Simple Ways to Balance the Body
When you think of medicine, your first thought probably isn’t stretching, breathing, humming or a walk in the woods with friends.
And yet these basic practices are really at the core of keeping your body healthy, so I invite you to make them part of your daily life.
Movement is medicine.
Breathing is medicine.
Music is medicine.
Nature and Community are medicine.
This sounds like it is philosophical, and I suppose it is. But it is also neuroscience.
In the depths of your inner workings is your nervous system.
And more specific to this example, your autonomic nervous system, which is further subdivided into your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.
Your sympathetic nervous system is like an accelerator, activating the body in times of stress to mobilize energy. This is what gets your heart pounding, creates rapid breathing and sends blood to your limbs to get them moving—Fight or Flight.
Your parasympathetic nervous system acts like the brakes where it can regulate you back to a state of relaxation—Rest and Digest.
When the body stays in a state of stress for extended times, like most of us are currently experiencing, the sympathetic nervous system becomes overactive.
This can have major impacts on the immune system—such as causing persistent inflammation and creating excessive oxidative stress which eventually can lead to many chronic diseases such as gastrointestinal issues, cancer, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular diseases and strokes.
An overactive sympathetic response also amplifies pain and causes anxiety.
This is how disease happens. It isn’t a mystery. It’s a progression. But many of us still walk around thinking we are “completely healthy” until we are ill. And at that point, it’s a lot more difficult to heal.
So, where do the humming, breathing, stretching and nature walks come in?
Well, these are all activities that have the potential to activate your parasympathetic nervous system—returning you to a state of balance and preventing or slowing down a disease process. They are simple activities that you can incorporate on a regular basis. And they are all free.
This is medicine in its most simple form. And these are evidence based practices to support your health and wellbeing.