Our ANS is divided into 2 large branches:
1. Sympathetic Nervous System
2. Parasympathetic Nervous System
The 2 branches work in complete opposite to each other. The sympathetic branch kicks in when we are in an alert state such as in a dangerous or stressful situation. It is responsible for the ‘fight and flight’ response such as increased heart rate, increased perspiration, increased blood flow to the skeletal muscles and diversion of blood flow from the gut.
The parasympathetic branch, on the other hand, is responsible for the ‘rest and digest’ responses such as increased gut activities and blood flow.
Our body is like a finely tuned machine. A delicate balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system exists to keep us functioning in a tightly regulated environment. A dysfunction between the 2 branches of the ANS can cause a huge problem for our body. Stay tune for the next post as we explore the effects of an imbalance in the ANS!