Wellness lexicon

The parasympathetic nervous system

The parasympathetic nervous system is the contrary (antagonist) to the sympathetic nervous system. However, they both represent a part of the vegetative (or autonomic) nervous system. It is described as autonomic because we are not able to control this part of the nervous system. This includes functions like breathing, digestion and sweating.
The parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for the body’s relaxation, rest and recovery. It helps the body to continuously improve its performance. These are called trophotropic functions of the parasympathetic nervous system. If the parasympathetic nervous system is activated, blood pressure becomes lower, the digestive system becomes more active and the heart rate decreases.
The sympathetic nervous system takes over ergotropic functions. It makes sure that the body is always ready to react in stressful or dangerous situations. The sympathetic nervous system helps the body to achieve optimum performance.

The parasympathetic nervous system, like the sympathetic nervous system, is not located in one place but is spread throughout the entire body. It is a craniosacral system. The original cells are located in the head are (Latin cranium = skull) and in the sacral bone are (Latin os sacrum = sacral) which is the lower part of the spine.
If the interaction between the parasypathetic and the sympathetic nervous system is disturbed, it can lead to health problems and affect quality of life.

Related topics: Craniosacral therapy , Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) , Breathing therapy , Ayurveda