Navigating the Impact of the Nervous System on our Well-being

by | CranioSacral therapy, SomatoEmotional Release, Stress

I’ve been thinking hard on how to make this easier to understand. Bear with me as we step into the fascinating realm of the nervous system to uncover the intricate aspects that govern our unconscious bodily behaviors and functions.

Today, we’ll dive deep into the autonomic nervous system, where the dance between the fight-or-flight response and the rest-and-repair mode takes place.

Understanding how our nervous system reacts to various stimuli is key to unraveling the effects of chronic stress and finding the balance needed for healing.

The Dance of Fight-or-Flight:

Within our remarkable nervous system lies the fight-or-flight response—a mechanism ingrained in our survival instincts. Imagine a time when our biggest threats were predators or the fear of running out of food. Our bodies, astonishingly, have not adapted to the demands of modern-day society. Picture this: your body interprets being late for work, missing a bus, or experiencing overwhelming stimulation as threats, triggering an unconscious shift into fight-or-flight mode.

Survival at All Costs:

When our body enters this survival state, it goes all out to protect us, as if a massive lion were present in our living room. Take a moment to envision this—your body is preparing for a life-or-death situation. Your breath becomes quick and shallow, your heart palpitate faster, and adrenaline courses through your veins. This is a symphony of bodily changes orchestrated by the surge of adrenaline—a hormone that influences the body in massive ways.

Redirecting Energy:

During this survival response, blood rushes to our muscles, and energy floods our system. The body channels its resources to enable you to either confront the threat head-on or make a swift escape. In this critical moment, your body selects which processes are vital for immediate survival. Digesting that bowl of noodles you just ate? Your body deems it insignificant until the lion in your living room has been dealt with. The same goes for menstruation or sexual desire.

Unconscious Survival:

It’s important to grasp the profound implications here—your body doesn’t differentiate between a genuine predator and the stressors of our modern life. Whether it’s an argument with your partner, a barrage of text messages, or a relentless negative self-talk, your body registers it all as threats. And thus, it plunges you into fight-or-flight mode, operating outside the realm of your awareness.

The Toll on our Being:

Remaining stuck in survival mode takes its toll on our well-being. We find ourselves expending crazy amounts of energy just to survive, leaving little room for the essential functions that keep our body functioning optimally. Consequently, we may experience ailments, discomfort, and a general sense of feeling unwell.

A Deeper Look into Stress Stages:

From my own experiences and what I observed in my clients, I’ll breakdown the disharmony in our bodies into 3 stages of stress.

Stage 1: The Adrenaline Surge:

As stress initially takes hold, adrenaline levels soar. In this stage, we might experience a temporary boost, feeling invincible, capable of conquering it all! However, unless we allow ourselves true rest—where we nurture our nervous system instead of mindlessly watching Netflix—we set ourselves on a slippery slope towards chronic stress. It’s essential to cultivate a relaxed body, fostering a sense of peace and restoration.

Stage 2: The Cortisol Cascade:

When adrenaline has been consistently high, our body realizes that a lion is unlikely present. So it shifts its focus to a new belief—there’s no food left in the world. Cortisol, our long-term stress hormone, rises to the occasion. Unfortunately, excessive cortisol brings about a myriad of unpleasant symptoms. We may notice changes in our body composition, with fat retention becoming a common occurrence. Additionally, binge eating tendencies may emerge, as our body desperately seeks nourishment.

Stage 3: The Breaking Point:

Here’s where things take a significant toll and where I usually see my clients come in with.
They feel utterly exhausted, as if they’ve been running a marathon with no end in sight. Their immune system weakens, compromising their ability to ward off illness. It’s at this stage that we often encounter burnout, experiencing profound fatigue and, at times, even depression and thoughts of suicide. It’s our body’s way of pleading for a respite—a plea we must listen to!

Honoring our Cycles and Embracing Femininity:

As women, we have the added layer of cyclical nature within us. Yet, we often disregard our natural rhythms and push through life relentlessly trying to be more and more productive. Our vitality diminishes as we relentlessly engage in the “do, do, do” mentality.

Uncovering the Root: Trauma and Emotional Clearing:

To truly embark on a healing journey, we cannot overlook the connection between trauma, emotional clearing, and our nervous system. When trauma overwhelms us, our nervous system may freeze or respond with fight, flight, or fawn. These instinctual responses linger into adulthood, influencing our behaviors and patterns.

Reshaping our Destiny:

We have the power to reshape our lives. By thoroughly addressing and releasing emotions from our nervous system, we pave the way for living in a relaxed body. It may require dedicated work, but the rewards are immeasurable. Remember, since these behaviors and patterns in the body were learned, they can be changed. We have the capacity to reprogram even the deepest parts of ourselves, ultimately fostering a life of balance, joy, and well-being.

Of course, as a practitioner of Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), Matrix Reimprinting, Craniosacral Therapy (CST) and SomatoEmotional Release techniques, I use these modalities in my work to help my clients reconnect with their bodies, release their emotions or trauma, regulate their nervous system and eventually heal from whatever plague them in the first place.

End of the day, whether or not you’re drawn to the modalities of my choice is not the most important. What’s important is understanding the nuances of our fight-or-flight response and the rest-and-repair mode so that will empower you to make conscious choices in your daily lives. By honoring our body’s needs, embracing our feminine cycles, and acknowledging the importance of emotional healing, we embark on a transformative journey towards a more harmonious and joyful life.



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