Dr. Eugene Capitano Provides Tips for Relaxing the Nervous System

A Brief Overview of the Autonomic Nervous System and How to Activate its Calming Effects

Eugene Capitano
Oct 14, 2020 · 4 min read
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It’s a position every single human being has found themselves in at some point during their lives. Faced with threatening, overwhelming, or negative stimuli, certain uncontrollable biological responses become apparent: heart rate increases, breathing quickens, muscles tense, sweat is excreted, and a wave of heat descends over the whole body. Collectively, the term for these hormone-induced symptoms is the ‘fight or flight’ response, and it occurs during periods of extreme anxiety or stress. By the same token, as pressure abates and stressful situations de-escalate, the human body ceases to manufacture the hormones that cause these symptoms and sensations of tranquility and relief set in. This is known as the ‘rest and digest’ response. Both of these processes are products of evolution enabling human beings (and other mammals) to increase their chances for survival by prompting them to react quickly to life-threatening situations, and, alternately, to conserve energy and rest during periods of relative safety and calm.

However, what is the science behind this? Can the ‘fight or flight’ response be controlled to the point where it is rendered merely a pesky annoyance, or even easily dismissed? Can the ‘rest and digest’ response be encouraged and cultivated, or even harnessed to tamp down an individual’s general stress levels? By answering these questions, Dr. Eugene Capitano provides a brief overview of the pertinent sections of the human nervous system, as well as a rundown of how to activate its calming effects.

Dr. Eugene Capitano is a chiropractic health coach specializing in the prevention of chronic lifestyle-related disease, as well as the founder of SquareONE Rehabilitation, a rehabilitation clinic, training facility, and lifestyle coaching service encompassing all aspects of athletic care and physical health.

The Autonomic Nervous System

The Sympathetic Nervous System

The Parasympathetic Nervous System

Activating the Parasympathetic Nervous System

According to Dr. Eugene Capitano, “stress and anxiety can be caused by any number of factors”. In some cases, the triggers are psychological, such as family problems or a tense situation at work. In some cases, the triggers are environmental, such as arranging a move from one dwelling to another or performing any otherwise complicated task under a looming deadline. Whatever the catalyst, stress causes a physiological reaction in human beings serving to heighten alertness, which in specific situations, such as swerving to avoid a traffic accident or escaping from a dangerous predator, can be quite beneficial. However, when prompted consistently by everyday situations such as job strain or marital issues, this process can have a cumulative effect on the body that leads to serious medical conditions like hypertension or other forms of heart disease. It can also alter the brain in ways that may contribute to depression and addiction. Activating and calming the effects of the nervous system in the manner described above will help to fend off the instinctual ‘fight or flight’ response and mitigate the negative effects of stress and anxiety.

Human Optimization with Dr. Eugene Capitano

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

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