Autonomic Nervous System Dysfunction

Autonomic_Nervous_SystemWorry affects circulation, the heart, the glands, the whole nervous system, and profoundly affects the heart.’

The autonomic nervous system (ANS) is an involuntary division of the nervous system that functions to regulate the basic organ processes needed for the maintenance of normal bodily functions.

The autonomic nervous system is made up of two parts: the sympathetic and the parasympathetic.

The Sympathetic nervous system is to help you survive a threat. Whether the stress is real or perceived, your fight- flight- fright response is activated and the increase in blood flow to your arms, legs and brain comes from inhibiting the parasympathetic vagus nerve stimulation to your gut.

Moments of resting, healing, and digesting are regulated by a portion of the nervous system called the parasympathetic nervous system. In nature, there is a balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. During times of rest, blood is distributed to the digestive organs.

An important thing to notice is that the Digestive System cannot work effectively while you are in Sympathetic-On. Humans often get stuck in Sympathetic-On. While in this mode, the digestive system doesn’t function well, sleep is difficult, and healing is compromised.

When the Sympathetic nerves are over stimulated by emotional stress, fear, alterations in the sleep-wake cycle, staying up late at night, you are at risk of not controlling an inflammatory response. It is the accumulation of negative experiences that causes an imbalance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves. This imbalance has major impacts on our health. Many diseases that are prevalent are either caused by stress or influenced by it. With enough negative build up, we cross the sickness threshold and acquire a disease category—anything from headaches to diabetes to thyroid problems, or even cancer.

An overactive sympathetic nervous system may contribute to high blood pressure, palpitations, anxiety, constipation, ulcers, insomnia, high blood sugars, dry mouth, dry eyes and immune system problems. An overactive Parasympathetic nervous system may contribute to low blood pressure, fatigue, depression, diarrhea, ulcers, low blood sugars, anxiety, allergic reactions, asthma, sinus problems and watery eyes and nose.

Research shows that autonomic nervous system imbalance can be associated with emotional stress as well as cardiac disease.Osteopathic treatment can help to correct nervous system dysfunction. Osteopathic adjustment is effective because it has direct impact on the nervous system. If one or more of your vertebrae are misaligned, this inflammation can affect the functioning of your nervous system. Osteopathy helps restore you to balance and health by relaxing the muscles (massage, soft-tissue manipulation); mobilize the area, reducing stasis and fluid build up (osteopathic joint manipulation),reduce postural stress (fascial release, postural education). Cranial Osteopathy is helpful in reducing autonomic tone (sympathetic activity).

View a list of common complains that Osteopathy can assist with

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