Though we cannot easily see all the components of the nervous system, we can feel its impact in everything we do. Every single movement we make—giving a hug, picking up our kids, breathing, digesting food and everything in between—is regulated by the nervous system. Each time we feel a sensation of pain, temperature change or texture, that’s due to the nervous system. Every thought we have throughout the day and every memory we’ve held onto are all thanks to the nervous system. Without the nervous system, we really couldn’t do anything, so it’s about time to give some attention to the system that keeps us being and doing.
The nervous system is an incredibly complex and highly specialized network of cells responsible for controlling all voluntary and involuntary actions in the body, as well as supporting communication among the many different parts of the body. This includes the brain, spinal cord, sensory organs (eyes, taste buds, olfactory) and all the nerves throughout the body.
The nervous system is divided into two main subsystems. The structural portion of our nervous system and the functional portion. The structural components of our nervous system are the central nervous system (CNS), which includes the brain and spinal cord, and the peripheral nervous system (PNS), which includes the nerves that run to the rest of our body.
The functional portion of our nervous system include the somatic nervous system (SNS), responsible for all voluntary movements, autonomic nervous system (ANS), responsible for involuntary movements, and the enteric nervous system (ENS), which is in the gastrointestinal tract.
The ANS is divided further into the parasympathetic nervous system, known as “rest and digest”, and the sympathetic nervous system, known as “fight or flight”. This area of the nervous system is what controls our stress response. While in the parasympathetic state our bodies are able to digest food, heal, regenerate and be in a state of calm. Too often though our bodies are in the sympathetic state where we experience stress, anxiety, and general feelings of being overwhelmed.
The nervous system controls our entire body! It’s primary function is to receive information from the outside world, sound, light, touch, and create a response, hear birds singing, cover your eyes when looking into the sky, and know you’re holding someone's hand. The nervous system also controls all of our bodily functions, breathing, heart beating, food digesting. Luckily, our nervous system does all of those things without us having to even think. Imagine if you had to think to breathe every few seconds, we could never get anything done!
Alignment and the Nervous System:
The body is designed with specific proportions, meaning that in each joint, there is an optimal alignment that allows for the proper amount of space between all parts and allows for ease and efficiency of movement. When in proper alignment, all parts of the body can do exactly what they were designed to do; no more, no less. When we get out of alignment that is when we see effects on the nervous system. Improper alignment can create pressure throughout the nervous system which leads to decrease in function. Our bodies make us aware of this decrease in function through signs, such as numbness, tingling, and most often pain!
Our nervous system is the most important system in our bodies so it’s important to have it checked for proper alignment and function!
Fones, A. (2020, August 24). The Nervous System 101. Yoffie Life. Retrieved from http://yoffielife.com/nervous-system-101/