding in a vehicle. In fact, performing Intestinal Exercises during a long trip will help circulate your blood and lymph and help prevent you from getting too stressed or stiff.


If you’d like to learn more about building a better brain, check out my book, The Power Brain: Five Steps to Upgrading Your Brain Operating System. You can also take classes with brain-body exercises like Intestinal Exercise at Body & Brain Yoga & Tai Chi centers in the United States and around the world. Find a U.S. center near you at

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