I am not a bio-chemist, though I now know that you live your life differently when you have a basic understanding of your body’s autonomic nervous system (ANS). The ANS is a network of nerve fibers extending throughout the body, connecting the brain with various organs and muscle groups. There are two branches of the ANS that work in harmony with each other to deal with the threats we face and then can recover from them.
• The sympathetic branch activates the Fight, Flight or Freeze response. This generates adrenaline so your heart beats faster, your muscles get tense, your eyes dilate and the mucous membranes dry up. This all allows you to fight harder, run faster, see better and breathe easier than you would without this systemic response.
• The parasympathetic branch activates the relaxation response. It tells the body, “OK, you can relax now. The danger has passed. No need to be on alert anymore.” Prompted by this message, the body’s adrenaline subsides and you return to your normal physiological state.
Adrenaline was meant to be released in quick doses to support a Fight or Flight response that may be needed in a situation. It was not designed as a way of life, but there are a lot of people in the 21st century living 24/7 in this heightened state. No wonder so many of us are stressed, dis-eased, generally overweight and looking for quick fixes.
It’s key to remember that the two branches work in harmony with each other, creating a balance between the two is your goal. Living your life more in either branch will lead to disharmony.
Thousands of people suffer from constant fatigue unrelieved by rest and sleep. This is the main symptom of living more in the sympathetic branch of the ANS and is referred to as Adrenal Burnout. Other symptoms may include a craving for sweets, low blood pressure and low blood sugar, irritability and depression. It feels like an everyday struggle – just to maintain!
When you understand the ANS you are equipped to understand what you and everyone else may require in any given moment and/or situation.
This will make you a more rounded and empathic person, and leader in all areas of your life.
Not sure where to start?
Then check out the many resources on this website.
Until next time…..
Be well and remember to make each day meaningful, memorable and magical………..and never, ever, ever stop dancing!
With Love & Gratitude