The autonomic nervous system – healing while increasing para-sympathetic and vagal tone.

healing while increasing your parasympathetic and vagal tone.

The autonomic nervous system includes two systems: The sympathetic nervous system and the para-sympathetic which get activated in times of arousal or recovery of our body.  The activation of the sympathetic nervous system leads to a fight-or-flight response, and the para-sympathetic activates the “rest and digest” response.

There will always be one system that is more dominant than the other as they cannot both be dominant at the same time. One system is leading while the other will be on ‘standby’ available when we need to tap into it.

The first system is called the Sympathetic system the other is the para-sympathetic which means: ‘next to’ the sympathetic system. These two systems are in charge of our heart rate, respiration, sweating, bladder, sexual organs, intestinal function, control of our blood vessels, blood pressure, glands, and more. They have an effect on our body and our brain including our immune systems. They are both extremely important to our life as we would not survive without them.

All animals have a similar autonomic systems, when a baby is born his sympathetic tone is very high because he is in survival mode, his heart rate is up and he will be breathing fast. After a while, the baby will regulate his breathing and the heart rate will drop before he could relax and sleep for the first time out of the womb.

Unfortunately, we don’t have control over this system but we can tap into ways to increase our vagal tone which will help us balance it out and modulate it.

Which system is should to be active most of the time?

Some people would say that the sympathetic system must be active most of the time because we have to be ready to react fast, however, they would be wrong!! The para-sympathetic system is the one we want to be active most of the time. If we look at Zebras in the Savannah, their sympathetic tone is high while a lion is chasing after them but as soon as the chase is over, the sympathetic tone drops to make place for the para-sympathetic system to kick in. It’s only when the Zebras are in the para-sympathetic mode they can relax eat and digest.

Issues related to high sympathetic tone

One of the problems with having a high sympathetic tone for a long period of time is that it damages our body, it causes an imbalance that takes our system out of balance.

It can cause digestive issues and a leaky gut because when we are constantly stressed our parasympathetic system isn’t working.

The blood supply to the nerve that controls our gut goes down to the point where we damage the lining of our gut which leads to a condition called ‘leaky gut’.

In addition, it can lead to allergic reactions, IBS food intolerance neurological problems reproduction and sexual function problems, fatigue, pain, and insomnia.

Losing weight and healing

For those trying to lose weight or those having an attention issue or cognitive decline, brain injury or other health condition it would be impossible to make a positive progress.

Unfortunately, if our body is under stress we will not be able to overcome the health issue or to lose weight  because our body is in survival mode.

Our body will not be able to rehabilitate when in survival mode.

The parasympathetic system

Another name for the parasympathetic system is ‘rest and digest’ but it also called ‘rest and recuperate’.

The ideal situation is where our body is in parasympathetic mode for as long as we can. this is going to meet two outcomes  :

  1.  To enable rest and recuperate.
  2.  Let us change our habits make better choices make better decisions and get our brain to function at its optimal level.

When our body is in sympathetic mode our brain is led by the Amygdala and not by our frontal cortex- it usually leads to poor decisions at times.

The sympathetic system

The sympathetic system is not all bad, sometimes we need to be able to tap into the sympathetic mode. For example, if we plan an intense interval training, it’s essential to have a sympathetic burst in our blood pressure so that we don’t pass out as soon as we start training. Tapping into the sympathetic mode ideally should be done sporadically and for short periods of time.

Spending most of the time in the sympathetic mode

Most of us live our lives in the sympathetic mode, there could be many reasons for it such as:

– Working too much or too hard having a stressful job

– Relationship issues

– Suffering from a  brain imbalance – result in an elevation of stress hormones

– An injury or health issue

– Financial problem

What can we do to turn it around?

Throughout life we collect stress however, there are ways to artificially increase our parasympathetic system – most of it relates to the vagus nerve.

The Vagus nerve

The vagus nerve starts in our brain and continues to our heart and to our digestive system, it has an effect on our immune system, our digestion, relaxation, and productive system.

The word ‘Vagus’ comes from vagabond because the vagus nerve goes all over the body.

Brain scans confirm that stimulating the vagus nerve increases our parasympathetic tone and helps in relaxation and healing.

Ways to increase our vagal tone :

  1. Gurgling –  research shows that it helps our intestine and our internal organs.
  2. Stimulating our skin – fascia – stimulates the vagus nerve into relaxation – using a scraping tool such as Rezzimax.
  3. Singing – very common in all meditation techniques using the back of your throat again with singing talking helps as well but singing is more powerful as its using our vocal cords and the back of our throat.
  4. Cold showers are good for you – Not for everyone but worthwhile trying on a lower scale.
  5. Vibration devices like Rezzimax are used on the white setting on your tummy for 15-minutes you can do them more than once a day but once a day is a very good way to activate the vagal tone.
  6. Laser – Low beam infrared laser sheds light into your cells to help with the healing process it can be pointed directly onto the carotid to engage the vagus nerve on both sides of the neck .
  7. Practicing mindfulness daily – The vagus nerve finds its way into the insular Cortex, mindfulness meditation activates the insular Cortex to make us feel more in control of our autonomic system.
  8. Brain balancing –  balancing your brain is not something you can do at home. Our program is designed to help you with that, this is what we do . When the brain is not balanced one side of the brain is functioning at a higher level than the other which in turn causes more stress hormones and imbalance in your autonomic system.  Naturally you will be spending more time of your day in the sympathetic mode.   To get our brain to work at its optimum level both hemispheres should be synchronized.
  1. Breathing – learning how to breathe through your nose rather than your mouth can help to slow down. In addition, learning breathing techniques can help control your heart rate and increase your vagal tone.

There are different ways to increase and improve our parasympathetic tone such as the TENS unit, magnetic resonance, essential oils NLP techniques, and guided memory which helps in relaxation and overall makes us happier healthier and at the same time increases the quality of your life which is what we all want.


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