I really really like bacteria. It’s lively, colorful, textured, and can do wonderful enzymatic miracles on nearly any substrate. Our cells carry a fascinating history of how life can come together, create and master a journey unprecedented by all the wild elemental factors thrown at it. Bacteria thrive in the harshest of environments; the multitude of strains present at any moment, nearly anywhere are immensely varied. Bacteria command respect.
Our very lives are dependent upon the life cultures around us. These microbial lifeforms share our nutritional intake and assist in the production of essential B vitamins. Colonies present along our gut linings ward off potentially harmful overgrowths of fungus and pathogenic bacteria.
An aspect I find particularly interesting is how our gut feelings are linked to our intestinal health and the ability to listen and respect those instincts allow for the best survival possible in any given circumstance.
Are bacteria the guiding force behind intuition? Do we owe our very survival to the flora present in and around us as an omnipotent presence of awareness beyond that of our own? These are some of the questions that I enjoy pondering.
What about when we are led astray by our guts? Cravings for sugar, cramps and spasms of fear, feelings of emptiness that seem to originate from deep within -are these, too, connected to our hosting of microflora? I tend to believe that they are, indeed, innately connected. Oft times I will laughingly encourage clients to question their cravings for sugar; asking whether it truly is a call to fulfill a need or a gnawing hunger originating from dysbiosis.
Ideally, a commensal community, dynamic in variety, provides the basis for a wholesome relationship to self and to others. Crusaders such as Sandor Katz (author of Wild Fermentation) explores the cultural heritage and importance of traditional food preparation found globally and its role in community development, as well as, nourishment for all people.
Whether we embrace the concept of our symbiotic relationship with bacteria or not, the evidence of our need for plentiful healthy flora has been demonstrated time and again. I am regularly asked to explain the ‘purpose’ of popular commercial strains and am happy to do so, aiming to sort through the multitude of available probiotics on the market to recommend the most suitable to meet each individuals unique needs.