Stress. It is a physiological response from our brain when it perceives a threat by ramping up our central nervous system. It makes for fit-full sleep, indigestion, anxiety and inappropriate outbursts with co-workers and loved ones. It seems to be woven into the frenetic pace of our modern life. Kids mirror their stressed parents and soon everyone is on edge. We all know that we need to wind down but sometimes that seems physically impossible. Have you ever wondered why?
Under regular and sustained stress the brain begins to lose its ability to signal the “stand down” command to our central nervous system. Remember the old fitness term “use it or lose it?” The same concept applies to the branch of the central nervous system that allows us to wind down. Called the parasympathetic nervous system, it manages the “rest and digest” and “feed and breed” functions. If it is constantly overridden by the sympathetic nervous system, the branch that controls our “fight, flight or freeze” response, it will eventually lose its tone, like a muscle. Low tone means poor sleep, poor digestion, anxiety, moodiness… many of the symptoms of stress.
Our brains, hardwired to respond to perceived threats, do not discern between a true threat on our life or a daily stressor. Think of how often in one day you feel wound up: trying to get the family out the door in the morning, circling to find a parking spot downtown, meeting a work deadline, caring for an ailing parent… When you finally collapse into bed that night, you find yourself wide-awake with a bad stomach. Being too wound up to wind down is an indication that your central nervous system can’t do it on its own anymore.
A treatment of CranioSacral Therapy is a wonderful way to take that overworked central nervous system down a notch or two. Take if from my clients:
“I don’t think I’ve ever been that relaxed.”
“I feel as relaxed and unwound as if I just had a deep tissue massage, but your touch was so light!”
“I’ve never been able to meditate. In this session I experienced for the first time ever a quiet mind.”
A quiet mind can feel like a luxury but is actually an essential piece in achieving optimal health and productivity.
I invite you to follow the embedded links if you would like to explore this topic in more detail.
Thanks for reading this blog!