How to improve the autonomic nervous system
by activating declined parasympathetic nervous system and keeping a good balance between the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system
There are mainly 2 kinds of breathing methods which are chest breathing and abdominal breathing.
Chest breathing is taking a deep breath from your nose or mouth with filling your chest.
Abdominal breathing is when you inhale, you expand your stomach and when you exhale, you flatten your stomach.
Diaphragm breathing is expanding and flattening the chest and stomach at the same time, intaking more air. Intaking more air slows down the movement of alveolus in the lung and activates the declined parasympathetic nervous system.
It is a little difficult to do both breathing together, so the following is how to doh each breathing separately.
(1) Lie on your back and bend your knees (Fig. 3).
(2) Put your hands on your chest (Fig. 4).
(3) Inhale slowly feeling your hands move upward.
(4) Exhale slowly feeling your hands move downward.
(5) Repeat inhaling and exhaling for 5 times.
(1) Lie on your back and put your hands on the sides of your abdomen (Fig. 5).
(2) Inhale slowly feeling your abdomen expands.
(3) Exhale slowly feeling your abdomen flattens.
(4) Repeat inhaling and exhaling for 5 times.
If you continue 1 set of these breathing exercises in the morning and at night, the unbalancing autonomic nervous system starts to be balanced.
Effect of Diaphragm Breathing
A person who can’t be moved to tears with watching a touching movie and keeps sweating during eating hot spicy food and whose blood pressure doesn’t lower down during sleep checked the movement of his diaphragm. His lungs don’t expand very much and the diaphragm doesn’t move very much. After instructing him how to do the diaphragm breathing, his diaphragm moves largely (Fig. 6).
2 days after starting the diaphragm breathing, his blood pressure during a meal went down to the number of before a meal in 30 minutes (128 -> 146 -> 130). This shows that the parasympathetic nervous system is activated and calms down the sympathetic nervous system (Fig. 7 and 8).
His blood pressure during sleep which was as high as during daytime also lowered down.
5 days after the diaphragm breathing, he watched a touching movie and he could move to tears.
By the recent medical research, it turned out that imbalance of autonomic nervous system could be related to aging of the blood vessel. There are various other symptoms caused by the imbalance of autonomic nervous system such as diarrhea, constipation, dizziness, stiff neck and shoulders, insomnia, depression, intolerance to cold, palpitation, shortness of breath, irregularity of menstruation, etc.
What is the autonomic nervous system (ANS)?
The autonomic nervous system is a control system that acts largely unconsciously and regulates bodily functions such as the heart rate, digestion, respiratory rate, pupillary response, urination, and sexual arousal.
As an experiment, a person was asked to solve a simple numerical calculation (subtraction). At that moment, various changes in her body happened such as contraction of the blood vessel, perspiration, increase of the heart rate, enlargement of the pupils, etc.
The autonomic nervous system consists of the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system is activated by nervousness and stress, while the para sympathetic nervous system is activated by relaxation and rest such as eating or sleeping. In other words, the sympathetic nervous system is the accelerator and the parasympathetic nervous system is the brake.
When one system is activated, the other system is inhibited. But if the sympathetic nervous system is continuously activated and the parasympathetic nervous system is not activated, that condition is considered the imbalance of the autonomic nervous system, and the cause is stress (Fig. 1 and 2).
How to check the imbalance of the autonomic nervous system
(1) Whether or not you are moved to tears when you watch a touching movie
The sympathetic nervous system gets activated before being moved to tears and at the same time as being moved to tears, the parasympathetic nervous system gets activated. Therefore, people with tears has proper autonomic nervous system.
The autonomic nervous system of the people who aren’t moved to tears at the same scene is that the sympathetic nervous system is continuously activated and the parasympathetic nervous system is continuously inhibited.
(2) Whether or not you sweat right after eating hot spicy food and afterwards the sweat dries
People whose sweat doesn’t dry and who continuously sweat while eating can be considered their autonomic nervous system is abnormal.
While in the case of people with normal autonomic nervous system, the sympathetic nervous system and parasympathetic nervous system are activated alternately, in the case of people with abnormal autonomic nervous system, the sympathetic nervous system is continuously activated and the parasympathetic nervous system is not activated.
Is any kind of tears good for the autonomic nervous system?
Whatever kind of tears inhibits the activation of the sympathetic nervous system and activates the parasympathetic nervous system.
Aging of Blood Vessels Caused by Imbalance of Autonomic Nervous System
Why is aging of the blood vessel caused by the imbalance of the autonomic nervous system?
A recent research discovered that the imbalance of the autonomic nervous system is related to the blood pressure.
The imbalance of the autonomic nervous system keeps the blood pressure high even during the time the blood pressure should be lower such as during a meal and during sleep, damaging the blood vessel and resulting in arteriosclerosis (hardening of the blood vessel).
The sympathetic nervous system should be active during daytime and the parasympathetic nervous system should be active during night time, but the sympathetic nervous system of the people whose autonomic nervous system is imbalanced is active during night time as well, making the risk of high blood pressure higher.
Another cause of the imbalance of the autonomic nervous system
Stress is a cause of the imbalance of the autonomic nervous system, but there is another cause. That is aging. The function of the parasympathetic nervous system becomes weaker with age.
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