The Nervous System
Your Nervous System
Keep the Wiring Firing
Nerves are somewhat like "electrical wires' that allow almost instant communication to the far reaches of the body. Minerals are bound in organic compounds that form strands emanating from nerve cell bodies. The longest fiber is a hollow tube that transmits messages to other nerves, or to the site of various tissues that respond. Other strands act more like roots to sop up energy from adjoining nerves, which then are interpreted and transmitted to the next receiving station.
During this process various nerve-transmitting chemicals either switch on the next nerve or switch it off. We've all experienced twitching, which can result from nutritional deficiencies. This problem is often due to a lack of neurotransmitters that turn on and off the nerve affecting a muscle and it therefore fires indiscriminately, making the muscle contract momentarily.
Cramps may be the result of nerves being turned on and never off, and with the constant contraction of the muscle, oxygen from the blood is unable to squeeze into the tissue to replenish the cells, which immediately sends a painful SOS to the brain.
It is thought that electrical signals are transmitted on the outside of the neural fibers or tubes connecting the network.
The on / off neurotransmitters chemicals are manufactured in the main body of the nerve and flow down the middle of the tube to the end, called the "synapse sage transfer.
The receiving arms of the next nerve also contain neurotransmitters that immediately recock the nerve to receive the next signal. These fiber tubes are protected by a myelin sheath (likened to insulation on a copper wire) to keep them from shorting when touching other nerves, or losing power into an adjacent tissue.
Of all the nerve," she said.
"Boy, was he uptight," he said.
Whether from interpersonal communication, or personal frustration, the nerves always seem to take a beating. And that stress is conducted to the organs attached to specific nerves.
While herbal supplements do not cure nervous conditions, they are designed to act as nutritional supplements that support the normal body processes and systems designed to solve these problems.
Although most people don't know it, the body heals itself when given a chance. It can normally handle insomnia, headaches from tight muscles that cut down blood flow to the head anxiety and pain. If it can't, then we need to look at nutritional deficiencies along with other possible causes.
The marvelous network of nerves is governed at several points in the body, with the brain as master control. Even within the brain several higher and lower command centers work together to make millions of variable adjustments needed every day to keep us in good health.
Quick information is supplied to the brain by sight, sound, smell and taste. Touch may travel from various parts of the body at more than 400 feet per second-slow when compared to the speed of light, but fast enough for just about any emergency.
Every nerve making up the system has certain similar characteristics, but may look very different, depending on function. Like every living cell, the nerve has a nucleus as its "capital."
Its cell wall branches out In two ways one connects with sending nerves, the other transmits signals to the next receiving nerve. There are both general and specialized nerves.
Previously, it was believed that nerves, once killed, would forever be dead and never replaced by other cells. But scientific research has found that in some cases damaged nerves can repair themselves, and in other cases they can be replaced, even in the brain! This has given new hope to thousands. The research continues.
We need to relate and respond to the outer world in order to keep our inner world functioning in a healthy manner. Our body's nervous system provides the vital communication lines between the external world and our internal world. The sense organs of the nervous system receive external information and relay it to the brain. The information is then passed to organs, tissues and cells so they can adapt to changes.
The nervous system is composed of two parts, the central system and the peripheral system. The central system is the brain and spinal cord, both made up of nerve fibers. The peripheral system is the network of nerves throughout the body. The nervous system penetrates every tissue of the body lust as the circulatory system does. It is composed of 28 billion neurons or nerve cells. These cells are the communication specialists. Messages are transmitted by electrical signals. Three types of nerve fibers send impulses at various speeds to various targets, anywhere from two to 400 feet per second. Heat, cold, pressure, body position and control signals are constantly exchanging information.
The Communication Process
The nervous system communicates two basic types of messages. One is to activate, the other is to relax.
Some of its actions are automatic (i.e., the heartbeat, breathing and digestion) and some are voluntary (i.e., eating, drinking and walking).
Along with the physical functions of our body, the nervous system also influences how we act or react to stress. The "fight or flight" response is a good example of this action. This is a hormonally stimulated state to prepare the body for the challenge ahead.
Chemical reactions influence the heart, nervous system, muscles and other areas of the body.
We can nutritionally support this system so that our nervous system can accurately communicate the situation and properly handle the various stresses it may be exposed to.
Stress is a factor in every life and is largely determined by how we react to stressors around us. When the body's balance is upset, we experience stress reactions. Even though everyday hassles may seem minor, researcher Dr. Richard Lazarus found that in combination they can have a bigger impact on our health than life events such as death, major illness or financial difficulties. They are an inescapable part of daily living and in combination can weaken our resistance to illness.
Our nervous system doesn't differentiate between a physical threat and an emotional threat. Thus, screaming kids, a critical boss, unpaid bills, traffic 'jams, missed deadlines and a host of other mental / emotional crises can be perceived by our nervous system as a form of "danger." If we permit it, these situations can invoke our fight / flight response, too. This defense mechanism can damage our health when it is constantly evoked unnecessarily and the energy released by it is not dispelled by fighting or fleeing.
Prolonged emotional stress can lead to a breakdown of health. Evidence shows that we may not be doing so well in handling stress. It has been estimated that one-half of those seeking professional medical care have symptoms that can be traced to psychological stress. This can aggravate existing bodily weaknesses. Of course, emotional stress is not the only factor involved in these weaknesses, nor is it necessarily the primary cause. It is, however, one of the risk factors associated with them.
Psychologist Donald A. Tubesing related stress to the tension on a violin string. We need "enough tension to make music but not so much that the string snaps." Stress can be managed and its effects reduced. Exercise, meditation and relaxation techniques, attitude changes and improved nutrition are some effective ways to handle stress.
Stress can increase the need for certain nutrients since it alters our metabolic process. For example, an increased metabolic rate means an increased rate in the burning of carbohydrates. When larger than normal amounts of carbohydrates are metabolized, the requirements for thiamine and other members of the B-complex family may be increased.
Stress is also related to nutrition because the fight / flight response steps up the metabolic process that also increases the need for certain vitamins, particularly the water-soluble vitamins that must be replenished on a daily basis. That is why the B-complex and C vitamins are the core of all anti-stress vitamin supplements.
Natural Solutions for Nerves and Anxiety Problems
B Complex - supports the nervous system; many B vitamins are lost in the refining or cooking of foods; stress can deplete the body of B vitamins, which are vital for good digestion and essential enzyme reactions; this formula is in a base of acerola, inositol, lemon bioflavonoids, PABA, rosehips, rutin and wheat germ.
Stress Relief - Combination of eight different herbs used for stress, anxiety, nervous conditions and panic attacks.
Gingko/Gotu Kola Concentrate - memory, Alzheimers, senility, ADD
Herbal Sleep - Hops, Valerian and Passion Flower are in this formula that feeds the nervous system to help with anxiety or hyperactivity. Useful for a busy brain that doesn't shut off at night, and for insomnia.
Lecithin - brain booster, cholesterol, grabs fat and removes from body and arteries, linked to neurotransmitter problems (brain), senility, memory
Nutri Calm - Chill out! This combination of B vitamins, C, and herbs for the nervous system helps you to handle the stress in your life. It has been successfully used for panic attacks, and anxiety disorders.
Stress-J - stress, hyperactivity, ADHD, calming without drowsiness
Brain Protex - used for memory loss, senility, Alzheimer's