Part I – What is Sympathetic Dominance?

When I first heard of Sympathetic Dominance about 2 years ago, I had no idea what it was or what it meant. To me the words “Sympathetic Dominance” (SD) together didn’t make any sense. I have mentioned in my previous blog (The impact of our environment and our lifestyle) that I was introduced to this term when I went on to study as a Health Coach. I was actually amazed as to how much medical information and well-known facts are available on SD and yet whenever I speak to any of my clients and mention it, I am met with blank faces.

Once you understand what SD means and what it is, you will find it to be a very very common phenomenon occurring almost everywhere. It has sneaked into almost every home and have managed to thrive without being noticed by any one of us. Coaching clients have made me realise that SD impacts so many of us on almost daily basis. So many of us display its symptoms and yet its importance has been overlooked by so many healthcare practitioners for decades.

Our Nervous system is made up of 100’s of billions of nerves and cells known as neurons that are responsible for sending signals to all parts of our body. Our Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) is part of our Nervous System that is responsible for regulating internal body processes and organ functions that require no conscious effort. Thus, we are usually not aware of these functions. Our heart beating, our blood pressure, us breathing and digesting our food, are all examples of functions and processes that our body conducts without us even knowing. ANS is made up of two parts; Sympathetic and Parasympathetic. These two functions or parts are opposite of each other.

 

Sympathetic part is responsible for body’s ability to prepare itself for the stressful situations. These situations will either make body to get into in flight or in fight mode.

Parasympathetic part is responsible for body’s ability to relax and perform normal body functions i.e. to maintain calm state during peaceful situations.

 

You’ve heard me mention “In flight” and “In fight” states a few times. A lot of people are familiar with these terms. When it comes to body’s internal functions, it is important to identify these states because being in SD for long periods of times can lead decline in health. Knowing is the first step. It allows you to begin to take appropriate action to bring your body back to its normal and happy state. Remember that, being in any of these states, may affect you mentally initially but eventually your physical health will suffer as your mental and physical health are intrinsically connected to each other and damage to one will impact the other.

Much Love and Light to You.

Asima

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