July 28th, 2021
Do you know what really triggers true healing, restoration, and rejuvenation within the body? Tapping into and using our own parasympathetic nervous system!
What is the parasympathetic nervous system?
The parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) is one part or system of our autonomic (or automatic) nervous system, which is coded and primed for the body's automatic adaptations in correspondence or relation to its environment in order to best ensure its survival. For instance, some of what it does is regulates our heartbeat, our digestion, our blood pressure, and our respiration rate for the oxygenation of our body.
There are two types of systems within the autonomic nervous system and they are the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems. The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) is the "fight or flight" response, where blood is drawn to the extremities, digestion is halted, our pupils dilate, and our senses become more aware of any perceived danger within our environment. Essentially, it assists us in dealing with a dangerous event, something that threatens our life, or as a way for us to survive during a stressful situation. However, in our present day society, much of what we view and experience is perceived as a stressful event or situation, which then triggers this biological response in our body, and as a result of this, much of humanity is predominantly switched to this sympathetic nervous system state, where healing cannot take place physically, mentally, emotionally, and/or energetically. In fact, being in this state does quite the opposite...it stores perceived trauma(s), emotions, and certain encodements or programs in the body that are not exactly true or conducive to our health.
This is where the parasympathetic nervous system state comes into play in order to be the balancer of our autonomic nervous system. It is during this state when the body relaxes, digests/processes, and heals...or in other words, blood and energy flows back to the vital organs, digestion and normal processing within the body begins again, rest and sleep are now possible, the pupils contract back to normal, and our nervous system is not so overstimulated, overwhelmed, and pre-occupied with the heightened awareness of our surroundings (as the experiencing of paranoia or the triggering of our survival mechanism recedes).
Stress is often a normal part of life, but how we perceive and respond to these stressors determines the length and dominance of the sympathetic nervous system. We can train our autonomic nervous system to not be so reactive to stress by stimulating and supporting our parasympathetic nervous system, which I will describe below how to do just that.
How do we activate or stimulate our PNS?
We activate our parasympathetic nervous system by bringing ourselves to a place of stillness, or relaxation, and this can be done in numerous ways. Music, frequencies, and tones are one way to do it; being in nature is another way to do it; taking a break and doing things that you enjoy assists as well; meditating is yet another way as is breathwork and deep breathing; energy medicine and/or bodywork are great relaxation techniques as well. Finding whatever relaxes you is important and this will automatically trigger the parasympathetic nervous system within you so that you reap the lovely healing benefits of your own PNS. The more that you do it, the more that it retrains your autonomic nervous system to be in a predominantly parasympathetic or healing state. In this state is where the healing happens! Remember that this relaxation can be for short durations throughout the day...please don't think that you have to be like a monk in order to see benefits or improvements in your health, as that isn't really realistic. Just do what you can, when you can without feeling pressured, as that can disrupt the PNS from activating.
How can we support our own PNS through natural remedies?
There are some supplements that can aid in calming and supporting an already overactive/over-responsive [sympathetic] nervous system and those are Vitamin B-Complex, Vitamin D, Magnesium, L-Theanine, Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Valerian Root, Chamomile, GABA, Ashwagandha, Passionflower, Trace Minerals, Lemon Balm, Rhodiola, and Ginkgo Biloba. Often times, when in this sympathetic nervous system state, especially predominantly, it can burn through the nutrients in our body so supporting the body with these nutrients is essential.
There are a ton of nervous system support essential oils on the market as well that may assist...just be sure that they are clean, therapeutic, and pure/organic ones, as you don't want to add more stress to the nervous system by introducing toxic EO's.
There are some flower remedies that may assist with supporting the nervous system as well and those include Aspen, Mimulus, Rescue Remedy, and White Chestnut to name a few. Beyond Wellness also makes four different flower remedy blends, which all support the nervous system and those include Fearless, Calm & Centered, Comfort & Soothe, and Self-Love so you can give those a try, if you aren't finding other avenues of support real effective for you.
How can our therapists at Beyond Wellness assist you with balancing your autonomic nervous system [SNS and PNS] and thus, in your own healing process?
It is our duty, as practitioners/therapists, to assist our clients with getting the body to this parasympathetic nervous system mode, state, or point of relaxation, as then the body naturally does what it needs to do in order to heal what is out-of-balance. It really is as simple as that...Relaxation = Healing!!
If you would like assistance with activating your PNS for overall healing and nervous system balance and support, then give us a call at (231) 220-8897 to schedule an appointment! Have a wonderful day, everyone!
- The Beyond Wellness Team