We think, we feel, and we know. We are spiritual beings who perceive information, at various moments, from the head (we think), the heart (we feel) or the gut (we know).
Think about some of the ways people commit suicide. They shoot themselves in the head, stab themselves in the heart or commit hara-kiri (sword to the gut). They are trying to end their life where they perceive that life literally, physically, to be.
Cultures, individuals, even genders adopt dominant centers of information perception. Because of a mix of societal culturalization and biology, men tend to think, wherein women tend to feel. That's why the genders tend to misunderstand one another and why their language is different. These are generalizations, of course. Old-society Japanese were not always gut-level; the French are not always heart-level; Americans are not always mind-level. Our language, however, betrays our centers of spiritual consciousness at any given moment. ("I think we're going the right way." "I feel we're going the right way." "I know we're going the right way." / "I think I love you." "I feel I love you." "I know I love you.")
As children, we all start out perceiving information from the gut-level. (So incidentally, if you can't talk intelligently to a 3+-year-old child, who will be in his or her gut, don't bother. They don't suffer fools easily, and if you're in your heart or your head, you qualify, although they will patiently put up with heart-types to a degree.) Punches to the gut in life ... the lies and betrayals of this world... close off the gut center for most of us as we grow older. In the same way, we close off parts of our heart center to avoid getting hurt again. Yes, there is a way to get back to a pure, gut-level view of the world.
A "gut punch" is a figurative blow to an individual whose spirit is resting in the gut center. It is a betrayal or a shock to a person whose view of the world formerly was open and honest. With the spirit residing in the gut center, he or she has had few blockages to the world at this point, so the betrayal is severe, unexpected and traumatic. It is serious enough to force the spirit never to be so open and trusting anymore. Formerly believing that the world is full of people that do not lie and that all circumstances are fair and just, he or she now knows that such is not true. The person now has to recover and readjust to this new reality. If he or she fails to process the "gut punch" correctly, he or she may close off the gut center and move to the heart center, which provides a falser view of reality. Feelings are falser than knowing.