Who doesn't these days?! It's sad, but true... much of the world is suffering from some type of chronic pain. What many don't know is that physical and emotional trauma are often the underlying cause of chronic pain.
The Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) that controls unconscious body functions like breathing, digestion and heartbeat is interrupted by such trauma. The body cannot turn off the fight or flight reaction when trauma shocks the nervous system. This causes an eruption of inflammation which leads to a plethora of diseases. Readjusting the body, restoring the breathing, and reactivating the autonomic nervous system can provide relief and help the body to heal itself.
The larger ANS is divided into several systems including the more well-known “fight-or-flight” Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) and lesser known “rest-and-digest” Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS). These systems naturally counteract each other and work to achieve balance within the body.
Why It’s Important...
The body should naturally remain in PNS most of the time, and only activate SNS in life-threatening situations; however, in the modern age, the body’s SNS response is often triggered by everyday stressors, including adrenaline rushes from caffeine, exercise, and anxiety.
Spending too much time in SNS can lead to a general weakening of the immune system as well as other serious health issues such as:
Cardiovascular issues. High blood pressure, hardening of the arteries + heart attack
Gastrointestinal issues. IBS, chronic constipation or diarrhea
Endocrine System issues. Type 2 diabetes, sexual impotence + decreased energy and longevity
Decreased exercise recovery. Muscle + training fatigue
Comparatively, some benefits from spending more time in PNS include:
Cardiovascular benefits. Higher Heart Rate Variability, lower blood pressure, decreased risk of heart attack
More stable blood sugar. Decreased risk of diabetes
Higher overall energy. Due to more balanced cortisol levels
Better sleep quality. SNS can negatively impact circadian rhythm
Activating the Parasympathetic Nervous System:
While the average person spends too much time in SNS, there are ways to adjust your habits and thinking in order to increase time spent in PNS.
High Intensity Training. Change it up— high intensity exercise activates the SNS and studies have shown that repeated, intense training can decrease the ability to transition back to the PNS. Like most things in life, balance is key: take rest days and be sure to include lower intensity exercises throughout the week.
Aerobic Exercise. Studies have shown that light to moderate aerobic exercise such as walking or swimming for at least 30 minutes per day at least five days per week can improve the PNS response. Over time, the PNS response and Heart Rate Variability increase and Resting Heart Rate decreases. Mind-body centered exercise such as yoga and tai chi carry similar benefits.
Meditation, Reiki + Sound Healing. Stress relief and relaxation are hugely impactful in achieving the “rest-and-digest” mode of the PNS. Deep breathing and focus on relaxing the mind lead to less stress and less time spent in SNS. Meditation allows you an opportunity to still yourself and go within, no matter where you are. By focusing on your breath and taking a moment to center, you can significantly reduce stress. Regular Reiki Treatments will keep your energies balanced and flowing. Energy blockages cause a lot of strain on the body and can cause various illnesses and dis-eases. Sound Healing with Crystal or Tibetan Singing Bowls helps to deepen your meditation, bring your mind, body and spirit into harmonic resonance. In addition to Sound Healing, Crystals are great friends to keep around in your home, office, or even in your pocket. Choose a crystal that speaks to you, follow your intuition and you will always have the specific crystal that addresses your needs!
A Few More...
*Get a good, organic salt scrub and scrub your body in the shower daily.
*Find a Float Spa near you + book a session. It's very healing + relaxing!
*Put epsom salt + apple cider vinegar in bath water and soak.
-Cold Laser Therapy:
*Completely non-invasive...and No, it isn't cold! Haha! It feels great!
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