AUTONOMIC NERVOUS SYSTEM
Here at CORE Naturopathics, we are always trying to support our patients to return their health to homeostasis. Homeostasis = internal balance, allows the body to regulate and keep stable in order to function properly.
When speaking about homeostasis in the nervous system, we focus on the autonomic nervous system. This is the part of us that regulates a wide variety of involuntary processes in the body such as digestion, heart rate and breathing. Our autonomic nervous system is divided into two separate parts which work in contrast to each other – they are called the Sympathetic Nervous System and the Parasympathetic Nervous system. Details below!
|SYMPATHETIC (SNS)||PARASYMPATHETIC (PNS)|
|Fight or flight
|Rest & digest
|· Increases heart rate, blood pressure and respiration rate
· Lowers HRV
· Promotes vasodilation
· Increases alertness
· Increases endorphins
· Stimulates blood flow to heart and smooth muscle
· Suppresses digestion, appetite, relaxation, sleep, detoxification
|· Slows heart rate
· Raises HRV
· Facilitates digestion & elimination
· Promotes immune function
· Supports the reproductive system
· Helps the body retain nutrient stores
· Improves sleep and detoxification
A key focus of our “From Surviving to Thriving” program is analyzing the stress response in a person using a combination of the iMRS mat along with a software to analyze the data collected. We are then able to calculate the amount of time the person spent in “fight or flight” or “rest and digest” whilst on the iMRS and get a detailed understanding of their stress index and if it’s healthy or not. The brain retraining part of the system, helps to shift your nervous system into a more balanced state.
Being in “fight or flight” isn’t a bad thing. We all need to be able to respond to stress in order for survival. Stress isn’t the problem. It’s how we react to the stress and how long we stay in “fight or flight” following exposure to the stress. Often when people come see us at the clinic, they are feeling really anxious – and therefore, are easily triggered into their stress response. And when that pattern has been programmed into their nervous system over an extended period of time – they find it takes a long while to return to their sense of inner relaxation. Ideally – a person can be exposed to something that stresses them (SNS response), and then return easily and quickly to feeling calm (PNS response).
There are many simple and easy ways we can encourage a state of rest & digest/relaxation (boosting the PNS response). Getting out into nature, fresh air, a warm bath, a cup of tea, affection and relationship, turn off tech devices, calming music, journal, stretch your body, breathing exercises, guided meditation, calling a friend, gentle exercise, dancing, and our personal favourite here at CORE Naturopathics – come for a session on the iMRS mat. It will help retrain your nervous system to access your PNS system much more readily and easily. To re-wire your brain out of the constant stress mode – and into a much healthier relaxed mode.