Your nervous system has two components: the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system. Your brain and spinal cord form the central component. The nerves that branch from your spinal cord into your arms, legs and torso form the peripheral component. You can think of your nervous system as your body’s electrical wiring.
The peripheral nervous system consists of two main parts: the autonomic (ANS) and the somatic nervous systems (SNS).
The autonomic nervous system
As the name suggests, the ANS is automatic as it functions without conscious thought. Glands and organs are regulated by this system: sweat glands and salivary glands switch on when needed, your heart beats, lungs breathe, and your gut digests.
The ANS has two branches: the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system. You may have heard of the sympathetic system referred to as the, “fight or flight”, or stress response. When this is activated − like when you get a fright − your body prepares for survival: your heart rate speeds up, digestion slows, muscles tense. Unfortunately prolonged stress response can adversely affect your health.
The parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) is referred to as the “rest and digest” system. When PNS activity is heightened, energy is free for health and healing.
The somatic nervous system
The SNS is the part of your peripheral nervous system that controls skeletal muscle function and enables the voluntary control of movement. It’s what allows you to kick your leg and scratch your ear. This system also sends information from your eyes, ears, and skin to your CNS so you can interact with the world: to see, to hear, and to feel.
Clearly, your nervous system is vital to your health. So, how might chiropractic care improve the way it works? How might we calm your stress response and restore natural function and health?
Our goal is to ensure your spine and nervous system are functioning as best as possible. We look for areas in your spine that aren’t working correctly and could be causing interference to your nervous system. We may use specific techniques called adjustments.
Spinal adjustments may help make positive changes to your breathing and heart rate, and how your body, brain, and nerves communicate. These changes might encourage relaxation, boost muscle control and strength, reduce pain and inflammation, improve balance and coordination, and reduce the risk of injury.
Many of our patients report wonderful results, some that they didn’t expect. This is a result of improved nervous system function. No wonder then, that spine and nerve health lies at the heart of chiropractic!
Chiropractors hold in-depth knowledge about the body, especially the spine and nervous system.
To find out more about how Chiropractic could help your wellbeing read our latest BLOGS or book a consultation with our team.