Do any of these sound like you? Do you have more characteristic from the Sympathetic or Parasympathetic side of the chart below? These seemingly unrelated qualities can help us understand how to care for our bodies better.
2. The Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Nervous Systems
|Sympathetic System||Parasympathetic System|
|Function||To defend the body against attack||Healing, regeneration and nourishing the body|
|Overall Effect||Catabolic (breaks down the body)||Anabolic (builds up the body)|
|Organs and Glands It Activates||The brain, muscles, the insulin pancreas, and the thyroid and adrenal glands||The liver, kidneys, enzyme pancreas, spleen, stomach, small intestines and colon|
|Hormones and Substances It Increases||Insulin, cortisol and the thyroid hormones||Parathyroid hormone, pancreatic enzymes, bile and other digestive enzymes|
|Body Functions It Activates||Raises blood pressure and blood sugar, and increases heat production and circulation||Activates digestion, elimination and the immune system|
|Psychological Qualities||Fear, guilt, sadness, anger, willfulness, and aggressiveness.||Calmness, love, contentment and relaxation|
|Factors That Activate This System||Stress, fears, anger, worry, other negative emotions and thoughts, excessive thinking and too much exercise||Rest, sleep, meditation, relaxation therapies and feelings of being loved and appreciated|
Sympathetic Dominance – tends to be more acidic, taller and thinner, when out of balance they tend to get acidosis, dry skin, constipation, dry eyes, indigestion, heartburn, insomnia, hypertension, irritability, sweet cravings, emotional instability, tachycardia, tendency to infection, and decreased appetite.
Parasympathetic Dominance – tends to produce a more alkaline environment, have broad shoulders and narrow hips, when out of balance, may get too alkaline, with oily hair, diarrhea, excessive appetite, lethargy, apathy, low motivation, decreased sex drive, allergies, hay fever, low blood sugar, heart irregularities, chronic fatigue, poor concentration, and depression.
Sorting out the most appropriate diet in this complex field requires looking at all the factors. The most important point to remember is that we are unique individuals, and as such we best serve ourselves by developing a diet pattern that is unique to our physiology.
There is no one diet for everyone nor one nutrient that will work miracles for everyone. Conscious living means to remain conscious. It implies being your own scientist and entering into a process of trial and error as you finetune your diet. Rediscovering how to eat in a way that best enhances our health, well-being, and joy is a noble endeavor. When we change our diet so that it si optimal for us, it positively influences all our biological systems and every aspect of our health and well-being.
There are three essential questions to remember:
- Am I emotionally stable after eating?
- Do I have increased physical energy after eating?
- Am I craving any foods?
The answers to these questions cannot be obtained from any book. They must come from our own experience. This is a most important key to conscious living.
If you have any further questions and would like to receive your own analysis to dial in your unique needs faster, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or click this link [Initialize It! Program] to schedule an appointment.
- Cousens Md, Gabriel (2009-03-03). Conscious Eating: Second Edition (Kindle Locations 857-864). North Atlantic Books. Kindle Edition.