The sympathetic nervous system and trauma

2 min read

The nervous system of the human body is one of the most complex and difficult to understand parts that we all have.  it works at the back of our subconscious,  without our even being aware of it it performs its role and allows us to stay alive.  A compromised nervous system can lead to a multitude of issues both physical and mental.  One of its primary functions is to help protect us during a traumatic situation. It’s one of the many subjects that you will learn about on a Trauma informed practice training session form

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There are two main parts to our autonomic nervous system.  This system controls all of our bodily functions without even being aware of it.  Without an autonomic nervous system we  would have to remember how our heart beats, how our lungs work and how our liver processes food and waste matter. Part of the system is the sympathetic nervous system.  This takes over when there is a potentially traumatic situation faced by us.

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At the first sign of a threat the sympathetic nervous system will immediately call on the adrenal glands to  produce adrenaline and noradrenaline so that the body can be prepared for a defensive or evacuation of the situation mode.  it will create rapid breathing and also noticeable changes in other parts of the body as it begins to divert resources to necessary organs. One of these is  saliva production which explains why you get a dry mouth.

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