There is a key to healing that is 100% free and you are consuming it right now!
Autonomic Nervous System
The Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) regulates many of our essential body processes automatically. This saves us from exhausting our mental capacity every day. We try to keep track of the food we’re digesting, remembering to breathe, and other essential bodily processes. As well, it allows us to use our conscious mental effort for higher thinking. We perform simultaneous activities without having to remind our hearts to beat, all thanks to our ANS.
The ANS contains within it the wisdom of life itself. It is a primitive system concerned primarily with survival, not thriving.
Sympathetic Nervous System & the Parasympathetic Nervous System
Two primary subdivisions of the ANS are the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). These act as opposing forces, telling the body either ‘it’s time to react’ (SNS) or ‘you’re safe to heal’ (PNS). You may have heard of this as the ‘fight/flight/freeze’ response (SNS) and the ‘rest and digest’ body state (PNS).
The PNS activity must be dominant for optimal body and brain health, healing, and longevity, repair, growth. In this state, our body’s own repair and renewal mechanisms work better. Plus, any healing therapy implemented such as dietary supplements, nutritional IVs and injections, and ozone therapy, can be more effective. This is because they don’t have to fight against the body’s stress response before doing your body good.
Overstimulation of the Nervous System
The majority of our population sits with SNS dominance as their baseline. This is caused by the overstimulation of the nervous system, toxic exposure, psychological stress, and other perceived and physiological stresses inherent in daily life. Our bodies are stressed out! At any given moment, the average person’s body is preparing for attack, not attending to its own repair and optimization. Survival is the focus. Over time, chronic SNS dominance can lead to imbalance and disease of almost every kind.
The good news is, there is a bridge between your conscious mind and your ANS. With this key to healing, you can willfully shift your operating system from “panic mode” to a healing state.
What is this Key to Healing?
Your breath. While breathing happens automatically every day thanks to your ANS, it can also be regulated consciously by the mind. How the breath moves in the body also happens to be an easy gauge of your subconscious state. The body is in a stressed state when it exhibits shallow breathing, mostly visible in the movement of the upper chest, shoulders, and collarbones. The body tends to breathe in a relaxed state when the lower “belly” breath is initiated by the diaphragm movement. The diaphragm is the barrier between respiratory and digestive organs- found approximately at the level of the low ribs)
Knowing this, the breath can be a diagnostic tool. As well, the mind’s capacity to overturn autonomic breathing patterns can be the key to wiring our system to heal. There are a few more mechanisms by which conscious breathing works to heal your body.
Try it yourself: Deep belly breathing
- Find a quiet, comfortable spot in your house. Sit on a chair, a cushion, or the floor. Set a timer and spend sixty seconds observing your breath.
- Inhale slowly and deeply; exhale slowly; repeat.
Take note: Without changing it, where does your breath go?
Place the palm of your right hand on the area of your torso that moves the most with each breath. If this is not the low belly, use the following steps to help your body relax.
- Close your eyes and place your right hand gently on your low belly. Exhale fully through your nose and observe your hand moving in toward your spine as the belly contracts.
- Inhale through your nose, and feel the right hand slowly drift away from your spine as you direct your breath into the low belly.
- Set a timer for five minutes. Repeat steps 2 & 3, working on making the breath as smooth and full as possible.
Take note: Is there any resistance to deep belly breathing in the body or the mind?
If the breath is choppy or shallow, see if there is tension in your body and let go of it bit by bit on each exhale. You should feel your shoulders, your eyebrows, your jaw, and your glutes relax. Deep belly breathing will become more comfortable as tension is released.
Take note: How do you feel after five minutes of deep belly breathing?
Set a goal to practice deep belly breathing once a day for two weeks by following the above steps. Be sure to journal how you feel before and after each session. Write down any observations you have.
Set the intention to practice deep belly breathing for 40 days and train your body to use the breath to its advantage.