THE NERVOUS SYSTEM

Are you living in a chronic state of stress? If you feel consistent tension in your body or your mind, your sympathetic nervous system may be dominating your life, and exhausting your internal organs. When your sympathetic nervous system is activated by stress, it produces what is commonly known as the fight-or-flight response. We are meant to live primarily in a parasympathetic state: a relaxed state. Do you feel like achieving relaxation is a constant battle, or do you forget what’s like to truly feel relaxed? There is a solution.

Your nervous system consists of Peripheral and Autonomic parts:

Peripheral Nervous System:

• Somatic Nervous System (voluntary)
• Automatic Nervous System (involuntary)

Autonomic Nervous System:

• Sympathetic Nervous System (fight-or-flight)
• Parasympathetic Nervous System (rest and digest)

Encompassing the balancing theme of the Universe: Yin and Yang, the Parasympathetic Nervous System (Yin), also has an activating response to specific stimuli (or lack of stimuli) that is, in fact, the opposite of the Sympathetic (Yang). While the sympathetic is mainly involved with spending: mobilizing our bodies for outward activity, muscular exertion, and the use of large amounts of energy, the parasympathetic is mainly involved with saving: housekeeping work of the body, nourishing and repairing tissues, eliminating waste/byproducts, relaxing, and building up and storing energy.

Breath work is a profound healing tool that initiates the relaxation response, or the parasympathetic state. For those who have trouble relaxing or want to take their meditative practice up a notch, conscious connected breath work with a trained professional can be absolutely life changing. Breath work allows the body and mind to deeply relax and harmonize with each other, so that thoughts are coming through more peacefully and emotions are more regulated and manageable.

A series of breath work sessions, has shown evidence to change the endocrine homeostatic mechanism, which means a higher threshold to stress, less illness, less pain, better digestion, balanced hormones, improved detoxification, and the list goes on. Breath work is like resistance training for the mind. The power of the mind-body connection is now studied scientifically more than ever, and has possibly the most influence on health and well being.

Author
Dr. Janice Sutherland received an Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Health Studies and Psychology minor at the University of Waterloo, in Ontario. Her Naturopathic education is from The Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine in New Westminster, BC. She is also trained in Bowen Therapy and Conscious Connected Breathwork.