This talk given by Dr. Robynne Chutkan, a faculty member at Georgetown University Hospital, at MindBodyGreen’s REVITALIZE Summit, taps into many of the issues that we’d like to discuss here at

Her argument that our aversion to anything having to do with “dirty” things, like bacteria and soil, has created an unhealthy balance in our bodies’ microbiome, parallels our society’s unhealthy aversion to the inner workings of our own body.

People are so uncomfortable with the idea that they actually fart and poop that they allow dangerous symptoms to go far to long because they are embarrassed or too disgusted to discuss them. That, or they mentally blocked out their bodies cycles, and just “get through” them.  Never giving them the attention they deserve- as powerful tools that our bodies use to communicate the status of our health. Pooping and farting need to be more than just “gross”. They are clues.

Dr. Chutkan share an amazing piece of data, that our Microbiome, “all of the bacteria, viruses and fungi in or on our body, outnumber our human cells by a factor of 10” Think about that! That makes us ten times more Microorganism than we are genetically human. Mind Blown. And a vast majority of those microorganisms are colonized in our digestive system- you guessed it – Making Farts!

The Microbiome in our digestive system has been observed to affect not only our weight and immune system, but even our brain chemistry and mood. And we are just scratching the surface of understanding how interdependent we are on our gut bacteria. This realization has thankfully begun to awaken many in the health community to the fact that western medicine had begun to over-prescribe antibiotics. A practice which was reeking havoc on our gut microbiome, aka our natural defense system, and intern breading dangerous and malicious antibiotic resistant ‘superbugs’.

Dr. Chatkan tells a compelling story about her daughter’s childhood health struggles, and a realization that it may have been the very medicine that was continuously being prescribed to her that was repetitively compromising her body’s ability to heal. I also really appreciate that Dr. Chatkan doesn’t discount the good that can come from modern western medicine practice, she instead is calling for a more mindful, measured, and holistically minded approach.

I honestly look forward to the day when more groundbreaking discoveries are made in how we can utilize our own microbiome to heal ourselves and improve our health- and that we look back at this antibiotic dependent time as a transitional phase in improving our health care journey as a society.