What is the Digestive System?
The digestive system is made up of the digestive tract. The tract is a series of hollow organs joined in a long, tube from the mouth the anus. The organs that make up the digestive tract are the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine and the large intestine. Inside the organs is a lining called the mucosa. The mouth, stomach, and small intestine contain tiny glands that produce juices to help diegest food. The juices are produced by the liver and the pancreas. They reach the intestine through small tubes called ducts. Parts of the nervous and circulatory system also play major roles in the digestive system.
Introduction on the Digestive System - Website to help you understand the Digestive System
The Process of Digestion
- Website to help you understand the process of digestion





How does digestion apply to Occupational Therapy?

During the treatment session, if the patient is having digestion problems, we would teach them different techniques to help the process of digestion to go more smoothly. Occupational therapists specialization in digestion would include diet and nutrition management. In order for the therapist to help with diet and nutrition we would need to be aware of any food alergies or other digestive complications. Along with diet and nutrition, we would also teach them techniques to help them digest their food. To start the digestion process, we would teach them swallowing techniques. The swallowing techniques include throat massage to induce swallowing. The massage stimulates the throat muscles and helps to bring the food into the stomach. Occupational Therapy does not specialize in gastrointestinal complications. Once the food has been digested we can stumlate the rectal muscles to enduce a bowel movement.

The Digestive Process
‚ÄčThe interesting process of digestion begins at your mouth. Food is broken down by a combination of chewing and the chemical action of salivary enzymes. After the food is chewed and broken down, it travels to the esophagus. The esophagus is a long tube that runs from the mouth to the stomach. It uses rythymic, wave-like muscle movements that gives us the ability to eat and drink. The stomach is a large organ that breaks down the food in acid. Food in the stomach that is only partially digested and mixed with acids is called chyme. In the small intestine enzymes that are produced by the inner wall of the intestine help break down the food. In the large intestine some of the water is removed from the food. The first part of the large intestine is called the cecum. Then the food travels to the ascending colon, to the abdomen in the transverse colon, then to the descending colon, then through the sigmoid colon. Solid waste is finally just stored in the rectum until it is excreted through the anus.

Sources: http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/anatomy/digestive/