Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Health Of Our Nervous System

Have you ever considered just how important the health of your nervous system is to you? It regulates so much in our present lives and it sets up conditions and events for the future of our body systems.

Most likely we have all heard about how outside events and influences can become energy trapped in our bodies. If this energy is not discharged from the body, it will continue to hold residence within the cells, nervous system and our brain. While it may not show any visible signs immediately, some event or trigger will eventually trigger the energy and stir it up like a tornado or hurricane stirs up the ground it passes over.

There are two parts to the Autonomic Nervous System. One is the sympathetic branch which takes over when you are going through stress, illness or injury. The parasympathetic branch is in control when you are relaxing, sleeping or in a state of stillness. It is often called the rest and repair state.

Both of these parts of our nervous system are important to our health. One without the other is an imbalance. However, if we stay “activated” in the stress side of our nervous system more than in the rest and repair state, our bodies are being continually broken down. We need the rest and repair to keep our bodies in a state of optimal health.

Consider this example: You are walking through the woods and a tiger begins to follow you. Your body will pick up a state of fear thereby bringing about an increased breathing rate, heart rate, and muscle tension while your digestion, immune system and other non critical systems slow down. As the danger builds, the more your body prepares to either fight or flee. It is completely biological. Then when the danger has subsided, your body begins to slow back down and your breathing may come back to normal, your heart rate will slow down and muscle tension will change from the fight or flight mode to a more relaxed state. This is how the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems work together.

The only thing is, if the energy of the “event” such as being followed by a tiger in the woods is still located within your cells and your brain, then it begins to take up residence. This one event may not be enough to even cause a long term reaction within you but if the event had a stronger emotional connection with you, then the effects of it would begin to build. As these events build up within your body, the energy is stored until you find a way to discharge it. And that stored energy is “potential energy”, which holds the opportunity to bring about true rest and repair in your body or hold you hostage into the future.

There is a National Geographic video of a polar bear that is shot by a tranquilizer gun so the researches could give it some aid that it needed. When the tranquilizer began to wear off, you saw the bear begin shaking violently. After the shaking stopped, you could witness the polar bear taking a deep breath and then another as his body sank down into a more restful state. The bear was discharging that energy which he had stored up from being chased and tranquilized. It was a healthy thing for the bear to do, and it was automatic because animals just know how to do this. It is normal for them.

So realize that while there are times for us to be in an alert mode and endure stress, that we need to find a calmness in our life and allow ourselves to have that time of meditation, rest and repair. Sometimes it involves removing the tigers of our past, our present and our future from our lives but when we do this, we give so much to ourselves.

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