Did you know that your overall health very much depends on the state of your nervous system?
It’s true. Learning about my nervous system and how to control it through breathwork changed the way that I view my health forever.
The nervous system is:
- the controller of the body
- the controller of our ability to heal and regenerate, and
- the storage system of our emotions and past traumas
When your nervous system is balanced, you are calm, resilient and can handle what life throws at you a whole lot better.
However, when your nervous system is out of balance, you cannot physically or emotionally handle stress as well, so you become more prone to health symptoms and skin conditions, like acne, eczema and rosacea (to name a few).
Breathwork is a great way to help regulate and balance the nervous system. Breath mediations, when done properly, can help you deal with the chaos of every day life in much healthier ways (as opposed to that glass of wine or endless hours spent scrolling through social media).
Learning to regulate your nervous system allows you to find calm in the midst of any storm and become a lot more resilient to everything that life throws at you.
Learning to breathe properly and intentionally has been a game-changer for me, and is the reason I got my certification in breathwork, so that I can share this tool with you, too!
The Autonomic Nervous System:
The autonomic nervous system has two divisions, which are the Sympathetic Nervous System and the Parasympathetic Nervous System. Look at each of the two divisions below to see what happens within the body when we enter into each division.
Sympathetic Nervous System (Stress Response ~ Fight or Flight):
- Adrenals are stimulated, triggering the release of catecholamines (including adrenaline and noradrenaline)
- Blood moves to brain, lungs, muscles and limbs
- Heart rate and blood pressure rise
- Respiration increases (short, shallow breaths)
- Digestive enzyme production decreases
- Digestion slows down
- Liver enzyme production decreases
- Lymphatic system becomes compromised
- Immune system weakens
- Collagen and elastin breakdown
- Control of your bladder and bowels can weaken
Parasympathetic Nervous System (Rest and Digest ~ Heal and Regenerate)::
- Production of adrenaline is inhibited
- Blood moves to gastro-intestinal tract and organs
- Heart rate and blood pressure decrease
- Respiration slows down
- Digestive enzyme production increases
- Salivation and digestion are stimulated
- Liver enzyme production increases
- Lymphatic system is stimulated
- Immune system strengthens
- Collagen and elastin production are stimulated
- Sexual arousal occurs in this state
What Does All of This Mean?
If you look at what happens to your body in each part of the nervous system, you can quickly begin to see why symptoms, illness and disease occur when we spend too much time in our sympathetic nervous system. The majority of our society lives in this state too often.
I was having health issues a few years ago, and learning breathwork, embodiment and relaxation techniques really helped me be able to enter into the parasympathetic nervous system more often and improve my health. And not only did it improve my health, but it also helped me become a lot more mindful and resilient to mental stress as well.
Breathwork has provided me with the ability to consciously remove myself from the stress response whenever I enter it in situations where the stress response is not necessary for my survival.
I want to share this ability with you! That’s why I created this free guided meditation for deep relaxation. This guided breath meditation will help you regulate your nervous system by stimulating your parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest), helping you fall asleep easier, improve your digestion and ignite your body’s inner self-healing.
For best results, I recommend lying down in a comfy spot (where you will not be disturbed) with a set of earphones. Put a warm blanket on, a sleep mask if you have one, close your eyes and enjoy the meditation.
Please don’t just listen to this meditation once and forget about it. Use it regularly! It’s here for you whenever you need it.