Your nervous system

The sympathetic and the parasympathetic.

There are two branches of the nervous system and it is important to understand the role of each.

The sympathetic nervous system is the branch of your nervous system that “winds you up.” It gets your motor racing. It’s activated by the fight or flight response, but it’s also activated when something interests or excites us.

The sympathetic nervous system makes our muscles tense, our digestion shut down, our heart rate faster and our breathing more rapid and shallow. It also raises our blood pressure and inhibits elimination. Most people associate this branch of the nervous system with stress, but it’s also associated with excitement. When a guy sees that “gorgeous girl” across the room or a woman sees that “big hunk” that racing heartbeat is a sign the sympathetic nervous system is in action.

 

The parasympathetic nervous system has the opposite effect. It turns on digestion, slows the heartbeat and makes our breathing slower and deeper. It lowers our blood pressure and helps us “let go,” which helps us detoxify. Most people associate it with being relaxed and easy-going, but its balance in the nervous system that helps us feel good. Being too far in either direction will make you feel stressed.

In other words, a person who has an overactive parasympathetic nervous system can feel just as nervous and anxious as a person who has an overactive sympathetic nervous system. They are just stressed in a different way.

The sympathetic nervous system helps us focus, which is why I think many people wait until the last minute to “cram” for exams. The stress of know the test is tomorrow, helps them focus.

A person who has too much parasympathetic activity and not enough sympathetic activity can’t focus. This means they also can’t filter things out. Every little noise, sensation, image or smell is a distraction. Because they can’t tune anything out, they feel constantly “bombarded” by their environment. They’re chronically stuck in sensory overload.

 

If someone is already in parasympathetic overload, taking something that further stimulates the parasympathetic [relaxing] nervous system takes them further out of balance. Balance is of vital importance, and whereas taking B12 can further 'relax' the system, without B12 or its reduced form, methycobalamin, other problems like anaemia can arise.  

When a person stuck in parasympathetic mode takes something that stimulates their sympathetic nervous system, it restores balance. That makes them feel more relaxed and calm. A person experiencing sympathetic overload is over stimulated by substances that further stimulate the sympathetic nervous system, so these remedies would make them feel more nervous and anxious.

A final example - the sympathetic nervous system dilates (enlarges) the pupil. This happens when we’re excited or scared or anxious and our sympathetic nervous system is dominating.

In contrast, when the parasympathetic nervous system is overactive, the pupils will be small. That’s because the parasympathetic nervous system contracts the pupils.

That both should work together in harmony is of paramount importance when considering a person's health status. For more information and to take a Hair Mineral analysis which will give you your current status of dominance please contact Cynthia Sillars either through the links below or by mobile 07599 520406 or cynthia@healingtouchtherapy.co.uk