The Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Nervous System Explained

Published on October 11, 2018

To put things in simple terms, the sympathetic nervous system can put our body into a "tense" state. It can increase the blood flow to the muscles, stimulate the production of epinephrine and nor-epinephrine, and even increase our heart rate. These are all functions that help us survive when actual danger occurs. Of course, they can also cause panic symptoms when no clear danger is present.pathetic nervous system" below.

What Is the Sympathetic Nervous System?

Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Nervous System
Fight Or flight

The sympathetic nervous system is a part of our autonomic nervous system. The latter consists out of functions that are performed by our body without us needing to make a conscious effort. The parasympathetic nervous system is also a part of that system, so there is a difference between both that patients must understand.

Our sympathetic nervous system is responsible for our flight-or-fight response; this is a series of functions our body automatically starts when encountering danger. Of course, danger is not the only reason for our body to start this response, as people with panic attacks and anxiety disorders can experience symptoms from a flight-or-flight response without any clear danger being present at the time. In short, our brand can "trick" the body into believing there is danger, subsequently enabling the sympathetic nervous system.

To put things in simple terms, the sympathetic nervous system can put our body into a "tense" state. It can increase the blood flow to the muscles, stimulate the production of epinephrine and norepinephrine, and even increase our heart rate. These are all functions that help us survive when actual danger occurs. Of course, they can also cause panic symptoms when no clear danger is present.

What Is the Parasympathetic Nervous System?

asheville chiropractic
The Human Nervous System

The parasympathetic nervous system can be seen as the complete opposite of the sympathetic nervous system. While it is also a part of our autonomous nervous systems – the reactions our body does without us needing to do anything – our parasympathetic nervous system relax the body.

To relax the body, the parasympathetic nervous system will slow down many of the functions that require a large amount of energy; this is the opposite of the sympathetic nervous system, who will provide us with more energy to survive. This is also why someone claims to be exceptionally tired after panic attack, since high-energy processes are being used during the sympathetic nervous system activation, it can leave a person drained afterwards.

Some of the functions of the parasympathetic nervous system are completely opposite to those of the sympathetic nervous system. PNS can slow down your heart rate, increase gland activity, and relax the sphincter muscles. In short, the parasympathetic system triggers so-called "rest and digest".

Can Someone Have an Overactive Sympathetic System?

Credit AnxietyAttack.Solutions

Some people may not like their sympathetic nervous system, since it causes symptoms such as heart palpitations, nausea, dizziness, and a plethora of other unexplained reactions. There is always a reason for your system to kick in though; this could be a bad memory or even conditioning.

Understanding why your body creates this reaction without any danger is the first step towards getting better though. Take an agoraphobic for example, who will experience these symptoms heavily when heading out the door. Fighting these symptoms can make the reaction worse, so once someone can learn to let the symptoms run their course, they can slowly recover from their anxiety disorder.

Of course, there are conditions that could be affected by a poorly functioning nervous system. Some of these can even be treated at your chiropractor. If you believe you may be encountering a problem with either nervous system, be sure to speak to your GP, chiropractor, or another medical professional.

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