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Basic Nervous System Functions

The nervous system is responsible for coordinating all of the body’s activities. It controls not only the maintenance of normal functions but also the body’s ability to cope with emergency situations.

The nervous system has 3 general functions:

  • Sensory nerves gather information from inside the body and the outside environment.  The nervous carry the information to the central nervous system.

  • Sensory information is processed and interpreted

  • Motor nerves convey information from the central nervous system to the muscles and glands of the body.

The nervous system is divided into two parts:

  • The central nervous system consisting of the brain and spinal cord.

  • The peripheral system which connects the central nervous system to the rest of the body.

The peripheral system connects the central nervous system to the rest of the body.

The main divisions of the Peripheral Nervous System are:

  • The autonomic nervous system — which controls the automatic functions of the body: the heart, smooth muscle (organs) and glands. It is divided into the “fight-or-flight” system and the “resting and digesting” system.

  • The somatic nervous system — which allows us to consciously or voluntarily control our skeletal muscles.

  • Nerves — which are made up of special cells called neurons. Neurons are comprised of a dendrite, a cell body and an axon.

How can we change patterns in the nervous system? 

Where attention goes, neural firing goes and energy flows.  We have the capacity to make change throughout focus attention and energy moving throughout the whole body.

The quickest way to create change is to be fully present to a direct felt experience.  The power of the will and efforting gets in the way of the direct experience, therefore, being fully present and attentive to felt experience is a part of the journey towards changing patterns.

Note that healing and long-term changes can only happen in the calm side of the nervous system (parasympathetic). The intellect cannot facilitate long term changes to the patterned habit. Your cells will only respond to a felt experience.

Therefore, real long-term change requires a daily practice with felt sense experience, a practice that guides you into the parasympathetic side of the nervous system.  In addition, for the entire system to change, it will require between 6 months and 24 months (variable for everyone).

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