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Supporting your Nervous System

What does that mean? How can I support something like my nervous system? What even is it? If these are questions you ask yourself, when you hear us Naturopaths talk, or read another blog about how all these amazing supplements are supposed to support your nervous system... and you think: what even do they mean? Read on ->

Our nervous system is a very complex tangle of wire in our body. And these wires perform different things, depending on WHICH nervous system they belong to. Oh yes, we have several. Well, they all belong together, and work very closely together. But for the sake of this article, I will separate them.

The Peripheral Nervous system

This is all the things that happen away from the spine and the brain.

Somatic = body (not mind)

Let's start with the one we can see, or at

least feel. The Somatic Nervous System. It carries all our general sensations including:

  • Touch, pain, temperature, proprioception, and pressure.

  • It sends signals out, so we can move our arms and legs.

  • And it sends signal back, so we know what is going on. Did something feel good to touch, or did it hurt?

Us neurodivergent people can immediately say; oh hang on a second. Can this nervous system be one I have issues with? When we get overwhelmed by touch, or sound, or when pressure can soothe us. Hold on to that thought!

Autonomic = involuntary (not by thought)

The nervous system we can't control, is the Autonomic Nervous System. It regulates involuntary processes like our:

  • Heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, digestion, and sexual arousal.

  • This nervous system regulates our organs, and how they function.

  • It also reacts to stress or relaxation, by bringing blood to our legs when we need to run fast, or blood to our intestines when we need to digest food.

You might reflect and say; but I can change my breathing. Yes, you can, but when you are not thinking about it, it still happens. It's automatic. Some of the processes react to stress, like our heart rate which goes up when we're stressed. Or how many of us prefer to be relaxed to get sexually aroused.

The Central Nervous system

Bringing all the information together, from the body and all the organs is the brain and the spinal cord, as the Central Nervous System. This is also where all our thoughts, feelings and memories are imbedded. Our reactions to what things feel like, as the centre of our physical being.

Neurodivergent overwhelm

When the brain reacts to input from the

Peripheral Nervous Systems, there is a reaction in us. This is where us neurodivergents can really struggle. Our brains have been shown to involve a LOT more connections to the rest of the body. So all our impressions from the world around us can overwhelm us.

That's why we react to the tag in our pants, or the noise from the neighbour. The stimulus in our brain is overwhelming. See the brain scan by an autistic researcher, who literally shows how much more stimuli his brain receives when he looks at something.

Fight and flight VS rest and digest

In response to that reaction, our brains will also tell our Autonomic Nervous System that we are now overwhelmed. This causes a stress reaction, and we enter fight and flight. Blood goes to our legs and away from our intestines. We feel stressed, and can't eat or digest our food properly. When we have been in this state for most of our lives, we start struggling to regulate and get out of "fight and flight. We can't relax. Our nerves are like any part of our body, if we don't use them regularly, they will reduce in function.

Supporting your Nervous System

When I say "I will support your nervous system" I basically mean that I will help you relax, and not feel so overwhelmed all the time. You will be able to sit down and eat, and allow your body to digest your food. This can take time, and many different aspects of your life may need to change. Only taking supplements is not going to fix you.

Lets work together, and support your nervous system back to feeling relaxed and calm.


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