Sympathetic & Parasympathetic Nervous System
By Philippa Dinnen
Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Nervous System
We have an autonomic nervous system that runs through the spine from the brain linking it to all parts of our body. Messages are sent via neurons through the nerves to the brain centre that deals with that particular need.
If it is a conscious need, such as the need to cook a meal, or make a telephone call, we are activating the sympathetic nervous system. If the need is a natural body function, such as digesting food, breathing and the millions of functions that happen daily in our body without our knowledge, this is the parasympathetic nervous system.
In order for our body to function optimally we need to have a balanced autonomic nervous system. If we are performing in sympathetic mode, our parasympathetic nervous system is taking a rest, and when we need our body to function in parasympathetic mode we give our sympathetic nervous system a rest.
If we are living tranquil lives and are at peace with ourselves this can happen naturally. However, most of us are living out our undischarged trauma patterns that cause us to live in sympathetic mode.
Many of us have probably been in sympathetic mode since before we were born. A parent smoking, too much alcohol, or other toxins coming through the umbilical cord may have caused shock and overstimulation in the womb. The foetus finds ways of minimizing the intake of toxicity and goes into active alert.
Imagine a life in sympathetic mode. Either we are on active alert, constantly on the lookout for danger, or we have become numb and immobilized. How many people do we know who are just like this? So many children are described as hyperactive, they are allergic to many foods, they are bored and disruptive and they need constant stimulation.
Our society today provides for those who are living in sympathetic mode. Everything needs to be fast. Stress, the rat race, action movies and cartoons stimulate them. They love theme parks, with roller coasters and high adrenal activities. By the time they are forty they are burnt out.
The other kind, the immobilized person living in the sympathetic mode, is just as bad. This person is so numb that he is living “unconsciously”. He (or she) has had to create a persona for himself, a learned behaviour pattern just so that he can function. Hence he reacts in exactly the same way to a given situation and cannot cope with “new” decisions or changes in his life.
These people are common and we probably all know some of them. They “switch off” when asked for opinions or to participate in a discussion about something new. They can readily talk about what they have read in the newspaper, or what they have learned, but cannot explore their own feelings or opinions.
So while we are living in sympathetic mode what has happened on a parasympathetic level? Our parasympathetic nervous system simply shuts down. We lose the ability to properly digest our food and other normal bodily functions perform less efficiently.
We build up impacted fecal matter because of our difficulty in eliminating naturally and we compromise all our natural growth functions. We “hold on” to our toxins and our old traumas.
We have a need to feed our stimulated systems, we feel frustrated in our “down time” and fidget. Our bodies cannot settle, we cannot relax, and we are hard to live with. We suffer from allergies, hay fever, asthma and numerous environmental diseases. The body sees everything we eat and breathe as a poison and our immune system is constantly attacking the invaders. Being in sympathetic mode affects the pH balance so we live in a more acid state. With our digestive system already so out of balance, it is impossible to restore the balance simply through diet.
How does this impact our healing process? When the body is in sympathetic mode it is impossible to heal. This is why I am giving you such a detailed story about what goes on “behind the scenes”. In order for us to function at all levels and in all areas of our lives we need to address the nervous system and balance it.
How many of us have spent huge sums of money following the latest breakthrough advice in healing? Don’t worry, at each step you have probably been getting a little nearer to the truth, but the truth has not been clear before.
Cleansing and clearing out our toxicity allows the truths we are looking for to become available; resting and rebuilding was what we needed to enable us to do the next step.
Now, balancing our nervous system will make that next step much easier. When we are ready for the next step it suddenly becomes apparent.
All of these methods allow the nervous system to settle and reorganize. But the biggest of all, is LOVE. When a baby is loved, its entire nervous system settles.
Philippa Dinnen is a Practitioner of Pre- and Peri-Natal Birth Trauma at Resources For Life near Chichester, West Sussex.
This article was posted by Graeme Dinnen