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Permission to Relax

You'll hear me chat about the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) on a regular basis during my consultations. What is the PNS and why am I so excited about it?!?

The PNS is one part of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and is also known as the "rest + digest" system. It helps to conserve energy, slows the heart rate, increases intestinal (digest) activity, decreases blood pressure and helps with recovery and restoration. The other part of the ANS is called the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) or "flight or fight" system which innervates tissues in almost every organ system. It is responsible for priming the body for "action". The SNS can be activated with stress or anxiety, which over time strains the body's systems, functions and may eventually lead to pain, fatigue, insomnia, or chronic illness. Both divisions of the ANS work to promote balance and optimal function in the body.

This educational physiology tidbit leads me to the statement: Give yourself permission to relax. Get outside in nature, take a moment to breathe deeply, meditate, disconnect from technology or social media, receive a massage, etc. Reflect on what brings you peacefulness in your day and book it into your schedule, just like you do with the never-ending lists and activities that fill our days, weeks, and months. Having these moments and stimulating the PNS, offers your body and mind time to reset and restore so that you are functioning at your fullest potential.

Something to consider at your next appointment with me is to arrive with the mindset of just receiving and relaxing. Even if you have pain or a chronic issue in your body, try just letting go during a session and experience the benefit of disconnect and how good the massage makes you feel! You don't have to have something that needs "fixed" during a session to justify receiving massage or any other type of bodywork or wellness activity. Allowing yourself to just be, will offer your body's systems the chance to restore and renew. The benefits are happening even if we aren't focusing on trying to fix something!

Make time for you.

-When you catch yourself saying things like "I never have time to do what I want to do," what you are really saying is: "I don't take time for my needs." -The Art of Extreme Self Care

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