Why it’s important to protect our Central Nervous System (CNS)
With the pace increasing in our lives we are not realising the damage it is doing to our CNS.
Our diaries are full, our involvement is increasing, expectations are through the roof and our workouts are intense.
The pressure of clean eating, getting good sleep and managing our stress goes out the window whilst we are trying to manage our lives..
But each one of these situations are all taxing on our CNS that is busily sending signals to our hormones, brain and belly that we are on alert and need to bunker down until the threatening situation passes….but for many of us, the situation never passes – the CNS is in overdrive and slowly being damaged day by day…
People wonder why their diet isn’t working, and the weight is coming off, they are confused why they have gut issues and wonder why they still feel tired – that’s because the central nervous system is busy on the switchboard trying to connect our thoughts, emotions and actions but it’s all too much…
Doing a HIIT style workouts everyday to help reduce your body fat, is exhausting your body and your CNS is being depleted so it’s taking longer to get the message to the brain and muscles, not only are you increasing your tiredness, but the scales therefore are not showing any difference, so the person thinks they know the answer and trains longer and harder the next day – the response here is the CNS is falling behind even more and you can see the pattern of what the person does next – eat less or stresses more..
This is a downward spiral effect because the CNS is not getting the tender rest it desires, it has messages from the rest of the body that they don’t have enough fuel (nutrition) to keep on going, so they are slowing down as well…
How to nurture the CNS:
Slow down –
~ Start to remove a workout here and there to allow more rest time.
~ Keep some blank spaces in your diary to stop the back to back appointments where you can.
~ Allow time for change, stop expecting instant gratification or instant results.
~ Remind your boss you are human, and jobs will get done to the best of your ability – sometimes communicating with your leaders you can explain your situation, so lessen the pressure.
~ This powerful free source can help to settle your CNS instantly, by sitting still in a chair, on the floor or lying on the floor and taking 5 big breathes into your belly will send an instant message to your CNS that you’ll be ok.
~ Those that do not have time to meditate are the ones that need meditation the most.
~ It takes less than 5 minutes to help your body, 5 breaths in, hold a 4 seconds then breathe out slowly for 7 counts, pause a bit before inhaling again – simple and VERY effective.
Nature’s own calming mineral that helps to soften stress and settle nerves.
With all the elements of stress on our body magnesium will soften that rate of a level 10 stress down to a 6 – 7. Having it morning and night you will find your sleep will be more restorative and then the next day the level of stress will reduce even further.
The CNS will appreciate this mineral.
Essential oils –
~ Bergamot, Clary sage, lemon, roman chamomile, rose, rose-scented geranium, sandalwood and ylang ylang are proven to help calm the CNS.
~ Diffuse and you will feel the calming effects instantly and same goes for inhaling straight out of the bottle.
~ Apply on skin with a preferred carrier oil (coconut or jojoba) and your receptors will get this message within 90 seconds.
~ Use Essential Oils instead of a toxic perfume to give you the benefits of the auroma without the toxins (that CNS is not fond of either).
Ashwagandha, Maca, Ginseng and Rhodiola are wonderful plant medicines that can help to reduce the inflammation and stress in your body and again give the message to the CNS that all is ok…
- Adaptogens are herbs and plants which have been used for centuries in Chinese and Ayurvedic healing traditions for helping the body react healthily to stress. Adaptogens manage all kinds of stressors whether they are chemical, biological or physical. They help to balance the body and support the adrenals.
- While some adaptogens are used for stimulating the body and enhancing mental performance (cordyceps and lions mane), others are used for their calming effects.
Adaptogens can boost strength and vitality, combat adrenal fatigue, and treat various issues- from asthma to infertility!
These special plants and herbs can also support the natural circadian rhythm of the body and help promote more restful sleep, which all contributes to relaxing the CNS
- Adaptogenic herbs promote a more balanced response to persistent stress and encourage a healthier response to stress overall.
- You can purchase adaptogens in powder form and add to smoothies, hot beverages and other foods (baking) etc to help include in your daily diet.
Infrared Sauna –
Heat depresses the CNS (have you noticed you feel tired when you sit in the sun or on a day where the temperature is high?).
Sitting in an infrared sauna helps to calm you down and is perfect after a workout to not only place you back into a parasympathetic state (allowing rest and digest). Once you are in this state recovery can start to take place as the body has a message it is safe and it releases built up angst.
~ Heat makes everything calm down and it’s the CNS that helps regulate whether or not a muscle can be stretched or not (stretching is optimal in an infrared sauna). Notice how you are tight in the cold?
~ By stretching your body you are releasing tight spots in the body that can be a build up of inflammation and this holds toxins. When you stretch with a light pressure for a long time (known as YIN), you help to stretch fascia and allows fresh blood to get into those tight spots.
~ Having soft fascia throughout the body helps you to move better and not be tight (which can get you uptight).
Float tanks –
~ Float tanks are amazing for your health and certainly help to calm your CNS.
~ By floating is a tank filled with magnesium this mineral as mentioned before is nature’s calming mineral that your CNS will appreciate. Magnesium is a natural beta blocker which relaxes the heart, it also helps your neurotransmitters (in the brain). It turns down the sympathetic nervous response and activates the parasympathetic response.
~ After a few floats you may find yourself getting into a perfect state of meditation.
Those that can’t do the ‘meditation thing’ look at it as a breathing exercise.
~ Control your breath for 5 minutes at least each day this can control that sympathetic nervous system response, so basically four breaths, into the nose and then out through the mouth.
It’s hard to change everything and we certainly cannot change things overnight, as our lifestyles have become hectic over a period of time, so it’s going to take time to wind back a bit.
But from a weight loss point of view as much as it may be hard to get your head around, but the more quality rest you get between workouts, the better the body will respond, along with nourishing foods that fuel the body in the way it needs – protein for muscle grow, good quality fats for brain, cells, tendons and joints and carbohydrates in plant formation to help give enough energy for the day ahead.
If you’d like to discuss more with me please connect with me and let’s look after your CNS and help you live a healthy and balanced life.