Nervous System Tune-Up
We all remember learning the systems of the body and their functions in our basic biology. Aside from a list of impressive facts many of us forget that our body is a dynamic system constantly monitoring itself and adjusting. Coordinating all of this action is the nervous system.
The nervous system is comprised of the of the brain, spinal cord, and all associated nerves. it is in control of receiving information from our body as well, as the external environment, and executing an appropriate response based on this information. We live our lives through our nervous system. In these times, where we are constantly bombarded with information, our system can become overwhelmed. Below are three tips to keep your nervous system functioning at its peak and ready to handle any challenge life may throw at you:
1. DIAPHRAGMATIC BREATHING
You've heard it: "Take A Deep Breath." Besides being kind words to offer to someone in a stressed out state, deep breathing has the science to back it up. Diaphragmatic breathing has the ability to activate our parasympathetic nervous system, or the part that's associated with relaxation and reset. It has such a powerful effect that levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, can plummet with the inclusion of a breathing practice.
There was a significant interaction effect of group and time in the diaphragmatic breathing condition on cortisol levels, whereby the BIG had a significantly lower cortisol level after training, while the CG showed no significant change in cortisol levels. In conclusion, diaphragmatic breathing could improve sustained attention, affect, and cortisol levels. This study provided evidence demonstrating the effect of diaphragmatic breathing, a mind-body practice, on mental function, from a health psychology approach, which has important implications for health promotion in healthy individuals.
-Front. Psychol., 06 June 2017
The purpose of sleep is a deeply debated subject but one simple purpose commonly agreed on is integration. Sleep provides time. Time for our nervous system to process information from our day. Sleep is important for healing, stress reduction, and overall wellness. So it is easy to imagine how sleep interruption can have a negative impact on our health. Conditions such as sleep apnea can lead to awakening hundreds of times at night never allowing us to fully enter deep sleep. In the city the biggest impact on our sleep is often our outside environment. Ensuring that we are sleeping in a dark, cool, and quiet environment is simple and can have a major impact on our sleep quality. Start by establishing a bedtime routine, using light blocking curtains, and a white noise machine to limit the effects of city living and get the deep sleep your body needs.
3. Chiropractic Adjustments
Chiropractic Adjustments ? YES, Chiropractic adjustments. Not just for neck and back pain. Our brain and spinal cord is surrounded by our skull and vertebrae. The design of our spinal column allow the nerves, responsible for carrying vital information throughout our body, to exit and enter through holes call foramen. Alterations in the function of the joints of our spine can place pressure on the nerves and surrounding structures. This alteration in the function causes our body to enter a "flight or fight mode." When our body is in a stressed state we are less able to adapt to change and our body can easily become overwhelmed. Getting checked by your chiropractor is a excellent way to ensure your spine and nervous system is functioning at it optimal potential. A healthy nervous system can positively impact our blood pressure, emotional state, and our ability to integrate new information.
Diastolic pressure (indicating a sympathetic response) dropped significantly postadjustment among those receiving cervical adjustments, accompanied by a moderate clinical effect (0.50). Pulse pressure increased significantly among those receiving cervical adjustments, accompanied by a large effect size (0.82).
-Journal of Chiropractic Medicine
Dr. David Satterfield, Chiropractor