Irregular, unpredictable digestion
Broken and restless sleep
Although our nervous system is a remarkable part of our body, not many of us know what it consists of, what it actually does, and how vitally important it is for optimal health and body function.
In simple terms, our nervous system is made up of our brain, our spinal cord and the nerves that branch off from the spinal cord and travel all over the body. Its function is to control all of our organs; regulate our hormones; communicate with our cells; power our muscles; and simply allow us to survive. Virtually every single thing our body does is coordinated and controlled by our nervous system.
The brain processes 400 billion parts of information every second. Without us even being aware of it, it’s constantly sending messages to our heart; our lungs; our gut (especially after lunch); our muscles during a work out; and so on. The brain then receives billions of messages and responses from the body every second, too. What you may not have thought about until now is, how well is my nervous system working? Have you ever had someone analyse how well your body is performing all of these essential tasks?
We have all most likely had our blood pressure taken to determine heart function, seen an optician to assess vision and eye function, or visited our dentist to determine dental health. But who’s been checking and caring for our nervous system? Our body is very clever at hiding problems and continuing to perform its jobs without us realising it’s working less than perfectly. Clear signs that it is not working optimally are the obvious: pain. Yet there are other alerts we should be aware of. Here are just 3 to consider:
Headaches. It is not normal to have headaches. If I had a penny for every time I asked someone, “Do you suffer with headaches?” and their reply was, “Yes, but just the normal ones…” No headache is normal. In one way it's a positive response because it’s alerting us that something isn't right. We can all take a painkiller and ‘make the pain go away’, but in doing that, we are ignoring a vital message from our body. It’s trying to tell you something: are you dehydrated? Have you been straining your neck in a compromising posture? Is there a misalignment in the top vertebrae of the spine? Are your eyes struggling to focus? Are there hormonal changes or a chemical imbalance?
Digestion. Our digestion should work regularly and with an expected consistency. Regularity varies from person to person, but symptoms of IBS, bouts of indigestion, bloating, pain after eating, constipation and reflux are also not normal. Our nervous system is what controls our digestion right from the exact moment we see something we are about to eat and our mouth produces saliva. A sign that your nervous system is under stress or working sub-optimally can be poor digestive health.
Sleep. We all know how precious sleep can be. Everything always seems easier after a good night’s sleep. We’re happier and more energetic. This is because when we are asleep our nervous system is regenerating, healing, detoxing and repairing ready for the next day ahead. If you find yourself waking up between 2 and 4am, this can be a clear sign that your body is in a state of fight and flight. To put it simply, you’re stressed! The survival aspect of your nerve system is heightened and being overworked.
All of the above function optimally when your nervous system is working properly and has clear communication with the brain and body.