Column [Let’s learn about the autonomic nervous system ①]
As the name suggests, the autonomic nervous system is a nervous system that works autonomously. The autonomic nervous system operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, regardless of our will, in order to maintain essential life activities such as breathing, body temperature, blood pressure, heartbeat, digestion, metabolism, urination and defecation, etc. it will continue to work without rest.
The autonomic nervous system is spread throughout the body, controlling the functions of all organs, and fine-tuning the body in response to stress and changes in the environment, keeping the entire body in optimal condition.
There are two types of autonomic nerves that work tirelessly every day.
They are the “sympathetic nervous system” and the “parasympathetic nervous system.”
The autonomic nervous system controls one organ or tissue with two parts: the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system. (excluding sweat glands) Their roles are contrasting: the sympathetic nervous system stimulates the heart and makes it beat faster, while the parasympathetic nervous system suppresses the heart and slows it down. In the case of the stomach and intestines, the sympathetic nerve presses the brake to suppress digestion and absorption, and the parasympathetic nerve presses the accelerator to promote digestion and absorption. In this way, they work in contrast.
In addition, as shown in the image, the autonomic nervous system controls various internal organs and organs; when the sympathetic nervous system is dominant, the muscles and blood vessels contract, and when the parasympathetic nervous system is dominant, the muscles and blood vessels relax and expand. For people with chronic pain, the sympathetic nervous system tends to become dominant due to the stress, anxiety, and tension caused by the pain. When the sympathetic nervous system is dominant for a prolonged period of time, muscles become tense and blood vessels constrict, which narrows the passageway and makes it difficult for blood to flow smoothly.
① Muscle tension and stiffness occur
② Blood vessels are compressed
③ Deterioration of blood flow
④ Accumulation of waste products
⑤ Accumulated waste products release substances that cause pain
⑥ Pain occurs
This is how the flow will be created.
Ideally, the autonomic nervous system should have a 1:1 ratio of sympathetic nervous system to autonomic nervous system and work with high power.
However, it continues to work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and it repeatedly gets nervous (fatigue) and take breaks every day.
If the sympathetic nervous system continues to dominate, the balance of the autonomic nervous system will be disrupted, causing fatigue without us even realizing it.
To adjust your autonomic nervous system, you need moderate exercise, proper diet, and a sleep and a lifestyle that suits you.
Why not take a look at your current lifestyle, including any disruptions in your daily routine, and look for a healthy lifestyle that’s within your reach?