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How Can We Bring Balance to Our Autonomic Nervous System?

Chronic stress can take a toll on our mental and physical health. We can take steps to improve our Parasympathetic, Sympathetic, and Enteric systems. By rebalancing your autonomic nervous system through functional medicine testing and supplementing, we are able to find the root cause and treat at the source. Let’s explore how to overcome daily burnout and reach a homeostasis state.



Controls the bodies ability to relax and find a state of rest. Origin of the brainstem and sacral region of the spinal chord. Terminal ganglia then receive chemical messages from the cranial nerves. Composed of long cholinergic preganglionic, and short cholinergic postganglionic fibers. Activity facilitated by release of neurotransmitter acetylcholine.


Within the stomach and intestines acetylcholine stimulates the muscarinic receptors. Increasing relaxation and motility of the sphincters as well as increase gastric secretion to assist in digestion process. The gallbladder is stimulated by muscarinic 3 . The stimulation of gastric parietal cells.


Conserving energy so that it is stored away and can be used later in the digestive and excretion processes. Facilitating urination and activation of digestive system.


“Fight or Flight”

  • Origin of the thoracic and lumbar regions of the spinal chord.
  • Ganglia located in the prevertebral sympathetic ganglion chain or the collateral.
  • Norepinephrine the primary neurotransmitter of postganglionic neurons.
  • Amygdala sends a distress signal to the hypothalamus telling it to activate the sympathetic nervous system. signaling to the autonomic nerves and adrenal glands.

Neurotransmitters Associated


  • Primarily found within the interneuron.
  • Acetylcholine (ACh) acetic acid and choline chemical combination.
  • Functions as neurotransmitter for Central Nervous System (CNS)
  • Regulates cardiac contractions, blood pressure.
  • This allows for positively charged sodium ions to freely flow into the muscle cell.


  • Structurally known as
  • Stored within small amounts of
    adrenal tissue
  • Functioning as a
    neurotransmitter and some
    hormonal functions
  • Released into the bloodstream
    from the adrenal glands
  • Blood vessels: Triggers
    vasoconstriction (increasing
    blood pressure while narrowing
    blood vessels)
  • Increases the output


  • Released from the adrenal medula
  • Also labeled as adrenaline
  • Attention and focus, excitement, metabolism, and panic
  • Small amount produced by the nerves
  • Amygdala sends a distress signal to activate the hypothalamus
  • Hypothalamus helps to activate the sympathetic nervous system and signals epinephrine through the adrenal glands and autonomic nerves

The Impact of Stress on Your Nervous System

Neuro Degeneration

Neuro Degeneration

Chronic stress can damage nerve cells and lead to cognitive decline. Ultimately causing you to feel burnt out sooner and lack of brain functions. Leading to Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Dementia.
The Over Syndrome

The Over Syndrome

Our body’s stress response system can become overactive and stuck in sympathetic stage of autonomic nervous system. This can cause migraines, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), increased fatigue, anxiety etc …

The Importance of Adequate Sleep for Stress Management

The Science

Studies show that lack of sleep can cause an increase in cortisol levels and impair cognitive function.

The Solution

Make sleep a priority by setting a regular sleep schedule and creating a relaxing evening routine.

The Benefits

Adequate sleep can improve your mood, cognitive function, and overall well-being, while reducing stress levels. 

Cortisol: The Good and the Bad

1. High Cortisol

Can cause memory loss, increased blood pressure, heart rate, blood sugar, and nerve degeneration. Causing issues in sleep and autonomic responses. Can be caused from an issue within the hypothalamus. Correlation between Vitamin D deficiency and overproductions of cortisol.

2. Low Cortisol

Can lead to morning fatigue and difficulty starting your day. Can cause depression and anxiety stemming from exhaustion and lack of energy.

3. Managing Cortisol

The HPA -Axis (hypothalamus pituitary-adrenal axis) assists to regulate secretion and production of cortisol. When there is a loss of this regulation we can see an excessive amount of cortisol causing Cushing syndrome. We could also see a lack of cortisol and potentially causing Addison disease. Through healthy lifestyle habits like exercise, nutrition, functional medicine, and relaxation techniques, you can maintain balanced cortisol levels and improve your well-being.

The Role of Exercise in Stress Management

Yoga & Meditation

Yoga & Meditation

Low-impact exercises that promote relaxation and reduce stress, improving overall mental health.
Cardiovascular Exercise

Cardiovascular Exercise

Aerobic exercise stimulates endorphins and promotes a healthy mind and body.
Resistance Training

Resistance Training

Weightlifting and resistance training and grip strength can improve muscle strength and promote healthy weight loss, reducing stress and anxiety.

The Lighthouse Mindset: Navigating Life's Storms

Just like lighthouses guide sailors through the stormy seas, we must learn to navigate the storms in our own lives. By managing stress and practicing healthy habits like sleep, exercise, and gratitude, we can stay grounded and find our way to a brighter tomorrow.


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